becca at di.org
Fri Jan 25 14:50:46 GMT 2019
Maybe Cumbia didn't remarry because no one would have her?
On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 1:11 AM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>
> 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
> 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
> doesn't mean all that much, to me.
> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to becca7108 at gmail.com
> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
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