Posted by Dindrane on October 4, 2007 in art
An awesome artist, Rabbit, has a website on her fictional (?) country of Rabbitlandia. After visiting, I was inspired to remind or introduce you about my own fictional country, Innisbastis, though my notes are not as extensive as Rabbit’s. I hope to add more later as a fun creative and writing exercise; I’ll also upload some new and old artistamps and so forth, as I have time.
If you’re not familiar with Rabbit’s work, definitely check it out; her stamp carvings alone are amazing.
Welcome to Innisbastis
Vale and Namasté
Originally settled by Minoan and Celtic peoples, the island of Innisbastis lies approximately 200 kilometers south-southwest of Atlantis, or 400 kilometers south of Wonderland, near the middle of the Peacock Ocean.
Thousands of years ago, Minoan settlers, fleeing the encroachment of violent foreigners, fled west, searching for a legendary island known to them as Hy Brasil. They did not find Hy Brasil (they were too far north), but they did find Innisbastis, a land recently settled by another cultural group, the Celts. These Celts had also left their homelands of Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man looking for a legendary island, this one known as Tir nan-Og, the Land of the Young.
Because both groups were culturally already dedicated to wisdom, education, and the arts, they were able to live peacefully, blending their native religions and philosophies into a unique new whole. Innisbastis was born–an island nation built around the pre-eminence of art, learning, the natural world, and freedom.
Like the Puritans, who first built a jail when they reached the shores of what would be called America, the first building erected by the new settlers says volumes about our culture: it was an ecumenical worship center, where the priestesses of Bast who had accompanied the Minoans and the priestesses of Brigid, who were leading the Celtic travellers, could worship together and display their cultural wares for the education and spiritual edification of all, equally.
Religion and Spirituality
Innisbastis, formed as it was by the blending of disparate religions, believes in total religious freedom, with the caveat that living sacrifices or the abuse of any living thing is not allowed. Therefore, over 210 different religions have their nexus buildings in the Holy Quarter of the capital city, including a Sikh temple, a Shinto shrine, a Wiccan ring, and an Episcopal cathedral. Other cities are similarly diverse, if smaller in scale. To remove religious freedom is essentially to remove the Self–a crime Innisbastians would never permit.
Innisbastis enjoys temperate weather most of the year, though the vagaries of ocean currents occasionally bring unusually high or low temperatures. The dry season runs from December to May, and the wet season runs from June to November. Travellers arriving during these seasons should dress accordingly.
average summer high temperature:
average winter low temperature:
average rainfall (dry season):
average rainfall (wet season):
It has been said that the people of Innisbastis are lazy and that they prefer play and celebration to work. But who does not? The simple truth is that ‘Bastians take their play very seriously and are well aware of the spiritual necessity of frequent days off. Therefore, all national buildings, including schools but excluding hospitals, are closed on national holidays, and the streets are often filled with celebrating citizens. As our guest, you are most welcome to join in any or all festivities, as you see fit.
Blue Moons and Sidhe Moons are also celebrated, but often privately or with friends.
- New Year’s Day: January 1
- Imbolc (also called the Blessing of the Springs): February 2
- Valentine’s Day (also called Flora’s Day): February 14
- St. Patrick’s Day: March 17
- Vernal Equinox: usually around March 22
- Cherry Festival: Movable Feast–when the Imperial Cherries bloom, around the beginning of April
- Earth Day: April 15
- Beltane/Friendship Day: May 1
- Children’s Day: May 22 (or nearest weekday)
- St. Kevin’s Day (also called the Blessing of the Wild): June 3
- Summer Solstice: usually around June 22
- Starsplitter’s Holiday: July 10
- Lammas Day: August 1
- Lion’s Day: August 4
- Archangel Day: August 20
- School Day: September 1 or closest Monday
- Autumnal Equinox: usually around September 22
- St. Francis’ Day (also called the Blessing of the Animals): October 3
- Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve: October 31
- Empress’ Birthday (also called Scorpion Day): November 19
- National Day of Fasting: December 1
- Yule/Winter Solstice: December 22
‘Bastians will often joke that educated people and artists are our greatest national resource, and the truth is that Innisbastis is proud to say that artists are treated like precious treasures, but never commodities.
