Exploring the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBLIST FEATURES FAQs, Articles, Reviews, Persona Directory, Hall of Memory SUMMARY PROJECT Summarizing ERB's works one chapter at a time FAN FICTION Shorts, Novels, Poetry, Plays, Pulps ERBmania! Articles, Contributors: Tangor Responds, Edgardemain, ERB: In Focus, Nkima Speaks, Beyond 30W, Tantor Trumpets, Dime Lectures, Korak in Pal-ul-don, Public Domain novels of ERB GLOSSARIES Worlds of: Barsoom, Pellucidar, Moon, Amtor, Caspak, Pal-u-don
By Rick Johnson
Copyright © 2005
Rick Johnson presents, in several articles, the beginnings of a glossary for the land of Pal-ul-don — that mysterious land encountered by Tarzan of the Apes in Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel Tarzan the Terrible.
Using North America during the Mesozoic era as an example, we find that as the inland seas invaded the plains, the number of different species of dinosaur dropped due to the limited land area. As the seas receded and the land area increased, the species of dinosaurs expanded into new niches and diverged to create newer varieties of dinosaurs. Then as the seas returned the area reduced and, again, so did the number and variety of species. When we compare this dynamic of land-to-species counts to Pal-ul-Don we see a similar situation.
Pal-ul-Don was once a part of Africa which retained a very few dinosaurs (we call them living fossils) that had become extinct elsewhere. Then as the water level raised, swamps formed and Pal-ul-Don became isolated and the local fauna began to adapt to the new conditions and evolve along a different line. The Lion became the Ja, the Smilodon(?) became the Jato, the remaining Triceratops became the Gryf. The isolated humans became the D’don.
Considering that Pal-ul-Don compromises a rough oval 70 miles north to south by 50 miles east to west, this 3500 square miles encompasses an area the size of Cyprus or Puerto Rico. This gives an extremely small area which will result in a small number of species and a limited number of individuals that would tend to encourage benevolent mutations to pass throughout the population rapidly via inbreeding, eliminating those without the mutation.
The primary predators in this area are now the Gryf, the Jato and the Ja with a Swamp Saurian in the surrounding marshes.
The Gryf is the top-of-the-pyramid predator. Omnivorous but primarily herbivorous (otherwise the Gryf would quickly eliminate all other animals), the Gryf is descended from the Cretaceous Triceratops of the plains. Once in the Pal-ul-Don forests, the Triceratops adapted to the newer forest environment by growing larger (as did the Coelacanth when it moved from shallow fresh water to the deep salt ocean) and changing it’s diet to include all possible food sources. The Gryf is long lived and has no natural predators once hatched. We can assume a long term to maturity before reproduction, hence the very low numbers of these creatures in Pal-ul-Don.
The Ja is descended from the common forest lion and so is solitary. This large cat has retained the spots of its youth to better hide as it hunts in the newer forest environment.
The Jato is described as a ‘saber-tooth hybrid’ between the saber-tooth tiger and the lion but in nature the Smilodon wasn’t a tiger but a long toothed, short tailed feline. However, saber-teeth have evolved a number of times over the life of nature in a number of widely unrelated animals so it is possible that the Jato is really an offshoot of the Forest Lion or Leopard that simply evolved long canines and an overly aggressive attitude.
ERB describes no other predators and in an area that small, there may very well be none.
