Introduction   |   Table of Contents   |   Updates   |   Stories   |   Links   |   Contact Luther

(#44, Version 5.0)
The Red Savages are the peoples of the Barrens, similar in many ways to the Native Americans of North America. They were described in the novels Savages of Gor and Blood Brothers of Gor, books #17 and 18. Very few Red Savages live outside the Barrens area. They are racially and culturally distinct from the Red Hunters of the northern polar regions of Gor. The Red Savages are more slender, longer-limbed and their women menstruate at an earlier age. Their babies are also not born with a blue spot at the base of their spine. Their hair color is commonly black. Red and blond hair are rare among them. The Red Savage culture is nomadic, based on the kaiila and the kailiauk, similar to the horse and buffalo. Oddly enough, the Red Savages were once an agricultural society. The acquisition of kaiila though made them decide to change to a hunting society. The abundance of kailiauk as prey helped make this a viable choice for them. This is unusual as most cultures evolve from a hunting culture to an agricultural one. The opposite change is very rare. Commonly, agricultural societies can support a larger population on a smaller area of land than can hunting societies.
There are a number of Red Savage tribes mentioned in the books such as the Dust Legs, Fleer, Kaiila, Kinyanpi, Sleen and Yellow Knives. These are not the only tribes in the Barrens though the other tribes were not named or described. These are the major tribes though and any other unnamed tribes would be small. Some of the Red Savage tribes have not mastered the kailla while a rare few have mastered the tarn. Those tribes are the most dangerous ones.
The Dust Leg tribe is one of the more peaceful tribes. They often act as intermediaries and diplomats between white men and the rest of the Red Savage tribes. They live on the perimeter of the Ihanke and are willing to meet and do business with whites. Most white Merchants never venture any further in the Barrens than into Dust Leg territory. Dust Legs are generally friendly, outgoing, generous, and open-hearted. But, some tribes regard them as little better than white men since the Dust Legs deal with whites so readily. The Dust Legs were the last major tribe to master the kaiila. That may be how they received their name. The Fleer are enemies of the Dust Legs.
When white men trade with the Dust Legs, the typical items requested by the Red Savages include blankets, colored cloths, ribbons, mirrors, beads, kettles and pans, hard candies, cake sugar, chemical dyes, long nails, rivets, hatchets, metal arrowheads, and metal lance points. When you are trading, you should not deal with them unrealistically. If you try to sell your items too cheaply, they will worry that you are selling inferior goods. You should also smile a lot while trading. Red Savages do not like to be hurried when they are inspecting your wares.
The Kaiila tribe are also known as the Cutthroat tribe though the Kaiila do not think of themselves by that name. It is used primarily by outsiders. Their tribal symbol is generally three red horizontal bars. The Kaiila and Fleer are hereditary enemies. The Yellow-Knives are also an enemy of the Kaiila. The Kaiila tribe consists of five separate bands, the Isbu, Casmu, Isanna, Napoktan and Wismahi. The names of these bands means respectively, Little-Stones, Sand, Little-Knife, Bracelets and Arrow-head. The Isbu and Casmu bands may have received their names from nearby geographical features. There is no known origin for the Isanna name. The Napoktan wear two copper bracelets on the left wrist. They are also known as the Mazahuhu band, a Dust Leg word that means "bracelets." The Wismahi may have gotten their name from the location of their winter camp. The camp is at the joining of two rivers that resembles the point of an arrow. It could also have originated from when they once lived in a flint rich area and conducted a busy trade in flint.
The Kaiila bands inhabit the lands around Council Rock. The Isanna band come from the lands north of the northern fork of the Kaiila River and west of the Snake River, a tributary of the Northern Kaiila River. The Isanna number from seven to eight hundred people. The Kaiila River flows generally in a southwestward direction and branches into the Northern and Southern Kaiila. The Snake River flows in an almost southern direction. The Napoktan lands are east of the Snake and north of the Northern Kaiila. They number about three to four hundred people. The Wismahi band controls the northern lands in and below the fork of the Kaiila River. The Wismahi number about five to six hundred people. The lands of the Isbu are the more southern lands between the Northern and Southern branches of the Kaiila. The Isbu number about sixteen to seventeen hundred people. Black Clouds is the civil chief of the Isbu. The Casmu lands lie to the west of the Isanna and to the northwest of the Isbu, above the descending branch of the Northern Kaiila. The Casmu number about one thousand people. All of these bands, within their own lands, are often divided into separate villages or encampments. In any given encampment there is seldom more than two to three hundred people and may have as few as seven or eight families. One specific location within this region is called Two Feathers. It is a Kaiila camping ground near a group of Hogarthe trees. The high man of this area is Kahintokapa.
The Isanna band is the richest Kaiila band due to their sales of many kaiila and white women. They control "girl herds" which are commonly groups of forty to fifty white female slaves. They are kept naked, about a pasang or so from camp with the kaiila herds. The Isanna free women object to the slaves being kept within private lodges. Before winter arrives, the herds are sold off. Those girls who are not sold must be clothed and brought indoors, maybe in warrior society or private lodges. They may also be kept in a girl lodge under the charge of a warrior who will act as their master. While in the herds, the slaves are not given names and cannot speak. The penalty for running away from the herd can be severe. For a first offense, the girl is beaten and tortured by the free women for several days. For a second offense, the girl will be hamstrung and abandoned. She will thus likely die soon after. During festival times, some men will be given a beaded kaiila quirt that gives the bearer rights to all open slaves for the duration of the festival.
