|This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
The mount of the Wagon Peoples, unknown in the northern hemisphere of Gor, is the terrifying
but beautiful kaiila. It is a silken, carnivorous, lofty creature, graceful, long-necked,
smooth-gaited. It is viviparous and undoubtedly mammalian, though there is no suckling of the
young. The young are born vicious and by instinct, as soon as they can struggle to their feet,
they hunt. It is an instinct of the other, sensing the birth, to deliver the young animal in the
vicinity of game. I supposed, with the domesticated kaiila, a bound verr or a prisoner might be
cast to the newborn animal. The kaiila, once it eats its fill, does not touch food for several days.
The kaiila is extremely agile, and can easily outmaneuver the slower, more ponderous high
tharlarion. It requires less food, of course, than the tarn. A kaiila, which normally stands about
twenty to twenty-two hands at the shoulder, can cover as much as six hundred pasangs in a
single day's riding.
The head of the kaiila bears two large eyes, one on each side, but these eyes are triply lidded,
probably an adaptation to the environment which occasionally is wracked by severe storms of
wind and dust; the adaptation, actually a transparent third lid, permits the animal to move as it
wishes under conditions that force other prairie animals to back into the wind or, like the sleen,
to burrow into the ground. The kaiila is most dangerous under such conditions, and, as if it knew
this, often uses such times for its hunt.
The third rider placed himself, reining in suddenly, pulling the mount to its hind legs, and it reared
snarling against the bit, and then stood still, its neck straining toward me. I could see the long,
triangular tongue in the animal's head, behind the four rows of fangs. The rider, too, wore a
wind scarf. His shield was red. The Blood People, the Kassars.
I turned and was not surprised to see the fourth rider, motionless on his animal, already in
position. The kaiila moves with great rapidity. The fourth rider was dressed in a hood and cape of
white fur. He wore a flopping cap of white fur, which did not conceal the conical outlines of the
steel beneath it. The leather of his jerkin was black. The buckles on his belt of gold. His lance had
a rider hook under the point, with which he might dismount opponents.
The kaiila of these men were as tawny as the brown grass of the prairie, save for that of the
man who faced me, whose mount was a silken, sable black, as black as the lacquer of the shield.
Nomads of Gor, page 13-14
I saw the kaiila tense, almost like larls, their flanks quivering, their large eyes intent upon me. I
saw one of the long, triangular tongues dart out and back. Their long ears were laid back
against the fierce, silken heads. Nomads of Gor, page 15
I was later to learn that kaiila are trained to avoid the thrown spear. It is a 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. Yet, at a
close range, I had no doubt that I could slay the beast. As swift as may be the kaiila I had no
doubt that I was swifter. Gorean warriors hunt men and tarts with this weapon. But I did not
wish to slay the animal, nor its rider. Nomads of Gor, page 24
It was probably developed for hunting the tumit, a huge, flightless carnivorous bird of the plains,
but the Wagon Peoples use it also, and well, as a weapon of war.
