MTC-invented Clans

Although John Norman’s Nomads of Gor provides a fascinating look at the unique culture of the Wagon Peoples, many questions are left unanswered, and many holes must be filled. One of these large areas of uncertainty concerns the Clan system of social organization which exists among the four tribes.

Many Clans are mentioned only once, in passing, their details being left to reasonable extrapolation; still other Clans — roles or functions, if you prefer — are not mentioned at all, though one would suppose that they must exist for a Wagon Camp to function properly. For example, we know that Kamchak was contemplating the purchase of a kaiila from a Peddler — but who trained that kaiila? One may reasonably assume that a Peddler wouldn’t train every kaiila he sells, or he would never have time enough to sell his wares. There must then be a Clan of Kaiila Trainers, though such is never mentioned.

It is this line of reasoning which has let to the creation of certain Clans which are not mentioned in the works of John Norman. Below is a listing of the made-up Clans found in MTC which have been developed according to the needs of a working Tuchuk camp.

    •Artisans (Painters, Potters, etc.)
    •Bosk Trainers
    •Candle Makers
    •Cheese Makers
    •Giani Trainers
    •Kaiila Trainers
    •Leather Garment Workers
    •Net and Rope Makers
    •Oil Makers
    •Saddle Makers
    •Slave Overseers
    •Soap Makers
    •Stock Tenders

Below is a more detailed description of some of our MTC-created Clans, with quotes to support their potential existence, if such are available. This is a work in progress.


"I admire the skill of the leather worker with his needle, that of the potter's strong hands, that of the vintner with his wines, that of warriors with their weapons."--Hunters, 47

This Clan adds color to Tuchuk life. From variegated wagon domes and carefully painted pottery to bone scrimshaw and brightly woven hair rugs, our Artisans are responsible for making Tuchuk vibrant. Although there is no Clan of Artisans mentioned in Nomads of Gor, the Mongols upon which the Tuchuk culture is partly based did have their own indigenous and highly developed form of art.

Our artisans will have at their fingertips wools, hair, and bone from our kaiila, bosk, and verr, clay from the river banks, and various dyes which could be procured from the plant life and iron ores found on the plains. Weavers and other artisans will work closely with our peddlers and will also receive their supplies, in part, from the specialized dye makers among the Artisans. Dye makers will also supply leather workers, saddle makers, and scarrers with necessary pigments and dyes. We turn now to quotes from various books of Gor which shed some light on the manner in which members of the Clan of Artisans can portray their craft.

Dye Makers

“The drover threw back the hood of his burnoose, and pulled down the veil about his face. Beneath the burnoose he wore a skullcap. The rep-cloth veil was red; it had been soaked in a primitive dye, mixed from water and the mashed roots of the telekint; when he perspired, it had run; his face was stained....”—Tribesmen, 83

“At various places in the bazaar, from a latticework laid between the buildings, numerous skeins of wool hung, dyed in various bright colors, drying...I looked up at skeins of wool hanging from the wooden poles between the flat roofs. They were quite colorful.”—Tribesmen

“The dyes used in the making of these rugs are, on the whole, natural dyes, vegetable dyes, some made from barks and leaves, and roots and flowers, others from animal products, crushed insects, etc.”—Tribesmen

Textiles and Weaving

“It takes five girls more than a year to make certain of these rugs. The patterns, memorized by the carders, some of them blind, are intricate, and passed down through families. They are made on simple looms and the pile is knotted onto the warp and weft. Some of these rugs have as many as four hundred knots per square hort. The hort is approximately an inch and a quarter in length. Each knot, by a girl, a free woman, is tied individually by hand. There are many varieties of such rugs. Almost all are incredibly beautiful.”—Tribesmen

“Bent over, carrying a grossly woven bag of kaiila-hair cloth, filled with accouterments, I set foot on the cracked boards of the Kurtzal dock.”—Tribesmen

“The kaiila, unlike the verr and hurt, is never sheared. When it sheds its hair, however, the hair may be gathered, and, depending on the hair, various cloths can be made from it. There is a soft, fine hair, the most prized, which grows on the belly of the animal; there is an undercoating of hair, soft but coarser, which is used for most cloth; and there are the long, outer hairs. These, though still soft and pliant, are, comparatively, the most coarse. The hairs of this coat are used primarily for rope and tent cloth.”—Tribesmen

Bakers: This Clan works closely with camp slaves to ensure well-stocked commissaries and cold rooms. We base this occupation closely upon the city Caste of the same name. Thus, Bakers could be male or female and would peddle their wares of pastries, baked goods, candies, and confections. Since the colors of this Caste are brown and yellow, bakery wagons may be painted accordingly, if our Clan members so desire.

“I stayed four days in the rooms above the shop of Dina of Turia. There I dyed my hair black and exchanged the robes of the merchant for the yellow and brown tunic of the Bakers, to which caste her father and two brothers had belonged.
“At one time, I gathered from Dina, her father’s shop had been the most famed of the baking shops of Turia…”—Nomads, 237

“In thinking of her I realized how foolish are certain Gorean prejudices with respect to the matter of caste. The Caste of Bakers is not regarded as a high caste, to which one looks for nobility, and such; and yet her father and her brothers, outnumbered, had fought and died for their tiny shop; and this courageous girl, with a valor I might have expected of many warriors, weaponless, alone and friendless, had immediately, asking nothing in return, leaped to my aid, giving me the protection of her home, and her silence…”—Nomads, 239

Bosk Trainers:

“Wagons had to be abandoned on the prairie as there was no time to train new bosk to the harness…”—Nomads, 58

Bowyers/Fletchers: This Clan makes the horn bows and barbed arrows which are the traditional weapons of the warriors of the Wagon Peoples. We can gather from the quotes below that the implements in question are the products of readily available bosk bone and horn materials. Although there is no Clan of Bowyers and Fletchers mentioned in Nomads of Gor, tribal weapon-making is a skill generally passed from father to son for countless generations; thus, it is a reasonable assumption that such an occupation would exist in a realistic Wagon Camp.