Herbivores must outnumber predators by a ratio of about 10 to 1 under normal conditions which allow prey and predator to mutually survive, although the number of separate species need not be large. Africa contains zebra, antelope, deer, wildebeest and many other herd animals. ERB describes only deer inside Pal-ul-Don. I would suggest that as Tarzan mentioned that a person who couldn’t eat in Pal-ul-Don would starve in a supermarket, there must be a variety of herbivores to fill the niches of forest, plains and mountains grazers and browsers. Therefore I postulate goats, antelope and possibly giraffe (the Gryf filling the eco-niche of the elephant). As the Gryf and possibly the Jato are the only known living-fossils, I submit that most of the remaining Pal-ul-Donian animals are modern forms diverging since the isolation which may exclude the Zebra as a too recently evolved beast. Thus the idea of T-Rex and other such dinosaurs would be unlikely. The same would be true with large flightless carnivorous birds such as the Phororachus. Although such birds evolved often, they always did so in isolated areas and were quickly exterminated by mammalian predators at the earliest opportunity. The big cats did so to the Phororachus in South America as did humans in New Zealand. In fact, the only large flightless bird still living is the Ostrich which, somehow, defies extermination. I believe that ERB would have mentioned a large bird had one been there.
As for flying birds themselves, not being held back by the swamp barrier, birds, bats and other flying animals would easily pass as they wished and so the birds of Pal-ul-Don would be no different from any other bird found in Central Africa. No giant eagles, no Pterosaurs, no winged humanoids.
Creatures of the water would include those that could easily pass the swamp barrier and so would resemble their outer forms. These would be large Monitors, Crocodilians, snakes and such. The one exception would be the so-called Swamp Saurian which could be a variety of crocodile or, more likely, a form of monitor lizard that resembles the pliosaur. Monitors, a species that includes the Komodo Dragon, often find humans to be on their menu and are at home both in and out of water.
There would be many varieties of fish, amphibians and reptiles such as snakes, turtles, tortoises in and around the lakes and rivers though the fact that both Jane and Obergatz managed to survive a solitary existence implies that few are dangerous to humans.
In the mountains would be bats, birds and probably goats of some sort though sheep are unknown due to the known lack of cloth.
As insects would have no trouble crossing the swamp barrier, these also would be similar to their outer forms and would include normal grasshoppers, beetles, moths and butterflies, dragonflies, mosquitoes and so on. The idea of gigantic ticks and dragonflies with two-foot wings wouldn’t exist as 1) all fossils of insects that preyed on dinosaurs are of modern size, 2) the square cube law and the specifics of insect respiration prevent gigantic insects from existing and 3) if such forms existed, they could easily pass the swamp barrier and infest the outer areas of Africa.
Now we come to humanoids.
Burroughs describes the inhabitants as being “pithecanthropus” but also describes them as being handsome according to European values, an obvious contradiction. As Pithecanthropus (Java Man) had a skull that barely rose above his eyebrows and a brain a little more than half the capacity of modern man, it is difficult to understand how ERB could consider this person to be anything resembling “handsome”. It is probable that ERB misunderstood Tarzan’s description of the D’don. Therefore I submit that the D’don (Homo Sapiens Arborilis) is a form of modern man (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) that simply adapted to an arboreal environment and any mutations that enhanced this tree-life would be passed on and encouraged in a small, isolated and inbred population. The D’don then quickly diverged into the white hairless (Ho-Don) and the black hairy (Waz-Don) forms. As the Waz have straight hair, it is unlikely that they developed from the Negroid race which evolved much more recently than the other races. Rather both forms probably evolved from single ancestor from north Africa (same probable stock as the Sudanese and Egyptian) and after the arboreal mutation took hold, they branched into the darker-skinned and straight haired Waz and the lighter skinned and rarely hairless Ho forms.
This doesn’t, however, explain the Tor version of the D’don.
The Tor-o-don is larger and stronger than the Ho or Waz races but not as intelligent even though the Tor appears to use tools and tame the Gryf and so may possess language. It would be interesting to know if the Tor-o-don speaks the common language of the outer-world primates (mangani ) or a version of the D’don language with seems to be related or descended from Mangani. Another question is did the Tor branch off from the ancestral race after the arboreal mutation occured or is the Tor form a version of the Mangani that evolved an arboreal form because of convergent evolution? I favor the former theory for it’s simplicity and postulate a form of Homo Sapiens from North Africa migrating south and becoming isolated in pal-ul-Don as the swamps developed. These isolated humans developed an arboreal mutation which spread via inbreeding of a far too small population and when the arboreal form was fully developed, this Homo Sapiens Arborilis then branched into the intelligent human form and the physical Tor form. The human form then branched into the Ho and Waz forms.
