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Dogs and goats in Sartar


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4 hours ago, Brootse said:

Does the Greydog clan have physical dogs too in addition to the watch spirits?

IIRC in the original campaign, no. The Grey Dog was the clan Wyter - a deer hound that if you managed to keep it over the winter and kept it fed, would bring you an alynx kitten. I'm not sure of the origin of the Grey dog, it's not in David Hall or Jon Quaife's notes.

4 hours ago, Brootse said:

Which clans/tribes in Sartar and nearby areas raise dogs or goats?

If you've got a PDF of the RQG book it's worth a search, as the answer is complicated (likewise check the guide)

Likewise someone will bring up the whole orlanthi Alynx / Dog thing. I believe it's just like real life -  there are both in Orlanthi society, although alynxes take the working roles dogs would normally have. I suspect 

Likewise with goats and Broo. There are certainly clans that have goats (like the Balkoth). 

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The dislike of dogs mostly relates to Yinkin's place in the Storm Tribe; the more prominent Yinkin's place in the clan (such as claiming him as an ancestor), the more anti-dog the clan probably is. Who your neighbors are will also affect that; those living in Saird necessarily aren't going to be as big on hating dogs, because there are so many dog-loving people around them that it just wouldn't be worth it to be as vehement as they might be down south. In general, the further north you go, the less there's a hard "hate dogs, love cats" thing. The Sartarites are probably going to be some of the most anti-dog, both because of the Telmori and because they're kind of hard-line orthodox Heortlings in general. But of course there's always an exception with Orlanthi.

Same with goats; the Balkoth are pitied and mocked as "Goat-Suckers" because they were forced to start raising goats after the rest of their livestock were taken from them by the Lunars, it's not that it's a traditional part of their lifestyle or something (though I suppose it might be, if we suppose Angtyr of the Horn indicates they were already more accepting of goats).

I personally imagine the Balkoth situation as being the test-bed for some Lunar administrator's pet project to force the Sartarites to abandon their traditional lifestyle in favor of more intensive, single-product agriculture or animal husbandry, which makes sense as something a Lunar higher-up would want to impose for several reasons. It helps strip away the independence and self-sufficiency of the bulk of the Sartarites, would produce more goods that could be more efficiently extracted through taxation or exported for profit, etc. It seems like something you'd have been allowed to get away with under Euglyptus the Fat; a few bribes and the right connections and I could see him letting you push through this or that plan for this or that tribe, and then when Fazzur and Tatius are in charge they always have bigger things to worry about than untangling those messes.

Edited by Leingod
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We have a player in our home game who said, "I just can't play someone who hates dogs." My character is a Balazaring staying with the Anmangarn for a hopefully short time and she has her dog. We told him, he doesn't have to! While there is surely less dog-love by the Sartarites, not everyone will feel that way. It's like how I live in Oklahoma and hate football. :D Of course, our Anmangarn also have Piku and his goats staying with them. Although not everyone is happy about that!

 

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Of course the Orlanthi have dogs. But they are worker animals, and considered less desirable than having an alynx. 

Goats are like pigs in many Muslim countries - religiously unclean. 

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35 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Of course the Orlanthi have dogs. But they are worker animals, and considered less desirable than having an alynx. 

Goats are like pigs in many Muslim countries - religiously unclean. 

Does the goat taboo extend any further than eating their flesh? (Eg goat milk, goat cheese, cashmere and cashgora wool...)

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

Of course the Orlanthi have dogs. But they are worker animals, and considered less desirable than having an alynx. 

Goats are like pigs in many Muslim countries - religiously unclean. 

Pigs are religiously unclean to Muslims period, signed, a Muslim. Nobody's wearing pigskin shoes. On the other hand, pigs aren't bad or evil; they are taboo. That means we avoid them because God said "no", not because there's anything wrong with them. That's what a taboo is. Goats in Orlanthi culture, on the other hand, have a patron god in Ragnaglar! (Elsewhere there's other goat deities not attached to Chaos, though.)