The Dust Legs and Kaiila tribes figure most prominently in the novels. Several others tribes are mentioned and described only briefly. The men of the Fleer tribe wear their hair in a high pompadour, combed back and it may be very long. The Fleer and the Kaiila are hereditary enemies. They are also enemies of the Dust Legs. The Kailiauk tribe is federated with the Kaiila tribe. Their lands lie to the southeast of the Kaiila region. They are not well known to the whites west of the perimeter. Little is said about the Sleen and Yellow-Knife tribes. They are an enemy of the Kaiila. The Kinyanpi, also known as the Flighted Ones (Kinyanpi may be mean "Flighted Ones"), are one of the few tribes that has mastered the tarn. They were considered nearly mythical to most of the other Red Savage tribes until the events of Blood Brothers of Gor. When raiding, the men paint their bodies yellow and purple. The guide-ropes on the tarns are based on the jaw ropes used to control the kaiila.
Most of the Red Savage tribes hate white people. They have a tradition called the Memory, which fosters a hatred and suspicion of whites. It seems likely that this Memory derives from their past history on Earth and their dealings with whites there. If this is true, then it seems many of the Red Savages may have come from Earth during the 1500 and 1600s, after the Europeans had invaded their lands. This hatred will take precedence over any tribal conflicts, uniting the different tribes in war against any invading whites. Most of the tribes, excluding the Dust Legs, will not deal face to face with whites under any circumstances. The Red Savages even have rules about whites entering the Barrens. A single white man may not bring into the Barrens more than two kaiila. No group of white men may bring no more than ten kaiila. They will kill any whites who violate these rules. All white woman are regarded as slaves, essentially as those with collars and those without.
The Red Savages are commonly superb Kaiila riders. They are taught to ride before they can even walk. If a family is well-off, their children will own a kaiila when they are six years old. Most Red Savages, particularly the males, will be skilled riders by the age of seven. Even women learn how to ride kaiila. Nomads of Gor claimed that kaiila did not exist in the northern hemisphere. Norman either decided to change this statement or forgot about it when he placed kaiila within the Barrens region. The kaiila in the Barrens are similar to the desert kaiila of the Tahari region except that they do not have the large padded feet necessary for the desert terrain. It is an omnivorous creature and must feed more frequently than the southern kailla. The kaiila can provide milk, which is reddish and salty tasting. Its hair can also be used to make ropes and cloth.
The reins used to control a kaiila vary between those used by the whites and those used by the Red Savages. Whites control their kaiila by a headstall, bit and reins. The Red Savages though use a bridle that differs from the one used by whites. In its most usual form, it is a strap or braided leather tie that is placed below the tongue and behind the teeth and then tied about the lower jaw. Two reins, or a single double rein, then come back over the animal's head. The jaw tie serves as a bit and headstall. One long length of material is used for the entire bridle.
Bareback riding is most common in war and hunting. During trading, visiting and ceremonial journeys, saddles are commonly used. Saddles also would not be used in short rides about a village or to check on the kaiila. Saddles are less functional and more to impress others. Most often during hunting, a strap may dangle back for a few feet from the throat loop. This can be grabbed by a rider who fell from his mount, either to recapture it or to use it to vault back on his mount. It is not used in war as the strap could be grabbed by an enemy to impede the warrior. When they ride, they do not make large dust risings. They tend to avoid dry, grassless areas. They also ride single file, if necessary, to reduce the dust they raise.
The Red Savages depend heavily on the kailiauk for their very lives, for food, clothing, shelter, tools and weapons. They revere him in their stories and his images and relics figure in their magics and medicine. The kailiauk are an essential segment in their lives. The Red Savages feel that if they are unworthy, then the kailiauk will go away. They believe that this happened once long ago and they do not want it to ever happen again. Kailiauk bulls are called "tatanka" and kailiauk females are called "pte." Pte is also used to refer to the kailiauk in general as it is seen as the "mother of the tribes." A "Smooth Horns" is a young, prime bull. Its horns have not yet cracked from fighting or age. Bulls polish their horns by rubbing them against sloping banks and trees. A "Cracked-Horns" is an old bull.
There are several varieties of kailiauk on Gor. In general, they are stocky, shaggy ruminants of the plains similar to the American buffalo in some respects. They are short tempered, small-eyed and the males have a trident of horns. They also have four stomachs and an eight-valved heart. The kailiauk of the Barrens is the largest variety on Gor. It stands from twenty to twenty-five hands and can weigh up to four thousand pounds. There are countless kailiauk in the Barrens and most have never seen a man or sleen. It is a migratory beast, tending to drift with the seasons. It will travel northward in the summer and southward in the winter.