This, then would be the evolutionary biology of the animals life of Pal-ul-don.
The lions that we know are the Veldt Lion which lives in the open grasslands and encompasses a Pride composed of an adult male, his female mates and their immature children. The Forest Lion of ERB is solitary and thus much more dangerous than the Veldt version. Tigers and lions can interbreed occasionally (mostly in captivity) but the results are often sterile mules.
The square-cube law states that if you double the size of an animal, it becomes twice as strong but four times as heavy. Double it again and it is 4 times as strong but eight times as heavy and so on until it is simply too large to move. To understand this, consider a 150 pound man who is an athlete as compared to a 300 pound man who can never be athletic and can barely move his own bulk. The same exists with insects and animals. The tarantula is about as big as they can come and the elephant is so large that it cannot run and will break its legs if it steps off a curb without care.
I refer to the common language of the Mangani, Bolgani, Manu, Tongani and even the Pellucidar Sagoth as “Mangani” in much the same way as we refer to the language of the people of England as English. The language of Pal-ul-Don would then be referred to as Donian or D'donian or possibly Donish.
THE D'DON OF PAL-UL-DON
When reading the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, One is struck with the vast array of life and humanity that exists within the unexplored confines of the Dark Continent. Chief among these are the Don race of pal-ul-Don. The modern mind asks various questions such as “how could a race as primitive as the Pithecanthropus achieve such an advanced state of architecture, culture and metal working?” “Where is Pal-ul-Don?” “How could dinosaurs exist in such numbers and sizes in such a small area?” “How did the Ho-Don and Waz-Don evolve” and many others.
This paper is a compliment to my earlier work, Pal-ul-Don Fauna which was submitted to Tangor's ERB Page, however this one is specific to the Don people themselves. (Editor's Note: Rick Johnson's Pal-ul-don series is collected as a single glossary.)
EVOLUTION & ANATOMY
The first question to ask is “How did an arboreal human race evolve? And how could the same evolution appear separately in three different forms, the Tor-o-Don, the Waz-Don and the Ho-Don? One could believe that this mutation occurred not only once but thrice?
The history of in-breeding shows that a small enough and isolated population can produce massive changes if even one beneficial mutation occurs. In the absence of paleontological digging, any ideas must be considered as conjecture only. The author welcomes any evidence or thoughts to improve these ideas.
I propose that the first people to Pal-ul-Don were of the same race that became Berber stock, possibly from Sudan or Egypt but who followed the jungle south as the Sahara grasslands dried and turned into desert. Forced to keep moving to avoid the newly growing desert and to find food in the receding jungles, these people became isolated as the Pal-ul-Don swamps grew.
Comparison of skulls
Fragment of "Java" skull
The supporting data includes the fact that although the Waz-Don have a black skin, their hair is described as straight, thus implying an origin other than the Negroid race. The Tor-o-Don also possess straight hair.
I disagree with Burroughs' theory that these people were Pithecanthropus for if we compare the skulls of both, we see that Pithecanthropus had a brain volume of 900 cc which is above the gorilla at 500cc but well below Human at 1400 cc which enables us to produce complex technical materials that were well beyond Pithecanthropus.
Looking at a reconstruction of Pithecanthropus, it is difficult to see this as a being described by Greystoke as both attractive and intelligent. In Burroughs' defense, Anthropology was still in its infancy during WW-I and so any confusion is easily understandable. The “pithecanthropus” described by early anthropologists is now considered to be but another form of Homo Erectus, same as “Peking Man” and many other supposedly separate species of Hominid.
