Wa We

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Wa We
other skills
navigator, linguist

Wa We (pronounced "Wah Wih") was a fourteenth century Wymgani anthropologist and explorer.

Born in the Ariddian island of Ocea, We was, by her late teens, an accomplished craftswoman and a trained navigator - as well as having, reputedly, a beautiful singing voice. She lived at a time when the Wymgani were setting out to explore the vast oceans of the world, and she took part in several expeditions to far distant shores, beginning around the 1360s.

Wa We rapidly earned a reputation as perhaps the most skilled navigator of her generation, and was also revealed to be an excellent diplomat and linguist, able to communicate peacefully with the strange new peoples encountered by Wymgani explorers. She developed an interest in foreign customs and ways of life, and studied them intensely, settling for months at a time in foreign communities and committing vast amounts of information to memory. She is thought to have resided for a time in north-east Africa and southern Europe.

In Europe, records exist of Wymgani visits, and of Wa We's interest in European cultures, laws and beliefs. She was even drawn by an Italian artist around the year 1367 (see picture). She was regarded by some as a scholar, and admired as such. Records suggest that she learnt to read and write Latin, but if so she never put the results of her research in writing, preferring to impart them in oral form to her fellow Wymgani. We was, notably, fascinated by the concepts of spirituality and religion, utterly alien to the Wymgani, and she visited the papal see in Rome, where it seems she was received by the Pope. Some records indicate she converted to Catholicism, but this is disputed.

Wa We returned eventually to her homeland, where she passed on her knowledge in oral form. Indeed, Wymgani communities on the south-eastern coast of Ocea still treasured much of that knowledge three centuries later, when the island was, in turn, first discovered by European explorers. Wa We also encouraged members of her home community to reflect upon cultural differences, and to consider their own customs in light of the way foreign peoples lived. In this sense, she was one of her country's first philosophers, and a genius anthropologist.

It has been theorised that Sho Ea, who reflected upon concepts of identity on the island of Wueliw in the fifteenth century, may have been influenced by oral records of Wa We's thoughts and teachings.

It is not known whether Wa We had any children. If she did, her line of descent must have become extinct at some point between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, for no Wymgani today trace their genealogy back to her.

Today, Wa We is recognised as a major figure of Ariddian history, and perhaps the most significant contributor to the Wymgani era of exploration. An international "contest", aiming to establish who the world's favourite person in all of history was, found that We We was second-favourite in world opinion, in joint place with Jesus Christ. This immediately led one commentator to remark, humorously, that she was now officially as popular as Christ, world-wide.

See also