Gekhet the Founder is the central figure of the Qastí foundation myth. He is credited as the inventor of agriculture and the forefather of the Qasttega civilization, from whom the Qastí descended. Most accounts of his life exist in the form of inscriptions on Qastí pottery shards, his legend having faded from oral tradition. While many elements of his story are likely fabricated – such as the extraordinary claim to being the inventor of agriculture, what kernel of truth that remains gives a valuable insight into one of the earliest figures in recorded history.
Popular interpretations of the surviving texts place his date of birth somewhere between -5500 CE to -6000 CE, though some estimates go as far back as -10,000 CE. Qastí texts rarely specify, and on the occasion that they do, the information is often vague and contradictory. At this point, the Qasttega were nomadic hunter-gatherers native to the scrublands of Quosot. The son of a tribal chieftain and an unidentified ancient Qasttega fertility goddess, Gekhet often had visions of a stone hiphon sent by his mother, leading him to prey during hunts and leading to fresh water during migrations, which he credited as the primary reason for his success.
Founding of the Qasttega CivilizationEdit
When his father died and he inherited leadership of the tribe, he followed the vision of the stone hiphon for one last time, leading the Qasttega from their homeland to the Kega Continuities on the river Artic. There, the hiphon spoke to him, commanding –
“Take the wild barley and gather the grain into single handful. From the grain, five sixths shall be set aside to make bread. From the grain, one sixth shall be set aside to be returned to the earth along the banks of the river, as the water begins to rise. From that sixth of grain, the earth shall bear you twicefold your first crop of barley as the waters fall and rise again. And you shall set aside a sixth of your grain to be returned, as the river’s waters fall and rise, again and again, each year after the next, until your handfuls of grain are as numerous as the needles in a cedar grove.
Build dwellings of stone for your people, so that they may tend to the barley for each whole year. A vessel shall be built which shall store the grain from each harvest to the next, so that your people may make bread for each whole year. As your harvest multiplies in bounty, so to, shall your people, and stone dwellings shall be built for them. Do this, and the Qasttega shall become a mountain upon the river.”
A separate logogram was set aside for this original settlement in the Qastí alphabet, which, unfortunately, did not survive in any modern Upper Corridor languages.
While most texts focus only on the portion of Gekhet the Founder’s life from birth to the founding of Qasttega Settlement 1, several records of disputed authenticity attest to Gekhet’s later life – some describe a great flood that nearly destroyed the Qasttega and other Kega Continuity civilizations, after Gekhet spread the knowledge of agriculture to neighboring communities. One describes an event in which a giant rhinoceros tried to destroy Qasttega Settlement 1, only for Gekhet to defeat it in single combat. Another text accounts of Gekhet’s marriage to Dotu, who bore his heir, Nokhet. In any case, a comprehensive account of Gekhet’s life remains elusive.
In all sectors of Qatsí society, from nobles to peasants, from soldiers to artisans, he represented an embodiment of cultural pride. Oddly, there are no extant confirmed pictorial representations of Gekhet, whether this is the result of enforced taboo, destruction by a third party, or simple loss to the decay of time, is unknown. Gekhet the Founder remained an enduring fixture of Qastí folklore, surviving in more-or-less the same form for thousands of years, only passing out of common knowledge with the collapse of the Qastí civilization.
Cited: Artic Corridor
New phantom: Kega Continuities