A real world equivalent for "Ranger"

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
As someone familiar a little with an undeground state - we had one in the 2nd world war - there do exist secret courts of justice to prevent its members from going rouge. But of course the service of the state is greatly reduced, so it cover only the outmost important issues. The town or small entities govern themselves locally as before - like the Shire - but if needed the chosen local mayor might get "visited" by "strangers at night" wanting to persuade him away from e.g. accepting a Sauron's proposal. But nobody sees them in action on the levels below. And people high up in the hierarchy have some "red telephone" style ways to contact the "strangers" when needed, but never tell anybody below, only their successor.
Gee, reminds me sort of Bakunin's invisible commitee...
But it probably also didn't come from nowhere , i guess there must have been incidents like that in history before, like during the french revolution. Sounds like something i would imagine the rangers to do...
Also sound like the plot for some cool rpg campaign.
 

Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
I imagine that the Dunedain Rangers would be quick to stamp out brigands of all types, impostors, or just common and garden brigands.
Oh, yeah, I'm sure they would. I was just struck by the idea of the Rangers as a militia operating under the state authority of of men whose state's existence is not formally recognized except in a few places. I wondered what would happen if I, as a common human or hobbit, or even dwarf perhaps, were to run afoul of such a militia. I'm trying to work out if there are any ways available to me to spot the difference between genuine servants of the Kings in Exile from the footsoldiers of one of our hypothetical, extremely short-lived warlords.


@Odola Okay. I notice none of the people in that video are stated to be Romani/g*p***s (they don't even get a soundbite from the woman playing the female lead), nor do any of them discuss how this production was received by the Romani/g***y community. Not that I'd trust big theater companies to do more diligence than to find one member of the marginalized group in question who approves of their production and call it a day. So I'm afraid this brings me no closer to answering your question.

What's necessary, first and foremost, is feedback from the marginalized community in question about what changes need to be made, if any, and then secondly, input from opera experts (ideally the same people, but not necessarily) about how best to go about implementing whatever changes are deemed necessary.


Also sound like the plot for some cool rpg campaign.
I could see it.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
@Odola Okay. I notice none of the people in that video are stated to be Romani/g*p***s (they don't even get a soundbite from the woman playing the female lead), nor do any of them discuss how this production was received by the Romani/g***y community. Not that I'd trust big theater companies to do more diligence than to find one member of the marginalized group in question who approves of their production and call it a day. So I'm afraid this brings me no closer to answering your question.
The question which still remains answered in such a context is: if a sub-group rejects what the main group perceives as their main contribution to the general culture as a stereotype - do they still hold ownership and copyright over it and to what an extent?
What has been perceived as gypsy culture - and especially their music - had a significant influence on central European artistic and especially musical developments in the 19th century.
If the Romani in the US reject that as a misconception - do they have any "copyright" over it?
Do those musician in New York even know or have to know that there is a connection between the gypsies of "The Gypsy Baron" operetta (one of the most important works of a very important composer of what we call today "classical music") and today's Romani in the US?
 
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Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Well they themselves see their group as a tribe for sure, not a kingdom, and not running a secret Kingdom, but they grow up with the idea that all these wild lands are rightfully theirs and they are their rightful rulers, benevolent ones, even if the stupid peasants do not realize or acknowledge.
I don't think they exactly see their group as a tribe. And I don't think they call their people 'Rangers'. When Aragorn's kin refer to themselves as a people, they call themselves Dunedain. As when Gilraen says, "I gave hope to the Dunedain, I have kept no hope for myself". When Faramir asks the people of Gondor to proclaim Aragorn, he titles him, "Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dunedain of the North". When Aragorn returns to Minas Tirith after the downfall of Sauron, the Narrator says, "A hush fell upon all as out from the host stepped the Dunedain in silver and grey; and before them came walking slow the Lord Aragorn."