I submit that the early humans who entered Pal-ul-Don quickly developed the Arboreal mutation that caused their feet to revert to the early primate structure and produce a prehensile tail which is not found in Old World Monkeys but does exist in New World monkeys, thus implying that the Don tail was a recent development and not a hold-over from an African primate ancestor. The additional thumb phalange was a separate and unrelated mutation.
In time the early Don then branched into the Tor and the Don versions, the Tor being an erect hominid with enough intelligence to produce and use simple tools and language but not enough to advance to fire and advanced tool making. Greystoke describes the Tor as using a long staff which must have been made by them and which they used to capture and control the indigenous Gryf. However, clothing and stone tools are absent from the descriptions.
Once established, the Don then diverged into the Waz and Ho forms. The Waz becoming darker in skin tone and producing thicker body hair, the Ho becoming lighter and loosing their body hair. In a climate such as equatorial Africa, it is a wonder that the Ho survived sunburn and skin cancer without these advantages.
Don Tail Study
Comparison of Human, Don, and Ape feet
The major difference between the Don and modern man is the addition of the prehensile tail. It appears that the tail consists of an unknown number of caudal phalanges which start out thick and strong at the proximal end and grow progressively smaller and lighter as they approach the distal point. I would suspect that the proximal third is heavily muscled, the medial third moderately to lightly muscled and the distal third lightly or non-muscled but relying on ligaments to provide movement. This is similar to the human hand which has no muscles in the fingers but uses ligaments to move these fingers. It is apparent from the descriptions that the tail can be tightly curled in a ventral direction with a somewhat less curl in the dorsal direction and some lateral movement.
It is also possible that the distal phalange tip may be sensitive to touch and so possess a 'fingerprint' to allow additional nerve endings as are found in the finger pads on the hands.
The hand does have an extra phalange making the thumb much longer, almost reaching to the index finger tip. The purpose of this is unknown and may be an unrelated mutation, but does give the appendage a greater degree of movement.
As can be seen in the chart at the right, the foot of Pithecanthropus is very similar to that of a modern human but has little resemblance to that of an ape. The Don foot shows the human structure and mass needed for a terrestrial life but has mutated to allow the large toe the ability to grasp tree limbs. The Weir feet are an engineered structure for space travel and will be covered in another paper.
The Ho version of the Don appears to be hairless save for that which covers the cranium and possibly the pubic area (though Greystoke has been silent on that area). It is believed that beards and chest hair are absent or very faint in the Ho version.
The Waz version are hairy with straight hair and black skin. This hair is long and straight and soft being described as having the appearance of 'sealskin'. As the cranial hair is also straight this implies an ancestry other than Negroid with the black skin being, like the additional thumb phalange, a separate mutation.
Prior to 1918, war was common between Ho and Ho and Ho and Waz. These wars were mostly initiated by the Ho cities to procure slaves and sacrifices. The warfare between the various Waz tribes existed but were mainly tribal arguments over land and to procure unrelated women for marriage.
It is of interest that the Ho religion required regular human sacrifice which should have decimated the population for even without slave wars, the numbers killed in the name of religion were 730 people per day per city. With the known cities being A-Lur, Ja-Lur and Tu-Lur (we have no information as to Bu-Lur which will be covered separately), this means 2190 people were killed every year for religious sacrifices alone. Add to this hunting accidents, war casualties, disease and old age, the death rate among the Ho could easily be 3000 a year and probably more for three cities only. Thus the population must recover these 3000 each year and as humans can produce young every two to three years, the birth rate among the Don must be astronomical.
After the entry into Pal-ul-Don by Greystoke around 1918, matters changed drastically.
- Human Sacrifice outlawed. Peace was enforced between the Ho cities under one king. Peace was enforced between the Ho and the major Waz tribe of Kor-ul-Ja which would force the remaining Waz tribes to avoid war with that tribe. Most slaves were freed.
- The population of the Ho would explode with major population problems.
- The Kor-ul-ja would expand in size as population grew because of lack of war losses, thus increasing population pressures.
