[Glorantha] Chiefs' wives

From: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 15:16:59 +0100 (CET)

Donald Oddy

>>I wonder what the requirements on marriage planning and presiding
>>over the loomhouse are. How much of the "first lady" jobs are
>>implied in chieftainship? Is it the chieftain only, or does a
>>husband-and-wife team compete for the post?

> Is it even necessary for the wife of the chieftain to preside over
> the loomhouse? It would seem to create extreme difficulties in
> choosing the best candidates for either position which in turn
> implies one or other position is symbolic rather than actual.

Still the chief's wife will have considerable influence e.g. on the housecarls' mood (his hall is her domain, after all, and I doubt that ordinary clan chiefs have all "officers of the camp" at their beck). She will husband the chief's wealth.

> It's not possible to predict at the time a couple are married how
> well they are going to perform as leaders fifteen to twenty years
> later. Then there are complications like one partner dies and
> the other remarries. Would a chief's new bride be accepted as the
> clan's senior Ernaldan?

I doubt that chieftainship is for that long - unless you have a very heroic leader who doesn't get bored with the chores, I'd expect a greater turn-around as bloodline or stead alliances within the clan shift.

> I suspect this is where the concept of sexual relationships in
> rituals not being adultery comes from. The Chief and senior
> Ernaldan have ritual obligations and those superceed the marriage
> vows if they are not married to each other.

In case of female chiefs, the chief and the senior Orlanthi?

>>If so, can a female candidate for chieftainship provide the warrior >>paraphernalia for her champion?

> Isn't a lot of this stuff going to be property of the bloodline rather
> than the individual. So who uses the items is less of an issue.

I don't think so: the wapentake gives every individual on a stead who fulfills the requirement the right to participate in the decisions. The items to qualify as a political member of the clan may well be personal belongings.

>>My guess is that this exclusion of Ernaldans has a grain of "must be born
>>into the clan" requirement, which most Ernaldans aren't. On the other
>>hand, a woman eligible for chieftainship obviously has huge status and is
>>a prime candidate for an "Esrolian marriage".

>>I think we get into administration of human resources here. How many
>>magically (implying socially, as in matchmaking) or otherwise highly
>>specialized women (e.g. in crafts) are allowed to be married off outside >>of the clan, and how many are kept to the hearth of their births?

> I think this is why Heortling marriages tend to be made early before
> an individual has become too valuable to the clan.

I don't quite expect most 16-year-old girls being the subject of haggling and match-making with other clans. My impression was that the Heortlings allow for both bride and groom to have undergone and finished something like an apprenticeship in their primary occupation - a bit like Tacitus on the Germanic tribesfolk.

> However I bet there
> are more than a few spinsters who were thought to be too important to
> be allowed to marry out of clan. Fortunatly the flexible attitude to
> sex and children will mean that doesn't seriously affect the clans
> ability to reproduce.

Unlike spinsters (usually regarded as somehow flawed so that they couldn't be married away), these could be carl- or even thane-equivalent women of power, with strong alliances among the older clanwomen compared to their age-companion wives born in other clans. I'd expect some interesting inter-female dynamics in this situation...

Received on Wed 27 Apr 2005 - 14:08:14 EEST

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