Saturday, 21 February 2009

Letters from a Caveman Part 3: The Dwelling of the Lost

Letters from a Caveman Part 1: Time Travel
Letters from a Caveman Part 2: The Great Food Hoard
Letters from a Caveman Part 3: The Dwelling of the Lost
Letters from a Caveman Part 4: The Tribe of Hunters
Letters from a Caveman Part 5: The Shaman
My Lost Two Weeks and Blog Hijack

My tribe, I am communicating with you at the end of another strange day. The woman's behaviour has surprised me once again and again I have journeyed in the belly of the beast.

When the moon had only recently disappeared, the woman commanded me to go into the part of the dwelling where the magic waterfall is. In the same way as I understood how to use this communication tool, I knew how to make the waterfall begin. But like when we journeyed in the belly of the beast, I was afraid to use the magic, so the woman made the waterfall begin and left me.

I had not been in that part of the dwelling before and began exploring its small area. I discovered many potions with powerful smells that reminded me of the huge fruits in the dwelling of the forager tribe. Suddenly I cried out – there was another man close by who had crept up on me with amazing stealth. I prepared to fight and the man did too. For many moments we stood like this, as if meaning to pounce.

My tribe, it was at this moment that I imagined the cackling of our elders mocking me, for I came to understand that I was looking at a piece of ice, so smooth and flat that it was showing me my other self, as the lake near our own dear village does when the wind is still. But you should not mock me, because what I saw in the ice was not the other self I have seen in the lake. It was different. My tribe, I told you in my first communication that I felt like a spirit inhabiting the body of another. Now I know this to be true and am sure that the shaman of one of our enemies is to blame. I beg of you and of our own great Shaman to find the magic to take me out of this body and bring me back from this strange place.

I must tell you that not every part of this day has been bad. When I had washed under the waterfall, I become resolved to settle a matter of great importance. I told you in my second communication that the woman behaves like a man. She commands me to do things and becomes like a demon when I do not obey. As you know, such women must be punished, or they cannot be controlled.

I found the woman grooming herself in the part of the dwelling where the large sleeping mat is kept. I adopted my most forceful face and pushed her onto the mat and held back her arms, ready to begin beating her. But my tribe, instead of resisting she became less angry than I have ever seen her. I do not know which of you are able to understand my communications, so I must not tell you more -for it is something I can only tell my fellow hunters. But I will tell you that since then, the woman has begun obeying me more and commanding me less even though I did not beat her. This is indeed a strange place.

The woman then took me to another tribe in the belly of the beast. They lived in a huge dwelling as tall as a two great trees. I felt that I had been there before, but when the woman left me there alone I was afraid. When I had recovered my bravery, I entered the dwelling and began exploring. When I entered, a man beckoned me and began talking about things I could not fully understand. Somehow, I knew that the man was my friend, so when he began walking I followed him.

Two moons ago my speech would have been taken away by the magic that allowed us to go to the top of that dwelling without climbing. But I have now seen so much magic that the tiny chamber in which the man and I travelled seemed familiar to me. The room we went to contained many communication tools and each one was being used by a man or woman. I have never seen so many men and women together in a place without any noise of talking.

My tribe, I am greatly confused by the tribe in this place. They do not behave like a tribe, yet gather together in this huge dwelling that is like a village. Have they all been taken away from their own tribes and spend the day communicating with them as I am doing now? Did the woman bring me here because she knows that I too, am lost?

Later, when the sun was at its highest, the man took me to another part of the dwelling in the magic chamber. I was very hungry and the man said that he was hungry too, so I understood that we were intending to hunt or forage. But once again, I found that another tribe was allowing me to take their food.

I must tell you that the food this tribe was offering was unpleasant. We collected the food from them on smooth pieces of bark. Most of the food resembled in colour the sand by the lake and had been heated by fire. There were some pieces of animal meat, which I took; but the man guarding the food also wanted to give me the sand-coloured food, and I could see that the bark of others was filled with this food. The man I had first met had a small piece of magic hide like the woman, and I was thankful that he was able to appease the guardians of the food with this.

There is another thing I must tell you about the tribes here. You know that when a woman is with child she becomes bigger and that when a child appears it has much skin, like a tiny bear. Many of the men here have more skin even than a woman with child or a child just born. They must find hunting extremely difficult.

The man I first met has more skin than any I have seen before. I asked him if this is why he eats food caught by others and he laughed many times. Other men who were eating nearby also laughed. I could not tell if this meant it was true. I also observed that the man had not taken any meat, but instead had taken large amounts of the sand-coloured food so that his bark almost overflowed. I wondered whether by tradition the food tribe would only permit those who were known as successful hunters to take meat.

My tribe, the woman has returned in the beast to take me away from this dwelling of the lost. I have been made tired from exploring and talking with strangers about things I do not fully understand. You must know by now that the woman is troublesome, and yet I am pleased she has returned. The belly of the beast no longer frightens me and I yearn for the sleeping mat which is so much softer than any in our village.

My tribe, please find a way to communicate with me. I will communicate with you again soon when the woman is not using the device in our dwelling.

Letters from a Caveman Part 1: Time Travel
Letters from a Caveman Part 2: The Great Food Hoard
Letters from a Caveman Part 3: The Dwelling of the Lost
Letters from a Caveman Part 4: The Tribe of Hunters
Letters from a Caveman Part 5: The Shaman
My Lost Two Weeks and Blog Hijack

4 comments:

Ruth said...

M,

I think these are great: creative, hilarious and true. I wonder what "the woman" thinks of them. (As a woman, my husband jokes around with me all the time. He has a saying--"What a woman wants, God wants." But, some women are more sensitive than others about this kind of joking.)

Anyway, good luck getting back to your tribe. Sure they'll be glad to have you back! You'll tell some good campfire stories.

Terry said...

This is brilliant!!
It's so true that our ancestors would be horrified by the garbage we consume. Today is two months of going Primal, and I owe it all to Mark and MDA!!
Terry

Jules said...

She commands me to do things and becomes like a demon when I do not obey. As you know, such women must be punished, or they cannot be controlled.

I found the woman grooming herself in the part of the dwelling where the large sleeping mat is kept. I adopted my most forceful face and pushed her onto the mat and held back her arms, ready to begin beating her. But my tribe, instead of resisting she became less angry than I have ever seen her. I do not know which of you are able to understand my communications, so I must not tell you more -for it is something I can only tell my fellow hunters. But I will tell you that since then, the woman has begun obeying me more and commanding me less even though I did not beat her. This is indeed a strange place.


What the hell? Sex makes women obey? Paleolithic women need to be controlled? Are you basing this on fact or just your own imagination?

The wikipedia article on hunter-gatherers tells me there was usually sexual parity amongst these groups, that women would go hunting and tracking too, and that division of labor didn't happen until late in the Paleolithic area. I also remember reading that many primitive societes were matriachal, and women would lead their small societes while men were out hunting and decide on tribal matters.

I really enjoyed this series of articles, and I love your blog. I don't want to be the crouchety gender person, but really, sex makes women obey?

Ugh.

Rick said...

Jules,

I think you are over-reacting here. What he said was that such women must be punished. Nowhere did he say that all women in his time needed to be controlled.

Imagine if you were transported to another time or place, and a man was abusing you. You would have likely made similar remarks, i.e. that such men would not have been tolerated in your time/place.

As to sex being used as a method of control here, I don't believe that is what he is attempting to convey. The caveman has little at his disposal in this new world...his physical strength appears to be his only ally. When he asserts this strength with the abusive woman, he gains ground with her, garners her respect, and subsequently a new bond is forged between them.

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