'Rangers', I judge to be a title, rank, or position, used by the Dunedain (likely only some of the Dunedain - probably not children - but some of, perhaps most of, the adults). Ranger is a job. By analogy with the Rangers of Ithilien who "crossed the Anduin secretly to harry the Orcs and other enemies that roamed between the Ephel Duath and the River". The job of the Rangers of Ithilien is to protect Ithilien (still claimed by Gondor, even though the last few Gondorean inhabitants fled 65 years ago). I imagine that the title Ranger means the same in Arnor as in Gondor. Those appointed to protect the land against evil and enemies.

When Halbarad introduces himself to Eomer he says, "Halbarad Dunadan, Ranger of the North I am." 'Dunadan' tells his people. 'Ranger' tells his position.

The people in Bree call Aragorn's people Rangers. That is probably how they first introduced themselves long ago in the Breelands. The Breelanders never met nor saw the people as a whole. They only saw those on Ranger duty.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Well, i still think not their entire folk were rangers but only a small group within who avtually did the job. I guess the title"chieftain" as such implies they saw themselves as a tribe...
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
What's necessary, first and foremost, is feedback from the marginalized community in question about what changes need to be made, if any, and then secondly, input from opera experts (ideally the same people, but not necessarily) about how best to go about implementing whatever changes are deemed necessary.
O.K. As the main topic is quiet it will allow myself to ask some more side question: What are the US stereotypes that the Roma tribe in the US deem it necessary to reject the gypsy word? As said, in Poland ca 2/5 of the gypsy stereotypes can be describe as negative while 3/5 as positive - but we generally consider e.g. being "nonconformistic" a positive attribute, while e.g. the neighbouring Germans a little less so.

Sill all the minorities - and even our majority - we all have some negative stereotypes connected to us - next to the positive ones - so that it seems strange for a group to reject its designation only because there are some negative stereotypes connected to it?

At the end I allow myself to attach a picture how the year 1964 - when our gypsies were forced to settle down by the communists - is remembered in Poland - it is and old photo which is known about - but no source is given regrettably - it was understood as a symbol of the loss of freedom for all, not only for the gypsies:

Przechwytywanie.PNG
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Well, i still think not their entire folk were rangers but only a small group within who avtually did the job. I guess the title"chieftain" as such implies they saw themselves as a tribe...
Aragorn is 'Chieftain' of the Dunadain, and also 'Chief' of the Rangers. Gandalf to Butterbur, on the new King, "He's Strider. The chief of the Rangers." Two different titles for two different roles.

To think that the title 'chieftain' implies 'tribe' seems to me a very circumscribed (and particularly American) definition of 'chieftain'. Oxford Languages defines 'chieftain' as "the leader of a people or clan". The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines 'chieftain' as "a chief especially of a band, tribe or clan".

In Britain, chieftain might often be used to title a clan leader, but Highland Scottish clans did not really think of themselves as 'tribes' in the same way that Native American tribes might think of themselves.

I think that the Dunedain thought of themselves as a people, and possibly as a clan, but I don't think they thought of themselves as a 'tribe' (a political unit living in a geopolitical space comprised of other 'tribes' some friendly, some hostile, with no higher political authority over any of them). It seems to me that the Dunedain thought of themselves as the secret high authority over all of Arnor, though mostly in a protective and military way, rather than in a law-making or fiscal mode.

Lotho Sackville-Baggins adopting the title of 'Chief' when he tries to take political control of The Shire, indicates that 'chief' in TLOTR does not imply 'tribe'. The Hobbits of the Shire are not a 'tribe' nor a 'clan' (there are clans within the Shire, such as Tooks and Brandybucks). They are a 'people', perhaps a 'country'.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I think some issues to bear in mind that contribute to the 'ranger' discussions are a: assumptions about the group in question and b: the name of the group.

