Region:Ukraine (steppes)
Shaman:mamut (pl. mamuti)

"The Children of the Great Earth Mother who Hunt Mammoth."

The Mamutoi live on the steppes just to the east of the Beran Sea, and utilize every possible part of the giant woolly mammoths which they hunt to survive, even going so far as to use their enormous arching tusks and heavy bones as supports for their dwellings.

They organize themselves into Camps, each led by a brother and sister pair, and within those Camps they are divided into Hearths. These leaders share joint leadership of the Camp, and each is equally respected. A Camp's Hearths are identified by animal names, and each is associated with a certain line of kinship and degree of social status, such as the Crane Hearth, the Lion Hearth, and the Aurochs Hearth. Men and women are treated equally, with some religious or authoritative duties assumed only by women because of their greater similarity to their Goddess; a man's heirs are not the children of his own hearth, but rather his sister's children.

They hold an annual Summer Meeting, at which ceremonies such as First Rites and Matrimonials take place, as well as organized hunts and games. During the Summer Meeting, the Mamutoi Council of Sisters and Council of Brothers meet, as well as the various members of the Mammoth Hearth. The Mammoth Hearth is the Mamutoi term for the organization of Those Who Serve the Great Earth Mother; the individuals are known as Mamuts. Ayla was adopted into the Mammoth Hearth when she became a member of the Lion Camp by the Camp's Mamut, who was perhaps the oldest living Mamutoi and whose birth name had long since faded from memory. By virtue of his age and spiritual power, he was considered First of the Mammoth Hearth.

Mamutoi earthlodges are constructed by digging down to the permafrost during summer and deeply embedding the root-ends of matched mammoth tusks to make supports, which are then lashed together at the top. Other animal bones are then used as "bricks" to form part of the walls, and whole mammoth hides are draped over the supports on the outside, then covered in clay and mud, which forms a thick, hard outer shell, while the hide seals in heat. They use the stiff dried intestines of mammoth, buried carefully from each hearth to the outside, as natural bellows which direct wind to their fires and are sealed with controllable stoppers of bone. This innovation is crucial, as their homeland has very little wood to burn or build with; by using wind to control the heat of the fire, they are able to burn bone, which is much more abundant to them.


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