The Ferengi are a humanoid race with several unique and distuishable physical characteristics. The most obvious are their extremely large ears, which probably resulted from their homeworld having a much thinner atmosphere than most Class-M planets. Ferengi are also quite short for a humanoid race, with the average height of an adult male being around 1.5 meters.
They have distinctive orange-bronze coloured skin and no visible body hair - until old age, when hair protrudes from the ears. Their teeth are pointed and irregular in shape.
The other physical characteristic of the Ferengi is not visible, but has been extremely important to the growth of Ferengi society. They possess four-lobed brains which cannot be read by telepaths. This has given them a unique advantage that haas enabled them to become a race of galactic merchant traders without peer.
Their reputation for wheeling and dealing has become legendary throughout several quadrants.
The Ferengi culture is, in fact, based entirely upon capitalism; they can be considered the Robber Barons of the spaceways. In Ferengi society, there are no limits to what money can do. You can even buy yourself out of prison. Even Ferengi social standings, military ranks, and abilities are based on wealth and ruthlessness, all of which are considered admirable traits in a Ferengi male.
On the other hand, Ferengi females have a very different lot in life. Ferengi society is totally patriarchal and women are treated as property, with no economic or social rights. THey can be bought and sold with little regard for their own desires, and seldom leave the ferengi homeworld of Ferenginar - or even their own homes. Forbidden by law to own or wear clothing. Ferengi females serve at their male owner`s pleasure, even to the point of pre-chewing food for husbands and sons.
Since Ferengi are capitalists, it is natural that their leaders achieve their positions because of wealth; therefore the Grand Nagus, one of their most powerful leasers, is also identified as the Ferengi business, controlling the status of trade territories and other commercial opportunities. Other leaders are in place because of their wealth rather than achievements, even the DaiMons, who are the equivalent to starship captains.
Ferengi males are extremely sexist, not only in their domineering posture towards their own women but to the females of any race. They are attracted to all women, and have been known to go to extreme lengths to attract them; despite their misogynist outlook they enjoy foreplay. A common form of this is oo-mox, a gentle massaging of the ears - Ferengi ears are one of their most erogenous zones.
The Federation do not realise it at the time, but they first make contact with the ferengi at the Battle of Maxia in 2355; official contact is not made until 2364. For a while, the Ferengi are considered a hostile race.
More recently relations with the Federation have been improving, and the ferengi have even attempted to begin trading in the Gamma Quadrant. They consider this unexplored region of space as an opportunity to `corner the market` on trading with new races.
Ferengi technology is nearly equivalent to 24th century Federation technology; and several Ferengi vessels have been encountered. These include the Marauder, which is starship type. The crew is estimated at 450, and the ship is a sophisticated vessel equipped with missiles and plasma energy burst weapons.
Two-man Ferengi pods are carried by Marauders as shuttle craft. Elsewhere, they are used for short-range transport.
The Ferengi also have cargo ships. The first Federation encounter with such a vessel was in 2368 in the Hanolin asteroid belt, when wreckage was found.
Although Ferengi understand the concept of fun for its own sake, fun which generates profit is considered even more enjoyable. A prime example of this is illustrated by the activities of Sovak, who follows the archaeologist, Vash, to the pleasure planet of Risa. The delights of the holiday world beckon to him, but Sovak never loses sight of his primary intent - to seal an artefact called the Tox Uthat, which he intends to then sell on to the highest bidder.
Ferengi can spend their leisure time in a hundred ways, but nothing delights them more than the touch and deal of pure latinum - so much so that by 2369 Grand Nagus Zek has not taken a holiday in 85 years, preferring to dedicate his life to the much more enjoyable pursuit of profit.
Ferengi males are attracted to females of almost any race, especially humans, and have been known to go to extremes in their pursuit of females.
Most Ferengi consider the ideal female to be someone who is as aggressive and calculating as them. What defines a Ferengi male is exactly what attracts them to an offworld female, of course, such independence would never be tolerated at home; Ferengi females are forbidden to talk to males of their own species, let alone others.
Ferengi enjoy foreplay in their relationships with women. A common form is oo-mox, a gentle massage of the ears - one of their most erogenous zones. Fondle a Ferengi`s ears, and he`ll follow you anywhere.
If females are unavailable in the flesh, the next best thing for a ferengi is his favourite holosuite fantasy. Ferengi males love their holosuites programs. They indulge themselves at every opportunity in the kind of digitised fantasies that elude them in real life. Most Ferengi holosuite programs are sensual and erotic in the extreme.
The Ferengi enjoy eating almost as much as making money and pursuing women. They are mainly insectivores, and like to keep their food live in a cellar in their houses. This keeps them dank and musty, the way they are preferred. Some favourite Ferengi foods include; chew grubs, tube grubs, razor toothed gree worms, flaked blood fleas, and millipede juice.
The tooth sharpeners, a common device used to sharpen the tips of the teeth, is noth a necessity - because of the Ferengi diet - and a source of pleasure. Next to his ears, a Ferengi`s sharp teeth are his most valued physical asset.
The basics of the Ferengi religion, particularly its view of the afterlife, is a good indication of the basic Ferengi values that shape their leisure activities.
When you die, the Ferengi believe there are two possible afterlife destinations; with Divine Treasury or the Vault of Eternal Destitution.
If you were good in life, and always turned a profit, you go to the Divine Treasury, which is made entirely of pure latinum. At the gate of the Divine Treasury, the Registrar accepts your bribe and lets you in - if you lived and died like a Ferengi. Inside the Treasury is the Blessed Exchequer and Celestial Auctioneers. This is where you bid on your new life. The inscription above the door reads :"Please have your profit/loss statement ready for inspection before entering the Divine Treasury". But if you were not good, and your businesses did not turn a profit, you go to the Vault of Eternal Destitution - a far less desirable destination.
The moral, at least for a Ferengi, is to enjoy
the pleasures that life has to offer - but make sure you turn a profit
in the process.