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The Bucair [bu: ˈka ir] were a nomadic Karazi people, who gave their name to Bukanel. Their language was Bucardo.

Etymology: Bucardo Būcair 'the commanders', the -r being a collective suffix cognate to the Cuêzi locative suffix; Ax. and X. Buka.


They could be distinguished from the rest of the Karazi around 900, when they pushed into the hilly western rim of Xengiman, along with the Sainor. The Bucair moved south of Bolon, the Sainor north of it. Within a century they had occupied their historical homeland, pushing out the Čia-Ša, who moved south into the Xoranas.

While Axunai dominated Xengiman, the Axunemi and Bucair had a tumultous relationship. The nomads appreciated the agriculturalists' goods— grain, weaponry, manufactures— but preferred to acquire them by raiding. The Axunemi mounted counter-raids and attempted to fortify their settlements. Over time relations became less virulent without becoming fully peaceful. Bucair chieftains were given Axunemi titles; they would trade peacefully unless they were sorely tempted by Axunemi weakness or hard pressed by drought in the mountains.

In 1320-22 the governor of Čiqay province, Čejiras, led some heavy raids into Bukanel to punish some bold incursions. The Bucair drew back before this show of strength; but Čejiras came to respect the nomads' toughness and riding skills. He began to hire them for his army, and starting in 1327, used them in his attempt to take the Axunemi throne. The emperor Šuidibur hired his own nomads, mainly Sainor and Mei, to oppose Čejiras.


Čejiras was ultimately fought to a stalemate; but the Bucair learned much from him about Axunemi culture and government. It was the Bucair prince Ašives who melded Bucair and Axunemi traditions to form a new kind of state. The Karazi peoples, unlike the Naviu, had a hereditary monarchy, though the kings’ power was largely limited to generalship, and had to be confirmed by the heads of the clans. Ašives was acknowledged king (nārwos) of the Bucair in 1419; he immediately set about expanding his realm into Axunemi territory, stopping only when the Axunemi named him a nive (king), sending him an Axunemi princess to seal his 'brotherhood'.

Ašives cannily balanced his roles as nārwos and nive. He established separate administrations for the Bucair and his subject Axunemi, with separate laws for each; he insisted that Bucair put in charge of Axunemi institutions understand Axunašin as well as Axunemi culture, so that they were not mere figureheads. The wealth generated by the settlements enhanced his authority among the Bucair as well; at the same time, he ensured that the Bucair retain their separate identity, raising their children in the camps rather than in palaces, and speaking only Bucardo among themselves.

Later kings

His successors pressed further into Axunai, though avoiding the densest river valleys; in the late 1500s, however, they were strong enough to conquer upper Niormen. In 1620 a civil war broke out, largely due to the resentment of the eastern Bucair, who had done most of the fighting and felt that they were not given an adequate share of the spoils. The Axunemi sensed an opportunity and invaded; this only served to reunite the Bucair and embroil Axunai in a long and increasingly unpopular war. The Bucair conquered the remainder of Niormen by 1630, and despite increasing Axunemi division, the situation remained stable for a century: the Axunemi could not liberate Niormen, but the Bucair were not strong enough to make headway against the dense heartland of Axunai.

Decline and fall

In the 1720s Jinayzu successfully rebelled, and conquered lower Niormen; later in the century Rajjay liberated upper Niormen.

Around 1950 the Sainor began pushing south into Bukanel. The Bucair still maintained their dual administration, but it was widely believed that their nomadic side had gone soft. They were certainly a minor power now, and in 2186 they were conquered by the Sainor (themselves driving south to escape the Coruo). The Axunemi broke the power of the Sainor around 2310; this left the Bucair independent for a time— till the Gelyet, who had already united the Naviu, overwhelmed the Bucair (by 2475) and then conquered Xengiman.

The Bucair vanish from history with the Gelyet conquest. Their long-held homeland, Bukanel, was held by Naviu peoples. Almost certainly they were absorbed into the Sainor and moved east with them.


The dual administration of Bukanel was a powerful idea which influenced other barbarians, especially the Sainor. The Naviu however scorned it as weakness; undoubtedly this contributed to the ultimate inability of the Gelyet or other Naviu tribes to establish a lasting empire over either Eretald or Xengiman.

As the nomadic people who most closely integrated with Axunemi society, the Bucair were a sort of prototype of barbarians: condemned for their brutality and ‘cowardly’ hit-and-run tactics, while admired for their toughness, fighting spirit, and earthiness. Their region of Xengiman is still called Bukanel.

One of the Hermit Masters, a Rajjari with some Bucair blood, took the name Bukameša “Bucair Meša”. Endajué also borrowed the use of pepec, an herb that causes hallucinations, from the Bucair shamans.