A: Namely, the negative assumptions. Here in the UK we have a range of Irish travellers, Roma people and other traditionally nomadic groups (many of whom either continue to travel or are permanently settled but still maintain strong inner communities). Often this liminal lifestyle is painted negatively by the wider public and even in the media. There are several highly stigmatised words used for multiple traveller communities that are very intentionally prejudiced slurs. However, there still remains a level of acceptability in mocking such groups. Not as severe as when I was younger, but it's still there. See the latest Jimmy Carr 'controversy'. Travellers, Roma and other traditionally nomadic peoples have long been othered and their are stereotypes of thievery, vandalism, hooliganism and generally criminality that surround them. These negative assumptions generate a fear among 'settled' communities which I think we can see reflected in the Breelanders attitudes to Strider as a 'ranger'.

B: Gypsie is an exonym. It's a name given to a people group by ANOTHER people group. It wasn't originally a word any travelling community gave to themselves. It was intentionally given to other them. When, let's be frank, a darker skinned people with different customs passed through, the shorthand for exoticising them was to call them 'Egyptian'. It also ties into certain Biblical interpretations that Egyptians, the Biblical placeholders representing enemies of the people of God, were scattered among the Earth. So these wandering peoples were perceived as derived from that 'damned' lineage. Whether those who gave them this moniker truly believed they were from Egypt or not is debated and not exactly the point. The point was that they didn't need to check. They didn't ask or study. These people were 'exotic' and so were othered with a name they hadn't chosen themselves. Over time it became shortened to what we are calling here 'the g word'. Yes, for some groups this name was adopted over time and many hold it with pride and have assimilated it and even reclaimed it. But it was never given to be welcoming or understanding. It was part of that culture of distancing and setting apart. So whether other people can freely use the word is really at the behest of those it affects and truly on a case by case basis.

Even if the word 'Ranger' itself isn't directly a slur, I think it comes with negative connotations that, given time, I can see easily becoming the primary usage for the word, to describe an unknown outside in an unfavourable light.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I think some issues to bear in mind that contribute to the 'ranger' discussions are a: assumptions about the group in question and b: the name of the group.

A: Namely, the negative assumptions. Here in the UK we have a range of Irish travellers, Roma people and other traditionally nomadic groups (many of whom either continue to travel or are permanently settled but still maintain strong inner communities). Often this liminal lifestyle is painted negatively by the wider public and even in the media. There are several highly stigmatised words used for multiple traveller communities that are very intentionally prejudiced slurs. However, there still remains a level of acceptability in mocking such groups. Not as severe as when I was younger, but it's still there. See the latest Jimmy Carr 'controversy'. Travellers, Roma and other traditionally nomadic peoples have long been othered and their are stereotypes of thievery, vandalism, hooliganism and generally criminality that surround them. These negative assumptions generate a fear among 'settled' communities which I think we can see reflected in the Breelanders attitudes to Strider as a 'ranger'.

B: Gypsie is an exonym. It's a name given to a people group by ANOTHER people group. It wasn't originally a word any travelling community gave to themselves. It was intentionally given to other them. When, let's be frank, a darker skinned people with different customs passed through, the shorthand for exoticising them was to call them 'Egyptian'. It also ties into certain Biblical interpretations that Egyptians, the Biblical placeholders representing enemies of the people of God, were scattered among the Earth. So these wandering peoples were perceived as derived from that 'damned' lineage. Whether those who gave them this moniker truly believed they were from Egypt or not is debated and not exactly the point. The point was that they didn't need to check. They didn't ask or study. These people were 'exotic' and so were othered with a name they hadn't chosen themselves. Over time it became shortened to what we are calling here 'the g word'. Yes, for some groups this name was adopted over time and many hold it with pride and have assimilated it and even reclaimed it. But it was never given to be welcoming or understanding. It was part of that culture of distancing and setting apart. So whether other people can freely use the word is really at the behest of those it affects and truly on a case by case basis.