Warily now the animal began to circle, in an almost human fashion, watching the spear. It shifted
delicately, feinting, and then withdrawing, trying to draw the cast. Nomads of Gor, page 24
Warily now the animal began to circle, in an almost human fashion, watching the spear. It shifted delicately, feinting, and then
withdrawing, trying to draw the cast. Nomads of Gor, page 24
He did not buy the kaiila near the wagon of Yachi of the Leather Workers though it was apparently a splendid beast. At one point,
he wrapped a heavy fur and 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 against its chain, was snapping at him. "Such a slow beast," said Kamchak, "might
in battle cost a man his life." I supposed it true. The kaiila and its master fight in battle as one unit, seemingly a single savage
animal, armed with teeth and lance. After looking at the kaiila Kamchak visited a wagon where he discussed the crossing of one of
his cows with the owner's bull, in exchange for a similar favor on his own part. Nomads of Gor, page 170
The caravan kaiila, incidentally, both those which are pack animals and those used as mounts for guards and warriors, are muchly
belled. This helps to keep the animals together, makes it easier to move in darkness, and in a country where, often, one cannot see
more than a hundred yards to the next dune or plateau, is an important factor in survival. If it were not for the caravan bells, the
slow moving, otherwise generally silent caravans might, unknowingly, pass within yards of men in desperate need of succor. The
kaiila of raiders, incidentally, are never belled. Tribesmen of Gor, page 22
I then saw a kaiila pass. It was lofty, stately, fanged and silken. I had heard of such beasts, but this was the first I had seen. It
was yellow, with flowing hair. Its rider was mounted in a high, purple saddle, with knives in the saddle sheaths. He bore a long,
willowy black lance. A net of linked chain, unhooked, dangled beside his helmet. His eyes bore the epicanthic fold. He was. I
gathered, of one of the Wagon Peoples, most likely the Tuchuks. His face, colourful scarred, was marked in the rude heraldry of
those distant, savage riders. Fighting slave of Gor, page 178
The Red Savages, as they are commonly called on Gor, are racially and culturally distinct from the Red Hunters of the north. They
tend to be a more slender, longer-limbed people; their daughters menstruate earlier; and their babies are not born with a blue spot
at the base of the spine, as in the case with most of the red hunters. Their culture tends to be nomadic, and is based on the
herbivorous, lofty kaiila, substantially the same animal as is found in the Tahari, save for the wider footpads of the Tahari beast,
suitable for negotiating deep sand, and the lumbering, gregarious, short-tempered, trident-homed kailiauk. To be sure, some tribes
do not have the kaiila, never having mastered it, and certain tribes have mastered the tam, which tribes are the most dangerous of
all. Savages of Gor, page 35
To be sure, these folks((the Red Savages)), are superb riders. A child is often put on kaiila back, its tiny hands clutching the silken
neck, before it can walk. Savages of Gor, page 47
The major business in Kailiauk is the traffic in hides and kaiila. It serves a function as well, however, as do many such towns, as a
social and commercial center for many outlying farms and ranches. It is a bustling town, but much of its population is itinerant.
Among its permanent citizens I doubt that it numbers more than four or five hundred individuals. As would be expected it has
several inns and taverns aligned along its central street. Savages of Gor, page 93
"Make way!" we heard. "Make way!" There was then the thudding of the clawed pads of kaiila, several of them, almost upon us.
"Ho! Ho!" called their drovers, riding behind them, swirling their coiled rawhide ropes in the air. I and the others backed against the
wall of the compound of Ram Seibar. The kaiila, perhaps a hundred and fifty of them, thundered past. I did not think such beasts
should be run through the streets, but it sometimes pleases their drovers to do so. It had happened more than once since I had
south. Savages of Gor, page 103
Grunt, moving the reins of the kaiila, pulled the beast's head away. I followed him. The kaiila in the area of the perimeter, those
ridden by white men, are generally controlled by a headstall, bit and reins, in short, by a bridle, not by a nose rope, as is cultural in
the Tahari. Different areas on Gor give witness to the heritage of differing traditions. The bridle used by the red savages,
incidentally, usually differs from that used by the white men. The most common form is a strap, or braided leather tie, placed below
the tongue and behind the which two reins, or a teeth, tied about the lower jaw, from single double rein, a single loop, comes back
over the beast's neck. The jaw tie, serving as both bit and headstall, is usually formed of the same material as the reins, one long
length of material being used for the entire bridle. Savages of Gor, page 103
Grunt did not want to do business with the Fleer. He wished only to traverse the area in peace.
The kaiila snorted and threw up its head, and squealed, its mouth wrenched by the jerking back of the jaw rope.
On its nose were red lines, coup marks, matching those on the warrior's legs. Its eyes were outlined with wide circles of black paint.
