The Mammoth Hunters (Earths Children Book 3)

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The Mammoth Hunters is an historical fiction novel by Jean M. Auel released in This book starts off from the events at the end of The Valley of Horses. The main protagonists, a young woman named Ayla and a man named Jondalar , meet a group known as the Mamutoi , or Mammoth Hunters, with whom they live for a period of time.

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As their name would suggest, their hosts rely on mammoth not only for food but also for building materials and a number of other commodities - and indeed for spiritual sustenance. The protagonists make their home with the Lion Camp of the Mammoth Hunters, which features a number of respected Mamutoi. Wisest of their nation is Old Mamut, their eldest shaman and the leader of the entire Mamutoi priesthood, who becomes Ayla's mentor and colleague in the visionary and esoteric fields of thought.

Observing Ayla's affinity with horses and wolves, Mamut begins to introduce her into the ranks of the Mamuti.

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Mamut is also one of the first to become aware of Ayla's unique upbringing, as many years ago he was saved by the medicine woman of the same clan that brought her up the grandmother of Ayla's adoptive mother Iza as he broke his arm while on his Journey. He learned some of the Clan sign language during that stay, and became aware of the fact that the Clan are human not animals, as is the common opinion of most of his people. The Witch's Daughter. Paula Brackston. Waking the Witch. Kelley Armstrong. Queen of Swords. Sara Donati. Lake in the Clouds. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade.

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The Mammoth Hunters

Terry Goodkind. Winter's Heart. Robert Jordan. Dawn On A Distant Shore. Todd McCaffrey.

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Veronica Roth. The Endless Forest. Renegades of Pern, The. Spell Bound. The Gathering. James Patterson. Dolphins of Pern, The. The Winter Witch.

Books by Jean M. Auel

Shelters of Stone, The. Jean M. Clan of the Cave Bear, The. Valley of Horses, The. Plains of Passage, The. Land of Painted Caves, The. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Cultural conventions, Auel suggests, would cause other Clan members to ignore the concealment out of sheer courtesy, though, again, Ayla has trouble grasping this concept.

Finally, the wider Clan possesses not only a colloquial, everyday "localized" language, but also a more formal "ancient" or "spirit language," used to converse with ancestors and understood by every Clan member, anywhere. This language facilitates easy communication at inter-regional meetings of normally separated groups and does not require the multilingualism that the Others must acquire.

This "spirit language" has no spoken words apart from personal names, and its users generally refer to themselves in the third person. In Auel's context, our human ancestors, The Cro-Magnon "Others," generally look upon the "Flatheads" as animals, hardly better than bears the lack of vocal language is a primary factor in this verdict. The Clan, for their part, seem to have no strong opinions about the Others other than considering their spoken language as babbling and a sign of their lack of intellect.

Otherwise, they have concluded it is best simply to avoid the Cro-Magnon men. The mixed-race children are generally not favorably regarded by either group. As in many historical cultures, malformed Clan children are routinely subjected to exposure , while the Others may allow such children to live but prejudicially label them as 'abominations'.

Such children and their experiences enter the plotline in several books of the series. Of the five mixed-race people depicted in the series, only one has had the restricted vocal range of the Clan Rydag, from The Mammoth Hunters , and all but one has been seen using Clan sign language, the sole exception being the difficult and disconsolate self-loathing Brukeval who is in clear psychological denial about his ancestry , in The Shelters of Stone.

The vocal range of one of the mixed-race persons is as of yet unknown because she was only a baby when we meet her in The Clan of the Cave Bear. Organizationally, they live in smaller tribes, also called "clans" but named after the man who leads them; for instance, Ayla is adopted into Brun's clan. Later, when Brun steps down and, as is traditional, passes leadership of the clan on to the son of his mate, it becomes known as Broud's clan.

Every seven years, Clans from the immediate area meet in a Clan Gathering; the only one Auel has depicted consisted of approximately people. The Clan is mostly patriarchal: women cannot hunt, make hunting tools, lead a Clan or become a Mog-ur a spiritual leader or shaman.

