Omel was a member of the S'Armunai. They were the child of Attaroa and Brugar and the acolyte of S'Armuna (Bodoa). Omel was poisoned by their own mother shortly before the events of The Plains of Passage.
Omel was the only child born to Attaroa and Brugar. The child's sex was kept a closely guarded secret; Omel was given a gender-neutral name and was dressed in unrevealing clothes. Brugar claimed that Omel was a boy, though some suspected he did this because having a daughter would be considered shameful to him, whilst Omel themselves never revealed their sex. Omel's father was poisoned by Attaroa when they were quite young, with Attaroa becoming leader of the Three Sisters Camp and oppressing the men, threatening or killing anyone who dared question her. Omel eventually became an acolyte to S'Armuna, training as a shaman. Omel came to disagree with their mother's leadership and her cruel treatment of the men and tried to help some men to escape confinement, along with a young woman named Cavoa, who had fallen in love with one of the men. Unfortunately, they were caught and Attaroa is heavily implied to have fatally poisoned Omel for their defiance, along with the men. Only Cavoa was spared, after it was discovered she was pregnant.
Physical Appearance Edit
Omel was described as having a somewhat deformed spine, though they were quite tall in spite of this. They were thin and had a somewhat androgynous appearance, though their lack of facial hair and the "delicateness" to their features made them appear more female than male.
Theories on Omel's sex Edit
Omel's sex is never confirmed in the books. Brugar - a misogynist who would've viewed having a girl child as harmful to his pride - claimed they were male, whilst Attaroa - who despised men - never mentioned their sex. Both Omel's parents had reasons to lie about their sex. S'Armuna believed Omel was a girl, though part of this may have been wishful thinking on her part and Omel themselves neither confirmed or denied this (possibly out of fear of their mother's wrath). Omel was an adolescent when they died, but showed no signs of facial hair or other physical signs of male puberty. They were noted as having a potentially feminine figure. This would imply that Omel was indeed female. That being said, Ayla and Jondalar could not tell simply by looking what sex Omel was after seeing their body; they guessed they might be female, but that they could also have been a young man who developed later than usual. Omel was noted for having been unusually tall for a female, though their mother was also quite tall. S'Armuna suggested that Omel could've been a late-developing boy, saying it was difficult to tell if Omel developed breasts.
Another explanation is that Omel was in fact intersex, possessing ambiguous genitalia or biological traits of both sexes. This condition would not be easily understood by prehistoric cultures, worsened by the unhealthy views on each sex possessed by Omel's parents, and could possibly explain the ambiguity and secrecy surrounding Omel's sex.
- As their father, Brugar, was one-quarter Clan, Omel was technically of mixed spirits, though they never appeared to show any physical traits of the Clan.