Ferengi
Quark2375.jpg

The Ferengi are a space-faring humanoid species native to the planet Ferenginar. Ferengi civilization is built on the ideals of free enterprise, where all other goals are subjugated to the pursuit of profit. Their governing body, known as the Ferengi Alliance, was formed over a period of ten thousand years, beginning with the establishment of a system of currency, to their purchase of warp technology, and finally to its state in the 24th century.

The Ferengi generally refer to Humans as Hew-mons (pronounced "hyoo-mons"). There are exceptions to this, like Sovak who addressed Star Fleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard several times as Human rather than Hew-mon.

On average, Ferengi are shorter than Humans. They have orange-colored skin, enlarged skulls, wrinkled noses, and sharp teeth. Internally, they have ascending ribs and upper and lower lungs, as well as an unusual four-lobed brain that cannot be read by telepathic species such as Betazoids. The Ferengi's most distinguishing feature is their large ears (called "lobes"), which gives them extremely acute hearing. The lobes of the Ferengi male are larger than those of females. The sensitivity of the ears also makes them vulnerable to pain and other problems, including severe infections of the tympanic membrane which, if left untreated, can become fatal.

The Ferengi heart rate is much faster than that of a Human. Otherwise, the Ferengi seem to have a rather strong immune system. Quark was one of a very few members of the station's crew unaffected by the aphasia virus that struck Deep Space 9 in 2369. This may also be due to the fact that Ferengi brains are very different than those of other humanoids.

Ferengi are known to have life spans that could exceed one hundred years. When startled, frightened or in pain, Ferengi often emit a high-pitched scream. Some Ferengi demonstrate a hissing reaction when threatened or in distress not unlike an Earth cat.

CULTURE:

The Ferengi culture has roots similar to those of many other species, filled with wars, violence, and greed. However, the Ferengi managed to avoid many of the worst aspects of an evolving culture and their social history was notable for the absence of atrocities such as slavery or genocide, a distinction the Ferengi feel makes them morally superior. Ferengi culture slowly grew out of its early stages by introducing a remarkable economic system that developed from early bartering systems to become one of the leading cultures in interstellar commerce.

Unlike most other cultures that frequently idolize warriors or politicians, businessmen have been the pillars of Ferengi society for millennia. This tendency led to the slow merging of business and political fields in Ferengi culture and that influence is evident in the near universal application of the Rules of Acquisition as both a personal and financial code of ethics.

The Rules of Acquisition provide advice that all good Ferengi follow in order to lead a profitable life. For example, the first Rule of Acquisition is "Once you have their money, you never give it back".

In addition to the Rules, the Ferengi also recognize the Five Stages of Acquisition: infatuation, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. They also recognize these traits in other species; Earth's Wall Street is regarded with near-religious reverence by Ferengi.

The drive for individual gain in Ferengi society led to inventions that spread across many species of the galaxy. Examples include such diverse items as holosuites, synthehol, and the popular drink, Slug-o-Cola.

Role of Women:

The traditional laws of the Ferengi are highly sexist and patriarchal by the contemporary standards of many other civilizations. Unlike those of the Federation, Romulan, or even Klingon societies, Ferengi females are barred from most aspects of society, including politics and business. Laws and traditional social values relegate females to the level of property. Women have no valued role in society apart from the propagation of male heirs.

Marriage, like everything else in Ferengi culture, is a business contract, signed between the prospective groom and the bride's father, in which the father leases his daughter to the groom for a set period (usually five years) for an agreed fee, paid on the birth of a son.

In addition to being forbidden to earn profit and own property, Ferengi females are not allowed to wear clothes, leave their homes without male escort, or speak to strange males. Their role as caregiver to the male children of a family is strictly defined. Mothers are expected to teach their children the Rules of Acquisition, and to soften their male children's food by chewing it for them. However, by the late 24th century, females made up 53.5% of the Ferengi population and some Ferengi began to realize that exclusion of females from business represented a significant loss of profit opportunities. A movement, led by Ishka and, through her influence, Zek, developed with the goal of reforming cultural traditions that had excluded women. Initial progress toward this goal seemed less than promising, but by 2375 with the ascension of the progressive Rom to the position of Grand Nagus the likelihood of further reforms seemed inevitable.

Because of the long-standing ban the acquisition of profit by females, any female wishing to engage in commerce had to either bury evidence of her involvement in a transaction or appear as a male. Notably, Pel not only altered the manner of her attire, but also disguised her breasts and the size of her lobes in order to be included in Quark's financial decision-making. Using this disguised appearance, she was involved in the first recorded business transaction between the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants. A contract would likely not have been concluded without her input, making it, at the time, the most significant financial achievement by Ferengi female.

Her skill in successfully negotiating the contract between the Ferengi and the Karemma would later have a profound impact on the entire Alpha Quadrant. It proved the basis by which the Federation made first contact with the Founders.

Further Intelligence to Come Later.

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