Superclans

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@voyager.co.nz)
Date: Sat 02 May 1998 - 09:01:31 EEST


Joerg Baumgartner:

Me>>>>> So why would the Heortlanders suddenly adopt a radically different
>>>>> system of clans in the ten or so years after the Colymar migrated?

>A (splinter) clan which has renounced the ties to those who would not follow
>practically has adapted to life in smaller communities. Apparently old man
>Colymar enjoyed himself surrounded by all his kinfolk (and practically every
>clan member becomes an in-law at least to every other clan member within two
>generations), but when he died too many ambitious younger people wanted the
>top seat, so they split up into five clans.

>In the case of the Malani, it looks like the immigrants maintained their
>closer kinship ties in their smaller clans. When the Malani marched through
>Colymar territory, they must have had about 4 or 5 clans (not counting the
>Orlevings, who may have traveled separately - Jeff?).

I shall rephrase the question again. You have claimed that the Heort-
landers have larger clans (and also have sub-clans) than is the case
in Sartar and that the Colymar clan (when it crossed the line) is an
example of this.

Given that _all_ tribes and clans (not just the Malani) who have migrated
north are from Heortland, why then have none of these tribes and clans
the super-clans and sub-clans that you postulate?

>>>IMO many immigrants from
>>>northern Kethaela had been living as tributaries to the Kitori, not as
>>>as proud and free Orlanthi as they want to see themselves. IMO the
>>>Colymar belong to this sort of immigrants

>>But the Colymar had been granted free passage by the Kitori.

>Probably for resettlement within their lands. It didn't matter to the Kitori
>where a tributary clan worked to produce their tribute. No sane person would
>have suspected this migration to move across the Cross Line.

The Kitori would have to be complete dolts not to have specified
the land to which the clan would emigrate to or to have supervised
the migration. Furthermore the source indicates that the Kitori
knew the Colymar were going over the Crossline.

>>Furthermore how does this relate to switching from an unwalled
>>village to a hill fort?

>Unwalled village: no defensive measures against bandit warlords (= Kitori
>tribute takers).

So why did the Night Jumpers exist then? Claiming that the Kitori
had tribute over them or stole from them by force does not prevent
the clans from taking measures against the Kitori.

>>What does this have to do with the Heortland Orlanthi having
>>oversized clans?

>The entire Alakoringite system is based on frequent warlike interaction - on
>an equal basis - with neighbouring clans (preferably of a different tribe).
>Oversized clans mean larger homogeneous portions of land, i.e. less raids
>per capita, and a certain reliance on the borders to hold tight.

Unless they are members of the tribe. And your postulated super-
and sub-clans does little to stop this as the hostilities will
now occur between the sub-clans...

>>Yet it is known that the Colymar come from the Orshanti, a clan of
>>the Hendriki tribe.

>It is claimed. I am not very convinced of this claim, for reasons I have
>stated over and over again.

The Colymar's own History makes this claim. I see nothing in
your stated reasons to traduce this as a forgery. Your
proposed scenario, that the Colymar came from a region north
of the shadow plateau which was considered part of Esrolia
has a number of problems (namely the required existance of
hitherto unheard of subclans, the disappearance of Esrolians
under grazer massacres etc).

>Even if that is true, there is nothing to keep part of the clan from
>straying from the main migration or settlement of the clan.

This requires sub- and superclans which is unheard of for
the Orlanthi in Dragon Pass.

>>In particular, the Hyaloring Triaty fell
>>apart as a result of the fish marriage (when one clan took wives
>>from people further up the stream to make peace with them).

>Did the Narri cease to (try to) take wives from the Lonisi? Did they regard
>this breach of the Triaty as destroying its basis?

        'The simplest tribes are those bound together in a _Triaty_.
        This means that the three exogamous clans take wives _only_
        from one other clan.'
                        KoS p254.

So the answer is to your questions is Yes.

>>Lastly you cannot call a Triaty a clan with sub-clans when it is clearly
>>stated as being a grouping of three clans.

>Ok. So a grouping of clans can be called a Triaty. Is this a fully fledged
>tribe, or some intermediary construct?

A fully fledged tribe. It can be found within larger tribes
but I think these would mostlty be tribute paying clans which has
been mentioned before in the digest.

>>>Ok, bad wording on my part. I meant clan membership of clans scattered
>>>among other clans.

>>Even this clarification is still unclear.

>I say that clan membership won't be forgotten easily even if a clan suffered
>a diaspora, or was split apart by conquest or similar, _as long as the clan
>spirits, including many ancestors, still receive active worship and
>veneration_.

The ancestor bit is not required. The Colymar still remember their
membership in the Orshanti clan of the Hendriki Tribe.

>>>[The Colymar] ceased to contact their (Orshanti clan?) ancestors, who
>>>are invoked in all important worship services. This sounds pretty
>>>severe(d) to me.

>>AFAIK it merely means that the Bloodlines were cut short so that
>>the Founder was someone not held in common with other clans.

>Cut short = severed. They ceased to belong to whichever (over-)clan they
>belonged to before, probably in the way and for the reasons you described.

But I doubt that it is _severe_ which is what you claim.

>Even if Orlanthi clan worship is not a Daka Fal mode of worship, lost access
>to the accumulated magical properties of the ancestors is a hard measure
>IMO. This would limit friendly spirits to be contacted by the godi to very
>few, and thus put a dent into their magical powers.

I disagree with the postulated 'accumulated magical properties of
the ancestors'. The only impact of the ancestors is the bloodlines
(and resulting kinship ties) and the amount of boasting you can
do. In older days (1st age), it may have been important but the
Orlanthi have moved away from that IMO.

>>Source? This would require that the Praxians have ancestors in
>>common with the Pure Horse People which seems unlikely to me.
>
>The Praxian shamans have captive ancestral spirits of the Pure Horse People
>which they used IMO to sniff out the last surviving members of this tribe.
>By fleeing into taboo lands and undergoing a rebirth/adoption by Ironhoof
>the Grazers thwarted these shamans.

Arim the Pauper had relatives among the Grazelanders (cf Wyrms
Footprints).

>>You postulated a part of one clan living far apart from the rest
>>of the clan and said that was the norm for Heortland. I am
>>questioning this assertion.

>IMO Heortland, at least the plateau, has a different concept of land
>ownership than the highland clans. More formalized, put down in a book, etc.

>This may lead to one (thegn) family holding land in very different locales,
>be it through marriage, feudal land grants or conquest. I doubt that these
>holdings would be separated from the family's clan.

But your postulated subclan did not live in Heortland but rather
Esrolia NotBW. So what need for them to know

>I disagree. While usually not practising straight Daka Fal ancestor worship,
>ancestral magic makes up a fair part of bloodline and clan identity. Things
>like the ability to breed great black bulls aren't just a consequence of
>possession and favourable pasture, but also a heroic achievement of one's
>forebears.

That is not ancestral magic, that is hand-me-down magic. Hareva
despite severing her ties still can grow the Ice Wine.

- --Peter Metcalfe

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