The Prathmuni (pronounced PRAHTH-muhn, soft "th") are the lowest caste of the Tharian class system. Tharios has strict laws that regulate the rights of the prathmuni. They are subjugated under Tharian law and are greatly exploited.
It's due mostly to the Tharian religion that the prathmuni are subjugated thus. Tharians believe that death taints anything it touches. The city must have created a caste that would be able to touch and dispose of the dead.
Laws and practices
The prathmuni are kept on a very short leash, at least before key events of 1039 KF. They are not allowed to speak or touch or otherwise interact with a non-prathmun, in order to keep them from being tainted. They must be identifiable and wear straw sandles and a sack-like article of clothing.
If a prathmun is murdered, it is not considered a big deal. Crime against the prathmuni is okozou, and is literally "crime against people who don't matter".
Housing and living conditions
Before the events of 1039 KF, the prathmuni were forced to live outside the city, in housing they create themselves. They were forced to live where the sewage was dumped, even though the scholars at Heskalifos would know the damage that sewage would cause to humans—this made Trisana Chandler incredibly angry.
The prathmuni gain some semblance of a livelihood by removing garbage, sweeping the city, collecting human waste, disposing of corpses, etc. They don't receive actual monetary compensation from doing these jobs.
In 1039 KF, a prathmun known as The Ghost began killing female yaskedasi. The killer would dump the bodies of the women he killed in major Tharian sites, causing unrest. Since the victims were yaskedasi and thus okozou, no one really paid attention to the victims, but to the sites that were considered to be defiled. When Tris and company discovered that The Ghost was a prathmun, she warned other prathmuni about The Ghost's identity, knowing there would be a huge backlash. There was, once word got out about the Ghost, there were mobs that went after prathmuni. However, only 28 were killed instead of thousands, as most of them had escaped the city and began negotiations with the Tharian government for better living conditions and compensation.
The prathmuni are possibly based on the Hindi Untouchables.
Notes and references
- ↑ Shatterglass.