« The Collar and the Brand »

The brand is to be distinguished from the collar, though both are a 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, but the brand continues throughout to bespeak her status. The brand is normally concealed by the brief skirted slave livery of Gor but, of course, when the Camisk is worn, it is always clearly visible, reminding the girl and others of her station.

When an individual captures a girl for his own uses, he does not always mark her, though it is commonly done. On the other hand, the professional slaver, as a business practice, almost always brands his chattels and it is seldom that an unbranded girl ascends the block.

The brand itself, (The Kef), in case of girls, is a rather graceful mark being the initial letter of the Gorean expression for slave in cursive script. If a male is branded, the smae initial is used but rendered in a block letter.

The brand is used primarily for its reputed psychological effect. When the girl finds herself branded like an animal, finds her fair skin marked by the iron of a Master, she cannot fail to regard herself as something which is owned, as mere property, as something belonging to the man who has put the burning iron to her thigh. Most simply, the brand is supposed to convince the girl that she is truly owned; it is supposed to make her feel owned. When the iron is pulled away and she knows the pain and degradation and smells the odor of her own burned flesh, she is supposed to tell herself, understanding its full import: I AM HIS. But of course, the effect of the brand depends on the girl. For many the brand has little effect besides contributing to their shame. With others, it might well increase their hostility. And some, once branded, become instantly a passionate and obedient Pleasure Slave.

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