Even if the word 'Ranger' itself isn't directly a slur, I think it comes with negative connotations that, given time, I can see easily becoming the primary usage for the word, to describe an unknown outside in an unfavourable light.
Still many country and peoples' names derive from the designations given to them by others. For example the English word for the Germans is a generalisation of an outdated tribal name of one of the germanic tribe which does not exists for millenia, same with the French word "Allemagne", the word "Niemcy" - which most Slavic people used in various forms - literaly means "mutes" - "people unable to spreak" (as they were the only not Slavic speaking people around). - Do the Germans oppose it? No. Their name for themself is Deutsch from þeudō/diot - common folk. Do they force anyone to use it? They do not.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
Still many country and peoples' names derive from the designations given to them by others. For example the English word for the Germans is a generalisation of an outdated tribal name of one of the germanic tribe which does not exists for millenia, same with the French word "Allemagne", the word "Niemcy" - which most Slavic people used in various forms - literaly means "mutes" - "people unable to spreak" (as they were the only not Slavic speaking people around). - Do the Germans oppose it? No. Their name for themself is Deutsch from þeudō/diot - common folk. Do they force anyone to use it? They do not.
To my knowledge, though I may have missed a comment here and there, nobody who has commented here is of from the communities being discussed (those that fall under the 'g' umbrella). I'm not sure it's wholly acceptable to use other cultures' precedents to determine what individual members of cultures we are not part of should personally find acceptable or offensive. As I say, there is a lot of stigma attached to the word, particularly here in the UK. We can all cite other words that are stigma laden and widely used because they are historically ingrained which many individuals find offensive. I currently work for a charity wherein this is a major concern,. And I personally find that learning better languages normally eases conversation and tears down some of those assumptions.

But, as for the texts, I don't feel like 'ranger' is a one to one comparison, but I could see how through Bree's own history is could come to take on some of that baggage.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
To my knowledge, though I may have missed a comment here and there, nobody who has commented here is of from the communities being discussed (those that fall under the 'g' umbrella). I'm not sure it's wholly acceptable to use other cultures' precedents to determine what individual members of cultures we are not part of should personally find acceptable or offensive. As I say, there is a lot of stigma attached to the word, particularly here in the UK. We can all cite other words that are stigma laden and widely used because they are historically ingrained which many individuals find offensive. I currently work for a charity wherein this is a major concern,. And I personally find that learning better languages normally eases conversation and tears down some of those assumptions.
But cultures are not individuals. They interact with others, are percived by others, and others also name them. That is normal. Most of us got our own first names by given by others primally. I could understand an actual person not wanting to be called a gypsy because s/he doesn't like the term, as an example - taht is fine with me. But I cannot undstand his or her demand not to call a specific ethno-cultural entity from 14th-20th century Europe gypsies because that is what they were - and those who do claim that heritage for themselves today still are - called.

But, as for the texts, I don't feel like 'ranger' is a one to one comparison, but I could see how through Bree's own history is could come to take on some of that baggage.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I don't understand why anyone not personally holding an identity with that word would be offended by others preferring they don't use it. Particularly understanding it can be harmful.

Not a personal attack there, it's just I genuinely do not understand the argument. I'm a little lost as to why it matters to continue usage of the word in a blanket sense.

BUT that isn't the purpose of the thread so let's return to Strider and Bree.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
I don't understand why anyone not personally holding an identity with that word would be offended by others preferring they don't use it. Particularly understanding it can be harmful.
Because someone might consider all our minorities contributing to our common general culture? As such their influence on the main shared culture a part of our common cultural heritage? When the gypsies were forced to settle here by the communist it was a culturally traumatic experience - it was perceived as a loss for the Polish culture as general - we were bereft of something that was part of our own culture for centuries - for good or ill. Forbidding us to call gypsies gypsies is perpetuating this loss by forbiding us to remember what they meant for our culture then and what they descendants try to remember via their attempts to keep alive their music and festivals.

This is exactly my question - do the descendants of a cultural entity who wish to dissassiociate themselves from its heritage still retain the right to tell the general public what that former entity is called? On what basis?
 
