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Haruchai women
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Fist and Faith
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seafoam Understone wrote:
I can imagine the inner thoughts of the giants that were listening in on the description Brinn was explaining to Covenant. It would make them admire the little fellas all the more.
Heh. Or think they're a little nuts. Which I might have to go along with. They did, indeed, give up too much. But the Haruchai psyche makes demands that the rest of us can't possibly understand.

So anyway, Jesus comes home after the three days, and, in a very sarcastic voice, Mrs. Jesus says, "Welcome home, Savior! Where's your twelve friends can't find a job?! Huh? Where they at?!"

Sam used to be one of those very loud preachers, and then became a very loud comedian. Lots of screaming. And lots of, shall we say, alternate views of religion. Not always flattering, always language not suitable for the Watch, and much of it hilarious.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seafoam Understone wrote:
For a Haruchai to take the Vow of the Bloodguard knowing he will never again see his wife (or another Haruchai female) again must've been very costly to them (internally always internally for those guys! ) indeed.
I can imagine the inner thoughts of the giants that were listening in on the description Brinn was explaining to Covenant. It would make them admire the little fellas all the more.


From the sounds of Korik's thoughts in "Korik's Mission" the Haruchai were men who loved as fiercely as they fought...it is pretty amazing to think of such a stoic people that way (it's one of the things I love about Donaldson's work...it's so unexpected like that). I can't even imagine what a sacrifice that would have been for them...and for their wives, strong though I'm sure they were too.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seafoam Understone wrote:
I can imagine the inner thoughts of the giants that were listening in on the description Brinn was explaining to Covenant. It would make them admire the little fellas all the more.
The crew of Starfare's Gem had a number of married Giant couples. I imagine the First and Pitchwife, and Seasauce and Hearthcoal, looked at each other and winced inside as they heard Brinn's words.

Iryssa wrote:
From the sounds of Korik's thoughts in "Korik's Mission" the Haruchai were men who loved as fiercely as they fought...it is pretty amazing to think of such a stoic people that way (it's one of the things I love about Donaldson's work...it's so unexpected like that). I can't even imagine what a sacrifice that would have been for them...and for their wives, strong though I'm sure they were too.


Men who not only lusted, but loved as fiercely as they fought--Korik's memories make that obvious. His Mrs. had been one heck of a lucky lady, though the day she learned of the Vow must have been a dark one indeed.

Though the results of the Vow included such loss and sterility, I have a theory about why.

Korik's memories of the first arrival of the Haruchai at Revelstone describe the city in terms that almost personify it. Personify it female.

SRD wrote:
Revelstone itself met the eyes of the invaders with a wonder such as they had never known. They understood mountains, cliffs, indomitable stone, and never in their warmest dreams had they conceived that gutrock could be made so welcoming, habitable, and extravagant. The great Giant-wrought Keep astonished them, inspired them with a fierce joy unmatched by anything except the sight of austere peaks majestically facing heavenward and the enfolding love of wives....Here, amid warmth and lushness, fertility and food and sunlight, was a single rock home capacious enough to enclose the entire Haruchai people and hold them free of want forever.


Perhaps the "ascetic and womanless" character of the Bloodguard under the Vow was not due to renunciation per se. Revelstone itself received them as a woman, and they gave themselves completely to her. Maybe the act of Vowing was (ontologically and magically, not physically) a consummation so vast that no shred of their being, not even a single haploid cell, remained outside it.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durris wrote:
I'll want to discuss this again when I've read all of Gates of Fire, but it occurred to me from the quotes you posted about female courage: as moving and admirable as that description is, it is a view of female courage as defined by males. Accepting the losses of warfare only shows female courage if the women completely share the men's goals in making war. Might female courage also sometimes be found in saying "I do not accept," in challenging the warriors' goals and assumptions? Admittedly not among the Haruchai--or at least not in the received version of the mythos, because it's the men's story--but in general?
There is a scene in Gates that fits this description very well. Smile But I think you're right in general. I guess you'll have to start writing stories about female courage! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durris wrote:
Men who not only lusted, but loved as fiercely as they fought--Korik's memories make that obvious. His Mrs. had been one heck of a lucky lady, though the day she learned of the Vow must have been a dark one indeed...


Indeed! Precisely what I meant! Very Happy (I don't use the word "love" so lightly as to mean "lust")...and OH yes...very lucky to be loved so much...it would have made it all the more painful that he did not return, but I agree with that corny, old adage; "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"...still, it's pretty easy to say compared to how it would be to experience such a loss...

Quote:
Perhaps the "ascetic and womanless" character of the Bloodguard under the Vow was not due to renunciation per se. Revelstone itself received them as a woman, and they gave themselves completely to her. Maybe the act of Vowing was (ontologically and magically, not physically) a consummation so vast that no shred of their being, not even a single haploid cell, remained outside it.

hmmm...excellent point...I hadn't even thought of that...It makes a lot of sense, really, when you think of how welcoming it would have been, compared to fighting over the few stark caves in the mountains, while still being made of stone, which posesses all the strong qualities they value.

