Matali first began as a small outpost off the Seychelle Islands and grew into an empire which spanned the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, African waters, and east to the shores of Malaysia and Australia.
Matali has a very formal hierarchy, with the emperor and his wife on top, and servants at the bottom. The royal court is very complicated with many guards and viziers. It is a bureaucracy, and it is mentioned that forms always needed to be filled out in order for any commoner to see the emperor and gain entry to the imperial palace, and even then it would potentially take months, even years, for more forms needed to be filled out.
Matali's capital city is Matali City. The Matalin Imperial Palace is located there, on a deep-water rock shelf with marble bridges connecting to the rock outcroppings where more buildings were added by their emperors.
Matalin cuisine includes: bingas, zee zees, bing-bangs, janteeshaptas (shaptas), kanjaywhoohoos, pompasoomas, chillawondas and kootagullas. They have many candies and pastries. Neela is very fond of shaptas, bingas, zee zees and the kanjaywhoohoos.
Matali mer speak a Matlin dialect of Mermish. However, the Matalin language is most likely Hindi as Mahdi tells Serafina "mērē dila, mērī ātmā" which is Hindi for "my heart, my soul". Additionally, Neela states that the Praedatori are called "āparādhika", meaning "criminal" in Matalin , which, in fact, is the Hindi word for "criminal".
The Matalins worship the same gods as other mer realms (see; Mer gods).
Like all mer realms, Matali uses gold trocii (trocus, sing.), silver drupes and copper cowries as currensea. Gold doubloons are black market currensea.
The Matalin flag is a red flag with a Razormouth dragon holding a pale blue egg, which is strange as all other Razormouth eggs are brown. The pale blue egg turns out to be Navi’s talisman, a moonstone.