Isle Of Anango

The Isle of Anango is located on Gor. Gor is a fictional Counter-Earth based on the books by John Norman. This island is Sovereign and Ruled by a Tatrix (female ruler). This community is representative of the Three Pillars, Homestone: Anango, Caste: Ini
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 Introduction to the Caste System

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Tatrix Lady Aasiyah

Number of posts : 391
Registration date : 2009-01-02

PostSubject: Introduction to the Caste System   Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:09 am

The caste system is described
by Norman as something that belongs to the "high civilizations"
of Gor. Castes then belong to a set culture, as much as bolas belong
to the culture of the wagons, or bond-maid circles belong to the
culture of the north.
The caste structure of the
city-state culture is not something that 'fits' into other structures;
it IS a structure of itself and it belongs to the city-state societies,
no other. It includes trade, behavior codes, tradition and even
dress codes. If one pays attention, they will note that caste has
gone as far as modifying anatomy; think of the physical description
of the wood carrier and the reference to how the tasks of his trade
have altered his body over time (and likely, eventually, genetically),
the wide back, the slight hunch, etc.
You cannot include the Red
Savages culture into that of the Tahari and in the same fashion,
you cannot include the caste system into other cultures. They each
provide for an independent way of life, a difference in hierarchy
and purpose. Surely, that Norman so often mentions the fierce independent
nature of each cultural entity, the strictness of their customs,
and that he took the time to go into so much detail about each one's
particularities does not go unnoticed.
One who has been outlawed
is said to have no caste. One may claim, as Tarl did, that they
were 'once of the ___', but to state to 'be' of that caste implies
living in a place where a caste council has granted caste right
and recognized them as belonging to this caste AND, in THAT city.
Caste recognition will carry from city to city under the provision
that this city's caste council will allow it. This is why we will
see, for example, people in a strange city not call for caste or
clan protection but rather, request to speak to the Home Stone.
'Speaking to the Home Stone' means seeking another of your home,
who may have credence in this city which isn't yours, for having
been there longer and perhaps having gained acceptance. In one's
own city, they would call rather for caste sanctuary.

Note how castes are almost
always attached, when mentioned, to the city: 'The Physicians of
Treve', a 'Warrior of Ko-Ro-Ba', a 'Merchant of Turia'. The reason
for this is clear; everywhere one goes, it is as a member of a caste
from a specific city that has accepted them within that caste by
birth, by companionship or by an agreement to change birth caste.
Although castes are said to be transmunicipal, caste representation
as well as caste existence varies from city to city.
Even in a place of exchange
such as the Sardar Fairs, or, as for Merchants, a 'trade situation',
it will likely be with a city tag that a caste member will be given
credibility, the city to which he/she belongs as a caste member.
Without it, he/she cannot truly belong to a caste. Furthermore,
his/her caste may not even exist in some cities, such as for example,
is the case of the Thieves of Port Kar. The word transmunicipal
as it is used to describe castes should enlighten those who think
castes can remain castes outside a city structure.
One can be a Warrior, a Merchant,
even a Peasant, but to claim to be OF the Caste of Warriors, or
the Caste of Merchants means to belong to a society where the caste
system prevails, i.e. a city-state culture. One may as well partake
in trade or war or gardening, without having to claim caste for
it. Indeed, many non-caste societies did all of the above, sometimes
within a structured group, sometimes simply as part of their daily
tasks, whether or not it required a reserved title.

Wagon People for example
do not have castes; they have a culture that clearly defines every
man's role in relationship to the bosk first, including defense
and care of the herd. They do have clans with specialty trades,
and they also have rules about each man knowing war, hunt and weapons
specific to their culture.
Red Hunters live for the
hunt; it is what feeds them. They also however all build homes.
Panther Girls are not, as
some would like to believe, female warriors; they are hunters, and
engage in trade in order to obtain certain goods to ensure their
Tarl Cabot, in his journey,
travels across cultures and lands, living at one time or another
among the wagons, the Torvaldslanders, the Red Savages, and through
each passage, the readers witnesses the necessity of 'doing as the
Romans do', reinforcing the concepts brought forth by Norman about
uniqueness of each culture.
Truly, of what use is a caste
title in a world where no caste council exists? Among the Red Savages,
who would care that one is listed in Ar as a physician? Would it
not be more likely that the traveler keep the trade and the knowledge
and learn to use it in the way it serves those among whom they seek
to be accepted and share life with, even if only for a time? Caste
titles would mean nothing to those who have lived all their lives
outside the caste-structured world.

The Gorean high societies
then are composed of an intricate system of hierarchy that is divided
into castes which may in turn be divided into subcastes. Each trade
or profession in Gor belongs to a caste; each caste fits in a set
ladder of importance within the Gorean social outline. Each caste
member is guided by its codes, which are sets of rules and laws
one abides to in the practice of his trade, but also in the way
he lives.

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