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The Bazhir are, collectively, the nomadic tribes of Tortall's Great Southern Desert. The Bazhir are widely known for their fine horses, which the tribespeople refer to as "children of the wind."[1] In former times the Bazhir had been at war with Tortall,[2] probably not only because of the cultural differences, but mainly due to the fact, that the Bazhir had had an independent country, Barzun, before they have been conquered by Tortall.

Culture

The Bazhir live in a strict tribal community structure, with each tribe being led by a headman. Bazhir women are brought up to be subservient to men, and to always wear the veil for modesty.

Bazhir magic users are known as shamen and have great authority within their tribes.

The Voice of the Tribes is the spiritual link between all the Bazhir, a position of highest honor. In 438 HE, Jonathan of Conté becomes the Voice of the Tribes upon the death of Ali Mukhtab, the previous Voice. This is the first time when a non-Bazhir has become the Voice, and marks a major turning point in the relationship between the Bazhir and the Kingdom of Tortall.

The Bazhir tribes and the desert they inhabit were nominally brought into the kingdom of Tortall by King Jasson I, who conquered some tribes and made treaties with others. However, many of the tribes remained hostile to Tortall and Bazhir were generally shunned from Tortallan society until the reign of King Jonathan IV.

Known Tribes

The following are known tribes in the fifth century HE:

Notes

Based on medieval Africa and/or the Middle East

Appearances

The Bazhir are at least mentioned in nearly every novel based in Tortall. They play a greater role in The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, where Alanna spends most of the novel in the Great Southern Desert with the Bazhir tribe of the Bloody Hawk.

References

  1. Squire, Chp 10
  2. Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 2 (p. 37; Random House paperback)


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