In an isolated area such as Pal-ul-Don, Malthusian population problems would be massive and will be explored in a future paper.
The spoken-language is obviously related to Mangani but quickly split apart. These similarities would make one think that the Don evolved from the ape in recent times yet the Sagoth in Pellucidar which are hominid tool-makers also speak Mangani.
I suspect that the Mangani language was either universal at one time (a theory proposed by Greystoke who should know) then replaced by the more complex human languages and that Donian has not had any reason or opportunity to adapt their spoken language other than to enunciate the words more clearly and to add a more complex numerical system where the primitive system would be “one”, “two” and “many”.
Most words are mono or duo-syllabic such as “ho” = 'white' and “paster” = 'father'. As more complex words are needed, rather than create a new word such as 'dining room', the Don simply added words onto words to create the new word, “Pal-e-don-so” = ‘Place where man eat”. Generally, the Don have avoided the standard linguistic evolution of softening final consonants and creating complex words which are then shortened to simpler forms.
Plurals are created by simply repeating the first sound in the word so one man = “don” but two or more men = “d'don”.
Verb tense requires an entirely new word, often unrelated, and there appears to be neither declension nor conjugation in their language.
The Don possess a written language which is common to all Don, Ho and Waz, who are literate. Like many early languages, this one is pictographic (similar to Egyptian Hieroglyphics) and may be evolving towards a simpler form (such as Chinese).
The numbering system was very simple as shown by the smaller numbers of “en” and “ad”. Then as the race evolved and more specific numbers were needed (for construction and tax purposes for example), there developed a simple manner of adding the smaller numbers to each other to form larger numbers.
An example would be:
1 = en and 2 = enen or 2 = 1+1 3 = ad and 4 = aden or 4 = 3+1
then numbers simply were added together (9 = 3+3+3) until 10 was reached and suddenly, a new numbering system was needed. It is simply impossible to construct large buildings without a fairly complex mathematical system of geometry and trigonometry and these would need a numbering system more complex than 1, 2, many. Thus the Don developed separate numbers for ten and multiples of ten. This then developed into 11 = 10 + 1 and so on. So long as the Don had no need for anything more complex that simple trigonometry, geometry or simple algebra, this system would work well.
The Don followed a Monotheistic religion that had two main forms. The Ho form required that “Jad-Ben-Otho” (The Great God) was not only tailless but that he required the sacrifice of a new-born infant every sunrise in every Ho city every day. He also required the sacrifice of an adult at every sunset in every Ho city every day. Thus, when we know of three Ho cities (Ja-Lur, A-Lur and Tu-Lur), we are certain that the Ho killed 1095 infants every year in sacrifice alone. They killed an equal number of adults yearly though many of these were slaves, criminals and prisoners taken in war for exactly that purpose. Thus the yearly death rate for the pleasure of their god was over 2000 people a year. The Ho also believed that their god was tailless which may hearken back to either an ancestral memory of their tailless-human origin or may refer to some human with a superior technology who entered Pal-ul-don and thus was taken as a god.
The Waz also follow the same religion but the Waz believe that their god possessed a tail. It is this fundamental difference that creates much religious friction between the races.
It was in 1918 that matters changed. Greystoke entered Pal-ul-Don seeking his kidnapped wife. Her kidnapper, a German officer, went insane and was decreed to be Jad-Ben-Otho himself. Greystoke was hailed as Dor-ul-Otho (Son of God) and a religious war ensued over possession of Greystoke's wife with the German officer leading the major conservative Ho faction and Greystoke leading the rebel Ho faction and some of the Waz. The war ended with Greystoke's son arriving and killing the German and major leaders of the conservatives, thus leaving the rebel, Ja-Don and Greystoke in charge of the Ho cities.
The main theological overthrow of this war was that human sacrifice was replaced with the blessing of food which was passed onto the poor and the new stories about a war between God and his children. Although we do not know what the specifics of the Don religion were, we can be certain that it now includes divine patricide, incestuous rape and the discovery that there are more than one god in the cosmos.
