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The social structure of the Hani



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>From: nancy ott <ott@ansoft.com>
>Subject: cherryhlist
>Date: Thu, 15 Oct 92 13:43:44 EDT
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- nancy
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PPS: A general Chanur/hani question -- how can the hani maintain continuity in their families and estates if the sons (or other young males) are always trying to kill their fathers and take over? The mechanics of this confuse me, since it seems to cause a conflict of interest for hani women. Wouldn't they have to choose between supporting their fathers or brothers?

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>From: Lesley Grant <lgrant>
>Subject: cherryhlist 
>Date: Fri, 16 Oct 92 9:59:27 BST
> >From: nancy ott <ott@ansoft.com>


> PPS: A general Chanur/hani question -- how can the hani maintain > continuity in their families and estates if the sons (or other young > males) are always trying to kill their fathers and take over? The > mechanics of this confuse me, since it seems to cause a conflict of > interest for hani women. Wouldn't they have to choose between > supporting their fathers or brothers?
This is presumably why there are so many clans with minor influence! The way I see it is that the estate+female clan members are the "real" clan, while the menfolk are just over-indulged spoiled children and figureheads who don't matter in the long run. As long as the estates are kept running, it doesn't matter who gets to lounge around drinking gfi-and-tofi. This presumes that the daughters of the house are not eager to become estate managers in their own right by prodding their favourite brother into a challenge. If you look at the really powerful clans, you find the women are pulling together to make sure the clan-lord lives as long as possible -- not because a new lord in and of himself is trouble, but because he'll have sisters :-) So, Kohan Chanur gets to die of old age, and Chanur is (and has been for a long time) an influential clan. In _The Pride of Chanur_ it is certainly implied that na Tahar is another long-lived man (who is getting Kara Mahn to do his challenging), Kymn Mahn is also in late middle age. And the most stable (and influential) clans of all, the Immunes, are those who don't have to suffer any new influx of women with differing ideas on management. (You, know, I bet the happiest hani in the Compact at the end of _Chanur's Legacy_ are Hallan Meras' sisters :-)

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					Lesley


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>Date: Fri, 16 Oct 92 06:53:19 -0700
>From: seth@cie.uoregon.edu (Seth Scott)
>Subject: C.J. Cherryh List
On Oct 15, Nancy Ott writes:


PPS: A general Chanur/hani question -- how can the hani maintain continuity in their families and estates if the sons (or other young males) are always trying to kill their fathers and take over? The mechanics of this confuse me, since it seems to cause a conflict of interest for hani women. Wouldn't they have to choose between supporting their fathers or brothers?
Now here's a question I can take a stab at :>

Well, in _Chanur's Legacy_, Hilfy demonstrates hatred, fury for her deceased husband-- because he killed her father, old Kohan Chanur. I get the impression that hani are more businesslike about such things (death of a relative) than humans are, since combat is part of their power structure....

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I guess that the hani _don't_ maintain continuity in their families, then-- I remember somewhere reading (Pyanfar's thoughts?) about how 'the stsho train their successors,' with the implication that hani don't...

I'm still unsure as to how much actual power hani males wield. Khym had a lot of legal knowledge, but I had thought that it was Rhean and Pyanfar that made all the actual decisions; Kohan was described as sharply intelligent, but we never get to see much of him :( If Cherryh was trying to portray a plodding legal system and a merciless social structure (hmmm ... ?), then she succeeded.
				Seth Scott


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>From: Lesley Grant <lgrant>
>Subject: Re: C. J. Cherryh List
>Date: Mon, 19 Oct 92 10:04:19 BST
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> I'm still unsure as to how much actual power hani males wield.  Khym had a lot
> of legal knowledge, but I had thought that it was Rhean and Pyanfar that made
> all the actual decisions; Kohan was described as sharply intelligent, but
> we never get to see much of him :(  If Cherryh was trying to portray a
> plodding legal system and a merciless social structure (hmmm  ... ?),
> then she succeeded.
Hani clan lords have (it seems) a lot of authority _de jure_, but little _de facto_ power. In other words, what a clan lord says ultimately goes, but what he is told about to help him decide what to say is utterly at his financial advisors (sisters and aunts) discretion. Clan lords also seem to have absolute power of life and death over other related males and no-related males found trespassing (in _Legacy_ Hilfy mourns over her unfortunate "cousin" -- I think he could have been a half-brother -- who has his brains dashed out by the new lord; in the trilogy Pyanfar remembers her first meeting with Khym, who risked his neck by trespassing on Chanur land -- and Mahn was one of Chanur's oldest allies, for heaven's sake!).

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				Lesley

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