Introduction and ramble
- Hello Everyone,
In introduction, I have no 'credentials' as such, but I have
been interested in nomadic peoples for a long time. Most
currently I have been exploring the Cheyenne Indians, Picts,
Scots, Irish and now the Gothic peoples. My emphasis is on
comparisons and statements, often treated trivially, but
which recur in various places and times. You may regard my
ideas as 'wild speculation', no problem.
On 'Slave and Slavery'. For current discussion, these have
developed too much current cultural baggage and malprops.
In studying any culture the term is used much too often as
a generalization and study of this segment of societies is
My suggestion is to discard the use and examine the central
institution it comes from. Simply, the idea of 'political
control'. Human dominance is a political system and most
central to almost every human society.
My model is to separate the leaders and the 'lead' at every
opportunity that can be found. The use of several societies
then allows for more effective comparison and some rather
When 'slavery' arouse, my interest was stimulated that it
was/is to easy to bend the social functions of individuals
to fit this generalization.
In the Cheyenne culture, captive males were limited to very
small children, no males. Captive females occupy a larger
segment and when you check what tasks they occupy and the
protections afforded them you find a gradation ranging from
almost abject servitude to great influence.
The captive male child was most equivalent to that occupied
by the orphaned male adolescent. They provided services to
some leading male and could attend total mobility from a
dependent status to become a functional independent unit
leader in society. Some argument against this can be found
in white captives, and the Mexican captives, both of which
show influences of their own 'captive treatment of individuals
in society' and most clearly were influenced by the very
active Commanche models. The Commanche model frequently
adapted male captives into a 'herder drone' or a 'suicide
warrior' model. Sorry for this digression.
In my comparison though the Cheyenne captive/orphan model
shows obvious similarities to the 'fosterage' system of the
Norse Gaelic Culture of the time of Somerled to Thorkill.
The Somerled type of 'fosterage' apparently has an ancient
heritage and continued to relatively recent times. In fact,
it developed a reversal role for many chief's sons, who were
fostered by loyal retainers.
To belabor the point, the orphan and male captive treatment
is theses societies show their economic position is political
and cultural. The political support system becomes a building
block to use in examining the structure of peoples. My point
is subservience and 'service' is to easily categorized as
slavery. The one time visit of an individual minimalizes the
relative relationships. Hence slavery is seen, when it may not
exist as such.
Quick, more current examples would be the Blackfoot 'multiple
wife/squaw' marriages in which non-leading females were economic
slaves of the fur trade. A Gaelic example of the economic
termination of the 'fosterage' system is the 'broken men and
clans'. So, economic utility to support 'leadership types'
is the building block of society. Prime examples can be found
in current elitist society today.
So these comparisons go from Cheyenne, almost modern world, to
the Norse Gaelic, almost tribalistic chieftainship. This makes
me believe that the Nordic connection is rather simple to use
in the Gothic/Germanic Roman era and by extension to almost any
political group of the 'civilization eras'. Argumentatively, I
do NOT include the Chinese cultures (not enough personal data
comparisons made), though I would the Mongolic nomads.
Having made a political empirical model for human behavior and
discarded the use of 'modern cultural taint' of the use of 'slave/
slavery. I did see some hints that offer some interesting chains
Notice this part: *orbu, from the PIE base *orbh- (also source
of orphan) the ground sense of which seems to be "thing that
changes allegiance". This hit me like a stone.
Most wildly/unfounded, but open to further study/thought.
"The Slavic words for "slave" (Rus. rab, Serbo-Croatian rob,
O.C.S. rabu) are from O.Slav. *orbu, from the PIE base *orbh-
(also source of orphan) the ground sense of which seems to be
"thing that changes allegiance" (in the case of the slave, from
himself to his master). The Slavic word is also the source of robot".
This usage of words brought me to a further questioning thought.
Simplistic and febrile at best, but I lept from Slav to the Khazar
culture by the comparison of rab/rob to rabe/i in current Jewish
use. Backwards comparison is the Khazars converted to Judaism and
shared much of the territory of the semi-nomadic Slavs. This is
heavy speculation, but nags me by the data supplied by Wolfram in
"History of the Goths" of "Wulfila" and christianity. I have
'issues' with his depiction of this individual, the Jewish religion,
and the concurrent political scheme set of the Gothic political
system he presented.
Feel free to dismiss any/all of this. Not having an 'academic
credential' to hang this thought stream on, I am more interested
in the negative viewpoints than positive.
I have been most stimulated by parts of the discourse on the Goths
and of course, disagree as much as agree, with much of it. Still,
I am inclined to believe the 'barbarity' of political leadership
systems and that simplicity has led to a 'freer movement' of
individuals versed in it, not the languages/cultures. Thus, I can
readily believe that 'individual' Gothic types freely migrated
throughout their world and heavily influenced the future by taking
political leadership. The barbarian deals with basic realities,
while the philosopher, historian and religious types taint their
observations with cultural models that bend the truth.
Thanks, DragoonDelight (used primarily as my personal name is the
same as another in the group and this allows hopefully for no name