Friday, 17 October 2014

T'Kelan Society

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 27 May 2013.

Right now, I am so immersed in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization that I feel as if I am living inside it: not a bad place to be but how long can I stay here?

Meanwhile, here we go with t'Kelan society:

the basic social unit everywhere on the planet t'Kela is the pride;

a pride is is the oldest male, his wives (there are about three females to every male), their children and some of the leader's father's widows;

all hunt but only males fight;

the largest pride is about twenty which is "' many as can make a living in an area small enough to cover afoot, on this desert planet...'" (David Falkayn: Star Trader, New York, 2010, p. 32);

savages have no organization beyond the pride;

in the most advanced, Kusulongo, society, covering half the northern hemisphere, ten to twenty prides form a cooperative "clan," claiming a common male ancestor, each following wild herds through its own large territory, with all clans loosely federated into a "Horde," each of which annually meets at a traditional oasis for trade, socializing, marriages and also arbitration or combat because clans often argue over honor or ammonia wells;

Kusulongans nearly always marry within their Horde which is distinguished by dress, customs, gods ("Real Ones") etc;

there are individual clashes and Volkerwanderungs but no organized wars between Hordes (is this for pragmatic economic reasons as Joyce suggests or for deeper psychological reasons as van Rijn suspects?);

the Ancients, survivors of the lost civilization in their mountain city, are paid for their services as record keepers, physicians, metallurgists, weavers, gunpowder manufacturers, magicians and astronomers able to predict solar flares.

The next topic, which will complete the picture, is t'Kelan psychology.

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