The kailiauk travel in herds and there are several famous herds include the Boswell, Bento and Hogarthe herds, named after early white explorers. The four or five best known herds number between two and three million animals. The tremor from such a herd can be felt fifty pasangs away. Such a herd may be about fifteen pasangs long and four to five pasangs wide. It would take such a herd two to three days to ford a river. There are several smaller herds that number in the hundreds of thousands. There are even smaller herds of only hundreds to thousands. Women, slaves and white men are not supposed to look upon the herds when they are migrating. The herds have annual grazing patterns, usually an enormous oval shape, that covers many thousands of pasangs. They thus cross the lands of many tribes so a tribe does not need to leave its own territory to hunt.
Man is basically their only enemy. Red Savages generally hunt them on kaiilaback though sometimes in the wintertime, in the snow, they may hunt them on foot. The Red Savages try to make their kills where they are close enough they could reach out and touch the animal. They must be that close for their lance or arrow to strike with sufficient depth, either into the intestinal cavity behind the last rib or behind the left shoulder blade into the heart, to kill it. The Red Savages pride themselves on single arrow kills. Illegal hunting is punished severely. You might be publicly denounced, abused, and beaten. Your weapons may be broken and your lodge, robes and possessions taken away or cut into pieces scattered to the winds. In a boy's first hunt, he will give all his kills to the others of his village. This makes him think with the gallantry and generosity of the warrior. He will receive only the first beast's tongue, its most prized meat, for his efficiency and valor.
The women cut the meat of the kailiauk. Bulls are skinned by putting them on their bellies, their legs pulled out. The females, which are lighter, are skinned on their sides and then turned, sometimes by ropes tied to their legs. A robe of kailiauk skin, even in average condition, can bring up to five silver tarsks. If they use a kailiauk hide to write upon, they will not write any lies upon it. Such a hide is too sacred and no one would dare lie upon it. Kailiauk chips are a common fuel.
The herlit is the Gorean eagle and is indigenous to the Barrens. It is also known as "Sun-Striker" or more literally "Out of the Sun it Strikes" because of it has a habit of striking with the sun above and behind it. The herlit is a carnivore with a wingspan of six to eight feet. It has yellow feathers tipped with black. Its fifteen tail feathers are the mostly highed prized of its feathers. They are fourteen to fifteen inches long and generally used to mark coup. The wing, or pinion, feathers are used for ceremonial and religious purposes. The breath feathers, light and delicate, from the base of the bird's tail are used with the tail feathers in the fashioning of bonnets and complex headdresses. The feathers from the right side of the tail are used for the right side of the headdress and the left side used in the left side. You need several birds to make a proper headdress. Two to five herlits might be traded for a kaiila. Pits are commonly used to capture herlits. When it lands, it is dragged bodily into the pit. It can then be strangled, crushed beneath your knees, or you can break its back with a kick. Whatever you do, you try to avoid damaging its feathers. Killing it with your bare hands is the prescribed method though it is difficult. It is considered bad form and bad medicine to use a weapon to kill it.
The Red Savages appear to live for hunting and internecine warfare. The counting of coup is a primary way the Red Savages assess their prowess and bravery. It is a matter of great importance and in many tribes you cannot mate until you have counted coup. Some tribes will allow you to mate, if you are over twenty-five, though you have no coup, but you cannot paint your mate's face until you do count coup. Thus, her shame will be visible to all. The coup system tends to orient the society toward aggressiveness and war. This serves to preserve the delicate balance of food supply, territory and population. The system also lends excitement to their lives. The most highly regarded battle exploit is not to kill the enemy but to touch or strike him with your open hand. The greater the danger and risk involved, the greater the glory you receive. The first warrior to do so will receive the first coup. The next warrior to do so would receive the second and so on. Killing an enemy with an arrow from ambush might only be a fifth to seventh coup. Coup is commonly represented by the feathers and adornments you wear. Coup marks may also be put on your kaiila. A chief would require much coup to attain his position. Whites stand outside the coup structure as they are not considered to be worthy foes. The Red Savages do not take pride in killing whites and will seldom go out of their way to kill one.
Kaiila may be marked with coup markings or other symbols. These markings detail the exploits of the rider or are for medicine. Red lines are commonly coup marks. Inverted "U's" indicate the number of kaiila stolen from an enemy. If the kaiila's eyes are outlined with wide circles of black paint, this is medicine to make the animal see clearly. A zig-zag line indicates lightning, a medicine sign for speed. An opaque red circle with a waving red line descending from it is a wound mark indicating a former wound site. If the ear of the kaiila bears a V-shaped notch then it is a prize animal, trained for the hunt and war. Some tribes will notch both ears. A pair of parentheses enclosing a vertical line marks a captured woman. Opaque red circles on feathers show the number of enemies slain.
The Red Savages use a myriad of weapons, some culturally distinct to them, though swords are largely unknown to them. The canphi is a long-handled, stone-bladed tomahawk. They also use war clubs, which may have long nails or knife blades embedded in them. They use a small bow though its range and striking power are less than the longbow and crossbow. But, it can be fired very rapidly and there is probably no weapon that can match its rate of fire. A skilled warrior can fire ten arrows into the air before the first one returns to the land. The bow is very maneuverable and can be easily concealed. Red Savages always try to get as close as possible before they fire at a foe.
