The Tanoby people are the original native inhabitants of the New Logoran archipelago, though at different times throughout history cultures appearing to have originated from the Tanoby have appeared in other locations around the world, sometimes as far away as East Asia1. The Tanoby are reputed to be the human culture most closely associated with the enigmatic Pokémon Unown. The Revivalists are a group of Tanoby people currently looking to save New Logora's destroyed legendaries.
"Tanoby" is also the name of the (now largely unused) language spoken by the original Tanoby people.
Tanoby Names and Language
Tourists and travelers are often curious about the meanings of the unusual names they hear in New Logora, but the truth is that Tanoby names are not actually derived from words and have no intended lexical meaning in this or any other language. These names are instead given via divination—the belief is that the great legendary Pokémon who gave the ancient Tanoby the gifts of their language and culture also chose names for them. A given combination of letters is said to be portentous for an individual, and so when children were born or other things were named, mystics would receive that combination of letters from the legendaries and that would become the person's name. Even though the legendaries are now long dormant, the practice continues today. The supposed meaning of the name generally trumps trivial things like aesthetic appeal or pronounceability, unfortunately for some people or locations.
Tanoby given names are traditionally mononymic (that is, no surname, middle name, etc.), as historically there was no need for further identification by family, occupation, location, etc. when the names given by the legendaries were already unique on their own. Most individuals these days have a Tanoby given name and non-Tanoby surname—Alzlbex Lochlan or Evten Vargas, for example—due to generations of intermarrying with people of other cultures. Mononyms such as Trelni and Naritanu are still relatively common among families who prefer adhering to tradition as best as possible. There are a scant few Tanoby individuals or families who have "divined" second names as "Tanoby surnames" for themselves, but this is strictly a modern novelty with no historical meaning.
The classical Tanoby language itself is a member of the Proto-Mayan language family, albeit far removed from its later and better-known relatives such as K'iche and Yucatec, and is no longer widely spoken. Tanoby is not technically considered "dead" but has fallen out of common use, supplanted instead by English (the official language of the Zencalian Confederation) and Spanish. Even the offshoots of Tanoby culture that appeared in Kanto, Johto and elsewhere seem to have phased out their original language over time and adopted the dialects of their new neighbors. Some New Logoran families with a long Tanoby heritage do still speak it, however, and there have been occasional pushes to see the modern Tanoby dialect taught in schools.
Strangely, almost all known major Tanoby ruins worldwide contain at least a few Unown gylph inscriptions in several languages—not only in Tanoby or the local dialects of the time, but in languages that were not spoken anywhere in the vicinity of those ruins. There are reports of inscriptions in languages that should already have been extinct by that era and languages that would not be spoken until hundreds of years later, and even a few in languages that remain unidentified to this day. Whether these "phantom language" inscriptions and texts were written willfully by the Tanoby, written by someone else or put there by other means is unclear; no existing records seem to explain their origin.
Notable Tanoby Characters
- Gadari, Revivalist leader, retired master trainer and local starter breeder/distributor
- Alzlbex "Beck" Lochlan, Falantr City Gym Leader and Water-type specialist
- Dr. Liruda Lochlan, Revivalist leader, archaeologist and host of popular history television series "Uncovering the Unknown"
- Naritanu, Revivalist leader and Logos Stone craftsman
- Professor Racyf Taxus, Revivalist leader and local professor studying Pokémon either made by humans or that change based on human presence
- Treg, Revivalist leader and the person spearheading the new Revivalist recruiting effort
- Trelni, Treg's daughter and Asher's assistant
- Lt. Gov. Evten Vargas, Revivalist leader and incumbent Lieutenant Governor of New Logora
1 assuming that the "Pokémon world" is largely like the real Earth but with the landmasses in a slightly different arrangement, something along the lines discussed here, the majority of the canon regions would likely be part of or near Asia, if not part of Japan itself.
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