I regarded the daughter of the Ubar, now a sorry sight. Her Robes of Concealment were splattered with mud and marsh water, and in several places the heavy brocade had stiffened and cracked. The dominant colours of her Robes of Concealment were subtle reds, yellows and purples, arrayed in intricate overlapping folds. I guessed it would have taken he slave girls hours to array her in such garments. Many of the free women of Gor and almost always those of High Caste wear the Robes of Concealment, though, of course, their garments are seldom as complex or splendidly wrought as those of a Ubar's daughter. The Robes of Concealment, in function, resemble the garments of Muslim women on my own planet, though they are undoubtedly more intricate and cumbersome. Normally, of men, only a father and a husband may look upon the woman unveiled.
In the barbaric world of Gor, the Robes of Concealment are deemed necessary to protect the women from the binding fibres of roving tarnsmen. Few warriors will risk their lives to capture a woman who may be as ugly as a tharlarion. Better to steal slaves, where the guilt is less and the charms of the captive are more readily ascertainable in advance. Tarnsman of Gor, page 87
Her hand was before her veil. Her eyes were wide. She wore swirling, dazzling robes of concealment, of purple and gold cloths, brocades and silks. The veil itself was purple, and trimmed with gold.
Then she caught herself and presented herself before me, as a high-born lady.
“I am Vivina,” said she, “of the city of Kasra of Tyros.”
I nodded my head. “Call me Bosk,” I said. “I am a captain of Port Kar.”
Behind the girl, in robes almost as rich as hers, were two other high-born maidens. Raiders of Gor, page 208,209
"Run" cried the woman. "Flee for your life"
I saw her eyes wild with fear for a moment above the rep-cloth veil and she had sped past me.
She was peasant, barefoot, her garment little more than coarse sacking. She had been carrying a wicker basket containing vulos, domesticated pigeons raised for eggs and meat.
Her man, carrying a mattock, was not far behind. Over his left shoulder hung a bulging sack filled with what must have been the paraphernalia of his hut. Nomads of Gor, page 1
I overheard an argument, between a seller of vegetables and two low-caste women, in simple robes of concealment. Hunters of Gor, page 41
He held the whip to my lips. I pressed my lips to it, and kissed it. “Absolute obedience,” I said.
Eta, from behind me, pinned the first of five veils about my face. It was light, and shimmering, of white silk, almost transparent. Then, one after the other, she added the freedom veil, or veil of the citizeness, the pride veil, the house veil, and street veil. Each of these is heavier and more opaque than the one which lies within. The street veil, worn publicly, is extremely bulky, quite heavy and completely opaque; not even the lineaments of the nose and cheeks are discernible when it is worn; the house veil is worn indoors when there are those present who are not of the household, as in conversing with or entertaining associates of one´s companion. Veils are worn in various numbers and combinations by Gorean free women, this tending to vary by preference and caste. Many low-class Gorean women own only a single veil which must do for all purposes. Not all high-caste women wear a large number of veils. A free woman, publicly, will commonly wear one or two veils; a frequent combination is the light veil, or last veil, and the house or street veil. Rich, vain women of high caste may wear ostentatiously as many as nine or ten veils. In certain cities, in connection with the free companionship, the betrothed or pledged beauty may wear eight veils, several of which are ritualistically removed during various phases of the ceremony of companionship; the final veils, and robes, of course, are removed in private by the male who, following their removal, arms interlocked with the girl, drinks with her the wine of the companionship, after which he completes the ceremony. This sort of thing, however, varies considerably from city to city. In some cities the girl is unveiled, though not disrobed, of course, during the public ceremony. The friends of the male may then express their pleasure and joy in her beauty, and their celebration of the good fortune of their friend. The veil, it might be noted, is not legally imperative for a free woman; it is rather a matter of modesty and custom. Some low-class, uncompanioned, free girls do not wear veils. Similarly certain bold free women neglect the veil. Neglect of the veil is not a crime in Gorean cities, though in some it is deemed a brazen and scandalous omission. Slave girls may or may not be veiled, this depending on