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Lincoln Alpern

Active Member
The question which still remains answered in such a context is: if a sub-group rejects what the main group perceives as their main contribution to the general culture as a stereotype - do they still hold ownership and copyright over it and to what an extent?
What has been perceived as gypsy culture - and especially their music - had a significant influence on central European artistic and especially musical developments in the 19th century.
If the Romani in the US reject that as a misconception - do they have any "copyright" over it?
Do those musician in New York even know or have to know that there is a connection between the gypsies of "The Gypsy Baron" operetta (one of the most important works of a very important composer of what we call today "classical music") and today's Romani in the US?
That question may remain, but once again, I'm afraid I'm not the one to help you answer it, because I don't care. I care about the ethics of cultural artifacts which may be offensive to peoples who have been traditionally persecuted. And I care about some aspects of copyright that I find troubling. But in terms of the specific questions you raise, I have no strong opinions, so I have nothing particular to say. Sorry.


As for stereotypes of Roma peoples in my country - as I've already admitted, I know far less about the specifics of their groups here than you do about those communities in your own country. I think the stereotypes here are broadly the same as the stereotypes in Europe mentioned so far in this thread.

I'm perfectly aware that all groups have positive and negative stereotypes that others apply to them. US Americans certainly have plenty of stereotypes applied to us by members of other countries. And within the US, we have stereotypes about Northerners, and about white, middle-class suburbanites. That's the way of the world.

But when it comes to groups that 1) are particularly vulnerable, and 2) have a history of being badly persecuted, even the "positive" stereotypes can be deeply harmful. Again, I don't know enough about Roma peoples specifically, but of the top of my head I could list "positive" stereotypes of Jews, Black people, Indigenous people, and some kinds of queer people and disabled people that members of those communities broadly agree are damaging.

(It's also worth noting that, in the US, at least, it's historically and even currently quite possible for members of majority groups to live their whole lives without ever forming a close association with any members of the marginalized groups I've just named; and so they have less opportunity to learn the truths and untruths of these stereotypes. Perhaps in Poland it's different with respect to the nomadic peoples we've been discussing, I don't know.)

I don't think, though, that the primary objection Roma peoples in my country have to the "g" word is its connection to the stereotypes. If I made that claim earlier, I was in error, and I retract it. I think they object because they view the "g" word as intricately intertwined with their history of persecution by majority groups, much as the "n" word is inextricably tied to anti-Black racism. And similar slurs which I won't type here which apply to other stigmatized groups such as other races, gay men, trans people, people with certain kinds of mental illness, etc..


I hope I've made it clear by now that I'm only talking about my country - which is also Corey's. From your testimony, it seems as though your communities in Poland have, as a whole, largely embraced the "g" word. And that's fine. There's a rich history of groups embracing names for them that started life as insults. "Gay" and "queer" are obvious examples. I understand "Tory" in England, has a similar history to it. Heck, my own religious community, a small Protestant offshoot calling itself the Religious Society of Friends, was disparagingly nicknamed Quakers early on - and faced a fair bit of persecution in their first several decades - and that's the name we most commonly use to refer to ourselves.

However, it's a very different matter when a community, as a whole, rejects a word for or image of itself that's been applied to it from outside, and this goes twentyfold when the community in question is a minority that has centuries of history of being brutally persecuted by the majority. We can see this in my country with certain Indigenous groups demanding that we stop using terms that were slapped onto them by others, as opposed to their own words for themselves. And more power to them.

(Heck, even without the history of persecution, I don't see the harm, here. If a critical mass of Germans demanded we all switch to calling them Deutchlanders instead, I'd have no objections to that.)


Again, I understand from your posts that the situation is very different in your country because the communities in question in have not collectively rejected the "g" word. I also understand that, in my country, they absolutely have, and so I will follow their leading on this matter when in my country, and/or addressing an audience primarily of my countrypeople. I will, of course, change my language as appropriate when addressing people of other societies where the consensus about what is and isn't considered a hateful slur are different.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
That question may remain, but once again, I'm afraid I'm not the one to help you answer it, because I don't care. I care about the ethics of cultural artifacts which may be offensive to peoples who have been traditionally persecuted. And I care about some aspects of copyright that I find troubling. But in terms of the specific questions you raise, I have no strong opinions, so I have nothing particular to say. Sorry.


