The idea to write this post started as a quite simple project, but while preparing the information to present, a great complexity started to develop because the topic is indeed more complex that might at first seem!
I’ll start by stating the “obvious”: a kajira is a slave!
But, what is it to be a “slave” in Gor and in the Gorean Lifestyle?
Over the decades many “spin-offs” from the books have been developed, not only with “onlinisms” developed among Role-Players, but also among groups that developed their own rules, classifications, etc.
It is therefore important to talk about 3 main things:
The word Kajira
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, kajira is one of the Gorean words for slave:
One of the traces of Earth influence on Gorean, incidentally, in this case, an influence from Latin, occurs in the singular and plural endings of certain expressions. For example, ‘kajirus’ is a common expression in Gorean for a male slave as is ‘kajira’ for a female slave. The plural for slaves considered together, both male and female, or for more than one male slave is ‘kajiri’. The plural for female slaves is ‘kajirae’.Magicians of Gor, page 761
“Ten kajirae,” he said. This word was the plural of ‘kajira’, which was one of the words, the most common one, for what we were. It means ‘slave girl’, ‘slave woman’, ‘she-slave’, that sort of thing.”Dancer of Gor, page164
“La Kajira,” said the girl clearly, “La Kajira.” Elizabeth Cardwell had learned her first Gorean. “What does it mean?” she asked. “It means,” I told her, “I am a slave girl.”Nomads of Gor, page 63
We must be aware nevertheless that although it is the most common name for a Gorean slave, it is not the only one mentioned in the books:
“In brief, the word Sa-Fora means “Chain Daughter” or “Daughter of the Chain”. The word kajira, on the other hand, is by far the most common expression in Gorean for what I am, which is, as you have doubtless surmised, a female slave.”Witness of Gor, page 154
“Kajira is perhaps the most common expression for a female slave. Another frequently heard expression is Sa-Fora, a compound word, meaning, rather literally, Chain Daughter, or Daughter of the Chain.”Nomads of Gor, page 50
“Look!” cried Pudding. “A silk girl!” The expression `silk girl!’ is used, often, among bond-maids of the north, to refer to their counterparts in the south. The expression reflects their belief that such girls are spoiled, excessively pampered, indulged and coddled, sleek pets, who have little to do but adorn themselves with cosmetics and await their masters, cuddled cutely, on plush, scarlet coverlets, fringed with gold.”Marauders of Gor
So, we’ve already found several words (kajira, sa-fora, silk girl, bond-maid) that all identify a female slave in Gor. But what do those words actually refer to?
Deeper meaning of kajira
The literal translation of the meaning to the english word “slave” (or the equivalent in any other language) is at the same time extremely full and absolutely empty! Yes, a kajira is a slave, but “slave” is a very broad word that encompasses everything from “legal” abject slavery that still occurs in some places on Earth, BDSM submissive that sometimes engage in submission in the role of a slave, etc, etc, etc.
I find it is enlightening to view kajira as a very specific type of slave, one that follows the philosophy of Gor and whose nature is in accordance with its principles.
For clarity purposes, we should start by assuming that legal slavery does not exist in our society (although some small exceptions in fact exist on some parts of our planet) and that all “slavery” is in fact a voluntary and consensual decision of the “slave” in committing totally her life to the will of another person. This can be found in the concepts of “Total Power Exchange” or “Internal Enslavement”.
It is relevant to understand that this “Total Power Exchange” when performed by a kajira is not something occasional, but part of who she is, part of her nature and therefore not something that she does only in some moments, but in fact her way of life.
Two important points arise at this moment of our analysis that should be stated regarding how a kajira lives on Earth.
The first point is that although a kajira totally surrenders her life to her Master, that does not necessarily apply to all Masters. She will be expected to treat all Masters with the due respect, but only he to whom she has bonded/committed will in fact have the Mastery over her. It’s perfectly understandable that just because she found one man trustworthy, honourable and manly enough to have total power over her, that does not necessarily apply to all men (many of those have the opposite characteristics).
The second point is that a kajira is defined by who she IS and not only by what she DOES… This means that a female might very well be a kajira without even having a Master, but having the true nature/traits of a kajira. Her desire to submit, to be Mastered does not disappear just because in a certain period in time she does not have her need to submit fulfilled by having a Master!
