Aiel Men

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Author: Cariyad Teridal

Unless stated otherwise, all information herein is taken from TWoRJTWoT.


Contents

General Male Population

Men and boys, bar the very youngest, wear the cadin'sor (TSR, Ch. 50), which roughly translates as “working clothes”. These have changed little since the Age of Legends, when they were the dress of the Da'shain Aiel. Men wear their hair cut short except for a shoulder-length tail at the nape of the neck.

The trade of blacksmithing is one essential to every hold, and so blacksmiths may not be taken as gai'shain (TSR, Ch. 23). similarly, blacksmiths will not take up a weapon and killing one is seen as equivalent to killing a pregnant woman, a child or a Wise One (ACoS, Prologue).

Clan Chiefs

The Aiel are divided into twelve clans, and each clan has a clan chief. Although clan chiefs are not the same as a king (TSR, Ch. 12), they still have considerable power over the governance of the clan. To become a clan chief, a man must gain the permission of the Wise Ones to travel into the heart of Rhuidean (TSR, Ch. 23), where the history of the Aiel is revealed to them.

At the center of Rhuidean is a circle of clear, glittering glass columns which seem thin as needles compared to their height (TSR, Ch. 24). Within these columns the prospective chiefs re-live the transformations from the Da’shain Aiel, living by the Way of the Leaf, to the warrior society that they have become today. Each man sees something different: it is thought that each man re-lives the history as his ancestors (TSR, Ch. 34). Most men cannot face the truth of their origins and never return, and some return from the heart of Rhuidean mad (TSR, Ch. 25). Some Aiel feel that taking up the spear when their ancestors were sworn to peace in a way not dissimilar to gai’shain is breaking the pledge that their ancestors made not only for themselves but for all future generations and therefore breaking ji'e'toh (TFoH, Ch. 2).

Sept Chiefs

As each clan chief has control over a clan, each sept chief has control over a sept within the larger clans. Despite having power over the governance of the clan, a sept chief does not own the sept’s hold. As a male, he cannot. Possession of the hold falls to the Roofmistress, usually the chief’s wife. She has power to turn away even her husband from the water and shade of the hold should she wish, although this action would likely create a rift within the sept (TSR, Ch. 48).


Boy-Children

Very young Aiel boys wear robes similar to those worn by the gai’shain, but in the greyish-brown colors of the cadin’sor (TSR, Ch. 50). These young boys wear bare feet.

Older boys wear the cadin’sor, like their elders (TSR, Ch. 50).

Children have the right to order gai’shain (TSR, Ch. 50), but children under the age of ten may not be takes as gai’shain (TSR, Ch. 23).


Men who can Channel

Young men who discover that they can channel voluntarily travel to the Blight to challenge the Dark One on the slopes of Shayol Ghul (LoC, Ch. 25).

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