The kaiila lance is also a popular weapon. It was designed to be used from the back of the kaiila and there are different ones used for hunting and war. Hunting lances are longer, heavier and thicker than a war lance. Hunting lances are also usually bare, except maybe for a knot of feathers of the fleer. Its point is also longer and narrower as it must strike deeply to kill the kailiauk. A skillful hunter will strike no deeper than necessary. They want the kailiauk to be able to draw its body off the lance so they can continue to use that lance in the hunt. The shafts of both lances are made of temwood and are black, supple and strong. The staves are cut in the late winter when the sap is down. It then undergoes a long process, taking several weeks, of smoking and drying over a fire. This seasons the wood and kills any insects in it. After drying, the shafts are rubbed with grease and straightened over a fire. Detailed trimming and shaping is then done with a small knife. A rubbing of sandstone gives it a final smooth finish. The lance head may be made of metal, bone or stone. It is mounted on the lance by sinew, rawhide or metal trade rivets. Lastly, any grips, loops and decorations are added. The tarn lances used by some Red Savages are very similar to the kaiila lance though it is longer and more slender.
Large scale conflicts in the Barrens are very rare. Warfare is more like a raid, commonly conducted by ten to fifteen men. They enter their enemy's country, usually at dawn, and make off with loot and scalps very quickly. A woman or two might also be captured though the capture of male prisoners is rarely done. It is more common for them to form raiding parties to steal kaiila than women. The object of the raids is generally to obtain as many kaiila as possible without engaging the enemy at all. When they raid against whites, they will raid in the south and then sell their prizes in the north, and vice versa.
Red Savages prefer to fight on their own terms and in a place of their own choosing. They will rarely engage in battle if they are outnumbered and will refuse to accept a victory if the cost is too high. They would rather rescue one comrade than slay ten enemies. Any friend is more valuable than any amount of coup. When they fight, they do so noisily which heightens their aggression and can intimidate a foe. They prefer to avoid fighting at night. It can be hard to differentiate friend from foe. There are also medicine reasons involved. If you die at night, you might have trouble in the dark finding your way to the medicine world. You might also find the portals to the medicine world closed. Red Savages do not allow boys to fight men. They believe in a certain fairness in battle and do not expect a boy to be able to match a man.
Red Savages use shields made of the hide of the kailiauk. They use the thick hide of the back of the neck where the skin and muscle are thickest. These small round shields are then inscribed with medicine signs. When not in use, they are suspended from tripods to soak up the sun, gaining power from the sun's rays. They strongly believe that if they are unworthy or if they lie, their shield will fail to protect them.
Most tribes of the Red Savages have several warrior societies. They are expected to set an example while hunting or during war. They have a lot of influence in the tribe. Each warrior society is placed in charge of their camp, on an alternating basis, to stop any one society from becoming too powerful. They act as guards and police. They also keep their tribe apprised of kailiauk movements. A warrior society provides a method through which merit is recognized and rewarded. They also serve to freshen, maintain and renew tribal traditions. In addition, they preserve medicine bundles, keep ceremonies and teach histories. Each society has its own medicine and mysteries. Their rivalries also provide a useful outlet for intratribal aggression.
Here are some of the warrior societies listed in the books. The All Comrades are a warrior society of the Isbu Kaiila. It is also known as the Fighting Hearts and their symbol is a heart and lance. The Sleen Soldiers are another warrior society of the Isbu. The Yellow-Kaiila Riders are a warrior society of the Kaiila and their symbol is a stylized yellow kaiila print, outlined in red, over red horizontal bars. The Blue-Sky Riders are a warrior society of the Fleer. Their symbol, on a kaiila, is a horizontal line with a semi-circular curved blue line above it, signifying the dark line of the earth and the arching dome of the blue sky. The Sun Lances are a warrior society of the Sleen and have yellow lances painted on their kaiila. The Urt Soldiers are a warrior society of the Yellow Knives tribe and their symbol is painted prints on their kaiila. The Snake Society is a warrior society of the Yellow Knives.
Red Savage scouts are sometimes called sleen because they may wear sleen pelts that cover their head and back while scouting. Some actually believe they become a sleen by donning the pelt. Some scouts may throw on a kailiauk robe and bend down over the back of their kaiila. From a distance, they might seem to be a lone kailiauk. Smoke signals are used in the Barrens as a means of long distance communication but it is not as common as the use of mirror signals. With mirrors, a code is conveyed by the pacing and number of flashes, similar to with smoke signals. The signals are not a substitution cipher as the tribal languages do not have a standardized alphabet or syllabary. There are about fifty to sixty standard signals. The most common way to create smoke signals is by placing greenery on a fire. The smoke is then regulated in its ascent by a robe or blanket. At night, signals can be conveyed by the number and placement of the fires, or by a single fire, alternately revealed and hidden by a robe or blanket. Sometimes, the customary meanings are rearranged to conceal the true meaning of the message as the message could be easily seen by an enemy.
Before battle, some warriors call on medicine helpers, usually birds and animals, for aid. Others before battle will sing "death songs" just in case they die in battle. One example of such a song is "Though I die it is true the sun will blaze in the sky. Though I die it is true the grass will grow. Though I die it is true the kailiauk will come when the grass is high." (Blood Brothers of Gor, p.239) During a battle, there is a Banner-bearer who carries a crooklike, feathered staff. He uses the staff to give tactical instructions during combat. Battle whistles, made of the wing bones of a Herlit, may also be used as such in combat. A Blotanhunka is a "war-party leader." He is usually a man of mature and experienced judgment. He exerts control and restraint, something a young man is much less likely to be able to do.