- veterinarians and animal sages by loan
- amber, carved and raw
- silver jewelry and tracework
- stained glass windows and objects
- sim-meat, the national meat substitute sure to please any carnivore and meet all dietary requirements
Government and Constitution
The government of Innisbastis is a meritorious monarchy, the Empress/Emperor chosen from among the graduates of the many ‘Bastian universities. The current Empress holds degrees in Animal Friendship, Poetry, and Theology, and is a past recipient of the Imperial Award for Meritorious Art in the category of Assemblage.
[link to Innisbastis’ Bill of Rights]
Office of the Royal Poste
The Imperial Office of the Royal Poste is charged with the most important task of carrying and protecting the Royal Mail; any and all missives, packages, and mail art are treated with respect and care, whether they contain a simple telephone bill or a most precious grandchild’s photo.
Please browse through the archives of the Poste’s Museum of Stamps.
Office of Artistic Affairs
Each year, this group of individuals is responsible for bestowing one of the many Imperial Awards for the Arts. Winners are chosen in the categories of Volunteerism, Spiritual Fortitude, Assemblage, Dance, Two-Dimensional Painting, Woodcarving, Fashion Design and Costuming, Jewelrycrafting, Novels, Poetry, Non-Fiction, Drama, Acting, Architecture, Cinematography, Photography, Musical Performance, and Musical Composition.
Winners are awarded tax-free status in perpetuity, a prize of 100,000 Innisbastian punts, a platinum medal, and assorted other prizes donated by various ‘Bastian patrons of the arts.
All artists and scientists on the island of Innisbastis, regardless of national citizenship, live tax free and are entitled to a monthly stipend toward living expenses. Visiting artists should apply to the Office of Artistic Affairs at least six months before their visit to register for benefits and submit a portfolio.
Every so often, an individual makes an extraordinary contribution to the world’s citizenship through their work in the arts or other valid enterprises. Such individuals, even if they are not Innisbastian citizens, are declared Living Treasures, and their life-size likenesses are enshrined in the Imperial Museum and Gardens. Past recipients of this honor include David Bowie, Louis MacNeice, Mahatma Gandhi, and Sandro Botticelli (posthumous).
Office of Education
The Imperial Office of Education is responsible for curricula throughout the realm. Innisbastis prides itself upon the academic excellence of its citizenry, and believes that education should be life-long. To that end, all universities are free to anyone who can pass the entrance exam, and tutoring at any grade level or age is provided for anyone as a right of citizenship.
Eventually, the Office of Education intends to post their yearly curricula here for you to see. Until then, suffice it to say that core classes each year include art, math, science, literature and the word, independent study, and life skills.
Compulsory school attendance begins at age four and ends at age eighteen. Further education is provided at one of the ‘Bastian universities at the state’s expense.
Travelling to Innisbastis
Innisbastis welcomes visitors to her shores, regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin, sexual preference, species, or age. Any incidences of discrimination should be reported to authorities immediately. While here, we consider you our guests, and you will be treasured as such.
There are, however, a few rules that we hope you will respect:
- Meat is not consumed on the island of Innisbastis. Please be aware that killing and eating any of the native wildlife or citizens is severely punished, as are any incidents of animal abuse (this includes rudeness). Meat substitutes are provided for those used to eating a non-vegetable-based diet.
- Proper attire is expected at all times. Pantyhose, girdles, ties, anything scratchy, and uncomfortable dress shoes are strictly forbidden, unless you just want to wear them.
- Children and the elderly always have the right of way.
- Public Internet terminals are located at each major street nexus and are provided for the convenience of citizens and travellers. When others are waiting to use the terminals, please restrict your use to no more than 30 minutes.
- Cats, foxes, rabbits, corvids, and raptors are particularly sacred to Innisbastians, and care should be taken to show these animals great respect. You might observe citizens kneeling or observing other private moments of meditation and introspection around such creatures; these moments are considered private and holy, so please wait until the individual has finished her or his observance before you approach with any questions.
Sites of Particular Interest to Travelers
- The Standing Stones of Kilineer
- The Fey College
- The Imperial Raptor Rehabilitation Center
- The Melpomene Mountains and the Lakes of the Muses
- The Imperial Museum of Art and Natural Science
- The Bathory Theatre
- The Golden Apple Orchards
- The Labyrinth
- The Mirabilia Aquaria
Major Trade Partners and Diplomatic Friends