The Lúume people live in a grassland area near the equator. Their name comes from their word for grassland, Lúu, since they have historically defined themselves in opposition to the people living in the nearby hills and forests. In a typical Lúume village, adults are divided into four social strata. In ascending order of priviliges, these are called Novices, Apprentices, Assistants, and Elders. There is a standard number of years that people spend in each stage before being promoted, but this length of time can be shortened as a reward for good behavior or lengthened as punishment for crimes. When a child reaches adulthood, they become a Novice, and enter into a contract with on the families of their village. The Novice is required to serve that family until they becone an Elder. Novices have few rights, other than the right not to be killed or subjected to "excessively humiliating punishments." In practice, even these meager rights are often violated, as older citizens are rarely held accountable for abusing a Novice unless the Novice is well-connected in the village. Upon becoming an Apprentice, a person several new rights, including the right to marry and have children. Assistants are allowed to take on a more supervisory role in the workplace. Elders alone have the right to make laws, adjudicate court cases, and own land. Lúume villages typically use jewelry to designate which class a person belongs to. In some villages, face paint and ritual scarring are used in place of or in addition to jewelry.
Foreigners who are captured in battle or migrate into Lúume lands are forced to integrate into the class system, starting at either the Novice or Apprentice rank. Lúume villages vary on the exact rights that they give to each class, which sometimes creates perplexing legal situations, especially when villages clash over who has jurisdiction in the lands between them. While four is the most common number of classes, some villages use three, five, or six. On several occasions, the younger generations have gone into open revolt against the Elders of a village. When this occurs, the other villages will typically come to the aid of the Elders. In most cases the rebellions are crushed, but there have been some successful cases of youth rebellion. In these cases, the rebels are often no longer considered true Lúume by the rest of the Lúume community. Some of these villages continue to identify with Lúume culture despite being excluded from it, while others have renounced their Lúume identity entirely, choosing to assimilate into the neighboring hill or forest tribes, or have forged new cultural identities of their own.
The Lúume have only the loosest semblance of a central government, which is a forum of Elders that meets once a year. Almost all lawmaking is delegated to the local Elders of each village.
The Lúume traditionally recognize five genders: the feminine woman, the masculine woman, the feminine man, the masculine man, and nonbinary. In most villages, people of all five genders work alongside each other in integrated workplaces. Priesthoods are the exception, being typically segregated by gender. Marriages are not restricted by gender, and are often polyamorous. Marriages with no fertile women often adopt orphans or help to raise related children. As a wedding ritual, the people getting married will row a small boat filled with flowers down a river near their village. Upon getting married, all members of the marriage become legally part of the family of whichever member of the marriage has the highest standing in the village. As a result, prestigious families are constantly growing and splitting into branches.