Cheenan are a small folk, about 3 1/2 feet/ 1.1 meters tall (+/-6" or 15cm). They resemble small humans, though their torsos seem a bit overlong and they are bow legged. Their feet are the give away. They have long toes that are prehensile and even have thumbs. Skin tones range from a light tan to a tanned bronze. Their eyes are deep pools of chocolate dark. Both sexes wear their brown to black hair somewhat long, with most of it braided in one to six braids and adorned with feathers and beads. Their identifying "hair style" has their hair loose and long, then at just below their shoulder blades it becomes braided.
Cheenan like to wear simple clothing; tunics, loin cloth and hooded ponchos made from leather, fur, or their soft grass weave. They commonly wear large pouches that have two or more straps, so they are held tight to the body. This keeps them from being a liability as they move through their forest homes
Cheenan are able to grasp and manipulate objects with their feet almost as well as their hands. This enables them to attack and perform actions requiring manual dexterity using their feet when appropriately steadied. Their grip is not perfect with them, think of it as an "off hand" (in fact they have three off hands unless they have an ambidexterity trait or two).
Because of their prehensile feet, they can live an arboreal life with no problems. They are able to move up to half running speed in the trees. They do not need to make a climb roll against any "average" climb. All difficulties for tougher climbs are reduced by the average difficulty. Because of their surer footing (feet that can grab), they can actually run along branches and ropelines with an automatic ease.
Cheenan are a nature-loving, spiritual folk. They are generally quiet-natured, preferring discussion over violence. However, they will not shy away from violence if protecting themselves or their friends.
Their society is along matriarchal lines, with females being the tribal leaders. This gives their tribes an extended family feel. Each Cheenan has a sense of belonging and their reciprocal duty to society drilled into them very early in life. All Cheenan grow up knowing that the extended family is there to help them if they need it, just as they feel they should help others. They are communal in orientation. Cheenan love family get togethers, or any other large social gathering. At such get togethers there is story-telling, sharing knowledge and crafting.
Everyone in the same village are "trunk-cousins" to each other. "Auntie" and "Uncler" are used as terms of respect to an older person. To those younger or the same age, "Cousin".(Brother/ Sister/ Aunt/ Uncle are reserved for blood relatives). All Cheenan feel a duty to watch out for one another and to offer assistance to any "family". member who needs it.
Being adopted into a Cheenan family can be a comforting and suffocating experience.
Their homes are made in the hollow trunks and branches of the greater trees in their jungle/ forests. Various tents, cover fall shelters, and platforms are also used. These all are connected by rope bridges, swing ropes and the interconnecting branches of the great forest trees. Most of these communities are village sized.
In a few places, some "wild seeded" HomeTrees are found. (Some are "left behind" by the pre-cursors). On the HomeTrees, Cheenan Cities are built.
Some Cheenan community have Undercousins, Humans (or other beings) that live under their village on the ground. These two villages have a symbiotic relationship, sharing resources and manpower when possible.
Each grouping of Cheenan will have a (female) Chief (often known as Great Momma) and a (male) Shaman. Both of them will have an "apprentice" or two, just in case something happens. While the Cheenan will be masters of Naturecraft and might have some low level magics dealing with it, only the Shamans will know magic both clerical and sorcerous. The Shaman has a deep responsibility for the teaching, spiritual matter, and pastoral care of for their "family". The Chief will lead the group, assigning duties and making sure everyone is taken care of. She will also speak for the group.
Most Cheenan have one of the two Fears, while a good 20% have both. A small minority (about 10%) has neither fear. The fears range from mild aversions to neurotic compulsions.
Fear of Open Sky: Agoraphobia
Those with it, fear the openness to some degree and prefer to stay within the canopy of the trees. The open sky or an open plain are a fearful ting to them. These people like the feeling of being "mothered" by the trees around them.
Fear of Earth: Rhypophobia
Those with it, fear the unnaturally still and hard ground. In the trees there is always some vibration and some sense of living things under you. They will not come to the ground, preferring to spend all their time in the trees. For these people, the ground is still and dead. It is unnatural to them.