Orinco Polytheism, the most commonly used name for the religion, both by its faithful and by specialists, refers to the ethnic origin of the religion, and to the fact that its practice is generally limited among Orincos.
In antiquity Orinco Polytheism spread mostly in the South of today's Sekowo and along the coast of the Dove Sea. It was formalised around the 1st century BCE, being practiced mainly by Orinco city-states. The practice of this religion continued under Pacal the Great's rule, becoming an integral part of the his Empire's culture, but began to decline after most of Sekowo's territory was conquered by the Empire of Gao-Soto. At the arive of Egelian colonists, most of the populations around the Dove Sea were practicing native shamanist religions, Orinco Polytheism being restricted to the ruling elites in the South Selowan city-states and kingdoms.
The colonising powers introduced Hosianism, but because of the high rationality of the religion and the ruling experience of the Orinco elites, the Artanians favoured them in many positions in the Captaincy General of Sekowo and Bissono. However, as Hosianism spread among the population, Orinco Polytheism continued to decline.
In the newly independent Union of Sekowo the main religions were Kamism and Hosianism, with the practice of the Orinco greatly limited. But around the 23rd century, as part of a new nationalist movement, the religion went through a new revival. At the Council of Carcossa in 2214 the main religious leaders decided to eliminate the previous restriction of membership in the community only to those born of a Orinco father, and to accept new converts.
One of the first actions of the post-Aretist Sekowan government was to declare Orinco Polytheism a state religion, act soon repelled by the Leftist parties. After two defeated attempts, in August 2439 and January 2447, Orinco Polytheism was declared the official religion of Sekowo again in 2474, until 2480.
However the practice itself of the religion continued to decline in Sekowo, currently being practiced by around 5% of Sekowo's population, but Orinco Polytheism began to gain popularity in other West Dovani nations, particularly in Hulstria and Lourenne. In Lourenne the religion is practiced by little less than 3% of the population. In Hulstria Orinco Polytheism is a nationally recognized religion with just over 2% of the population claiming to practice the religion. This population centers around the city of Rothingren in the Hilgar Crownland, largely because the only major Orinco temple in Hulstria, the Citadel of Itsam, is located in the city.
The most widespread public act of worship of the polytheist Orincos is sacrifice, whether of grain or the blood sacrifice of animals. Adherents of the various deities sacrifice animals specific to the god or goddesses being worshipped. Sacrifices serve multiple functions: one might perform a sacrifice as the culminating act of a public religious festival, before an important undertaking to gain the assistance of the gods, or as part of a rite of passage. The temples of the Orinco religion generally are not public gathering places where people gather socially for collective indoor prayer; most temples hold little more than a cult image of the deity and the accumulated votive gifts, which might amount to a treasury.
Votive gifts are offered to the gods by their worshippers. They are often given in thanks for benefits conferred by the Gods, in anticipation of future divine favors or to receive oracular advice from the god or goddess. They could also be offered to propitiate the gods for crimes involving blood-guilt, impiety, or the breach of religious customs. They are kept on display in the god's sanctuary and then usually ritually discarded after a set period of time.
Beliefs and practices
Orinco Polytheists worship the ancient Orinco Gods, nature divinities, underworld deities and heroes. Both physical and spiritual ancestors are honored. It is primarily a devotional or votive religion, based on the exchange of gifts (offerings) for the gods' blessings. The ethical convictions of modern Orinco Polytheists are often inspired by ancient Orinco virtues such as reciprocity, hospitality, and moderation. There is no central "ecclesia" (church) or hierarchal clergy, though some groups are beginning to offer training in that capacity.