When Red Savages are victorious in battle, they often take grisly trophies through "scalping." Scalping is done by almost all of the tribes. It is an ancient tradition and its origins are lost in the distant past. No one questions the necessity or reasons for it either. Some claim it is done to warn possible enemies of your power. Others believe it is done to stop victims from seeking revenge through the medicine world. It may simply be done in the joy and lust of victory, a type of catharsis. Scalps may be mounted on hoops, attached to poles and used in dances. They may also be hung from lodge poles or decorating items like shields and war shirts. Butcher knives, ground down into a narrow concave shape, and hatchets are generally used to claim these trophies.
In most tribes, a man who refuses to go on the warpath must live as a woman. He will be placed into women's clothes and will be given a woman's name. He will be referred to as in the female gender as "she" and "her." He will not be permitted to mate either. He will be treated as a woman in all ways. He will have to do woman's chores. There are even a couple references that such a person must also "please" the warriors as well. This is possibly a veiled reference that such men must sexually please the warriors. It is not definite but it clearly refers to more than serving drinks.
Manhood among the tribes is often indicated by a man's ability to wear the breechclout. The breechclout consists of a single piece of narrow material, maybe tanned skin but more likely soft cloth. It is then held in place by a belt or cord. It usually goes over the belt in the back, then down between the legs, and then back up over the belt in the front. Women and slaves may not wear it. If they did, it would be seen as pretentious and offensive and could result in torture or being beaten. In warm weather, the breechclout would be the only thing worn by a man. In cooler weather, the breechclout might be worn with leggings and a shirt. In very cold weather, a widely sleeved hunting coat and cap of fur might also be worn. Women generally wear shirt dresses and knee-length leggings. Their hand-me-downs may be given to slaves. Many Red Savages wear moccasins and each tribe uses different designs. Tracks may thus reveal a person's tribe. But, some clever war parties may use another tribes' moccasins as a disguise. In the winter, moccasins are lined with hair or dried grass. Some men are very vain about their appearance. A young man might grease and braid his hair, dress in finery and paint, and ride about the camp displaying himself.
The Red Savages are led by chiefs though there are actually three different types of chiefs. These include the war chief, medicine chief and civil chief. You can only be one type of chief at a time. This is part of the checks and balances of the tribe so that no one person obtains too much power. There are certain times though when a special war chief is selected and he becomes in a sense the high chief. This is not commonly done. There are other checks and balances inherent within the tribal structure. These include such items as tradition and custom, closeness of the governed and the governors, multiple-family interrelatedness, election of the chiefs, the submission of significant matters to a council and the feasibility of simply leaving the group. These combine to prevent tyranny from plaguing the tribes. Sitting behind the fire is a considered to be a place of honor.
Red savage men will listen with great attention to their free women, according them great honor and respect. But, women are not permitted within the councils. Only men actually make the decisions. Free women may speak boldly but if they grow too irritating, they will simply be beaten. Interestingly, free women may cut off the first joint of one of their fingers if they lose a son. For each son they lose, they select a new finger.
"In the beliefs of the red savages the welfare of the whole, that of the tribe, takes precedence over the welfare of the individual. In the thinking of the red savage the right to diminish and jeopardize the community does not lie within the prerogatives of the individual." This mirrors the beliefs of much of Gor, which hold the welfare of their Caste and Home Stone above individual desires. For example, the tribes do not hide or lock up items because theft is not expected and regarded as almost unthinkable. Each member of their society has a place and they understand the value of that place to their society as a whole. Each gender has its assigned role. If a man offers to help with a woman's task, it is almost always refused because they understand the sexes have different duties.
Speaking the truth is very important to the Red Savages. They believe that if they lie then their shields will not protect them in battle. They are also fond of jokes but they are not considered violations of truth telling. Their jokes might seem eccentric or rude to more civilized folk. In addition, they enjoy story telling. Many of their stories are owned stories which means that only a certain person has the right to tell the story. It is considered a privilege to own a story. If you want to hear an owned story, you must seek out the specific owner. Sometimes they hold special storytelling days. Stories can be given away or sold, though they are seldom sold for the Red Savages do not like to think that stories have a price. They should be priceless. Stories can be willed to your heirs and some have passed on through many generations.
Some stories are written on special "story skins." You begin reading the story from the center of the skin and spiral out by turning the skin. There will be a series of drawing and pictographs that tell the tale. The skin is a soft-tanned hide, very light in color, almost white. It can be waterproofed by suspending it over a small fire of turl bush. Soft tanning a hide is a laborious and difficult task. First, the fleshed hide must be saturated with fats, oils, and grease, usually from the brains of animals, and then rubbed into the hide and worked into it with a soft flat stone. The hide is then sprinkled with warm water and tightly rolled. It will be hidden from the sun and heat for a few days. When it is unrolled, it will be rubbed, kneaded and stretched for several hours. The pictures on the skin will be very well done. They will be first traced with a sharp stick and often outlined in black. The primary pigments they will then use are yellows, reds, browns, and blacks. These pigments are obtained from various sources such as powdered earths, clays, boiled roots, blue mud, gant droppings, boiled rotten wood, crushed rock containing oxides of iron, copper ores, and pond algae. The pigments are commonly mixed with hot water or glue and applied by a chewed stick, small brush or pen of porous bone.