On its left forequarter was drawn a zigzag line, indicating lightning. On its right forequarter there were five inverted "U's." Its right
ear bore a V-shaped notch. On its left flank there was an opaque red circle with a waving red line descending from it also on the left
flank, and on the right flank, too, there was a black, horizontal line, with a semicircular, curved blue line above it. The coup marks
and the inverted "U's" were exploit markings. The inverted "U's" indicated kaiila stolen from the enemy, the mark itself being a
stylized convention whose heritage, I did not doubt, might be traced back to another animal, and another world and time. The
circles painted about the eyes and the line of lightning on the left forequarter were signs in the medicine of war. The medicine use
of the circles was to enable the beast to see clearly and far and that of the line to impart to its motion something of the same
suddenness, the same swiftness and power, as attends the movement of lightning, that dread natural phenomenon, itself. The
opaque circle with the wavy line descending from it was a wound mark, the location of the mark indicating a former wound site, the
redness standing for blood, of course, and the descending line for bleeding. I did not know the meaning of the notched ear, if it had
a meaning, or of the other marks on the animal's flanks.
The Fleer moved his kaiila about, on the other side of the coffle, so that he might look at the girls, one by one. None of them, as
Grunt had advised, met his eyes. They kept their beads high, and looked ahead, knowing themselves scrutinized as the pretty,
meaningless beasts they were.
"Our friend," said Grunt to me, "is a member of the Blue-Sky Riders, a warrior society of the Fleer."
"One should be careful of such fellows?" I asked.
"I would think so," smiled Grunt
"You are gathering this membership from the marks on the kaiila's flanks?" I asked.
"Yes," said Grunt, "the dark line of the earth, the overarching dome of the blue sky."
"I see," I said. Most tribes had several warrior societies. These societies had much influence within the tribes and, on an alternating
basis, to preclude any one society from becoming predominant, a good deal of power. Their members were expected to set an
example in the war and the hunt.
"I do not think he means us harm," said Grunt. "He is merely curious."
Warrior Societies in the tribes have many functions. They are a significant component of tribal existence. Such societies, on an
alternating basis, do such things as keep order in the camps and on the treks. They function, too, as guards and police. It is part of
their function, too, to keep the tribes apprised as to the movements of kailiauk and to organize and police tribal hunts. Such
societies, too, it might, be noted, are useful in various social ways. They provide institutions through which merit can be recognized
and rewarded, and tribal traditions freshened, maintained and renewed. They preserve medicine bundles, keep ceremonies and
teach histories. It is common for them to give feasts and hold dances. Their rivalries provide an outlet for intratribal aggression, and
the attendant competitions supply an encouragement for effort and a stimulus to excellence. Within the society itself, of course, the
members profit from the values of alliance, camaraderie and friendship. Needless to say, each society will have, too, its own
medicines and mysteries.
I watched the Fleer, carefully. How intricate, actually, is the structure and governance of a tribe.
"The ear of his kaiila is notched," I said to Grunt. "Is that an eccentric mutilation or is it deliberate, perhaps meaningful?"
