The Gorean Caste System is very similar to the Indian or many African tribal caste systems. It is a socio-economic hierarchy to help define roles within society and economic placement. There are two caste levels: High Caste and Low Caste. The vast majority of the Gorean population, Male, Female or slave, fits within the Low Caste or No Caste. High Caste are considered the Upper Class of Gorean society while the Low Caste are considered the Middle and Lower Class. Almost all trade services, commerce, crafting, and general services fit within the Low Caste while highly specialized or dangerous occupations fit within the High Caste. Almost every job/occupation is a specific Caste Role.
All Castes are considered, in modern terms, to be a union and a family. Once you are a member of a Caste, you protect other members of your Caste and assist them when they require it if possible. This is true even if you are a Peasant, the lowest of all Castes. To become a member of a Caste, you either must be born into one or be initiated into one. It is possible to go 'up' in Caste and most certainly possible to go 'down' in Caste. All Castes have a specific herald and set of color(s) which help dictate to easily identifying one's Caste without needing to ask which one an individual is. Only Free Goreans may be a member of a Caste. Slaves are exempt from Caste as they are property.
Note: Only the basic structure and a summary of each Caste will be placed here. A specific page is written for each well documented and organized Caste and will be provided in a direct link within this page.
High Caste Edit
The High Caste consists of seven specific castes unlike the low caste. Each Caste in High Caste is considered Upper Class except for the Warrior Caste which is considered Middle to Upper Class, depending on rank and origins. Almost all High Caste can afford slaves and thus most High Caste are seen with slaves. High Castes are the Castes with the most singular colors for their representative tone.
The High Caste consists of five specific castes with an ordered list of importance. The list follows thus:
Low Caste Edit
The Low Caste consists of every other job and occupation within society. All Low Caste are considered Middle or Lower Class. Only the most upper echelons of the Low Castes can, often, afford to have slaves. Almost all Low Caste have multiple colors as their representative tone.
The only caste that seems to be acknowledged as in the 'top' of the Low Caste hierarchy is the Merchant Caste. The Slavers' Caste, a subcaste of the Merchants, is considered second.
No Caste Edit
If you are not a member of a Caste, then you are of No Caste. This does not necessarily mean you have no Home Stone, it simply means that you have no Caste. The only people exempt from this are slaves (kajirae and kajirii). Slaves are property and thus are not eligible to be a member of any Caste. Only slaves who have earned Freedom may be allowed to join a Caste. Amongst the slaves, though, there is a specific hierarchy that is closely related to the Caste System. There is much dispute on the exact nature of this system as John Norman has only specified certain aspects of slave hierarchy within the novels. Within the Free Caste system, the slave hierarchy is: Kajirae, Kajirii. Within the slave hierarchy, it is: First Girl, Second Girl, then all chain kajirae, then First Boy, Second Boy, and all chain kajirii.
Once again, it should be stated that this is not always the case and circumstances may change based on the region and the Owners of the slaves. Not everything is known about slaves despite how much information there is concerning them within the Chronicles of Gor.
Outlaws are considered of No Caste, despite that they are Free Persons. They have chosen to forsake or were banished from their Home Stone and thus, their Caste as well. Like slaves, there is much debate about the legitimacy of this condition. Outlaws are given a very general overview unlike many other aspects of Gor.