But men cannot become medicine women, a job that is almost as prestigious as clan leader. Unlike other women, whose status depends on the status of their mates, a medicine woman has status in her own right and can, if her line is illustrious enough, even outrank the leader's mate. Their culture is far more egalitarian, with different twists and customs at every hand; Mamutoi Camps, for instance, are co-ruled by headmen and headwomen who are biological, or adoptive, siblings, and the Sharamudoi, a people that lives half-on and -off the Great Mother River , form complex co-mate systems between river couples Ramudoi and land couples Shamudoi.

Each entire people generally gathers for Summer Meetings every year, during which a number of important ceremonies, such as the Matrimonial, take place. The Clan worships animal spirits, most notably Ursus the Cave Bear , for, as is related in one of the best known Clan legends, it was the Spirit of the Great Cave Bear that taught the Clan to wear fur, live in caves, and store up reserves during the seasons of abundance in order to survive the winter.

The honoring of Ursus is what binds the Clan together as a people, and it is for this reason that the Bear Ceremony, and Feast of Ursus which follows it, held at the Clan Gathering are the highest religious rituals of the Clan. As described in Chapter 22 of Clan of the Cave Bear when Brun's clan chanced to see a living cave bear on their way to the Clan Gathering, "But it was more than the tremendous size of the animal that held the clan spellbound.

This was Ursus, the personification of the Clan itself.

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He was their kin, and more, he embodied their very essence. His bones alone were so sacred they could ward off any evil. The kinship they felt was a spiritual tie, far more meaningful than any physical one. It was through his spirit that all clans were united into one and meaning was given to the Gathering they had traveled so far to attend.

It was his essence that made them Clan, the Clan of the Cave Bear. The Clan's animal spirits are always male. However, in the early days of the Clan, weather spirits such as Wind and Rain—spirits whose worship is so ancient that Creb had to use deep meditation to find them in the Clan memories—bore female names. Goov, Creb's apprentice, also speculates that Ayla's totem may be the Cave Lioness, rather than the Cave Lion , although this would be unprecedented in the Clan. In the ancient days when the weather spirits were honored, roles within the Clan had not yet become so markedly differentiated by sex—for example, women still hunted alongside the men when they didn't have little children who needed their care.

At this time, women were also the ones in charge of the spiritual life of the Clan.

Jean M Auel The Mammoth Hunters 14 of 37 Audio Book

Because they once controlled access to the spirit world, and because the ceremonies involved begging the Clan spirits in what could be considered an unmanly fashion, Clan tradition holds that should a woman see one of the men's religious ceremonies, the clan in which this occurred would suffer disaster. When a ceremony invoking the weather spirits is held to sanction Ayla's hunting, especially strong protection was required for the men, both to guard against the presence of a female at the ceremony and because the ancient spirits were feared as much as they were honored in the days when they were worshiped.

Ayla's subsequent accidental observation of one of the highest ceremonies at the Clan Gathering is interpreted by Creb to foretell doom for the entire Clan of the Cave Bear, as those ceremonies have meaning for all the clans of the Clan, even those not present at the Gathering. All Clan members are assigned a totem at birth, and boys are marked with that totem's ritual tattoo as part of the ceremony that marks their passage from child to man following their first major hunting kill. People are also believed to possess personality traits similar to those of their totem spirit; Broud, quick-tempered, stubborn and unpredictable like a woolly rhinoceros his totem spirit is a prime example.

Totems are also responsible for pregnancy; a woman's moon time is believed to be her totem fighting off the presences of marauding male totems; for this reason, women's totems are almost invariably weaker than those of men and women may not associate with men during menstruation. Should the male totem prove stronger, the woman will become pregnant.

If the totem is not strong enough by itself, it may ask for the help of one or more other totems, in which case it may be one of the other totems that leaves behind an impregnating essence. It is considered especially lucky for a boy to have the same totem as the mate of his mother. Totems are assigned by Mog-ur s, men whose talent is understanding the world of spirits.


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Each individual Clan has its own Mog-ur , but one - the one in the clan which Ayla joins - is traditionally recognized as being first among them. The Clan also believe that, if someone survives a cave bear attack, it means that person is now under the protection of Ursus and may claim the Cave Bear as their totem, in addition to the totem they were assigned in early childhood. Unlike other Clan totems, there is no specific mark for the Cave Bear and the Cave Bear is believed not to play a role in the conception, although it may be called on to help subdue a woman's unusually strong totem.

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