Pequeninos (Portuguese for little ones), more commonly known by the pejorative of Piggies and known to the Hundred Worlds Xenological community as Lusitanian Aborigines, were a primitive alien species native to Lusitania. Upon their discovery, Starways Congress demanded minimum human contact with the Pequeninos in an attempt to prevent cultural contamination. However, this was truly because Starways Congress wanted to make sure that the Pequeninos did not develop enough technology to be a threat to humans. In the effort to impose that order, an electrically-charged fence was erected around the town of Milagre in order to ensure that the Pequeninos could not enter the village and inadvertently gain technological knowledge.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the Pequeninos were their noses, which looked nearly identical to a pig's. Pequeninos were covered in brown fur, and had pads on their inner thighs and chest which helped them grip on to trees.
The life cycle of a Pequenino began with a larval "little mother" (fertile female Pequenino) being carried to a Fathertree. The Fathertree's bark fertilized the little mother with special dust, filling her with a litter of infant Pequeninos. The group of infants grew for a period of time, then would devour their way out of the little mother, using her nutrients for more growth.
Male Pequeninos stayed in the Mothertree, constantly growing alongside sterile females. Little mothers were occasionally taken out of the tree to be fertilized, then returned to the tree afterwards. Eventually, when the male and sterile female Pequeninos have grown to be strong enough, they would escape the tree when a mature Pequenino opened the bark to take out a little mother. This phase of the life cycle was named the First Life by Pequeninos.
As soon as a Pequenino exited the protection of the Mothertree, they have begun what was called the Second Life. Pequeninos in the second life were capable of moving freely, speaking, and working alongside other species, comparable to humans.
Sterile females became "Wives", whose jobs were to keep watch over the vulnerable Mothertree. Male Pequeninos became "Brothers" tasked with carrying the blind, immobile little mothers to the Fathertrees they have been chosen to mate with.
When a Brother was considered wise, or had achieved something great, they were to be sent to the Third Life by his greatest friend or his greatest enemy. In this process, the Pequenino would be cut open by his companion with wooden knives through a ritual called "planting", allowing him to grow into a Fathertree, while chewing Capim as an anesthetic. However, not all Brothers were granted the honor of the Third Life.
Fully grown Fathertrees could move the wood they were made of for their needs. When the Brothers needed wood for knives, arrows, boards, or other things, they would ritualistically ask a grown, preferably old and willing father tree to give himself.
During times of war among Pequenino forest tribes, vast amounts of males would be planted and grow into Fathertrees. This was the one way Pequeninos would be sent to the Third Life without being wise or performing a great deed.
Wives could enter the Third Life as well, as Mothertrees. However, this was much more rare than a Brother becoming a Fathertree.
If a new Mothertree was needed, then a Wife could be planted the same way a Brother was, and grow to become a Mothertree.
Fathertrees were capable of philotic communication between themselves and other species, like the Formic Hive Queens. They were immobile, and could not communicate with Brothers and Wives without the use of "Father Tongue". Mothertrees were not capable of communication in any form.
Pequeninos had sophisticated languages of their own, but after making contact with humans, a number of them learned Portuguese and Stark. In fact, most Pequeninos were known to have adopted human words as names.
The common language among Pequenino males was called "Brother Tongue". Whenever Pequeninos needed to communicate with Fathertrees, they rapped on their trunks with wooden bats. The Fathertrees would then respond by flexing and manipulating a hollow cavity inside of them in order to produce sound which was interpreted by the Pequeninos. This was called "Father Tongue". In addition to the Pequeninos's standard language and Father Tongue, they were known to speak a third, sacred language, reserved primarily for communication with the Wives, called "Wives Tongue".
Pequeninos were known to become very agitated when humans spoke about cutting down trees, as pequeninos see this as murder. Due to biological differences, there was a lot of conflict between humans and pequeninos.
After their first contact with humans, Pequeninos in the forest near Milagre began adopting their mannerisms and parts of their culture. Various Brothers were seen nodding, smiling, laughing, and shrugging. Certain tools and mannerisms were introduced to them by the xenologers of Lusitania as well. With the xenologers' influence, they adapted their diet to include the merdona root and began to bake bread from a strand of amaranth that was inedible to the humans. The Pequeninos were able to learn about human technology, as they were able to climb the electric fence somewhat painlessly by chewing capim. They learned about the conveniences offered by technology and were especially captivated by the idea of reaching the stars and traveling through space. The xenologers also brought them copies of The Hive Queen and The Hegemon, which they viewed as almost sacred.
After the Lusitanian Rebellion had begun, Bishop Peregrino began converting Pequeninos to Catholicism, as it was the licensed religion on Lusitania. Some were ordained as priests, and most became devout believers. Some Pequeninos in Warmaker's forest became heretics, believing that the Descolada was the "baptism by fire" spoken of in The Bible and that humans could not survive.