As for stereotypes of Roma peoples in my country - as I've already admitted, I know far less about the specifics of their groups here than you do about those communities in your own country. I think the stereotypes here are broadly the same as the stereotypes in Europe mentioned so far in this thread.

I'm perfectly aware that all groups have positive and negative stereotypes that others apply to them. US Americans certainly have plenty of stereotypes applied to us by members of other countries. And within the US, we have stereotypes about Northerners, and about white, middle-class suburbanites. That's the way of the world.

But when it comes to groups that 1) are particularly vulnerable, and 2) have a history of being badly persecuted, even the "positive" stereotypes can be deeply harmful. Again, I don't know enough about Roma peoples specifically, but of the top of my head I could list "positive" stereotypes of Jews, Black people, Indigenous people, and some kinds of queer people and disabled people that members of those communities broadly agree are damaging.

(It's also worth noting that, in the US, at least, it's historically and even currently quite possible for members of majority groups to live their whole lives without ever forming a close association with any members of the marginalized groups I've just named; and so they have less opportunity to learn the truths and untruths of these stereotypes. Perhaps in Poland it's different with respect to the nomadic peoples we've been discussing, I don't know.)

I don't think, though, that the primary objection Roma peoples in my country have to the "g" word is its connection to the stereotypes. If I made that claim earlier, I was in error, and I retract it. I think they object because they view the "g" word as intricately intertwined with their history of persecution by majority groups, much as the "n" word is inextricably tied to anti-Black racism. And similar slurs which I won't type here which apply to other stigmatized groups such as other races, gay men, trans people, people with certain kinds of mental illness, etc..


I hope I've made it clear by now that I'm only talking about my country - which is also Corey's. From your testimony, it seems as though your communities in Poland have, as a whole, largely embraced the "g" word. And that's fine. There's a rich history of groups embracing names for them that started life as insults. "Gay" and "queer" are obvious examples. I understand "Tory" in England, has a similar history to it. Heck, my own religious community, a small Protestant offshoot calling itself the Religious Society of Friends, was disparagingly nicknamed Quakers early on - and faced a fair bit of persecution in their first several decades - and that's the name we most commonly use to refer to ourselves.

However, it's a very different matter when a community, as a whole, rejects a word for or image of itself that's been applied to it from outside, and this goes twentyfold when the community in question is a minority that has centuries of history of being brutally persecuted by the majority. We can see this in my country with certain Indigenous groups demanding that we stop using terms that were slapped onto them by others, as opposed to their own words for themselves. And more power to them.

(Heck, even without the history of persecution, I don't see the harm, here. If a critical mass of Germans demanded we all switch to calling them Deutchlanders instead, I'd have no objections to that.)


Again, I understand from your posts that the situation is very different in your country because the communities in question in have not collectively rejected the "g" word. I also understand that, in my country, they absolutely have, and so I will follow their leading on this matter when in my country, and/or addressing an audience primarily of my countrypeople. I will, of course, change my language as appropriate when addressing people of other societies where the consensus about what is and isn't considered a hateful slur are different.
Thank you for your clarification. Still, from our persfective here "gypsy" is not a slur but a designation and to claim it is seems akin to claim that the word "Jew" is a slur - which would be suspect in itself. An we capitalise it in our language in modern usage like any other ethnic designations. Our culture here seems to be a more "shared culture" and disconnecting people from their historical importance seems akin to robbing them. Those are aspect which I seldom see mentioned in the discussions of such matters in the West - which seems strange. Victimisation seems to trumpf cultural and historic heritage, which simply seems weird to us here. This is the reason why I took the opportunity to discuss the matter - it is a little clearer to me now. Still why some group would consider victimisation empowering and be ready to disinherit themselves from their ancestors' contribution to the world's culture baffles me. In the unlikely event you should even meet agroup of young Polish people visiting the US please be aware that those of Gypsy origin or of mixed descent - having been taught at scholl that "Gypsy" is the translation for our word "Cygan" - might be offendend when told it is considered a slur at your place - that his/her culture s/he is proud of is considered a handicap.
It is also expected for our ethnic majority people to stand in for our minorities and vice versa when facing outsiders, as such it would be not considered out of place for such a person's ethnic Polish compations to solidarise themselves with his/her indignation. -(I am speaking about people currently raised in Poland, as those who have lives on the US for some time would have a more americanised attitude.)