Would Pavarotti stop being an Opera singer if he had problems with his throat for some months? Would Beethoven stop being an amazing music composer if he became deaf? Oh wait, we know the answer for that, he became deaf at the age of 30 and still wrote some of the most amazing music pieces known to man!
Therefore I strongly defend that just because a kajira is not able at a certain moment to live under the rule of a Master, but still has all the “traits” of a kajira, the soul, the nature, the desire to serve, then she might be considered an “unowned slave” but never a free woman!!!
“Types of Kajirae”
Over the internet and in many groups I’ve known, there is much talk about “hierarchies”, “classifications”, “levels of development”, etc. regarding the “type of kajira” that a girl is, with “silk levels” to be attained and other methods of classification and categorisation… Curious that there is no base in the books for such things.
I knew that slave girls were often left to impose their own order upon themselves, masters usually not interfering in such matters.Slave Girl of Gor, page 438
In the books it is clear that Masters do not like to get involved in the matters of slaves. In fact, the only references to “organised hierarchy” (besides the existence of a First Girl that I will address in a moment) are in a fluid/dynamic way and mostly for “display purposes”, like placing girls in a certain order (height, beauty, etc) when on a chain, etc. But when discussing the positioning of girls on a chain, the “first girl” position, “last girl” position and all the others between do not in fact constitute a “hierarchy”, but a method of organisation according to a selected criteria.
Let’s then address some of the “types of kajirae” that are mentioned in the books.
The only “hierarchy” position that is a clear standard in the books is that of First Girl, many times (although not necessarily) the Master’s favourite girl, in whom he delegates the management of the administrative issues, and the organisation of the other kajirae. There are a couple of quotes I consider describe clearly this position:
When more than one slave girl stands in a relationship of slave girls, as when they serve in the same shop or house, or adorn the same rich man’s pleasure gardens, it is common for the master, or masters, to appoint a “first girl.” Her authority is then to the other girls as is that of the master. This tends to reduce squabbling. The first girl is usually, though not always, the favorite of the master. There is usually much competition to be first girl. First girls can be cruel and petty but, commonly, they attempt to govern with intelligence and justice. They know that another girl, at the master’s whim, may become first girl, and that they themselves may then be under her almost absolute power. In my own house I often rotated the position of first girl among my slaves who were native Goreans.Explorer of Gor, page 114
She had tied a narrow folded strip of cloth about her head, to hold back her hair and keep sweat from her eyes. This could be interpreted as a talmit, which is a common sign of a first girl, the girl in charge of other female slaves, who usually reports directly to a master. First girls are common when there are many slaves in a group or household. They keep the other girls in order, assign tasks, settle disputes, and such. Many masters, if several girls are involved, do not care to involve themselves in such matters. It is enough for him to issue instructions to the first girl, usually in the morning, as she kneels before him, and she, according to her lights and biases, her choices and favorites, sees to their implementation. In a house containing a hundred or more slaves, there may be more than one first girl, there being various groups of slaves, and these first girls, in turn, will report to the first girl of first girls, so to speak. She in turn, of course, reports to the master, or the master’s representative. In such a household the lower first girls will wear a talmit of one color, and the high girl, or first girl of first girls, she who reports to the master or his representative, will wear one of a different color. The colors depend on the customs of cities, the whims of particular masters, and such.Conspirators of Gor
So, it is clear that the only “title” to classify the hierarchy of slaves is “First Girl” and only in a group of many slaves (a hundred or more) there is the need to have several levels of “First Girls”.
White Silk / Red Silk
In “classification” of kajirae the only two “silk colours” used are White and Red. This terms (as others I will indicate) are used to differentiate if the kajira has already “been opened for the uses of men” or not.