There is also a possibility that the Kor-ul-Ja Waz would either adopt the Ho version of religion or adapt their own faith to include these recent divine events.
Early on the Don used the spear in warfare as do many of the pre-iron-age peoples did (Greece) and some modern do (Masai and Zulu). However, the reason for the supremacy of the spear as a weapon of war is simply that metallurgy is often so primitive that any attempt to create a sword in a primitive forge is doomed to only a partial success. Once advanced forging is developed (glazing in Europe, Damascing in Arabia, folding in Asia), the spear is quickly replaced with the sword.
However, the Don, being very strong (Greystoke describes them as super-human) replaced their spear not with the sword but with the club which is of limited use to a normal human but welded by the super-human strength of a Don, would be a weapon easily capable of crushing a lion's skull.
Thus the Don gave up the spear in favour of the club and turned the spear to a gardening tool similar to the hoe.
Warfare among the Don includes the club and knife as there is no evidence of the Bow being developed.
Tactics tend to be primitive and deal with ambush or head-on attacks. With no horse or other known riding beast, all fighting would be on foot or in the trees.
The Don seem to possess no cloth and so wear animal skins and gold jewelry. Steel and bronze buckles are common and women often wear breastplates of gold. Clothing appears to be little more than an animal skin loin-cloth for both genders with breastplates for women and various belts and straps for gear and weapons. Children are generally naked and all are barefoot.
The Ho, at least, practice slavery. It is possible that the Waz do also but information on that is very limited. The fact that the Waz, such as Pan-at-Lee, settled into the situation of being a slave so easily implies that they possessed slaves of their own. In the Ho cities, it is presumed that many of the slaves were prisoners of war. It is unknown if the Ho breed slaves as did the Americans but unlikely as if this practice were common, why would Lu-Don release POW slaves to freedom after Greystoke ordered them to be freed from their fate?
It is also unknown if Greystoke outlawed slavery when he outlawed human sacrifice.
The Ho have a hereditary royalty that can be overthrown by war or assassination. It is implied that the successor must be a credited war leader as when Ja-Don took over from Ko-Tan. This implies that the office of king is related to the earlier war-chiefs where regular losses in battle would remove a person from office.
The Waz are ruled by a chief who is chosen by individual combat. It appears that any person may challenge the chief for leadership of the tribe. If so the office of hereditary leadership would be unknown among the Waz and so the daughters of the reigning chief would not be a princess as would O-lo-A was the daughter of Ko-Tan and Princess of A-Lur.
Hunting and farming are the principle means of sustenance among both Ho and Waz. As the human body needs only 20% protean but an active lifestyle requires more protean than a sedentary one, it is obvious that both Ho and Waz would need more meat than would we in America and Europe.
It is unknown if either Ho or Waz domesticate livestock.
Alcohol is brewed by the Ho at least. This may be beer or wine as both are well known around the world with no exceptions. Beer is more common as the materials are easily procured in a jungle area though the Masai are known to ferment mares milk for alcohol.
Both Ho and Waz were originally cave dwellers. I say this in the true sense of the word as most humans who reside in caves do so only in inclement weather and then they never leave sight of the opening. The Waz, however, developed cave dwelling to a fine art, carving out chambers in the cliffs, leveling the floors, sewage, diverting streams for drinking water, creating advanced aeration and ventilation for breathing and smoke release and making such an underground existence quite habitable and comfortable.
The advantages of this form of life is that the family is secure from attack. The disadvantages are that injuries to children and the elderly would be common as these fell from such a height. Plus as the crops would be on the ground near water, the Waz would be forced to climb down every morning, tent their crops and carry heavy baskets of food up every evening. It is obvious that only the fear of continued attack by man and beast would encourage such a lifestyle.