Red Savages firmly believe in the existence and efficacy of magic. They call the world of magic the medicine world. They regard both reality and dreams to be equally real. They believe that in dreams, you can enter the medicine world. In your dreams, you can also sit about the fires of the dead and converse with them. You can understand the speech of animals and travel great distances, waking up safely at home in the morning. Thus dreams are taken very seriously. At times, the Red Savages believe that the world of reality and the medicine world impinge on one another and become one.
Medicine masks are objects of great power. The visions recorded on a mask are taken from the medicine world. A mask calls on the medicine helpers, much like what some warriors do prior to battle. Medicine signs are common to place on weapons, kaiila, lodges and clothing. The test of who bears the stronger medicine is decided by victory or success. As both sides in a battle will have numerous medicine signs, it becomes an issue of which medicine will be stronger. Results are what matter to the Red Savages. One powerful legend in the Barrens is of Wakanglisapa, the medicine tarn. It is supposed to be a large black tarn who flies free in the Barrens. Its feathers are supposed to contain powerful medicine. The tarn guards its feathers well and will track down anyone who possesses one. This tarn turns out to be Tarl's old tarn, the Ubar of the Skies. Tarl allows his tarn to remain free in the Barrens when he departs the area.
The Red Savages use a calendar based on the moons. The following are a number of their months, mostly in the language of the Dust Legs.
Istawicayazanwi: This is the "Sore-Eye Moon" and occurs at the time of the vernal equinox. This would be the first month in the Gorean calendar used in the cities of Gor. In the Barrens, it is a time of uncertain weather conditions with the potential of freezes, storms, and harsh winds.
Magaksicaagliwi: This is the "Moon of the Returning Gants" and the next month in sequence. This is the time of the early spring.
Wozupiwi: This is the "Planting Moon" and the next month in sequence.
Takiyuhawi: This is the "Moon in Which the Tabuk Rut" which is also known as Canpasapawi, the "Moon When the Chokecherries are Ripe."
Kantasawi: This is the "Moon in Which the Plums Become Red." It follows the month of Takiyuhawi. It is the hottest time of the year and occurs in the latter part of the summer. It is also the time when the Bento herd enters the country of the Kaiila. It is thus a time of gathering of the Kaiila for great hunts and dances.
Canwapegiwi: This is the "Moon in Which the Leaves Become Brown." It is the time of the autumnal equinox.
Wayuksapiwi: This is the "Corn-Harvest Moon" which is also known in Kaiila as Canwapekasnawi, the "Moon When the Wind Shakes Off the Leaves."
Waniyetuwi: This is the "Winter Moon."
Wanicokanwi: This is the "Mid-Winter Moon."
Witehi: This is the "Hard Moon."
Wicatawi: This is the "Urt Moon."
The Red Savages generally live within lodges. When building a lodge, they start with the lodge poles. The poles are of tem wood and are about twenty-five feet high. The bark is removed and the pole is trimmed to an even thickness, usually about twelve inches in diameter. The top yard or so of the pole is tapered. When setting up the lodge, three or four poles are tied together and raised to a standing position like a tripod. The other poles are then laid against these, appropriately spaced. A rawhide rope fastens the poles together and the end of the rope hangs near the lodge entrance. The lodge is covered by a number of kailiauk hides sewn together. Depending on the size of the lodge, you might need about twenty hides. In the winter, a kailiauk hide liner may be placed inside to make it warmer. In the summer, the walls can be rolled up making it like a canopy. A typical lodge has a diameter of fifteen feet and a family of five to eight people may live there. The outside of the lodge may be painted with scenes of hunting or war scenes. Each tribe uses a different number of poles and chooses different sites for their encampments. The Fleer use twenty poles and camp in the open but near timber. The Sleen use twenty-two poles and camp in thick timber. The Kaiila, use twenty-four poles and camp in the open but near water, a pasang or so from timber. The Yellow-Knives camp in open timber. In less than twenty Ehn, an entire camp can be struck, packed and gone. A Red Savage woman, on her own, can put up a lodge in about fifteen Ehn and take it down in three.
There are other types of lodges within the tribes. A sweat lodge is a small place, commonly oval and rounded. A man can not stand erect within it. It is made of a framework of branches that are covered with hides. Stones are heated in a fire outside the lodge and then brought into the lodge. Water is then poured on them to create heat and steam. When a stone cools it is then reheated, generally by an assistant who is not using the lodge. There are many rituals and significances connected with the sweat lodge. The primary objective is the purification of the bather, readying him for seeking a dream or vision.
