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Location of the Monkhayic languages, 3480


The Monkhayu [mon 'xa ju] are a Monkhayic people, now restricted to southwestern Dhekhnam.

Etymology: 'the great people', Caď. Moȟnaro, Ver. muhnar; Cuêzi Xavigō 'boar people'.



The Monkhayic people were divided by the Eastern invasion (-350). Those who moved north are known as the Meťaiun; those who fled east across the Ctelm mountains are known as the Monkhayu (the autonym of their modern descendants).

For their history before this split, see Meťaiun.

Early advances

The Monkhayu invading Sarnáe were numerous and determined, and pushed the Munkhâshi back, reaching the Shkónoro by -150, and nearly to the Dagêsh Range by 50.

As the Monkhayu were illiterate and far from any civilization that was, we know little about how this fight advanced. The Monkhayu don't seem to have been organized into states, nor did they build large towns. However, they adopted the use of the horse from the Cuzeians.

Munkhâshi counter-conquest

By the 100s, however, the Munkhâshi had mastered both horses and the use of iron, and they moved to the counter-attack. By 240 they had reached the mountains. As is customary in a ktuvok empire, the newly conquered Monkhayu became the lowest class, subject to domination by all previous human subjects, any show of resistance punished by the killing of the rebels and their relatives. The ktuvoks also brought in great numbers of the chief Munkhâshi human ethnic group, the Eynleyni, to settle the Shkónoro valley.

The Monkhayu of the southwestern corner of Sarnáe and the Kešvare plateau— difficult and poor mountain terrain— were independent until about 380, when they were conquered as a preparation for the invasion of Eretald (440). They rebelled in 550, but were put down in a renewed Munkhâshi offensive by 575.

Various conquerors

If Cuzei provided the initial defense of Eretald, the Central and Meťaiun states were the engine of its liberation, accomplished in 1024. The Monkhayu of the mountains sensed that the moment was right to rebel, and by 1150 they were independent. In the early 1500s, however, Munkhâsh reoccupied their lands, once again as a staging area for the invasion of Eretald.

Munkhâsh was defeated, but the Monkhayu now found themselves part of the empire of Caďinas, ruled by military governors. Caďinorian rule was not onerous, but they too colonized the Shkónoro valley. The end result was that the Monkhayu proper were restricted to the hills and mountains of the south.

The Kešvare plateau was attractive to the nomads, who were beginning to use their military edge to harrass the agricultural states. The Sainor took over the plateau around 1900, and their relatives the Coruo occupied the entire Monkhayu area around 2200, though the Monkhayu were able to expel them within a few generations. In the 2500s, the Gelyet conquered them on their way to Sarnáe; this wave too passed within a century.

Kingdom of Monkhay

From about 2600 the Monkhayu enjoyed, if that's the word, their longest sustained period of independance since ancient times— nearly seven centuries. Their chief accomplishment was survival, herding sheep and goats in the mountains and tending small fields in the narrow valleys; they traded timber for the few outside manufactures they desired (mainly metal axes). Outsiders regarded them as sullen and dull, admired for their ability to disappear into the forests but disdained for their legendary grudges and feuds.

For most of this period they were organized as a kingdom, Monkhay, though the Sarnáeans to the north considered them little more than barbarians and weak ones at that; one Monkhayu prince, proposing a marriage alliance with Irscondro, was told that the princesses would "sooner marry a ktuvok".

The only outsiders interested in them were the Kebreni, who during this period worked out the linguistic relationship between their language and Monkhayu.

Back in the ktuvok empire

The new ktuvok empire of Dhekhnam conquered Sarnáe, reaching the Ctelm mountains definitively by 3120; almost as a warning, they occupied a third of the Monkhayu territory— the richest portion, in the east, containing their only large town, Eteban. They gobbled up another third in 3280, and the remaining region in 3362.

Though their status is lowly, the Dhekhnami seem to slightly prefer them to the Sarnáeans, who they particularly disdain.


Like Kebreni, Monkhayu has a morphology based on vowel interchange, vowel change, and infixing, rather than affixation, and a verbal system that does not inflect for person, but for aspect and politeness. Monkhayu is notable for continuing the ancient base 18 counting system.

It has borrowed heavily from its various conquerors, to the extent that only a few hundred cognates with Kebreni remain. Scholars had forgotten the relationship to the Meťaiun languages till it was rediscovered by Kebreni scholars in late medieval times.

Article begun by Exez, largely rewritten by Zompist