On the issue of female courage...
SO true, Durris...I would like to read Gates of Fire as well before I get much further...but I agree completely, for what it's worth.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go Iryssa!!!! Very Happy Everybody read Gates of Fire!! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just thinking that Haruchai women are never really described as anything other than wives and mothers, so we don't really know what political, economic or cultural roles they might have played in the society of the Ho-Aru and Nimishi. Perhaps they were like the women described by another author:

Quote:
Men play at war while the women pay the price for their indiscretions.


Not what I necessarily think Haruchai society would be like, but it is a thought. Very Happy

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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.


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Durris
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine, for one thing, that Haruchai parents might have wished their firstborn child to be female. Since sons so often had to go to war and get killed (or otherwise never come back), daughters would have insured family continuity through future generations.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durris wrote:
I imagine, for one thing, that Haruchai parents might have wished their firstborn child to be female. Since sons so often had to go to war and get killed (or otherwise never come back), daughters would have insured family continuity through future generations.


But if the society was patriarchal, wouldn't a daughter ensure the survival of someone elses family?

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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ack, I'm thinking like a 21st-century flatlander woman, I guess.

I wasn't thinking of perpetuity of name so much as the fact of progeny. Show me grandparents, in any time or culture, who don't feel proprietary pride in their grandchildren. In wartime, the probability was that sons would fight and die and families with daughters would stand a better chance of having grandkids (and all further descendants), shared though they were with the son-in-law's family.

Maybe I'm also thinking like a geneticist (I used to be one)--a daughter does pass on the parental genes, whatever family name is on the outside of them.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but if you didn't have enough sons, you lost the war. That's gotta count for something, too. Smile Interesting point. I wonder which way they felt.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We actually don't know that the Haruchai are patriarchal in their society. Donaldson hasn't given us enough information on that -- yet. Wink So who knows if the daughters/grandchildren would be considered part of the family of the husbands or not?

For all we know, they might be matriarchal, with the women practicing polyandry. Smile Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duchess of malfi wrote:
For all we know, they might be matriarchal, with the women practicing polyandry.


Embarassed Shocked Shocked Embarassed

My reaction to this is going in several different directions. Partly it seems plausible for this aboriginal and extremely passionate people. Partly it doesn't seem to fit with the ethos we see in the men--an extreme either/or absolutism in all matters of choice and morals, a capacity for exclusive loyalty, and a too-well-developed ascetic ethic.

Also, mightn't there have been a shortage of eligible men at some point in history--during the worst excesses of clan warfare, or just before and after the Vow, say--that would have been worsened by polyandry?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one society I can remember from my anthro classes that practices polyandry is one in the high mountains in Asia (I canot remember if they live in Tibet or Nepal, but one of those two nations sounds right). The women in that society marry groups of brothers.
They live in a dangerous part of the world. If something happens to one of the husbands, that way there is still a man in the household, who is closely related to the woman's children (either father or uncle, and probably no one knows which) to help raise the children and protect the family.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very logical...and the Westron Mountains do appear to have been patterned after the Himalayas in some respects (tigers in the foothills, etc.)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good points. I always assumed that Haruchai society was patriarchal because we never see any Haruchai women.

We see Giant women, including the only Swordmain we ever encounter, and they appear to be very equal with Giant men.

We see Ramen women, in fact almost all of the key Ramen characters are female, and three of the four Manethralls we meet are women.

Even the generic human population of the Land presents many women, who occupy just as many important positions as men. (This is actually discussed elsewhere but I can't find the topic).

Then we have the Harucahi, whose women are never seen and only really talked about twice; once in Lord Foul's Bane when TC asks Bannor if he was ever married and if he could stand it as a Bloodguard if his wife were still alive, and once in The One Tree when Cail and Brinn talk about the browness of the limbs of their women compared to the whiteness of the merewives.

These two conversations portray the Haruchai women as wives/partners, and as mothers, and so give some hint to the power of the bond that connects the family unit in Haruchai society. It says nothing else, however, which lead me to see the society as patriarchal.

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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the Haruchai men said, "Come on, let's work together a bit more, see if we can make it work here," but the women said, "You get your asses down to the Land and grab what you can, or else!!!"
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Durris wrote:
Very logical...and the Westron Mountains do appear to have been patterned after the Himalayas in some respects (tigers in the foothills, etc.)
In that case, here's a Haruchai girl. Possibly the Watch's own Haruchai? Smile <img src=http://kevinswatch.ihugny.com/phpBB2/album_see.php?id=301>
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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spot-on Fist!! That is how I visualized them, almost exactly. (What is the RL nationality of the image? Tibetan, Nepali, Bhutanese?)

This image now graces my desktop background!
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tibet Smile
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