|The Wheel of Time Collection
"Sea Folk, the: More properly Atha'an Miere (AH-thah-AHN MEE-air), the People of the Sea. They live most of their lives on their ships and strongly dislike going any distance from the ocean. Relatively little is known of their customs, giving rise to an air of exotic mystery and often to fanciful tales. Most seaborne trade is carried by Sea Folk ships, which include the fastest by far and most of the largest, and they are considered by the inhabitants of port cities to be bargainers who outstrip the more widely known Domani. As survival at sea often depends on instant obedience, it should be no surprise that the Atha'an Miere stick strictly to their hierarchy, though there are surprising fluidities at points. The Atha'an Miere are divided into numerous clans, both large and small, each headed by a Wavemistress. Below her are the Sailmistresses, the captains of the clan. The Wavemistress has vast authority, yet she is elected to that position by the twelve senior clan Sailmistresses, who are referred to as the First Twelve of that clan, and she can be removed by order of the Mistress of the Ships to the Atha'an Miere. The Mistress of Ships has a level of authority any shorebound king or queen would envy, yet she is also elected, for life, by unanimous vote of the senior Wavemistresses, who are called the First Twelve of the Atha'an Miere. (The term "the First Twelve" is used for the senior Wavemistresses or Sailmistresses present in any gathering.) The position of Master of Blades is held by a man who may or may not be husband of the Mistress of Ships. His responsibilities are the defense and the trade of the Sea Folk, and below him are the Swordmasters of Wavemistresses and Cargomasters of Sailmistresses, who hold like positions and duties; for each of them, any authority outside these areas is held only as delegated by the women he serves. Where any vessel sails and when is up to the Sailmistress, but since trade and finances are totally in the hands of the Cargomaster (or at higher levels, of the Swordmaster or Master of Blades), a close degree of cooperation is required. Every Sea Folk vessel, however small, and also every Wavemistress, has a Windfinder, a women who is almost always able to channel and skilled at Weaving the Winds, as the Atha'an Miere call the manipulation of weather. The Windfinder to the Mistress of Ships has authority over the Windfinders to the Wavemistress, who in turn have authority over Windfinders to the Sailmistress of their clan. One peculiarity of the Sea Folk is that all must begin at the very lowest rank and work their way up, and that anyone other than the Mistress of Ships can be demoted by those above, even to the very bottom again in extreme instances." (7.679-680)
At the Breaking of the World their ancestors fled to the safety of the sea while the land heaved and broke as storm waves do. It is said they knew nothing of the ships they took to flee, but the Light was with them, and they survived. They did not see land again until it was still once more, and by then much had changed. All --- everything --- the world --- drifted on the water and the wind. It was years after that the Jendai Prophecy was first spoken. We must wander the waters until the Coramoor returns, and serve him at his coming.
|Deckboys/girls||Dark oily breeches/cotton shirts/|
sashes matching shirt color,
|Windfinder to WM||reddish-yellow silk/sash|
|Swordmaster||probably green or yellow based on clan?|
|WaveMistresses||Yellow or Red silks/sashes based on clan?|
|Windfinder to the MoS||Red and Yellow silks|
|Master of Blades||Dark blue silk, red sash|
|Mistress of Ships||Green silk breeches/Blue blouse/red sash|
[example of asking for passage from book, between Nynaeve and Coine] 4.310-4.311
[Nyaeve] "I am Nynaeve al'Meara, Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. I seek the Sailmistress of this vessel, and passage, if it pleases the light. This is my companion and friend, Elayne Trakand, also Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. The Light illumine you and y our vessel, and send the winds to speed you."
[Coine] "I am Coine din Jubai Wild winds, Sailmistress of Wavedancer. This is Jorin din Jubai White Wing, my sister of the blood and Windfinder of Wavedancer. There may be passage available, if it pleases the Light. The Light illumine you, and see you safe to your journey's end."
[Nyaeve] "Let us talk then, Sailmistress, if it please you of sailings and ports, and the gift of passage."
[Coine] "We will talk in my cabin, Aes Sedai, if it pleases you. The welcome of my ship to you and the grace of the Light be upon you until you leave his decks."
|Jorin din Jubai White Wing||Windfinder of Wavedancer|
|Coine din Jubai Wild Winds||Sailmistress of Wavedancer|
|Toram||Cargomaster of Wavedancer|
|Malin din Toral Breaking Waves||Wavemistress of Clan Somarin,|
Sailmistress of Windrunner
|Harine din Torgara Two Winds||Wavemistress of Clan Shodein|
|Shalon din Torgara Morning Tide||Windfinder of Clan Shodein|
|Zaida din Parede Blackwing||Wavemistress of Clan Catelar|
|Derah din Selaan Rising Wave||Sailmistress of Whitespray|
|Taval din Chanai Nine Gulls||Windfinder of Whitespray|
|Nesta din Reas Two Moons||Mistress of Ships of the Atha'an Miere|
|Dorile din Eiran Long Feather||Windfinder to Malin, and the Windrunner,|
probably head of Clan Somarin Windfinders
|Borac||Master of Blades (probably)|
|Renaile din Calon Blue Star||Windfinder of the Mistress of Ships.|
The way the women are always making introductions and making all the decisions for the Sea Folk, makes it easy to say that it is a matriarchal society. It is difficult to say if the men have a longer name than the first, but chances are they may not. In many societies a persons station among his own people is often affected by that of their parents. (eg Ogier saying i'm blah son of blah son of blah.) It seems a good guess that din may be an old tongue word for sibling of/child of. (eg. In arabic the word bin in the middle of a name means son of.) Robert Jordan does say that the context can greatly change a words meaning, as well as if it is capitalized or not, that is why it is so hard to translate the old tongue. So Jorin din Jubai White Wing, probably means(in this context): Jorin daughter of Jubai. If it is this context that alters din then the Aiel brothers of the eagle (Far Aldazar Din) still is acurate.
Not sure the exact meaning of the last part of the name, but it is always 2 words, and it always has to do with the sky or sea. Some ideas of about it that I and some ppl I know have suggested. It might be a name that they chose upon coming to age. It also could be name added as a title/station. Windfinders so far seem to have names dealing with birds. Maybe it is given to them by the elder Sea Folk, and it denoted special moods/characteristics of the person. Or it could be just given to them by their mother. (eg. might be why Joirne and Coine both have a WW set up on theirs.)
|Mistress of Ships||6 in each ear (12 total) w/ 1 nose chains|
and a chain on each ear connecting earrings.
|Master of Blades||6 in each ear (12 total) w/o nose chain.|
|Windfinder to Mistress of Ships||5 in each ear (10 total) w/ 1 nose chain|
and a chain on each ear connecting earrings.
|Wavemistress||5 in each ear (10 total) w/ 1 nose chain|
|Swordmaster||5 in each ear (10 total) w/o nose chain|
|Windfinder to Wavemistress||4 in each ear (8 total) w/ 1 nose chain|
|Sailmistress||4 in each earn (8 total) w/ 1 nose chain|
|Cargomaster||4 in each ear (8 total) w/o nose chain|
|Windfinder to Sailmistress||3 in each ear (6 total) w/ 1 nose chain|
|Deckgirl/Deckboy||1 in each ear (2 total) w/o nose chain|
And remeber that some of this is my view on the subject, and that I may be wrong, or of even misquoted something, and overlooked something else. But I tried my best to piece this puzzle together. And besides its it gives me something to to do with all those years of Anthropology classes :)
Note on page numbers (3.124) denotes book 3 page number. Any page numbers other than book 7 are softback, while book 7 is page numbers in the hardback, couldn't wait that long :)
WOT is published by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.