Dawin /ˈd̪a.win/ are family registers maintained by the Sanmran government, used for identification, recording major events, tracking property ownership, and recording several other pieces of information related to a family. Many types of contracts and property transfers are not considered legally in force until they are recorded in a dawin.
stuff about the history of dawin goes here. blah blah blah they descended from inheritance documents and are why we have kida today. great warring period. political office. government takes over. standardization. yay.
Despite popular impression, a dawin is not a single document. Instead, it is a collection of documents that together sum up the relevant legal information about a family. Each document records a separate aspect of a family and are used together for many legal purposes, such as determining voting eligibility.
The pin dawin "first dawin", or just the dawin, is the central document in the register and what most people think of when they refer to a dawin. It records all vital records--births, deaths, marriages, divorces--by showing all entrances to and exits from a family, regardless of reason. Events are intended to be recorded as soon as possible after they occur, but legally can be recorded up to a year afterward (or two years for marriages). Minor fraud is common with dates of births and deaths (e.g. recording a child as being born on a more auspicious date, or recording a child as being born a year late to avoid a late fine for not recording on time), so in modern times, evidence is required before records are officially inscribed. (For example, a signed record from a doctor of a child's birthdate.) Marriages will be certified by the kida who performed them, and divorces are certified through the court documents granting them. Legal separations are recorded separately from the dawin, in court documents, but do hold the force of law.
A family's pin dawin includes the following information:
- the family's home enclave
- the family's official residence (usually either their ancestral home or the address of the head of family)
- the current head of the family
- a list of current family members (updated through entrance/exit records, but always maintained as a separate list as well)
- a chronological record of all family events, starting with the formation/registration of the family and including all family entrances (births/marriage into family/adoptions) and exits (deaths/marriage into other family/divorce/disownment).
Transfers between families (e.g. marriage) are recorded in both families' dawin: once as an exit from one family and once as an entrance into the other.
Unlike many family registers in other cultures, the dawin does not record where individual family members live; agencies that are interested in permanent residences use other systems. Name changes are also maintained separately and old records are not updated to reflect new names, but they will be used in future updates. (that is, the name change will not be recorded in the list of events, but future events will be recorded with the new name, and the list of current family members will also be updated to use it)
Dawin ni fe'ei
The dawin ni fe'ei "dawin of land" holds a family's property records. Much like how the pin dawin records all entrances/exits of family members, the dawin ni fe'ei records all acquisitions and divestitures of land, buildings, and other real property. While there is no separate record maintained of what properties a family owns at a given time, the dawin ni fe'ei is designed to be easily read; each record has a line with a location, description, date of acquisition (and who it was acquired from), and date of divestiture (and who acquired it after). Because sales of property frequently involve the courts, records also contain cross-references to the contract of sale (if it exists).
As with transfers of family members, transfer of property are recorded in two dawin, as a loss from one family and addition to the other.
Property records are maintained independently by enclaves, primarily for tax reasons. Because property is frequently purchased or sold outside of a family's home enclave, sales/purchases are recorded first by the enclave in which they occurred, and the record is then transferred to the record offices of the home enclaves of the families involved. Minor discrepancies between an enclave's property records and a dawin are relatively common and must be settled in court, after which a correction is entered into whichever record was in error. Typically a dawin takes precedence over separately-recorded property records, unless it is contradicted by another family's dawin.
Dawin ni emuodas
Dawin ni emuodas "dawin of voting" are voting records. In Sanmra, families vote as blocs, with the head of family submitting votes for all members of the family. The family vote, along with any dissenting votes (family members that submit independent votes) are recorded in the dawin ni emuodas. to be completed; need to go into more detail about who gets to vote, what elections they can vote in, etc.
Dawin ni contracts
to be completed; basically, records of contracts and court decisions that involve the family--possibly includes government certifications as well?
A kaele or dawin kaesol is a registry for a person who is not part of any family. (e.g. through disownment) A kaele record is similar to a dawin record in that it records a person's home enclave, official residence, contracts, etc., but because individuals cannot own property or vote, these documents are not included. Kaele are considered to be temporary; if a person enters (or founds) a family through marriage or adoption, they are added to their new family's dawin and their kaele is considered defunct. (any contracts they are a part of will be transferred to their new family's dawin) Kaele provide a vital means for independent people to validate their identities, prove their residency, and get access to government services that otherwise would be unavailable. Despite this, many independent people still do not have one; they are not automatically created when a person is disowned (or is family-less for other reasons).
Due to laws that make dawin less essential for immigrants and kadeda, they sometimes are able to maintain kaele even after being married, etc. Kadeda can register for dawin, but are not obligated to as most dalar are. (That being said, they are still encouraged to do so, and it's a prerequisite for citizenship (and eventually voting rights).)
Dawin are recorded by a family's home enclave. Historically, this was the enclave where the family was first registered, but over time, many families ended up living in other enclaves (or registered in enclaves where they didn't actually live to acquire certain benefits). Today, dawin are transferrable between enclaves and are typically recorded by the enclave where the majority of the family actually resides. All enclaves have a records office, but the office for a small enclave may be located in a larger enclave, or an enclave may have a satellite office in Sakaran, Elten, etc. for convenience of families who have members living there.
Recordkeepers are trained and certified by the federal government, through the Office of Recordkeeping. After being certified, a new recordkeeper undergoes a probationary/apprenticeship period where their work is reviewed by a senior recordkeeper. Despite being trained by the federal government, recordkeepers are hired on a local level; the Office of Recordkeeping officially only is responsible for training, certification, and audits, and does not hire or assign recordkeepers. (They can, however, strip a recordkeeper of their certification if evidence is produced that they are abusing their responsibilities.) In addition to regular audits by the Office, enclaves are strongly encouraged to hire recordkeepers from a different enclave, to avoid appearance of bias.
Despite best efforts, dawin frequently are inaccurate or out of date in minor ways (e.g. property sold in one enclave is not properly recorded in a family's "real" dawin in a different enclave). Because they are widely considered to have the force of law, this can lead to complicated and expensive court battles about who really owns property and who really is part of a family. Poor families are at a significant disadvantage in these court cases, as they are less able to pay for investigations and have less familiarity with fighting dawin records. The double-record system (e.g. a person is recorded as leaving one family and recorded as joining another) is intended to avoid inaccuracies, but can itself lead to expensive inconsistencies. Even correcting simple errors such as recording the wrong birthdate or gender can be difficult to address once they have been formally inscribed.
Dawin are also criticized for being difficult to understand, to the extent that families must hire experts to interpret their own dawin, and reinforcing old-fashioned ideas about family life by not allowing for individual records. The system can also be inflexible with regards to modern life (e.g. the difficulty of recording children born out of wedlock or family members living outside of Sanmra). It also does not allow for changing gender markers or same-sex marriage.
Despite these criticisms, there is great resistance to abolishing the system altogether; the family system is seen as a key part of Sanmran culture and society, and the dawin system is the legal foundation for the family. Reforms have thus primarily focused on allowing independent records (kaele are a major step in this direction), making it easier to update records (e.g. allowing time after an update for corrections to be made), and increasing the use of technology.