The Bakahs

(A Brief History)

Out of the hot Tahari, with scimitars flashing, and Purple Battle Banner fluttering in the wind, rides the most feared raiders of the desert - the mighty Bakahs.

The Bakahs are one of the most numerous of the Tribes of the Tahari, and the most violently opposed to the Aretai, especially their vassals the Zevar.

The Bakahs make their main homes in camps at the remote oases that are scattered over the Tahari. They seek the violent death of their enemies, and it is rumored that the Ubar of Turia is part Bakah, or has them as allies.

Ysulla bin Lemyr was their greatest leader. He nearly destroyed the Zevar and many of their allies in a great battle in the desert south of the city of Tor. Only the massive intervention of the Aretai were the Bakahs and their Kashani allies defeated. The Bakahs lost most of their host in the battle, though even today they are among the most powerful of the Tahari Tribes, holding alliances with the Kashani and Ta'Kara Tribes.

The Bakahs are the most base and depraved of the Tribes. Wholly corrupted by power , their tribesmen are at times uncontrollable, driven mad by desires and evil forces that are now part of their nature. The Bakahs stalk the trackless waste of the desert and prey upon any foolish enough to travel in their path. They are very intelligent, but can behave as animals when in a crazed lust.
They are very superstitious and consider their hospitality to be inviolable. If offered salt, they will not attack the individual who offered the salt, or his household.
Being creatures of the desert, they are bitter foes of the southern Nomads of the plains, and will at times work with the warriors of Turia against them. The Bakahs will often disguise themselves as pilgrims and join caravans, then fall upon their host if they are not treated with due respect and hospitality. They will also openly attack individuals or small groups.

The Bakahs have been more conservative in their approach to those not of the Tahari, but have accepted those of Turia for the most part. They are the most individualistic of the Tribes, yet have almost exclusively sided with the Kavars in times of danger.

Bakahs consider an oasis as perhaps the most beautiful place that exists. Caravans suffer or prosper at their hands, for it is said they could hide an oasis from those who have previously mistreated them or shown disrespect.
The Bakahs are wanderers and travel slowly between oases under their control. They consider the Oasis of the Two Scimitars as the home stone of the entire Tribe. Although sub-tribes may make their homes at other oases, in the desert, or outside certain cities. Bakahs will rarely be found in cities, though many are said to have camps located at their favorite oasis.

Among the Bakahs, as with the other Tribes, there are no caste. All Free males are expected to be warriors, as the welfare of the tribe depends on their ability to raid others and to take what they have gained thusly and trade it in Turia or Tor, for needed supplies.

A Bakah male is recognized by two identifying items, a purple scimitar facing outward from the body on the right forearm. (This is not to be confused with the dark blue scimitar, worn by the Mighty Kavars.) And by the purple and white striped djellaba. A Free males will also wear a purple kaffiyeh, a rectangular piece of cloth folded diagonally and then draped over the head. A dark purple cord, called an ekal, is usually wrapped around the head three times to hold the kaffiyeh on.
The Pasha (Ubar) of a sub-tribe or higher rank will wrap the ekal four times. A rep cloth turban is worn by the few kajiri of the tribes. This acts as a cushion for carrying loads on their heads.

Warriors wear their scimitar on their back with the handle over their left shoulder, so when drawn with the right hand it can be swung in an arch when it is drawn. A sleeve dagger maybe carried in either or both sleeves of the djellaba.

Free Woman wear ankle length skirts, usually a rectangular piece of rep cloth wrapped around the waist, over a light rep cloth blouse. When traveling or out of her family tent a Free Woman will wear a haik, a black sack type garment that covers a woman from her head to foot, over her clothing. At the eyes there is a tiny slit covered with black lace so they can see.

Female slaves, called sa-fora {sa-fori pl.} which means 'Daughter(s) of the Chain', wear a silk vest, that is held at the middle of the breast with a single button, over a pair of chalwars, a type of diaphanous trousers, worn with a sash, gathered at the ankles, similar to the harem pants of earth's Middle East.
She also wears a slave veil, made of very thin silk. The color of the veil denotes the type of sa-fora she is. Among the people of the Tahari there is only two colors, white for a new/virgin sa-fora, and red for a trained/pleasure slave.
When traveling or outside the tent in which she serves, a sa-fora also wears a haik, except she is nude under it.

Sa-fora are allowed more freedom than the kajirae of cities due to the fact that the Tribes move frequently and it is impossible to keep the reins on them as in a city tavern or Inn. The sa-fori are restricted in their movements, they may not visit other tents, taverns or inns, unless on an errand or with a Free Person.

The Bakahs travel across the Tahari on the backs of sand kaiilas. The Free males ride on the backs, Free Women and sa-fori ride in kurdahs, an open fronted, curtained, tem-wood frame structure, carried on the back of pack kaiilas.

The Bakahs are divided into sub-tribes, these are: Azrak, Akhdar, Gamoub, Gharb, Shamal, and Sharq. All are vassals of the Mighty Kavars.
Each sub-tribe has it owns section of the Tahari it roams in, but is free to move through the sections of the others. Every 5 years the Bakahs, meet at the Oasis of the Two Scimitars to choose the Ramadi Pasha (Grey Ubar), who is the supreme ruler of the combined Tribe.