|Out of universe information|
Long ago the Olesian government made an agreement with a Wraith commander that, in exchange for a ripe feeding ground, the Wraith would leave the main body of Olesians alone.
For endless generations this arrangement has allowed the culture a fruitful existence, expanding the foundations of technology, particularly in a mineral found on Olesia.
In recent years the government's policies on law enforcement has been a successful deterrent. Most crimes have been punishable by banishment to the island where the Stargate has been placed, meaning prisoners are the first and only source of food for Wraith cullings on the planet. Because of this, crime is now almost nonexistent, meaning the feeding ground will be sparse.
When this happens the Olesian Magistrate has been forced to lower the bar on what is unlawful, time and again, to satisfy the hunger of the Wraith.
However, a visit from Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team changed everything. Dr. Elizabeth Weir, who had been negotiating with the Olesians for possible trade and an official treaty, submitted to Sheppard's wishes to allow the Olesian's prison population to escape through the Stargate to another planet.
As soon as this occurred, the arrangement between the commander and the Magistrate was closed, and Wraith cruisers began to approach the inhabited city. It is unknown what happened to the city afterwards but its population would have been fed upon. (SGA: "Condemned")
A week and a half later, while on M32-3R1, Teyla Emmagan tells Sheppard about how Weir believed that the Olesians had made a deal with the Wraith when encountering a seemingly similar situation with the people of M32-3R1. The two eventually realize that the planet's High King and its "gods" are in fact the Wraith and that the Games of Life are a way of stocking the Wraith feeding pen. Sheppard comments to Teyla that at least the Olesians had the decency to pretend to charge people with a crime before feeding them to the Wraith. (SGA: "Death Game")
A formal gesture of respect in Olesian culture, when greeting or departing, is to sweep the hand almost to the chest and cup it toward the sky.