Eleven-Soro

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This article is referenced by the short story SolitudeThis forum neeedd shaking up and you've just done that. Great post!.

Eleven-Soro is the eleventh planet of the Soro system.

Contents

[edit] People

The people are presumably close enough to Hainish in appearance that a Hainishwoman, Leaf, and her children could easily fit into society, perhaps being seen as being from a somewhat distant territory. The only mentions of inherited physical appearance are: a man having black hair; and Hyuru with rose-brown skin and wide-set eyes. It is unknown if these traits are typical.

[edit] Pre-Ekumen History

The planet originally had a huge population.

The greatest cities ever built on any world, covering two of the continents entirely, with small areas set aside for farming; there had been 120 billion people living in the cities, while the animals and the sea and the air and the dirt died, until the people began dying too.

These two continents are later implied to be in the northern hemisphere. The planet's overpopulation crisis occured "thousands of years" before the time of study. The modern Soros refer to the time before this collapse as the "Before Time", and the people of that time as People, as distinguished from the individual Persons of the modern time.

[edit] Society

Society is rigidly divided between men and women. Adult women live in what were labeled "dispersed villages" but are better translated as "auntrings". Despite living in these auntrings, women remain generally aloof, and are forbidden from entering the houses of other women. Women are given the title of "aunt" by all children of their auntring.

In an auntring, the adult women teach the children, through the medium of song, about tekell, roughly the equivalent of "magic". Tekell is feared and to be avoided by being aware. Tekell encompasses all of the societal institutions of the Before Time, including marriage and government. The young women, those who do not have children, use the "singing circle" to teach one another, so they can all have knowledge to share with their children. Some women, after a time in the singing circle, go "scouting", where they wander alone across the land before either returning to their home auntring or finding another.

Young boys are raised by their mothers in the villages. When they reach adolescence, they leave to form small, violent and dangerous tribes called "boygroups", with whom they live for a few years. Adult men live in isolation from the women and one another in solitary houses or occasionally in pairs. They are used solely for reproductive purposes by the women and do not traditionally converse. They do not use their birth names but are given labels by the nearby women, for example "Red Knob Hill Man" or "Downriver Lame Man". Due to this generally unhappy course of life, some women drown their male infants so they will not have to "send him away".

Because of the lack of long-term heterosexual relationships, some women in an auntring engage in homosexual relationships, but they still do not enter one another's homes. An example cited is Hedimi and Behyu. Men are expected to remain far from the auntring, and when they approach too close, are in danger of stoning.

The technology level is very basic, with two-edged tools a rarity, and metal salvaged only from the ruins of the Before Time. The auntring homes, at least in the area studied, are inset into the ground with wattle-and-daub walls. Adult men's homes are generally small; the example given is a small bower covered in leaves to camouflage it. It is unknown what housing boygroups live in, although they are likely nomadic.

When an adult woman dies, the singing circle sings outside her house for a day and a night to let the soul leave. The body is then buried by the older women in the ruins of the Before Time. Men are not buried after they die; one man is referred to as having left his skull in the river after he drowned.

[edit] Natural World

Food plants or crops mentioned include pigi root. The diet is mentioned as low in fat, typical for a subsistence-agriculture society.

Temas is a plant prepared, woven and used as clothing and bedding. Gagberry is used in syrup form as a medicine. There is also mention of a leafy plant called duhur, burned like incense and used to drive away magic.

There are seasons, two of which are referred to as the "Golden Time" (roughly late summer or fall) and "Silver Time" (presumably winter). In the portion of Eleven-Soro studied, there is no snowfall, although winter does come with cool rains and mists.

There is a cephalopodic species on Eleven-Soro which had evloved towards high intelligence. This species lives in the un(human)inhabited northern hemisphere.

[edit] Language

The language of the portion of Eleven-Soro where the story takes place does not have a word for "Hello" or "Goodbye", or any term of endearment. This reflects the relatively silent and individualist society of the planet. When Leaf wished to use these terms with her children, she speaks to them in Hainish. Other concepts lacking in Sorotic include "rational" and "irrational", "friendly" and "mannerly". "Taboo" is the same word as "poisonous".

Soro is also a "love-dividing" society, in which there are different words for "sexual desire and the bond between mother and child and the bond between soulmates and the feeling for one's home and worship of the sacred;" there is no term as broad as the one word "love".

[edit] Study by the Ekumen

The planet was studied by the crew of the Heyho, originally three mobiles, two men and a woman. They had much difficulty interacting with the natives, due to exclusion of the males and lack of communication with the woman. It was decided that Leaf and her children, In Joy Born and Serenity, would be better able to interact with society. They lived in an auntring for at least seven years, before returning to the ship.

Leaf wrote the report "POVERTY: The Second Report on Eleven-Soro" for the Ekumen, and her daughter, who remained on Soro, later appended her memoir to it. The crew of the Heyho eventually shifted from cultural study to zoology of the intelligent cephalopods; one of the zoologists was named Steadiness.

Eleven-Soro
Solitude
In Joy Born | Leaf | Serenity
Huthu
Planets
Aka | Alterra | Anarres | Athshe | Beldene | Chiffewar | Cime | Eleven-Soro | Ensbo | Faraday | Four-Taurus-Iao | Ganam | Gao | Gde | Gethen | Hain | Huthu | Ishth | Kapetyn | Kheakh | New South Georgia | O | Ollul | Orint | Prestno | Rokanan | S | Seggri | Sheashel Haven | Terra | Urras | Uttermosts | Ve | Werel | World 4470 | Yeowe
Planets in bold have a full novel or story dedicated to them; those that are not are merely referenced.

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