Not sure about the Muslim countries bit, though. Christian Arabs eat a lot of bacon and ribs in the Levant.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Pigs are religiously unclean to Muslims period, signed, a Muslim. Nobody's wearing pigskin shoes. On the other hand, pigs aren't bad or evil; they are taboo. That means we avoid them because God said "no", not because there's anything wrong with them. That's what a taboo is. Goats in Orlanthi culture, on the other hand, have a patron god in Ragnaglar! (Elsewhere there's other goat deities not attached to Chaos, though.)

Not sure about the Muslim countries bit, though. Christian Arabs eat a lot of bacon and ribs in the Levant.

Behind this door  - labelled "Non Muslims" - at my local supermarket in Abu Dhabi was a veritable pork wonderland!

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That's my mate (and fellow pork/Glorantha enthusiast) Peter Tracy. Sorry the camera lens was fogged up - it was the middle of the Arabian Gulf summer, and a very humid day, and we had just been to see...

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...the Sun Dome Temple, which I could see across the water from my house. That's Pete giving the traditional Yelmalio greeting "YO".

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For an example of common cultural norms across denominations: during my stay in India, my Christian informants generally refused to eat beef (although most Indian states severely restrict beef production and consumption anyway, so it's a bit of a moot point) and pork as well. Only the more "radical" Christians (pentecostalists, generally) ate pork. 

Additionally, while @Qizilbashwoman's point about pigs being taboo, not bad, is a good one, I do think there's a tendency to want to justify religious taboos in pragmatic ways. At least one informant speculated out loud that the reason why Europeans and Americans had "so much cancer" was because we ate pork. And if I remember my Mary Douglas correctly, at least one medieval European scholar tried to map various sins onto the animals forbidden to Jews (rabbits were a symbol of promiscuity, bottom-feeders in water of sloth, etc. etc.) so as to make the dietary rules a kind of symbolic moral teaching. This is not to say that any of this is the original intent (it almost certainly isn't), but that people might be culturally motivated to heap on reasons for not engaging with said animal besides "God said so". Nowadays, you'll see a lot of people point out that pork suffers more from trichinosis (a parasite infection) or that pigs require more water which is problematic in a dry environment. Again, almost certainly not what the ancient Hebrew writers (or Yahweh) had in mind when they codified the dietary laws, but point is: referring to authority isn't always enough, some people might want more concrete or personally relevant answers.

Perhaps some Sartarites think consuming goat products makes you more sexually aggressive, or maybe even impotent! (in a weird reversal of Ragnaglar's myths). Or maybe they just think goats smell especially bad, or the meat tastes gross. Maybe they don't, and will just say "oh, well, it's just not our way, Orlanth taught us that sheep and cattle are our loyal animals, so we honor him by upholding his ways," and that's that. 

On another note, eating horse is culturally taboo in parts of Europe, which in part seems to stem from Christian missionaries opposing pre-Christian (aka "pagan") rituals in which horse meat was eaten (iirc), so taboo definitely does not inherently mark an animal as "unclean", just... forbidden.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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36 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I do think there's a tendency to want to justify religious taboos in pragmatic ways.

I think simple explanations work. A jealous God (or his appointed prophets) told his people: "Don't eat the sort of food your Canaanite neighbours eat. They're pig-farmers? Pork's off the menu. They're sea-fishermen? The kind of fish they eat is banned." Cultural isolation enforced: job done.

Edited by Nick Brooke
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A friend of mine had a very interesting experience in Africa. He was visiting an animist village and was introduced to his guide, who happened to be have a very "Old testament" name while no one else had such name in the village. So he asked about his choice and the guy answered that when he was young he was given the snake as a totem. But later, one of his uncle had cooked some snake inadvertently making him eat his totem, an absolute taboo. So in order to avoid the rightful wrath of snake, the family run to the nearest mission, which happened to be Protestant, and had him baptized to get him out of snake's spiritual turf. 

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6 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

I think simple explanations work. A jealous God (or his appointed prophets) told his people: "Don't eat the sort of food your Canaanite neighbours eat. They're pig-farmers? Pork's off the menu. They're sea-fishermen? The kind of fish they eat is banned." Cultural isolation enforced: job done.

Agree - even completely arbitrary food rules (perhaps especially those) can serve to unify a people in common disgust of their neighbours.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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48 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Agree - even completely arbitrary food rules (perhaps especially those) can serve to unify a people in common disgust of their neighbours.

