Caciquism describes the society structure of the Rowakkian Sea. Caciquism was developed as an admixture of the government styles of the native faerie islanders and the human settlers. Even after the subsequent waves of human immigration bringing feudalism to the mainland, the Rowakkians still practice caciquism among the islands.
In Rowakkian culture, the cacique rank is established through democratic means, giving this person control over a demesne known as a cacicazgo. Cacicazgos are typically small in size, normally no larger than a typical Kyran duchy. The land is considered to be collectively owned by the people and managed by the cacique. Those who work and profit from the land are expected to pay taxes to the cacique which are meant to be used for the betterment of its people. In the event of war, all able bodied persons are conscripted, to be led by the cacique or a designated commander.
In caciquism there are four ranks or tiers of society. Though all land is considered communally owned these positions are meant to serve as stewards of the land and act towards the benefit of the people. The titles are listed below from the highest to the lowest rank.
The Cacique is elected by the nitanos of the cacicazgo. Any person is eligible, regardless of background, gender, or age, as long as they can gain the support of the nitanos. Once elected a cacique may rule for life, until there is a vote for their removal, or until they choose to voluntarily step down. There is no aristocracy of lineage with titles only meant to denote one's service to the cacicazgo. The cacique is responsible for ensuring successful trade and production, organizing public feasts, directing cultural events, leading the ceremonial dances passing along the rowakkian myths and traditions, hosting other cacicazgos and foreign dignitaries, distributing land, settling disputes, organizing labor, and providing aid to the people whatever that may be. Though the position has the power of life and death over others in the cacicazgo it is one of numerous duties and expectations. The cacique owns the most powerful spiritual idol and is expected to supervise worship within the capital. In times of war, as long as they are physically able, the cacique is expected to command the levied armies from the forefront. In the event of sickness or age the cacique may appoint a nitano commander to lead in his stead.
As a badge of office, similar to the Kyran crown, Rowakkian caciques bear a pendant known as a guanin. These disks are made an enchanted alloy, forged into a shape symbolic of the cacicazgo, and meant to imbue great power onto it's wearer. It is said that the guanin gives the cacique the power to commune with spirits to request advice and assistance.
The Nitano are upper class nobles and warriors who participate and vote in the councils concerning cacicazgo matters. Among the nitano are the cacique and his family in addition to other warriors, artisans, merchants, etc. They are responsible for determining and policing local boundaries, as well as hunting, fishing, farming, and trade rights. Tasks are delegated to the nitano by the cacique in order to aid in the management of the cacicazgo. Their roles are equivalent to counts and sheriffs in Kyran feudalism. They manage small tracts of land surrounding villages or cities known as yucayeques, look after the people who work the land, and are expected to provide taxes and levies as called for by the cacique. Though the line is blurred in some cases the nitano are seen moreso as wardens of the land rather than outright owners of all land under their purview. There are Great Families who work to train and educate their children to be worthy of the nitano title. As it is the nitano who vote on the cacique there is a status quo that is typically kept though in unusual circumstances there may be great upheavals with new successions. Individuals may be given nitano status at the whim of the cacique. Though there may be naboria who are wealthier than nitano, without that status they are still unable to dispense law or vote on cacicazgo manners.
The Bohique (shamans) guide the religious activities of the cacicazgo and the villages, performing sacred rituals. They are responsible for taking spiritual quests to learn the will of the deities and spirits, using this knowledge to foretell the future and advise the nitanos and cacique. In tenuous ethical manners concerning the nitanos or the cacique, a council of behique are expected to step in to act as judges and diviners of the gods' will.
The Naboria are the common, working class, people who serve as lifelong serfs. They are the ones who work the land, hunting, fishing, farming, and more. Naboria can make appeals to their local nitano regarding violations of the law or general disagreements between parties; they are recognized as having a right to fair and just treatment by the nitano, cacique, and society in general. Most cacicazgos have laws protecting the local population from abuse or mistreatment, even by members of the nobility. However, these laws differ and are enforced in varying degrees, mostly depending on the disposition of the local nitano.