the will of their master. Most slave girls are not permitted to veil themselves. Indeed, not only are they refused the dignity of the veil, but commonly they are placed in brief, exciting slave livery and may not even bind their hair. Such girls, healthy and vital, their hair unbound, their considerable charms well revealed by the brevity of their costume, are thought by men to constitute one of the more pleasurable aspects of the scenery of a city. Are the slaves of Ar, for example, more beautiful than those of, say, Ko-ro-ba, or Tharna? Men, the beasts, heatedly discuss such questions. In some cities, and among some groups and tribes, it might be mentioned, though this is not common, veils may be for most practical purposes unknown, even among free women. The cities of Gor are numerous and pluralistic. Each has its own history, customs and traditions. On the whole, however, Gorean culture prescribes the veil for free women. Eta fastened the fourth of five veils upon me, the house veil. Though Eta wore only the shameful, scandalous Ta-Teera, she pinned the veils expertly. She, now only a delicious, half-naked slave girl, had once been free. She did her work beautifully. Slavegirl of Gor, page 107-108
I undid the five buttons, red, which ran from the throat of the garment to the waist. Buttons, interestingly, were a relatively recent innovation in some Gorean slavewear. They are not used on the garments of free persons. Most Gorean garments do not have buttons, but are slipped on, or held with brooches or pins. Hooks, however, are used with some frequency. Buttons, interestingly, are regarded as rather sensuous on Gor. Buttons, obviously, may be unbuttoned, or cut away with a knife, thus revealing the slave. Many masters do not permit a girl to button her tunic in the privacy of their compartments. When a slave opens the door of the master's compartment and kneels, head down, say, to admit a visitor, her garment may have been closed only an instant before. This is also true of a hooked slave garment. Slaves, too, may be kept nude in the compartments. These, before answering the door, will usually don a light tunic, slipping it over their heads or wrapping it about their shoulders. When one sees the slave one does not know if, a moment before, she has been beautifully naked in her slavery or if, when the door closes, she has again, behind the door, stripped herself for her master's pleasure. I undid, too, the red, rep-cloth sash of the tunic. The buttons and sash on the tunic were red. The tunic itself, sleeveless, was white. I slipped the tunic over my head and, hastily, cast it aside. I now faced Bran Loort clad only in the collar of my master and my brand. Slavegirl of Gor, page 417,418
“Remove your clothing,” I said.
She looked at me, startled.
“Or I shall do it for you,” I said. “I am the intruder,” I explained.
She backed away. “Never,” she said.
“Very well,” I said. “Lie on the bed, on your stomach, with your hands and legs apart.” I drew forth the knife at the belt of the garment I wore. It is not wise to try to tear away the garments of a free woman with one's bare hands. They may contain poisoned needles. Beasts of Gor, page 402
Like many Gorean women, she did not use cosmetics. Free women in Ar commonly use cosmetics, but, outside of Ar, usually it is only the bolder women who resort to them. My mistress, for example, did not use cosmetics either. Many free women regard cosmetics as only for slave girls. Slave girls, of course, use them often. Fighting slave of Gor, page 224
The line of kneeling slaves was straight. I knelt near the end of that line. The Mistress, not hurrying, continued her inspection. Kenneth and Barus followed her. Occasionally she stopped to speak to a slave, sometimes to put him under questions, pertaining to his duties and his discharging of them. She could be quite thorough my mistress, the lofty Lady Florence of Vonda. Many of the slaves feared her, her demands and her quirt. She held over them, of course, the power of life and death. She was only a few slaves from me now. It had rained the night before, and the ground was soft.
She wore a full, beige skirt, the hem of which fell to within some six inches of the ground, and slim, high, black leathered boots; a beige blouse, and a beige jacket, belted, which fell to her thighs; too, she wore a loose hood, attached, to the jacket by hooks, of matching beige material, and an opaque veil, also of beige material. Such garments, far less formal than common attire of the Gorean free woman, are sometimes worn by rich women in the supervision and inspection of certain sorts of holdings, such as orchards, fields, ranches and vineyards. They constitute, for such women, so to speak, a habit of work.