It’s not just “disgust” - it’s saying it’s literally not kosher to socialise with them. The original purpose of these dietary bans seems likely to be making it impossible to share meals with the people you share your country with: it’s not to save you from eating undercooked pork.

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What's interesting is that based on archaeological evidence, pigs were very definitely on the menu in the Near East, up to around 1000 BC, and there was then a significant decline. There's no clear reason why, but it may be due to an increase in the presence of trichinella parasites, or more likely because around that date human farming and logging was starting to impact local conditions, and pigs need water and woodland.

People were increasingly exploiting the woodlands for building structures and especially ships and temples. In much of the Near East, once you chop the trees down, the ecology can't recover, which is so for most of the Mediterranean woodland zone. Pigs were therefore expensive to maintain, so became taboo. The destruction of the forests even features in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and much later the Roman Emperor Hadrian attempted to prohibit the destruction of the cedar forests in what is now Lebanon.  Despite all the problems of that country, the Lebanese are now attempting to replant cedars, and one of the measures used is to ban goats, because goats are so destructive to woodland.

Of course, in Glorantha, many of the forests are likely to have guardians.

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8 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

People were increasingly exploiting the woodlands for building structures and especially ships and temples. In much of the Near East, once you chop the trees down, the ecology can't recover, which is so for most of the Mediterranean woodland zone. Pigs were therefore expensive to maintain, so became taboo. The destruction of the forests even features in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and much later the Roman Emperor Hadrian attempted to prohibit the destruction of the cedar forests in what is now Lebanon.  Despite all the problems of that country, the Lebanese are now attempting to replant cedars, and one of the measures used is to ban goats, because goats are so destructive to woodland.

Back in 2013 I joined @Andrew Bean on one of his "international man of mystery" trips to Lebanon, and we travelled high up into the Mount Lebanon Range to see the last remaining cedars at the Cedars of God Reserve, a World Heritage site. These trees have been harvested by everyone from the Phoenicians through to the Ottoman Turks. The stone wall surrounding the reserve was paid for by Queen Victoria, and is designed to keep goats out. 

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8 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

What's interesting is that based on archaeological evidence, pigs were very definitely on the menu in the Near East, up to around 1000 BC, and there was then a significant decline. There's no clear reason why, but it may be due to an increase in the presence of trichinella parasites, or more likely because around that date human farming and logging was starting to impact local conditions, and pigs need water and woodland.

Although this thread is in danger of turning into MOB's Middle Eastern travelogue, I am going to share another pic:

From a trip to Jordan in 2012, this is the family at Umm Qays, checking out the ruins of ancient Gadara (of "My name is Legion" Gadarene swine fame, c.f. Matthew 8:28). Someone was eating bacon at the time, given Jesus apparently drove out evil spirits into a herd of two thousand of them, which handily happened to be on a nearby hillside. The pigs then went and drowned in the Sea Galilee, which you can see in the distance. 

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Edited by MOB
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On 8/30/2020 at 4:07 PM, M Helsdon said:

What's interesting is that based on archaeological evidence, pigs were very definitely on the menu in the Near East, up to around 1000 BC, and there was then a significant decline. There's no clear reason why, but it may be due to an increase in the presence of trichinella parasites, or more likely because around that date human farming and logging was starting to impact local conditions, and pigs need water and woodland.

We used to think this was due to Egyptian influence... but then we realised Egyptians were happily eating pigs until Levantine influence and immigrants brought the pig taboo INTO Egypt very late (like 500 BCE-ish).

The pig taboo was all over Semitic-speaking cultures all the way into East Africa, and we just have no idea why.

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On 9/1/2020 at 3:18 AM, Qizilbashwoman said:

The pig taboo was all over Semitic-speaking cultures all the way into East Africa, and we just have no idea why.

Maybe it was the Pigs that started the taboo? Pigs are pretty clever animals, even if they are susceptible to periodic demonic possession, and it seems to me a sensible idea to start a taboo to increase your chances of survival. I’m sure they then went on to make sure that they developed some magicks against possession.

I have to say I’ve always wondered about ‘Spare ribs’ and who coined the phrase? I’m pretty certain it wasn’t a pig idea as I’m sure they had the view none of their ribs were in fact spare and they were attached to all of them

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