During the events of The Clan of the Cave Bear, Brun's clan lived in a cave on the Crimean peninsula (in present-day Ukraine or Russia). The cave was located in the foothills of the Crimean Mountains, about ten miles from the coast of the Black Sea.
Because of its proximity to the sea and a protective barrier of mountains, the region enjoyed a temperate climate that was warmer than that of the mainland. The clan had access to a variety of resources. The surrounding forest provided an abundance of wood and food that could be foraged, such as fruits, nuts, berries, seeds, vegetables, and greens. The cave was within easy reach of the steppes, which were inhabited by herds of large grazing animals that provided meat and materials for clothing and tools. The nearby sea offered seafood and the eggs of the shorebirds that nested there. Nearby springs and streams provided easy access to fresh water, and nodules of flint sometimes washed down from the mountains into the streams.
The mouth of the cave was roughly triangular in shape. The cave had a high-vaulted ceiling. It comprised one enormous room and an adjoining circular annex, which was used for secret rituals. A spring-fed pool was conveniently located near the west end of the opening.
History and CultureEdit
Under Brun's leadership, the clan flourished. It ranked first of all the clans who attended the regional Clan Gathering, partly due to the first-ranked status of its mog-ur, Creb, and its medicine woman, Iza.
The clan also enjoyed a great deal of good fortune after it accepted Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl, as a member. Ayla's curiosity led to the discovery of the clan's new cave, which might have been overlooked if Brun had decided to turn back. Ayla was also present during a successful mammoth hunt, during which the hunters were fortunate not to be injured. Ayla saved the lives of two children: Ona, who was swept into the sea during a fishing trip, and Brac, who was snatched by a hyena during the mammoth hunt.
With Ayla, the clan faced unparalleled challenges to its ancient beliefs and customs. However, the clan was able to adapt by making some unorthodox allowances for Ayla. (For example, even though women were not allowed to touch weapons, Ayla was permitted to hunt with a sling after she saved the life of Brac and survived a one-month death curse.)
Ayla's presence at the Clan Gathering initially jeopardized the clan's rank. However, the clan's status ultimately increased as a result of Ayla when she dared a cave bear to save the life of an injured hunter, and when the mog-urs allowed her to make their ritual drink.
At the beginning of The Clan of the Cave Bear, Brun's clan had 26 members. Six of these members were killed during the earthquake that destroyed the clan's cave and orphaned Ayla. After Ayla joined the clan, there were 21 members.
The following clan members perished during the earthquake (their names were never revealed): Iza's mate, Oga's mother, Droog's first mate, Aga's first mate, and Grod and Uka's son (an unmated young man). It's not entirely clear who the sixth person was. It was most likely Oga's father, who was gored shortly before the earthquake.
Edit: The sixth person to die in the earthquake was an elderly woman who had come from another clan, lost her mate, and had never produced any living children. She had been traded from fire to fire to be fed, and was considered a burden upon the clan. Iza thinks to herself that the woman had perished during the cataclysm.
The following people were members of Brun's clan at the time that Ayla was found:
- Brun: the leader
- Creb: the crippled, elderly mog-ur (past 30)
- Grod: Brun's second-in-command
- Droog: the clan's best tool-maker
- Crug: a hunter
- Goov: Creb's 11-year-old acolyte
- Zoug: a retired hunter who had honed his skill with the sling
- Dorv: a retired hunter with poor eyesight
- Iza: the medicine woman and first-ranked woman (19 years old)
- Ebra: Brun's mate and second-ranked woman
- Uka: Grod's mate and the mother of one
- Aga: a widow with two children
- Aba: Aga's elderly mother
- Ika: Crug's friendly mate and the mother of one
- Broud: Brun's 11-year-old son and heir apparent
- Vorn: the four-year-old son of Aga and her deceased mate
- Borg: the six-month-old son of Crug and Uka
- Ovra: a young woman, the daughter of Grod and Uka
- Oga: Broud's future mate, a girl who was nearly a woman
- Ona: the newborn daughter of Aga and her deceased mate
The following people were born into the clan after Ayla's adoption:
- Uba: Iza's daughter (mated to Vorn)
- Brac: the first son of Broud and Oga
- Groob: the son of Droog and Aga
- Igra: the daughter of Crug and Ika
- Grev: the second son of Broud and Oga
- Durc: the son of Broud and Ayla, a child of mixed spirits
Here is a diagram of the relationships among the members of Brun's clan: