The Ferengi (Borg designation Species 180) are a greedy, warp-capable species of humanoids from the planet Ferenginar, whose civilization is built around free enterprise. The governing body, the Ferengi Alliance, was built up over ten thousand years -- following the establishment of currency. Unlike many other species, the Ferengi did not develop warp technology, they purchased it.
Ferengi, on average, are shorter than humans with orange-brown colored skin, blue-fingernails, no hair. They have wrinkled noses and sharp teeth. They have four-lobed brains contained within enlarged skulls. These brains cannot be read or interpreted by telepathic abilities -- similar to the Dopoterians, who are a distant cousin species. Ferengi brains also make them unaffected by many illnesses, such as the aphasia virus. They are also resistant to many other diseases due to a very strong immune system -- however, both of these factors also make them incapable of using translator microbes. A healthy Ferengi can live for well over one hundred cycles.
Ferengi have ascending ribs, and four lungs -- an upper pair and a lower pair. They also have remarkably high blood pressure, compared to many other humanoid races. Ferengi blood contains cells known as pyrocytes.
A frightened or distressed Ferengi is likely to emit a high pitched scream, or to hiss almost like a cat.
The most notable feature of the Ferengi is, of course, their enormous ears. Males have bigger ears than females, which is one of the distinguishing factors between the genders. These ears -- which they most commonly call "lobes". These ears are highly sensitive -- both to pleasure and pain. The sexual practice of oo-mox is manual stimulation of the lobes. These ears are also prone to infections, particularly the tympanic membrane. Nevertheless, they provide the Ferengi with highly sensitive hearing, heightened enough to detect even atmospheric changes, and to detect someone's gender or species even through spatial or electronic distortions.
Ferengi culture developed around the concept of greed and profit earning. Despite this, Ferengi managed to avoid some of the worst hallmarks of other developing cultures -- such as slavery or genocide. Businessmen were the pillars of Ferengi culture, rather than the warriors or politicians of other cultures. These facts allow the Ferengi to feel morally superior to other races -- despite the fact that women were slaves in all but name for the majority of Ferengi history.
Ferengi culture is governed by the Rules of Acquisition, advice which all good Ferengi follow in order to lead a profitable life. They also recognize the Five Stages of Acquisition. They recognize these traits in other species -- holding the history of Earth's Wall Street in near religious regard. The governing body of the Ferengi, the Ferengi Alliance, is led by the Grand Nagus.
The education of young Ferengi is done through work-study programs, rather than through formal schooling.
Not all Ferengi are full of the desire for personal wealth. Some have other motivators. For instance, some are motivated by the thrill found in killing. These Ferengi usually become Enforcers.
Ferengi traditionally eat the slugs and insects native to Ferenginar, though they have disdain for any insects from other planets. Some Ferengi also engage in the "beetle snuff" habit. Ferengi are also quite interested in cosmetics, spending money on teeth sharpeners and cosmetic surgery to increase the size of their lobes.
Role of Women Edit
Ferengi culture has been highly misogynistic, with laws entrenching the patriarchal rule for most of their existence. Ferengi women, often referred to as little more than "females", were forbidden from engaging in many aspects of Ferengi society. Females were prevented from so much as wearing clothes and could not travel outside of their homes unescorted by a male. Any female who was caught earning profits was forced to return all their wealth gained and sign a confession admitting to having done wrong -- or face indentured servitude.
Under Ferengi law, marriages were a business deal between a father and the groom. The marriage would be a contract, specifying a length of time, during which the wife would be expected to bear a son. The agreed-upon fee would be paid upon the birth of that son. Ferengi law considered pregnancies to be rentals.
Females were expected to teach their children the Rules of Acquisition, and to soften the food for their sons by chewing it for them. This role as caregiver was strictly defined. It often led to Ferengi men being highly protective of their mothers -- a tradition which even entered the Rules of Acquistion as Rule 31: "Never make fun of a Ferengi's mother."
At the start of the 34th century, the Ferengi population was 53.5% female. Many Ferengi began to realize that allowing the females to participate in society would allow for even greater profits. Grand Nagus Zek began liberating women, though this was largely controversial. Under Rom, this movement continued.
Rituals & Traditions Edit
Ferengi culture has several rituals and ceremonies dictated by tradition. Ferengi males are introduced into society on their Naming Day -- one of the very few occasions when a Ferengi receives free gifts. Later in a Ferengi's life, he would celebrate the Ferengi Attainment Ceremony -- marking when they are old enough to make decisions for themselves. At this ceremony, a Ferengi might auction off their belongings to gain capital for their first business venture.
A common Ferengi greeting -- similar in use the human custom of shaking hands -- is to place their wrists together, with hands apart and fingers curled. If this gesture is accompanied with a slight bow while leaving the face up, it signifies submission or subservience. Open palms represent an obscene gesture to Ferengi. When striking a deal with another Ferengi, they touch the back of their hands against each other and then quickly slide their hands to the side.
Entering another Ferengi's home requires a fee be paid of one slip of latinum. The owner of the home will say "My home is my home" and the visitor will respond by saying "As are its contents." Most Ferengi will have visitors sign a waiver, acknowledging the guest's responsibility should any of their host's belongings disappear.
Ferengi also had a legal tradition known as "plea bargaining", which allowed a Ferengi to acquire items of importance if they had been taken by another Ferengi through trade.
Most Ferengi pronounce the word "human" as "hew-mon".
The Ferengi language has 178 words for different kinds of rain, but no word meaning "crisp".
The written language of the Ferengi appears to be be a complex flow chart based around a central hexagon -- though they also have a code based on patterns of light and dark called B'Zal.
The Ferengi are derived from Star Trek.