It is possible that the Ho did the same but instead of carving new chambers, would build houses in large overhangs as did the Cliff Dwelling Indians of the American Southwest. Later these would be replaced by plateau houses such as the pueblo Indians still use and then rebuilt on the ground as walls and other defensive fortification were developed. Thus the Ho changed fro ma cliff dwelling to a city dwelling society.
Ho cities that are known follow the same pattern, a limestone hill is denuded of vegetation and the rock carved into buildings, streets, water and sewage lines and so on. The undertaking of this would require an advanced organizational skill, advanced mathematics and architectural skills and the willingness of the people to submit to authority.
Many question remain to be asked about city placed near the morass. It is known that the structure is a mixture of both cliff caves and constructed buildings. It is also known that it is inhabited by both Ho-Don and Waz-Don who live in peace with each other. Little more is known and further exploration is desired.
Question to ask include:
- Do the Ho and Waz intermarry? If so are the young mildly hairy brown men? Or do they run the range from white to black, hairless to hairy and all possible combinations?
- What Religion do they practice? Probably the standard worship of Jad Ben Otho but is he tailed or tailless? Is human sacrifice performed?
- Is the architecture sharply divided with Ho living in buildings and Waz in caves or is there a mixture of both with the inhabitants residing in either regardless of their race?
- How is leadership chosen?
Tailless people are insulted by the tailed Don. Possibly this is caudal castration as a form of punishment? If so, it would render the condemned of limited climbing ability and so limit survival. Also it may be a common practice to abandon children born without tails or with small tails to keep the race strong as did the Spartans in Ancient Greece. However, how does this relate to the Ho belief that their god is tailless?
Are either Ho or Waz polygamous? There is some evidence that polygyny (one man, many wives) exists though such cultures do so for many reasons. Mormons and many Moslems do so to remove wives, thus forcing men to bring in unrelated genes as they seek wives elsewhere. It also intensifies religious conversion.
Other races allow polygyny as the high death rate among men in war or hunting would leave many women unmarried were monogamy to be required. When we consider that in any Normal human population 95 girls are born for every 105 boys. But by reproductive age, enough boys have died via sickness or accident to make the gender proportions 100:100, then by elderly age, there are 105 women to 95 men. In a society that encourages war and hunting in dangerous areas, the death rate of men would be extreme, thus encouraging multiple wives. However, those societies that encourage polygyny must either strip all women of all power and reduce them to virtual slavery or they must allow the women to assist in the choosing of their co-wives.
I see no indication that either Pan-at-Lee or O-lo-A were anything resembling oppressed. Thus I would submit that Don society, being hard in its primitiveness and with an almost constant state of pregnancy to replace population losses, would encourage multiple wives to assist in child rearing and housekeeping. I would further submit that the wives would have a considerable say in the subsequent wives taken by their husband.
To support this, I recall from personal history I was having dinner with my Mormon relatives and the discussion of polygyny arose. My aunts were submissive about this as Mormon belief is that a woman cannot enter heaven unless she is brought in by her husband and if she angers him in life, she could sit on the curb outside heaven for centuries until he cools off enough to let her enter. Thus it is vital for a Mormon wife to keep her husband happy and if that means sharing him with other women, they do that.
My Irish wife laughed at this and said that I had better not even think of such a thing as she has a very heavy cast-iron frying pan. (I saw it as a sign of her love that the last time she hit me with it, she had chosen the one in the sink and not the one on the stove) When my Uncle asked why I let her get away with that kind of talk, I told him that I was stronger than she was.. but I had to go to sleep sometime.
And finally. how did the Ho handle the population explosion post 1918? With a birth rate high to replace the losses due to hunting, war and human sacrifice, and with sacrifice outlawed and war almost eliminated, the population would continue to rise until Malthusian demographics would force mass starvation. It is this last question that forces us to study the Don as even a casual calculation would indicate that the formerly stable population would double by 1925, triple by 1930 and quadruple by 1940 yet could they increase food production and living area that fast? Look to modern slums and third world nations to see the effect of such a population rise.