"It is meaningful," said Grunt. "It marks the kaiila as a prize animal, one especially trained for the hunt and war." Savages of Gor,
We could now smell the animals clearly. My mount, a lofty black kaiila, silken and swift, shifted nervously beneath me. Its nostrils
were flared. Its storm lids were drawn, giving its large round eyes a distinctive yellowish cast. I did not think that it, a kaiila
purchased some months ago in the town of Kailiauk, near the perimeter, had ever smelled such beasts before, and certainly not in
such numbers. Too, I supposed that there were many among such beasts, perhaps most, in fact, who had ever smelled a man, or a
kaiila, before. Blood Brothers of Gor, page 6
The Sand Kaiila
The sand kaiila, or desert kaiila, is a kaiila, and handles similarly, but it is not identically the same animal which is indigenous,
domestic and wild, in the middle latitudes of Gor's southern hemisphere; that animal, used as a mount by the Wagon Peoples, is
not found in the northern hemisphere of Gor; there is obviously a phylogenetic affinity between the two varieties, or species; I
conjecture, though I do not know, that the sand kaiila is a desert-adapted mutation of the subequatorial stock; both animals are
lofty, proud, silken creatures, long-necked and smooth-gaited; both are triply lidded, the third lid being a transparent membrane, of
great utility in the blasts of the dry storms of the southern plains or the Tahari; both creatures are comparable in size, ranging from
some twenty to twenty-two hands at the shoulder; both are swift; both have incredible stamina; under ideal conditions both can
range six hundred pasangs in a day; in the dune country, of course, in the heavy, sliding sands, a march of fifty pasangs is
considered good; both, too, I might mention, are high-strung, vicious-tempered animals; in pelt the southern kaiila ranges from a
rich gold to black; the sand kaiila, on the other hand, are almost all tawny, though I have seen black sand kaiila; differences, some
of them striking and important, however, exist between the animals; most notably, perhaps, the sand kaiila suckles its young; the
southern kaiila are viviparous, but the young, within hours after birth, hunt, by instinct; the mother delivers the young in the vicinity
of game; whereas there is game in the Tahari, birds, small mammals, an occasional sand sleen, and some species of tabuk, it is
rare; the suckling of the young in the sand kaiila is a valuable trait in the survival of the animal; kaiila milk, which is used, like verr
milk, by the peoples of the Tahari, is reddish, and has a strong, salty taste; it contains much ferrous sulphate; a similar difference
between the two animals, or two sorts of kaiila, is that the sand kaiila is omnivorous, whereas the southern kaiila is strictly
carnivorous; both have storage tissues; if necessary, both can go several days without water; the southern kaiila also, however,
has a storage stomach, and can go several days without meat; the sand kaiila, unfortunately, must feed more frequently: some of
the pack animals in a caravan are used in carrying fodder; whatever is needed, and is not available enroute, must be carried;
sometimes, with a mounted herdsman, caravan kaiila are released to hunt tabuk; a more trivial difference between the sand kaiila
and the southern kaiila is that the paws of the sand kaiila are much broader, the digits even webbed with leathery fibers, and
heavily padded, than those of its southern counterpart. Tribesmen of Gor, chapter 4
On a rise, pushing back the burnoose, I stood in my stirrups and looked back. I saw the end of the caravan, more than a pasang
away. It wound, slowly, gracefully, through the hills. At its very end came a man on a single kaiila. From time to time, he
dismounted, gathering shed kaiila hair and thrusting it in bags at his saddle. 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 of Gor, chapter 4
I had waited a month at the Oasis of Nine Wells before being granted an audience with Suleiman.
Ibn Saran, not taking his eyes from Alyena, lifted his finger. From one side a slave girl, barefoot, bangled, in sashed, diaphanous,
trousered chalwar, gathered at the ankles, in tight, red-silk vest, with bare midriff, fled to him, with the tall, graceful, silvered
pot-containing the black wine. She was veiled. She knelt, replenishing the drink. Beneath her veil I saw the metal of her collar.
I had not thought to have such fortune. She did not look at me. She returned to her place with the pot of black wine.
Ibn Saran lifted another finger. From the side there hastened to him another girl, a fair-skinned, red-haired girl. She, too, wore veil,
vest, chalwar, bangles, collar. She carried a tray, on which were various spoons and sugars. She knelt, placing her tray on the
table. With a tiny spoon, its tip no more than a tenth of a hort in diameter, she placed four measures of white sugar, and six of
yellow, in the cup; with two stirring spoons, one for the white sugar, another for the yellow, she stirred the beverage after each
measure. She then held the cup to the side of her cheek, testing its temperature; Ibn Saran glanced at her; she, looking at him,
timidly kissed the side of the cup and placed it before him. Then, her head down, she withdrew.
I did not turn to look back at the first girl, she who held the silvered pot. Tribesmen of Gor, chapter 4