The term is spoken audibly differently in different parts of Gor, depending upon the accent, just as we have different dialects of languages on Earth according to geographical location within a region.
"La kajira." is a complete sentence in Gorean which means "I am slave-girl." Another says the opposite, "La ki kajira!" utlizes ki for no, not or implying a negative, thereby stating "I am not slave-girl".
In John Norman's books of Gor, Gor literally mans "home stone", for which the planet is named after. The planet Gor then refers to an alternate planet Earth to which humans (Earthlings) are displaced. Their adventures on Gor and their experiences in an alternate civilization among a variety of alien species, chronicle an alternate lifestyle based on the caste system. But Goreans are split between three groups; the free (men and women), owners (male Masters), and property (slaves, or kajiri).
It has been said that a war broke out between the sexes on Gor and the men won. The Priest-Kings, a technologically superior ruling alien insect-like race, with their higher intelligence, realized how devastated Gor would be if they killed the women off, so they made the women stunningly beautiful to gain the favor of the men. But the price for this accomodation was that they made the women slaves to the men, until the end of all time.
Kajiri are considered to be no better than animals, the property of their owner, to do with as their Masters see fit. They are all wear a brand (known as a kan-lara), usually a kef (or "staff and fronds") which marks them as a slave (being the first letter of the word for slave whether male or female). The kajiri all wear collars, both male and female, which is inscribed with their owner's name and city, designating them as their owner's property.
Although kajiri are branded and collared on Gor, the brand and collar are merely symbols of her enslavement. Even in the absence of a brand, a collar, an anklet or earring symbolizing her station as slave, property of her Master, once she is enslaved she remains so unless released, symbol absent or not.
"They all wear collars," it is said, "but each in her collar is different."
Kajirae are considered as nothing, just livestock or tools, and yet to some Masters they will become everything. Some kajira many even attain great loving, romantic relationships with their Masters. Still, no Master would ever admit to to loving a slave, it just isn't done. Still, most any kajira is a cherished treasure advancing the Master's cause. But they are always expected to obey their Master, willingly.
Kajirae are given labels (such as "kettle-and-mat girl") and assignments (a kettle-and-mat-girl cooks and complies sexually), though no label or assignment will preclude her from doing some or task. Usually, kajirae will work in the kitchens during the day and then adorn silks and dance wonderfully sensual dances for their Masters before, during and/or after feasting.
A white-silk kajira is a virgin, while a red-silk kajira has known the pleasures of flesh and the fires of her own passions. A white-silk kajira should not pass to a red-silk without her Master arranging it, and usually he would be participating in such a rite.
Some kajira wear a headband that associates a supervisory rank to them, allowing them a leadership role to the other kajirae.
As there is no institution of marriage on Gor, girls are kept and protected by their parents, who will often arrange their companionship. A free woman who is bought from her parents becomes a free companion, even though she may not have have any say in the transaction. Sometimes, a free woman may, of her own free will, agree to companionship. It is not unusual for a Master to free one of his kajirae, in order that she may accept the privileges of free companionship.
A free woman's ceremonial journey to her new male companion is her betrothal journey.
Attire is critical for a free woman, or she could find herself enslaved. As an example, only kajiri are allowed to display their navel. For a free woman to do so would infer that she was begging for a brand (a kan-lara) and slave's collar of her own.
Kajirae fear free women who are suspected to envy their collars. Goreans feel that men are intended to rule the women as a rite of birth. Similarly, all women were meant to serve man. Being a free woman is of little consequence, the universe will right itself and correct the mistake of missing her servitude, eventually. A Master may have as many slaves as He can care for, at any time, though he can only have one free companion. Free companionship relationships are not entered into lightly, and they are normally sundered only by death. Occasionally the Gorean will learn the true meaning of love.