The 3 types of classification regarding this topic are:
A “white-silk girl” is a virgin; one who is not a virgin is sometimes referred to as a “red-silk girl.” This need not refer, literally, of course, to the color of their garmenture.Witness of Gor, page 229
Similarly, the expression “red silk,” in Gorean, tends to be used as a category in slaving, and also, outside the slaving context, as an expression in vulgar discourse, indicating that the woman is no longer a virgin, or, as the Goreans say, at least vulgarly of slaves, that her body has been opened by men. Its contrasting term is “white silk,” usually used of slaves who are still virgins, or, equivalently, slaves whose bodies have not yet been opened by men. Needless to say, slaves seldom spend a great deal of time in the “white-silk” category. It is common not to dally in initiating a slave into the realities of her condition.Blood Brothers of Gor
Among slaves, not free women, these things are sometimes spoken of along the lines as to whether or not a girl has been “opened” for the uses of men. Other common terms, used generally of slaves, are ‘white silk’ and ‘red silk’, for girls who have not yet been opened, or have been opened, for the uses of men, respectivelyDancer of Gor
The buyers were also informed that I was ‘glana’ or a virgin. The correlated term is ‘metaglana,’ used to designate the state to which the glana state looks forward, or that which it is regarded as anticipating. Though the word was not used of me I was also ‘profalarina’, which term designates the state preceding, and anticipating, that of ‘falarina,’ the state Gorean’s seem to think of as that of being a full woman, or, at least, as those of Earth might think of it, one who certainly is no longer a virgin. In both terms, ‘glana’ and ‘profalarina,’ incidentally, it seems that the states they designate are regarded as immature or transitory, state to be succeeded by more fully developed, superior states, those of ‘metaglana’ or ‘falarina.’ Among slaves, not free women, these things are sometimes spoken of along the lines as to whether or not the girl as been ‘opened’ for the uses of men. Other common terms, used generally of slaves, are ‘white silk’ and ‘red silk’, for girls who have not yet been opened, or have been opened, for the uses of men, respectively.Dancer of Gor
Tela, when captured,” he said, indicating a blonde, “begged to be permitted to be kept in white silk.” He laughed. “After throwing her to a crew, for their pleasure, we put her, as she had asked, in white silk.” “Amusing,” I said. “She now often begs for red silk,” he said. “Perhaps we will one day permit it to her.Rogue of Gor
I have put you in red silk,” I said. “Is it appropriate?” “It certainly is not!” she said. “Perhaps it soon will be,” I said.Beasts of Gor
Upon occasion, kajirae are classified according to their origin. The most common classification of this type is, obviously, the origin from Earth.
Kajirae originated from Earth are usually referred as “barbarians”, but there also are other classifications based in origin. For example, slaves in Torvaldsland are called “bond maids” and incidentally, in the north the kajirae from the south are called “silk slaves”.
“Look!” cried Pudding. “A silk girl!” The expression ‘silk girl!’ is used, often, among bond-maids of the north, to refer to their counterparts in the south. The expression reflects their belief that such girls are spoiled, excessively pampered, indulged and coddled, sleek pets, who have little to do but adorn themselves with cosmetics and await their masters, cuddled cutely, on plush, scarlet coverlets, fringed with gold.”Marauders of Gor
‘High-farm girls!’ she whispered, as she passed the bondmaids of Ivar Forkbeard. In the south the southern slave girl commonly regards her northern counterparts as bumpkins, dolts from the high farms on the slopes of the mountains of Torvaldsland; she thinks of them as doing little but swilling tarsk and dunging fields; she regards them as, essentially, nothing more than a form of bosk cow, used to work, to give simple pleasure to rude men, and to breed thralls.”Marauders of Gor
Another classification regarding the “origin” (although not geographical) are the “exotics”:
“These are exotics,” said Ho-Tu.
That expression is used for any unusual variety of slave. Exotics are generally quite rare.
“In what way?” I asked.
I myself had never cared much for exotics, any more than I cared much for some of the species of dogs and goldfish which some breeders of Earth regarded as such triumphs. Exotics are normally bred for some deformity which is thought to be appealing. On the other hand, sometimes the matter is much more subtle and sinister. For example it is possible to breed a girl whose saliva will be poisonous; such a woman, placed in the Pleasure Gardens of an enemy, can be more dangerous than the knife of an Assassin.Assassin of Gor, page 158
The most varied classifications of kajirae come from the activities they perform. This is significantly different from who they are and we must be aware that a “pleasure slave” is inherently a “red silk” girl and can also be “barbarian” in origin.
Some of the most common classification found in the books and that I will dwell on at another time/post are:
This post is already running long, but I hope it has already helped to clarify some of the points! Will dwell into some of the specifics in separate posts according to the feedbacks I receive!
I wish you well!
©2020 – Written by Azrael Phoenix