[Glorantha]RE: Sun county women

From: Claude Manzato <manzato_at_club-internet.fr>
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2004 18:11:40 +0200

Jane Williams:

> > I would have thought dark for low status women (tainted with
> > darkness), brown and green for common women (earth colors)
> > and pure white for important/holy women (purity and heaven).
> > Blue and gold would be reserved for men.
>
> I'd agree with your colour assignments, but you've got the reasoning the
> wrong way round. Green and brown are reserved for women, and green in
> particular for Earth priestesses and other important people. Men can

> wear what they like as long as they don't try the sacred colours. The
> ones who do a lot of manual labour wear undyed dark cloth. Some of the
> ones who think that Yelmalio bloke is important like wearing yellow or
> even gold - a few also fancy blue. Since these aren't sacred colours,
> who cares? We'll weave and dye it for them. If they want some other
> colours, they're doing their own weaving.

I am not sure what you mean by the wrong way because I also assigned brown and green to women and yellow and blue to men, but your mail made me change my view. I would go for this:

Dark and rough for people viewed as unclean Black for people to be stigmatized (criminal or sinners) White for virgin girls (and Yelornans/Chalanans womens) Brown and Green for maried Ernaldan woman (the higher the social status, the better in cloth's quality and the brighter the hue) Blue and Gold for mens and independent minded women (like Vega) Red is viewed as bad taste and blasphemous in holy places (so when lunar troop marches across Sun county they would not be cheered...)

> We seem to be drifting towards the idea that Sun County is an extreme of
> repressing women. Take another look. Women are "expected" to do things
> like wearing veils - they don't get stoned to death for not doing so,
> just frowned on. There may be prejudice against having them in the army,
> but it happens. Yelorans, even female Yelmalians. Look at what really
> happens, compare with what really happens in the RW, you'll find Sun
> County is less repressive than 1990s Britain. (I'm not sure if women are
> currently allowed to be front-line troops here, but if we are, it's a
> recent change).

Donald R. Oddy:

> Let's try to describe Gloranthan cultures as we see them rather than
> arguing about RW analogues when we don't necessarily agree on the
> precise nature of those RW societies.

To be fair, I only said that a mix of RW reference was more fiting than a single one. I don't think it is satisfactory. Without comparing relative women status between Sun county and Britain, I justify the yelmalion attitude to women in my game this way:

Umath sundered Earth and Sky and ended the golden age. Orlanth stole Ernalda from Yelm and murdered him, causing the darkness.

So they see all non-yelmalions (most would be orlanthis as they share the same area) as potential women stealers. Logicaly they make sure that the women are not exposed to this danger. So they are supposed to hide from strangers, veil themselves if they have to encouter them and avoid speaking to them in all but the direst circonstances. And the men would always be suspicious about the motives of strangers attempting to contact one of their women. After that, I would think that it should exist some variations: Some yelmalions couls be over zealous and forbid their wives from leaving the house (only practical for a rich man) Some would give them more freedom as long as they keep in the family circle In some place deep in sun territory where strangers are rare it could be much more relaxed, perhaps only a restriction about leaving the village and travelling alone I can even imagine in some place a community where men and women swap spouses freely in some sort of community, but see a relation with an outsider as a mortal sin...

Of course women who manage to leave the ernaldan path would not be expected to conform to this mythic model, after all their myth is different. But I suspect social pressure is there to discourage them to leave the 'right path'. Only the most motivated or strong-minded would try it.

--__--__-- Received on Fri 06 Aug 2004 - 06:58:45 EEST

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