After leaving the lodge, you one go to a stream and wash in the cold water. You then build a small fire, of sweet-brush and needles from needle trees. You rub the smoke from the fire into your body and then rub white clay on your body. This all helps to hide the smell of man as medicine helpers are not thought to like the smell of men. Every task is done to encourage the appearance of the medicine helper. You then retreat to a vision place, fasting and wait. You are allowed to drink some water. Not everyone will have a dream or vision after doing this. Such dreams and visions can be purchased from others or given as a very precious gift.
A Red Savage camp is quite noisy at night. Family and communal closeness are essential parts of their lives. Within his village, the Red Savage is outspoken, good-humored and animated. He enjoys practical jokes, story telling and gambling. They will gamble on nearly anything though often they play lots, dice and stone guessing. Kaiila races are also a popular attraction. One of his greatest pleasures is the giving of gifts. When you give a gift, you normally receive back a gift of equal value. But you generally would not give a person a gift of a value that they could not return. If you did, this would shame and embarrass them and the Red Savages would not want to do that.
The Red Savages celebrate a number of festivals, especially during the summer, and also times for great dances. These are times for truce and peace. Warfare and raiding are suspended during these events. Enemy tribes will not attack a tribe that is having their festivities. It is considered very bad medicine to attack during these times. Among the Kaiila tribe, their free women are permitted to wear face paint though commonly only during great festivals. Their mates will usually apply the paint.
The Great Dance is a special holy dance, symbolic of hunting, fertility and manhood. There will be a special lodge created as well as a special pole. The lodge is a great circular brush lodge. It has high walls, some forty feet high, and is built on poles from platforms. It encloses a circular dancing space of about fifty feet in diameter. In the center, is a wooden pole, about twenty-two feet high and two forks have been left on the pole. One fork is about ten feet off the ground and the other about fifteen feet. On the lower fork are the clothes and jewelry of the slave who cut down the pole. From the other fork are dangled the leather representations of a kailiauk and a man with an exaggerated penis.
The pole must be specially cut and prepared. The medicine chief of the dance will select tree to become the pole. During this time, the medicine chief has great power and is basically the chief of all the Kaiila. After the selection, a race is held of more than one hundred young men. They ride off toward the tree and the first five men to touch the tree receive high coups. They may touch the tree with their hand, coup stick, lance or canphi. Later, the chief and two others, with a roach of feathers and shaking rattles, will dance around the tree. The chief has a medicine wand and repeats "It is the tree" and the others then respond "It is tall and straight." A specially chosen slave is then given a trade ax to cut the tree down. Free women may not be present during this dance. Once the tree is cut down, the men will remove the branches and bark. The slave girl will then paint the pole, declaring it to be Kaiila. She paints three scarlet bands on the tree, the symbol of the Kaiila. The Kaiila commonly mark their weapons and possessions with scarlet bands, from three to five such bands. The slave is then stripped, dust thrown on her, and black paste or grease is used to make three dark lines on each of her cheeks. Then it is rubbed in smudges on her arms, back, breasts, belly, tops of her thighs, calves, and the interior of her thighs. She kneels as a pleasure slave and then kisses the pole. She will then dance a pole dance.
Most of the slaves of the Red Savages are white women. They regard all white women as slaves, even if they have not yet collared. They do keep some Red Savage women as slaves, usually captives taken from other tribes. Like those in Torvaldsland, the Red Savages prefer large-breasted kajirae. A Red Savage would rarely pay more than four or five kaiila for a white woman and most go for a hide or less. Slaves wear their hair loose while free women would commonly braid their hair. Red Savage women, like most Gorean free women, do not like female slaves. They can be very cruel to them.
Steel collars are not used. Instead, they use high beaded collars that tie in the front by a rawhide string. Subtle differences in the collar style and the knots denote the different tribes. The knots are signature knots, complex knots whose tying is only known by its inventor. Within a tribe, the beading, its arrangement and the colors denote the specific master. These beading patterns are commonly used to identify other items as well such as arrows and other personal items. Identifying one's arrows is crucial in determining kills for that will determine the division of meat. It would be death for a slave who removes her collar.
Red savages take virginity seriously only in their free women, not their slaves. To break a slave girl's virginity, they may use a sharp kailiauk bone or a whittled lodge peg. To prevent unwanted pregnancies, women eat sip root. This is an extremely bitter root and its effects last for three to four months. Sip root is the active ingredient in the slave wine used in the cities of Gor.
Secret slaveries exist within the Barrens. Some men do not want others to know that a woman is their slave so she will only wear a collar within his lodge. The books do not mention how common this is among the Red Savages. A confinement circle is a small dirt circle, usually made by a moccasin, that a slave cannot leave until given permission by a free person.
A leg spreader is a piece of equipment commonly reserved for white slaves. There are many varieties available and the basic idea is that they keep a girl's legs spread open. The "single position" leg-spreader permits only a single width. Each of a girl's ankles are tied to one end of the spreader. More sophisticated spreaders have multiple positions and widths. Some of these spreaders may have multiple holes in the pole while others have two or three poles or boards which can slide apart. The spreaders can also be used for the wrists. It would be a great shame for a man to be placed into a leg spreader.
