[LMB] Cumbia

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 25 06:10:29 GMT 2019

Yes, she's worth a thread of her own.

Cumbia, head of her clan. A Maker, with sons who've both achieved
great things.

And she's a bitter failure, which could explain her abuse of her son.

Cumbia grew up knowing that as the eldest daughter she was going to
be head of her family. Matriarch. Possibly she developed some
arrogance, definitely some self-satisfaction. And judging by Mari's
argument with her (relayed by Omba) the friction with Mari goes back
to childhood.

And then Cumbia grew up, developed her Making skills, got married -
it was all on track.

And after that she failed. Completely. Only two children, and both of
them boys. Her marriage doesn't seem to have been happy, she blamed
her husband for their lack of more children. He refused to do what she
wanted, leave Patrolling, comply with her wishes; it all had to be his
fault, it couldn't be hers.

And then her second try for that precious daughter... and it was another
boy. Bitter disappointment, and she took it out on him after that. (Did
Dag look a lot like his father? He seems to have acted like him, too, by
becoming a patroller.)

Dar was the Good Son. He redeemed his wrong gender by becoming a
knife maker, the best one around - top of the tree in their community.
But Dag would never comply, never fall into line. He stuck with patrolling,
he wouldn't try to find any Maker skills. He stayed away. He married up
north and escaped, then came back too damaged to patrol - and found
a way to keep on patrolling anyway. He refused to remarry and breed
her some more grandchildren (and there's a vicious pecking order among
grandparents, over how many grandbabies they have. Done so subtly,
but most cultures have a version of it. I'm sure that Lakewalkers aren't
exempt from that.)

Meanwhile Mari did her patrolling, rose in the ranks, got married and
took time off to have FIVE children, including several daughters. A loving
marriage, a successful career, a good-sized family.... Mari got it all right.
 Cumbia ... failed.

Interesting that with all her pressure on Dag to remarry and breed, Cumbia
didn't try the same when she was widowed. Dag's father died when Dag
was relatively young, it would have been worth a try for her to see if she
could produce that precious daughter. Maybe prospective suitors were
thin on the ground?

I wonder if there were any whispers, or hints, that Mari should have
been the elder, or that one of her daughters should be the next
boss of the family? I wonder if Dar chose Omba at least partly because
she did have all those older sisters, and was more likely to give up her
family for his.

Omba simply gave up the fight and escaped to her horses. Dar
obviously wasn't going to support his wife (weak little Mummy's
Boy. I don't care what anyone says. Hmph.)

And Cumbia had to blame someone for her failures. It could never be
her fault, she was special, important; it would all have been okay if only
people would do what she wanted. And there was Dag, refusing to
comply at every turn. Always choosing whatever she didn't want. Never
simply obeying, like good (smug) little Dar. He became the focus of all
her blame and failure. If only Dag had done what she wanted, everything
would have been okay. Any problem is always, somehow, Dag's fault -
either because he did something, refused to do something, or simply
wasn't there and SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

Frankly, any bride of Dag's would probably have had some problems
with Cumbia. Well, any bride that Cumbia hadn't chosen for him. Fawn
was doomed years before the marriage, years before she was even born.

A lot of not-so-nice characters have some redeeming feature. Some you
can at least feel sorry for (I feel sorry for Ma Mattulich!) But Cumbia...
I find it really hard to see anything good about her. 'She makes nice string'
doesn't mean all that much, to me.

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