These paperback sci-fi books inspired a whole subculture in modern society that identify with the superiority of the male as the Dominant or Master in traditional family leadership roles (as opposed to the corporate/committee structure of modern families where the leadership is undefined). The women take a subservient, submissive, or consensual slave role as kajira. Those that practice this lifestyle are known as Goreans.
But to be clear, one does not have to own slaves or participate in slavery in any way to be considered Gorean. The Gorean ways have interest for many, as does the subculture which has a foothold in our reality.
To be a kajira requires great strength of character and resolve in one's role as a consensual slave, to not only endure but to enjoy the life of a subordinate life in the service of a deserving Master, who not only commands her life, but leads the family clan on its life's journey. The kajira is in essence picking her life's captain. The kajira can expect to be pushed sexually, intellectually, and creatively. A good Master will tax her body, mind, heart and spirit.
Each Gorean Master will define His house, who He will marry (if anyone) or who He might choose as His free companion (if anyone). But in reality (here on Earth), a kajira will usually choose the Master she wishes to surrender to and enslave her. Obviously there is great pressure here if the kajira is committed to her enslavement, and a contract may exist in order to protect her decision as a measure of expectations in her treatment as well as communicating the Master's goals.
Such a contract may set limits, such as defining a clearly monogamous relationship between the two parties. Or perhaps the Master has already defined a set of rules for her to follow that she must commit to in order to succeed at her surrender as His and earn her collar.
Still, by definition the Master defines Himself, His role, as well as the role of each of His kajirae according to His own wishes. The Earth-bound kajira only knows the choice of her original Master to Whom she will serve and that Master is then burdened with all decisions concerning her duties, welfare and safety thereafter.
There are a wide variety of ways that a Master will train and use a kajira, as every Master is different, and each slave is quite unique. Each slave will always be addressed differently by a good Master, no matter how methodical He might seem, as every kajira always needs very personal attention in order to know that honor she seeks, which will be different for each.
Although a Gorean Master has the option to sell His kajirae to another Gorean Master, or even auction her off, this is thought to be rare among true Goreans. More likely these are pretenders to the lifestyle, so as in any such extreme relationship, caution, safety and forethought is required. The kajira is reminded that her role is always that of a consensual slave.
That said, a kajirae is expected to act as her Master's property. The kajira's rights are only those given her by her Master. Which is why respect, communication and trust is of such a great importance in such a powerfully commanding, loving, intimate and fulfilling role between two extreme personalities that each need to be devoted to the other on different levels.
The difference between submission (as a submissive performs to a Dominant) and the surrender of a slave, is steadfast obedience and loyalty to a righteous superior leader and lover that will create a family unit which can withstand the advances as well as the unforseen setbacks of life together.
United against the world, a Master chooses His battles wisely, defends and protects His family clan, advancing against a world lost in the madness that is the mediocrity, bias, and corruption of the world.
We just shouldn't do it alone, we weren't made that way.
The ideals behind the Master/kajira relationship isn't as much about the power exchange, which of course exists as a its key part, but it is righting the wrong of the corruption of the family unit which is now seemingly governed by committee, where there is no clear leader, no leadership role model, no decisiveness or guidance for our youth.
Butting heads in arguments in front of the kids shows no faith or trust in each other and teaches poor governing habits that corporations use to ignore their own family of workers tied to their success or failure. Kids are not employees or stock holders, people. Democracy does not work within the family unit.
Understanding our roles as Masters is equally important in such relationships. Realizing that absolute power will corrupt absolutely is of prime consideration. Ruling with humility and honor are essential. Knowing our kajirae and communicating with them on an extremely personal level in the most intimate and ultimate relationship known to any life form on Earth has a great empowering reward for all parties involved when it works well.
Sources used to back-up research:
Wikipedia: Kajira, Gor
kajirae on Angelfire: kajira clothing
The Gorean Voice: Brandings
The World of Gor: The Kajira, Slave Classification, Collaring, The Collar, Caste Codes
This document NSFW, includes adult subject matter.
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