Slave Brands

Most slaves are branded to indentify them as slaves. They are most commonly branded on the outside of the left thigh, right thigh, or on their lower left abdomen. The left thigh is the overwhelmingly favored. A slave can be branded anywhere on her body. A slave is likely to be branded only once in her life. The most common brand is the "Kef", the first letter of "Kajira" in cursive script.

The Gorean word for a brand is "kan-lara." Though mechanical devices exist to brand girls, most men prefer hand branding. Hand branding does give a more personal brand, instead of the uniform brand from a mechanical device. Branding is also commonly left up to experts, Iron Masters. An owner would rarely brand his own slaves.

There are many additional places where a slave may be branded, including temporary brands. As well as in the usual places, they may wear such brands on the inside of the left forearm, on the left breast, or, very tiny, behind the left ear. Such areas may be temporarily marked with a grease pencil, lipstick, or paint, for example, as many slavers do. The ideal is to do it in such a fashion that it does not detract from a woman’s beauty, but rather enhance. The thigh brand, for one, has this effect.

Some merchants invent brands, as the dina was invented, in order to freshen the nature of their merchandise and stimulate sales. Collectors sometimes seek out and acquire exotic brands, much as collectors of Earth might collect stamps or coins, populating their pleasure gardens not only with girls who are beautiful but diversely marked.

Collar vs. Brand

When an individual captures a girl for his own uses, he does not always mark her, though it is commonly done. The professional slaver, as a business practice, almost always brands his property, and it is seldom that an unbranded girl ascends the block. The brand is to be distinguished from the collar, though both are designation of slavery. The primary significance of the collar is that it identifies the master and his city. The collar of a given girl may be changed countless times, yet the brand always continues.

Phsychological Impact

When a slave finds herself branded like an animal, she cannot fail to regard herself as something which is owned, as property, as something belonging to the one who put the burning iron to her body. When the iron is pulled away and she knows the pain and degradation, and smells the odor of her burned flesh, it is then that the understanding in its full and terrible import comes through. I AM HIS.

The effect of the brand depends greatly on the girl. In many girls, the brand may have little effect besides contributing to their shame, their misery and humiliation. With other girls, it might well increase their intractability, their hostility. There have been instances in which a proud, insolent woman, even one of great intelligence, who resisted to the very moment, once branded, became instantly a passionate and obedient pleasure slave

Branding Irons

Most branding irons have a symbol that is one to two inches high. The marking surface is a quarter of an inch in depth. The iron will be well heated before the branding. If a second girl is to be branded with the same iron, then the iron would first be cleaned and then reheated. This is not a quick process. A girl is branded for about 3 ihn, about 4 Earth seconds. She will be shown the hot branding iron before it is applied to her skin, to give her some indication of what is to occur.

Branding Rack

There is indication that branding racks have different designs. Here are two:

Branding Rack #1

Applying a hot branding iron to a slave is going to cause her great pain and her body is going to move. A branding rack is most often used to hold a slave during this process, to prevent her movements and thus ensure a good brand. The slave's arms will be chained over her head on this rack. Her ankles will be similarly chained to the rack.

Heavy metal slats will then be wrapped around the girl's thighs to hold her motionless. The slats leave sufficient bare flesh revealed so that either thigh can be easily branded. Though a girl could be held down by a man while she was branded, the rack provides more assurance that the girl will not move and ruin a good brand.

Branding Rack #2

This device has adjustable wrist clamps, or shackles, each on a vertical, flat metal bar. The clamps are screwed shut. The feet are shackled on a rotating metal platform. The platform allows the apparatus to spin on the shaft and position the slave. There is a wheel used to lock the device in place to keep it from turning. The thigh is held in place with a large vise.

Types of Brands

Barbarian: A vaccination or other mark created by other than Gorean means, most particularly of Earth.

Chemical: A brand that is created using specific chemical writing, displaying and clearing formulas. The message displays in bright red. It is usually written on the inside of the arm where the elbow bends.

Dina: A circular, stylized representation of the Gorean flower, which is similar to Earth's rose. Also known as the slave flower.

Kef: This brand is a graceful, cursive script of the first letter of the word "kajira." It is about an inch and a half in height and a half inch in width.

Kes: The brand for a kajirus (male slave) that is the first letter of the word depicted in a block letter style.

Knife Brand of Schendi: A small, curved knife is used to mark a design. An orange powder kept in a cylindrical flask is rubbed into the wound.

Mark of Treve: The image is that of the cursive script of the name of the City of Treve.

Northern: Consists of a semi-circle, with its right tip adjoining it, a steep, diagonal line. The semi-circle is about an inch and a quarter in height.

Passage: A tiny brand in the form of spreading bosk horns found on the forearm of Goreans. Its presence guarantees their safe passage, at certain seasons, across the plains of the Wagon People. The stigma attached with such a brand is that the one who wears it approaches the Wagon People as a slave. If the offering of the person wearing the brand, be it the song of a singer or merchandise from a merchant, is rejected, then the bearer is slain out of hand.

Penalty: A small 1/4-inch brand that marks a convicted liar, thief, traitor, etc.

Sa-Fora: Meaning, "Chain Daughter," it is used as a cursive script image.

Thief: Tiny 1/4-inch, three-pronged brand worn on the cheek of those of the Caste of Thieves, who are found only in Port Kar.

Wagon People Brands:

  • Kassar: The symbolic representation of a bola, three circles joined at the center by lines. It is used to mark their bosk and slaves.

  • Kataii: Their brand is that of a bow, facing to the left.

  • Paravaci: Their brand is a symbolic representation of a bosk head, a semicircle resting on an inverted isosceles triangle.

  • Tuchuk: The brand is two sets of bosk horns, one upside down, that resembles the letter "H."