[By the way, if the word "American" is to be used as a slur, an initial "H-" is added before it. So if you hear a Polish person saying "Hameryka" "hamerykański" instead of normal "Ameryka" or "amerykański" it is meant to be dismissive - just FYI. ;-),]
 
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Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
[By the way, if the word "American" is to be used as a slur, an initial "H-" is added before it. So if you hear a Polish person saying "Hameryka" "hamerykański" instead of normal "Ameryka" or "amerykański" it is meant to be dismissive - just FYI. ;-),]
I'm not sure if it is still much current, but when I was younger the dismissive counter-cultural spelling of "America" here in the US was "Amerika". I never did know why, exactly, or where this came from, but Merriam-Webster online says this spelling represents the "racist or fascist aspect of American society".
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Chief, chieftain, clan, tribe...

I f i am wrong then i am wrong, allright.

But what IS a tribe? A tribe is bigger than an extended family or clan, but it is not a nation or state. Now i am not even sure if the shire is a nation or state... in my opinion it is not, it is a coalition of folk-lands, it could be counted as a federation, a confederation, a traditional alliance... it basically IS a collection of clans who occupy inherited territory, it is the big families, the Tooks, the Brandybucks and others who keep it together with many other smaller followers of clans attached.

Now we know zero to nothing about the remnant Dúnadan society apart from that they have rangers...
Could their organisation be somewhat similar to the hobbits? That is certain leading families or clans with some more smaller families attached? Maybe...

I doubt they are a state or nation.It could actually be they are really just one single extended clan, that of Aragorn or the former Kings of Arthedain. It could as well be that this is just the leading clan of a somewhat bigger coalition of clans who are all somehow the descendants of former Dunadan knightly families.

Is that a tribe? Tribal coalition? I won't fight for the term...

I won't talk about that Z-/G-thing any more, i already said everything about it.A lot of Roma and other traveller groups hate these terms while some others still use it in one way or another.One has to accept that it is complicated for various reasons, stereotypes is one thing the cultural and arts marketing reason is another field.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Well, the definition of 'tribe' is somewhat uncertain and fluid.

The most common definition amongst anthropologists (though disputed) is that a 'tribe' is a social or kinship group being hierarchically larger than a lineage or clan, but smaller than a chiefdom, nation, or state.

How JRRT would have defined these terms is unclear.

The organization of the Dunedain would overtly seem to be as a 'chiefdom' as their leader is called 'chieftain'. However, they are almost certainly also a clan (as over 3,000 years, if the Dunedain tended to marry among themselves, they would all be related), however, they used to be the ruling class of the Kingdom of Arnor (a kingdom which included more peoples than just the Dunedain). I suspect at some level they still believe themselves to be the responsible rulers of the nation of Arnor.

If my hypothesis is correct, that 'Ranger' is a title for a role, and Dunedain is the name of the people, then it is hard to compare 'Ranger' to 'Gypsy'. If the Breelanders are suspicious of Rangers, and use the term with somewhat of a pejorative cast, it is more that they are akin to 'tramps' or 'wanderers', rather than respecting them as appointed protectors (which, of course they don't know that they are, due to the secrecy policy).

