[tlhIngan Hol] expressing "bloodline"

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Thu Jul 29 15:19:02 PDT 2021

In the spirit of Galaxy Quest:”These scenes were badly written!”

Klingons could have been so much more interesting than this.



charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Jul 29, 2021, at 12:06 PM, SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:
> On 7/29/2021 11:40 AM, Will Martin wrote:
>> Likely {tuq} doesn’t feel right for “bloodline” for you because “tribe, house, ancestral unit” is not a common cultural concept in English-speaking or Greek-speaking cultures. In Klingon, it is probably a more common concept than “bloodline”, in that I strongly suspect that for a Klingon, your example of "Gawran’s bloodline" would more likely be expressed as {ghawran tuq} than anything else. It might include people who married into the family or who were honorarily adopted into the tribe, but the tribal line is where the most common boundary tends to be drawn between “us” and “them” in Klingon culture, and it is defined largely along lines of descendants, with exceptions.
> A quick search of chakoteya.net shows that the word bloodline or bloodlines is used almost entirely by Klingons. (There is one reference to Vulcans, one reference to Xindi, one reference to Menk.) Most of those uses are references to Worf and Kurn being directly descended from Mogh (and thus being considered traitors) and Toral being directly descended from Duras (and thus having a claim to rule the High Council). These are not simply references to being members of a House; direct descent is required. There is only one reference to a bloodline as membership in a house, when Kor says he knows Worf's bloodline and that he comes from a noble house. And I haven't even looked for references to being a direct descendant without using the word bloodline (like Sirella says of Shanera). So I think your claim that Klingons think in terms of houses and not bloodlines is unsupported.
>> The sense is that, while less limited in number, it probably relates more to the seven Cherokee clans, though that system is matrilineal, and given the Klingon use of {tuq}, Klingons are likely either more patrilineal or perhaps they ignore gender and have a merit-lineal system, such that a {tuq} might be associated with women of merit as much as men. Two famous sisters come to mind…
> Two famous sisters who were not allowed to lead the House of Duras in their own names or rule the High Council. They had to produce a nephew to claim political power behind a puppet.
> Klingon society is not only expressly patrilineal, it is overtly sexist. web.pdx.edu/~wbc/misc/RDM/1-99/ron32.txt <http://web.pdx.edu/~wbc/misc/RDM/1-99/ron32.txt>
> The only instance I can think of in which a Klingon refers to anything matrilineal is when Sirella talks about being descended from Shenara (which turns out not to be true).
> -- 
> SuStel
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