Over the course of time, centaurs have developed a rich and complex culture, deriving many elements from their environment and their peculiar biology. Social ties are of paramount importance, with the family being the core unit in which culture is passed from parent to child. It is not uncommon for several generations to live in the same family group, and for children to be raised by the extended family or clan.
Most commonly, marriages take place between a monogamous mare and a stallion, but there is a variant marriage custom that provides for one stallion to marry multiple mares. Centaurs are very loving parents, and both mares and stallions involve themselves in the raising of children. Children are usually born only a few years apart, but mares remain fertile throughout middle age, occasionally able to bear children up the ages of 90 or 100. There is one reported case of a mare bearing a foal at the age of 122, but that has not been adequately documented. Stallions remain fertile throughout their entire life. Twice as many fillies are born as colts.
Cultural values are taught by story and song, proverbs, and customs. Stories tend to have subtle morals woven into simple but compelling plots.
One of the most characteristic of centaur customs is the importance placed on braiding of the mane and
tail. The complexity of style both serves as adornment, and conveys specific information about status, activities, and intent (for instance, war braids are worn only for combat, never in any other circumstance). Braiding another's hair is considered one of the most personal actions any centaur can take, and takes on different significance depending on who is the braider, and whose hair is braided. Parents may braid their young children's hair, as they teach them the meaning and import of different types; close friends may braid each other's hair as a bonding experience; and lovers braid each other's hair as the most intimate of experiences. It is common in weddings for a husband and wife to publicly braid each other's hair with a special symbolic style that is never used in any other context.
One of the elements of centaur culture is the phenomenon of courtly love. The leader of the centaurs, and the holder of the falmyros is a high centaur known as the Herd Lord; this is usually a stallion, though it is possible for a mare to receive the falmyros of the homeland. Because of the greater number of mares than stallions, and because the Herd Lord is commonly a stallion, it is a usual practice for mares in professional positions to attach themselves to the Herd Lord's court, and to dedicate their efforts to him as a form of courtly love. There is no expectation of any reciprocation beyond mutual respect.
All pages Copyright© 2012-2019 by Beth Hudson Wheeler and Eleanor C. Ray