The Shire, I think could be called a proto-nation. They have two hierarchical positions of potential authority (the Thain and the Mayor) though neither seem to exercise much power. They have two organized and uniform organizational structures (the Shire Post and the Shirrifs). They somehow manage to maintain the roads. They guard their borders and the bridge over the Brandywine. They have an established and complex legal system (which we know from the Sackville-Baggins' perusal of Bilbo's will, which was correct in intricate detail). Though we don't know how Shire laws were formulated nor adjudicated. The Shire seems to have once been an association of clans, as the Four Farthings were divided "into a number of folklands, which still bore the names of some of the old leading families, although by the time of this history these names were no longer found only in their proper folklands. Nearly all the Tooks still lived in Tookland, but that was not true of many other families, such as the Bagginses or the Boffins." So, although remnants of the clan culture still lingered, perhaps only the Tooks and the Brandybucks still remained similar to proper clans.

I speculate that The Shire, had moved beyond a collection of clans. Had skipped the stage of a Chiefdom (though that seems to be what Lotho Sackville-Baggins was trying to create). And had become a very unusual and non-hierarchical sort of proto-nation.
 

Odola

Well-Known Member
Well, the definition of 'tribe' is somewhat uncertain and fluid.

The most common definition amongst anthropologists (though disputed) is that a 'tribe' is a social or kinship group being hierarchically larger than a lineage or clan, but smaller than a chiefdom, nation, or state.

How JRRT would have defined these terms is unclear.

The organization of the Dunedain would overtly seem to be as a 'chiefdom' as their leader is called 'chieftain'. However, they are almost certainly also a clan (as over 3,000 years, if the Dunedain tended to marry among themselves, they would all be related), however, they used to be the ruling class of the Kingdom of Arnor (a kingdom which included more peoples than just the Dunedain). I suspect at some level they still believe themselves to be the responsible rulers of the nation of Arnor.

If my hypothesis is correct, that 'Ranger' is a title for a role, and Dunedain is the name of the people, then it is hard to compare 'Ranger' to 'Gypsy'. If the Breelanders are suspicious of Rangers, and use the term with somewhat of a pejorative cast, it is more that they are akin to 'tramps' or 'wanderers', rather than respecting them as appointed protectors (which, of course they don't know that they are, due to the secrecy policy).

The Shire, I think could be called a proto-nation. They have two hierarchical positions of potential authority (the Thain and the Mayor) though neither seem to exercise much power. They have two organized and uniform organizational structures (the Shire Post and the Shirrifs). They somehow manage to maintain the roads. They guard their borders and the bridge over the Brandywine. They have an established and complex legal system (which we know from the Sackville-Baggins' perusal of Bilbo's will, which was correct in intricate detail). Though we don't know how Shire laws were formulated nor adjudicated. The Shire seems to have once been an association of clans, as the Four Farthings were divided "into a number of folklands, which still bore the names of some of the old leading families, although by the time of this history these names were no longer found only in their proper folklands. Nearly all the Tooks still lived in Tookland, but that was not true of many other families, such as the Bagginses or the Boffins." So, although remnants of the clan culture still lingered, perhaps only the Tooks and the Brandybucks still remained similar to proper clans.

I speculate that The Shire, had moved beyond a collection of clans. Had skipped the stage of a Chiefdom (though that seems to be what Lotho Sackville-Baggins was trying to create). And had become a very unusual and non-hierarchical sort of proto-nation.
This is also because they were also part of Arnorians structures - more "nationalised" structures which are now in partial decline. As such they inherited elements of organisation which belong already to next steps of nation building.
 
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Flammifer

Well-Known Member
This is also because they were also part of Arnorians structures - more "nationalised" structures which are now in partial decline. As such they inherited elements of organisation which belong already to next steps of nation building.
Yes, The Shire might have evolved into some sort of feudal system after the fall of Arnor, if they were exposed to threats and dangers. However, thanks to the Rangers, they were not often exposed to these conditions, so the social structures of The Shire as we know it were able to develop.
 
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