Re: Consequence when breaking the caste taboo's in rokari society

From: Grimmund <grimmund_at_4OievWoaWK8fAOy07vl5_xheTSsjgjqIhZHY1QPUTpyLVm9O9eAmfdFDdL3Gtme_TfW>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 18:21:39 -0600

Well met!

On Jan 7, 2008 3:27 PM, <> wrote:

> Apart from the points already mentioned I'd suggest that a peasant
> could not afford to acquire a sword legitimately.

Scavenging a battlefield after the fighting is over is not a legitimate source of income?

Just saying, that's where, historically, most of the less well armed and armored fighters got their gear, assuming they were on the side that retained the field when the fighting ended.

That said, I agree, most subsistence farmers wouldn't wast their money on a sword when they could use the money for more animals, new tools, and other things that would be much more useful. I don't think that would normally drive a taboo, though.

> Either in the
> real world or Glorantha. They are expensive to make, need careful
> storage and require training to use properly.

OK, the last is true of pretty much *every* weapon. The first bit is why most people who weren't *professionally* violent tended toward spears and axes-they needed a lot less metal, so they were cheaper to make in terms of raw materials, and they also served useful civilian purposes when not being used as weapons. Most pole arms evolved from some sort of farm implement for harvesting fruits/nuts and pruning trees.

Swords are an expensive, specialized tool for the professionally violent, and something of a luxury item for everyone else. The expense also makes them a status symbol among the wealthy non-fighters. (I have plenty of disposable income. See my expensive item?)

> So the taboo is a reflection of the practicalities. A pitchfork
> or grain flail makes a much better weapon for a peasant than a
> sword.

Spears, man, spears. More reach than a sword, which means you can gack a swordsman before he gets *you* in range. Spears are relatively easy to learn, to. Pitchforks suck. As I understand it, grain flails (nunchuks and larger cousins) also require a fair amount of training. (Not to mention, the potential to whack yourself in the head if you are either unfamiliar with the weapon, or clumsy or distracted.)

Meanwhile, if *you* have a sword, and your neighbor does not, you've got a pretty significant advantage, if without much training. You hold it like a stick, and hit people with the sharp edge.

That said, taboos tend to be imposed from above.

"It is taboo for peasants to own swords" sounds like a rule designed by the ruling class to keep the peasants from causing trouble ... for the ruling class. :)



"A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need
the advice."  -Bill Cosby


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