Mixed spirits is a term referring to the offspring of a Cro-Magnon and a Neanderthal. They were often called children of "mixed spirits" by Cro-Magnon. Those of mixed spirits were usually the product of rape - young Cro-Magnon men sometimes forced Neanderthal women, and Clan men sometimes unknowingly forced Cro-Magnon women due to the fact that amongst the Clan, men have a right to "relieve their needs" with any woman they choose. However, there have been some cases of mixed children being born from consensual encounters. They are called "mixed spirits", due to the Cro-Magnon belief that children are conceived when the Great mother mixes the spirits of a man and woman - because the Clan are generally viewed as being animals, offspring born of a Neanderthal and a Cro-Magnon are seen as having a "mixture" of spirits.
Children of mixed spirits could have almost any conceivable mixture of modern and Neanderthal features. Mixed children were generally taller and less robust than their Clan counterparts, although they were stockier than modern children. The most noticeable differences were in the head. The high modern forehead was present in most mixed children; it may have been a dominant trait. Mixed children often had Clan eyes. Clan brow ridges were usually present but not as pronounced. Mixed children may have been equally likely to inherit the chin (or lack thereof) and neck of either race.
Some mixed children inherited their modern parents' ability to vocalize. Others, like Rydag, could understand speech but could not reproduce most sounds. (Rydag was unable to express himself until Ayla taught him Clan signs.) Mixed children may or may not inherit Clan memories. (Rydag had at least some memory of Clan signs and learned faster than anyone else in the Lion Camp.)
Despite their unusual appearance, mixed children were not inherently unhealthy. (Only one, Rydag, had a congenital heart defect, and there was no indication that it was a result of his mixed heritage.)
Among the Clan (who did not realize that these children were of mixed race), such children were regarded as deformed and were usually left to die. Two exceptions were Durc and Ura, who were allowed to live. (Ayla wanted to keep her son, whereas Ura's mother was forced to keep her deformed child as punishment for wanting a daughter.)
Unlike the Clan, who merely regarded mixed children as deformed, modern humans were much more vicious in their appraisal of mixed children. Most regarded them as half-human, half-animal "abominations." Women who gave birth to mixed children were one of society's darkest taboos, and few people were willing to discuss it, even as a private joke. That being said, some people are more accepting of children of mixed spirits, usually those who do not regard the Clan as being "animals" but merely another type of human. Some point out the hypocrisy of the belief that those of mixed spirits are an "affront" to the Mother, stating that the Mother clearly intended for these children to be made this way. Amongst the S'Armunai, people have a more regular interaction with the Clan and so matings between the two races are common. As a result, children of mixed spirits are more accepted; one man of mixed spirits, Brugar, even rose to become a leader of a Camp. It is possible that one of the reasons children of mixed spirits are looked down upon, aside from the prejudice towards "flat-heads" is because Cro-Magnon women often have a difficult time giving birth to babies of mixed spirits (due to their larger skulls) and are often known to die giving birth to them.
Known People of Mixed SpiritsEdit
- Bokovan: son of Echozar and Joplaya; paternal grandmother was Clan
- Brug: Clan man who has light-colored eyes like Ayla (this character exists only in the film adaptation)
- Brugar: S'Armunai man whose maternal grandmother was Clan
- Brukeval: Zelandonii man whose maternal grandfather was Clan
- Brukeval's mother: father was Clan
- Durc: son of Broud and Ayla
- Echozar: Lanzadonii man who had a Clan mother
- Omel: child of Brugar (one eighth Clan)
- Rydag: son of a Clan woman and a Cro-Magnon man
- Ura: daughter of Oda and a Cro-Magnon man