The Neferi Autonomous Region is a region of the Republic of Armatirion with limited self-government designated for the Neferi peoples of far south-eastern Armatirion south of Ecostal and along the border with the DSSB.
The Autonomous Region was voted into existence by the Republic's National Assembly on September 27th, 316ap, and the region gained self-government on November 1st.
Neferi: A distinct people related to the ancient Pticans
The Neferi (/Neh/fer/ree/) are an ancient people that have existed in the south-eastern corner of Armatirion and southern South Bay for several millenia.
Their ethnic cousins dominated the northern portions of the now-depopulated isle of Ptica, and they were members of one of the culturally richest peoples of the Eulos Sea civilisations.
The flag of the new Autonomous Region reflects this heritage, using the four priceless colours of the ancient civilisation that have continued to hold cultural significance for the Neferi people.
The Blue represents the seas that were the streets upon which trade ships travelled, new opportunities were seized, and new kingdoms were met.
Indeed, the Lapis Lazuli that made the blue colour so prized in the ancient world came from kingdoms in the far north we now know to be Hracham, in northern Aryantstsumbi.
The Green represents the fertile lands that fed the people, and in ancient times represented the fertility of the people, too.
The Red represents the Neferi people, the culture and the self-determination and government of the ancient kingdom.
Gold is the most precious colour of them all, the delineates and helps define the other three colours.
The golden sun in the centre that gives life to the world, is shown with the eye of the ancient god Imun, always watching his creation, his people, but also represents the unity of all peoples who toil under the same sun.
An Autonomous Region will strengthen the unity of the nation
With their own distinct language, history, artistic style, culture, the Neferi are recognised as a distinct nation or people with the wide patchwork of cultures and peoples of the great Armatirian republic.
Their schools within the A.R. will be free to teach in both the Neferi language and Armatirian.
They will be freer to manage their own artistic catalogue, their history, allowing museums to be established and managed as they see fit, monuments to be erected to their recognisable figures, and streets may now be renamed as the people of the A.R. desire.
The Autonomous Regions's government will also bear both responsibility for the law and order of the region, largely independent of other peoples and customs of the greater Republic.
Police may now be exclusively hired from within the Neferi community rather than police from Cornheim or Dorian enforcing the laws.
Yet, national affairs, such as national defense and basic law, will remain under the purview of the government in Ailati.
The border between Neferi A.R. and the DSSB will be rigorously patrolled.
Yet, the government in Ailati does not see this increasing freedom of self-determination as cause for concern.
On the contrary, Armatirion's first Autonomous Region will only strengthen the unity and bonds of the nation by giving to those who have long sought it, the freedom from the dominant culture of the Republic.
This freedom will, at last, afford the ethnic-Neferi people an opportunity to develop their culture as distinct, giving opportunity to express it within the wondrous cultural tapestry that is Armatirion.
An ancient heritage
For the region's Neferi people are descendants of an ancient civilisation that flourished around the southern Eulos Sea region.
The interchange of goods saw ships travelling all around the Eulos sea, and, to facilitate such trade, colonies were established from Ptica all around.
Colonial cities from Ptica dotted all along the Rimlah coast in the west, as far north as Humany, on Mutsukito island, along the western coast of Ishrakan, to Utania, the ancient civilisation was formative in the development of southern Eras.
The exchange of goods, peoples and ideas fomented a great civilisational blossoming that stirred further civilisations of the ancient world.
Still to this day, archeologists are finding evidence of the peoples, cultures and places that inhabited this wider region.
And the Neferi people are a living remnant of these.
Agriculture and Aquaculture abound
The Neferi A.R. is a small region in the south-eastern-most part of Armatirion on the Eras Continent.
The climate is somewhat dry, receiving a steady flow of westerly winds yet being outside of reach of the monsoon rains.
However, the soil is fertile and brings forth a plentiful harvest.
The region's terrain is mostly flat, dry and well-forested.
There are no mountain ranges through the region, though undulating, forest-covered hills abound.
The highest elevation in the region is Idmikha, a small mountain standing 458 metres above sea-level.
Though blessed with a temperate climate, temperatures can be searing in summer reaching highs of forty degrees celcius.
However, most days are mostly warm and pleasant, if dry with baking winds.
Winters are mild, occasionally cool, but snow is unknown, and frost is confined to very few mornings.
The economy of the region is dominated by agriculture, with little manufacturing or industrial activity.
Fishing is also a substantial employer, the region featuring one of Armatirion's largest fishing fleets, taking advantage of the great fish stocks that abound in the southern Eulos Strait.
With so much unique culture and ancient history, tourism is also a rapidly growing sector of the economy, an opportunity the Neferi A.R. is seeking to take advantage of.