“… bones and horns are split and tooled into implements of a hundred sorts, from awls, punches, and spoons to drinking flagons and weapon tips…”—Nomads, 5

“…he carried in his right hand the small, powerful, horn bow of the Wagon Peoples and attached to his saddle was a lacquered, narrow, rectangular quiver containing as many as forty arrows.”—Nomads, 11

“The simple pile gives greater penetration. Had I used a broad-headed arrow, or the Tuchuk barbed arrow, one would, in removing it, commonly thrust the arrow completely through the wound, drawing it out feathers last. One is, accordingly, in such cases, less likely to lose the point in the body.”—Raiders of Gor

Brewers: Although there is no Clan of Brewers mentioned in Nomads of Gor, one can clearly see the need for such, where fermented bosk milk is concerned!

Butchers: This Clan is responsible for providing our MTC family with its Sa-Tassna, or all fresh meats. Its members work closely with the Bakers, Cheese Makers, Cooks, and camp slaves to ensure that our commissaries and meat wagons are well stocked.

“…even the girl was there who wore but bells and collar, struggling under her burden, long dried strips of bosk meat, as wide as beams…”—Nomads, 34

“…cutting of meat to be dried hanging from the sides of moving wagons in the sun and wind.”—Nomads, 184

Cheese Makers: It is a reasonable assumption that where there is bosk and verr milk, there will also be cheese. This Clan makes both soft and hard cheeses, and its members work closely with the Bakers, Butchers, Cooks, and camp slaves to ensure that our commissaries are well stocked.

Farriers: This Clan tends the hooves of our bosk and verr and works closely with the Clan of Stock Tenders. Although there is no mention of a Clan of Farriers in Nomads of Gor, anyone with domesticated goats can tell you that their hooves do need tending from time to time!

Furriers: This Clan is responsible for the curing of the pelts or hides of sleen, larl, bosk, and other animals. These goods may be used as-is for sitting furs and blankets, or they can be distributed to our Leather Garment Workers for rendering into clothing.

“Although the dais was resplendent, and the rugs upon it even more resplendent, I saw that beneath Kutaituchik, over these rugs, had been spread the simple, worn, tattered robe of gray boskhide.”—Nomads, 43

“I turned to see a stout man-at-arms step to the dais, carrying in his arms, folded in the furs of the scarlet larl, a girl.”—Nomads, 44

“For clothing he permitted her to cut and sew, as well as she could, a sleeveless garment from the pelt of the red larl.”—Nomads, 64

“At one point, he wrapped a heavy fur and a leather robe about his left arm…”—Nomads, 170

“I searched among the wagons long before I found, sitting cross-legged beneath a wagon, wrapped in a worn bosk robe…”—Nomads, 185

Kaiila Trainers:

“I was later to learn that kaiila are trained to avoid the thrown spear. It is training which begins with blunt staves and progresses through headed weapons. Until the kaiila is suitably proficient in this art it is not allowed to breed. Those who cannot learn it die under the spear.”—Nomads, 24

“He did not buy the kaiila near the wagon of Yachi of the Leather Workers though apparently it was a splendid beast. At one point, he wrapped a heavy fur and a leather robe about his left arm and struck the beast suddenly on the snout with his right hand. It had not struck back at him swiftly enough to please him, and there were only four needlelike scratches in the arm guard before Kamchak had managed to leap back and the kaiila, lunging at its chain, was snapping at him. ‘Such a slow beast,’ remarked Kamchak, ‘might in battle cost a man his life.’ I supposed it was true. The kaiila and its master fight in battle as one unit, seemingly a single savage animal, armed with teeth and lance.”—Nomads, 170

Saddle Makers: Though one might initially assume that saddle making would be a task of Leather Workers, this is actually a highly skilled and quite separate craft. Saddle makers will work hand-in-hand with Leather Workers to obtain saddle coverings, but wood must also be intricately seasoned, shaped, and fitted together to make the flexible framework of the saddle, called the saddle tree. Manufacturing methods on the barbaric plains would be much like those used in Medieval Europe and the American Old West, and some research for accurate portrayal of this clan is required.

“On the saddle there also hung, on one side, a coiled rope of braided bosk hide and, on the other, a long, three-weighted bola of the sort used in hunting tumits and men; in the saddle itself, on the right side, indicating the rider must be right handed, were the seven sheaths for the almost legendary quivas, the balanced saddle knives of the prairie."—Nomads, 11

Tools of the Trade:


“The stake was some ten feet in height, and some four inches in diameter. It had been wedged between rocks and braced with stones. Its point was roughly sharpened, probably with an adz.”—Mercenaries

Hammer and Nails

“'Do you have rope, or hammers and nails?' asked the officer.
“'Of course, Captain,' said the man."–Magicians


“Beside me stood a man with pliers and a hook knife.”—Assassin


“I passed a boy in a shop using a bow lathe. He spins the wood with bow and string, held in his right hand. He uses his left hand and his right foot to guide the cutting tool.”—Tribesmen


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