The Red Savages also sometimes use yokes to bind their slaves. Some types include the improvised girl-yoke, punishment yoke, stock yoke, work yoke and yoke ties. The improvised girl-yoke consists of a stout branch, about two inches thick and five feet long, drilled at the center and near the extremities. It fits behind the back of the girl's neck and a long, single thong of rawhide fastens the girl in place. Her left wrist is thonged and then tied to the left end of the yoke. The thong is then passed through the center hole and looped around the girl's neck maybe five times. It then passes through the right hole and around the right wrist. Smaller yokes, maybe two and a half feet long, may be used for other purposes such as enjoying a girl in the furs.
There is a special community of slaves within the lands of the Red Savages. Waniyanpi is a word in the language of the Dust Legs and Kaiila that literally means "tame cattle." In the Barrens, it refers to the collectively owned slaves in the special agricultural communities of the Red Savages. Many of the tribes have small agricultural communities within their lands. The people that work in these communities are essentially slaves, owned by the tribe collectively. These slaves grow produce and they furnish labor when needed. They can be taken out of the community to become an individual slave though they are no longer called Waniyanpi. Most often, the young women are taken though sometimes young men will also be taken. There are many whites in these communities. The Waniyanpi are a source of great amusement to the Red Savages.
The central tenet that is taught and followed by the Waniyanpi is that men and women are the same, though women are considered somewhat superior. They refer to themselves as the Sames. They are also taught that they are not to question these teachings. They must surrender logic and simply accept the teachings. It is blasphemy to question them. The Sames disapprove of all sexual relations that they refer to as the Ugly Act. The Red Savages though have certain days for Waniyanpi breeding. They then forcefully mate the Sames. The women are hooded, stripped, and bound and then placed into the maize fields. The men must then lay with them. This is the only physical contact that occurs between the sexes. The men come from different communities than the women.
All the Sames wear gray dresses that fall to between their knees and ankles. They wear rags on their feet as shoes. They live in communal lodges that have no windows. The Sames are supposed to be loving, accommodating and pleasing. They abhor violence and will not fight, even to defend themselves. They fully live up to their name, "tame cattle."
During the events of Blood Brothers of Gor, a group of Waniyanpi helped the Kaiila during an important war. They essentially won their freedom and were permitted to form a small free state within the Barrens. This new state was not identified with a certain piece of land but with a Home Stone. One of the Sames changed his name to Seibar. He was somewhat the leader of the Waniyanpi group. He wanted to call the new state New Ar but no one else liked that name so it became known as Seibar's Holding. The Red Savages call it "Anpao" or "Anptaniya" which means "dawn," "daylight," "the breath of day," or the "first lovely glimmering of the morning."
Here are a few miscellaneous items of the Red Savages.
cradles: Cradles for infants are essentially wooden frames on which are fixed leather, open-fronted enclosures, opened and closed by lacings. The frame projects both above and below the enclosure for the infant. It contains two sharp projectiles at the top, extending several inches above the point where the baby's head would be. This will protect the baby if the cradle falls by sticking upside down in the ground. The cradles are often hung vertically from a lodge pole or tree branches. They can also be carried in a saddle.
parfleche: This is a rectangular hide envelope, generally slung on a strap over the shoulder, and used to carry items.
sewing: A roll of rawhide string is held balled in the mouth and played out, bit by bit. The warmth and saliva of the mouth will keep the string moist and pliable. The thrusting end is twisted and wet and will be thrust through holes punched in the leather with a metal or bone awl.
travois: These are essentially poles that cross over the withers of a kaiila and sometimes has a blanket or cloth between them. They are used often to move camp. The travois slows down the kaiila but allows it to carry a heavier load. The poles can also be used as lodge poles.
turf knife: This is a wooden-bladed, saw-edged, paddlelike tool. It is used to cut and saw sod. It can also be used as a shovel if the handle is held in the right hand and the blade supported with the left.
wakapapi: This is the Red Savage word for pemmican, a food also eaten by the Native Americans of Earth. Pemmican are soft cakes, made in various ways depending on what one adds in the way of meat, herbs, seasonings and fruit. One common way on Gor is to take strips of dried kailiauk meat, thinly sliced, and pounded fine almost to a powder. Then you add crushed fruit, commonly chokecherries, to the meat. This is then mixed with kailiauk fat and then divided into small, flattish, rounded cakes. It is normally carried by hunting or war parties.
Savages of Gor and Blood Brothers of Gor form a single story. Tarl Cabot and Samos of Port Kar are asked by a couple of Kurii to help them kill Half-Ear who allegedly survived the destruction of the Kur polar base in Beasts of Gor. Half-Ear is supposed to be hiding in the Barrens region, among the Red Savages. They refuse to help and Tarl chooses to go to the Barrens to warn Half-Ear because they "once shared paga." Tarl enters the Barrens trying to out-reach Half-Ear before the Kurii Death Squad can locate the Kur. Tarl interacts with several of the tribes and is eventually enslaved by the Kaiila. The Kurii organize a couple tribes, including the Kinyanpi and Yellow-Knives, to attack the Kaiila. With Tarl's aid, the Kurii are eventually defeated. Tarl encounters Half-Ear who has now been given a reprieve by the Kurii leaders. Half-Ear is returning to the Steel Ships to be General once more. Tarl then returns to Port Kar.
The later books do not mention Half-Ear again. Who knows what devious plot is he scheming?