The mistress was now but five slaves from me.
The skirt's hem, some six inches from the ground, protects the skirt from being soiled by water or mud. Doubtless that is the principal reason for its height. Also, however, interestingly, it functions as a slave control device. The sight of the Mistress' ankle, of course, even booted, is tantalizing; it is exciting and provocative. The male slave, thus, if he is vital, finds himself powerfully drawn to look upon it. On the other hand he knows that such an act can be punished by death. Thus, when he is in the presence of his Mistress, she in such a habit, he becomes fearful and ill at ease. She, in effect flaunts herself in front of him, acting however as though no such thing is going on. She knows that he is in misery. She exploits this in her control of him. Fighting slave of Gor, page 232
The Lady Florence nodded her features visible behind the light house veil, suitable for an informal dinner with friends. The Lady Malpomene, too, wore such a veil. Both were richly robed. Fighting slave of Gor, page 275
All drank, save the Lady Florence, who, smiling, did not lift her cup. Free women, drinking, commonly lift their veil, or veils, with the left hand. Low-caste free women, of veiled, usually do the same. Sometimes, however, particularly if in public, they will drink through their veil or veils. Sometimes, of course, free women will drink unveiled, even with guests. Much depend on how well the individuals are known, and who is present, In their homes, of course, with only members of the their families present, or servants and slaves, most free women do not veil themselves, even those of high caste. Fighting slave of Gor, page 276
The woman at the counter had been veiled as is common with Gorean women, particularly those of high caste and of the high cities. Many Gorean woman in their haughtiness and pride, do not choose to have their features exposed to the common view. They are too fine and noble to be looked upon by the casual rabble. Similarly the robes of concealment worn by many Gorean women are doubtless dictated by similar sentiments. On the other hand veiling is a not impractical modesty in a culture in which capture, and the chain and the whip are not known.
One justification for the veiling and for the robes of concealment, which is not regarded as inconsiderable, is that it is supposed to provide something of a protection against abduction and predation. Who would risk his life, it is said, to carry off a woman who might when roped to a tree and stripped, turn out to be as ugly as a tharalarion? Slave girls, by contract, are almost never permitted veils. Similarly, they are usually clad in such a say that their charms are manifest and obvious to even the e casual onlookers. This, aside from having such utilities as reminding the girls that they are total slaves and giving pleasure to the men who look upon them, is supposed to make them, rather than free women, the desiderated objects of capture and rapine. I think there is something to this theory for statistically, it is almost always the female slave and hot her free sister who finds herself abducted and struggling in the lashings of captors or slavers. On the other hand, in spite of the theories pertaining to such matters, free women are certainly not immune to the fates of capture and enslavement. Many men, despite the theories pertaining to such matters, and accepting the risks involved, enjoy taking them. Some slavers specialize in the capture of free women. Indeed, it is thought by some, perhaps largely because of the additional risks involved, and the interest in seeing what one has caught, that there is a special spice and flavor about taking them. Similarly it is said to be pleasant, if one has the time and patience, first to their horror and then to their joy, training them to the collar. Rogue of Gor, page 41
"I can still see you hair," said Drusus Rencius.
I drew the hood angrily even more closely about my features. Little more now could be seen of me, as is common with the robes of concealment, but a bit of the bridge of my nose and my eyes. Kajira of Gor, page 99
“That is better!” she said, jerking angrily away from the guards, as though she might have freed herself, had she chosen to do so. She angrily smoothed down her long, silken, capelike sleeves. I caught a glimpse of her sweetly rounded forearm and small wrist. She wore white gloves.
“This is an outrage!” she said. Se wore tiny, golden slippers. Her robes of concealment, silken and flowing, shimmered in the torchlight. She adjusted the draping of the garment, an almost inadvertent, unconscious movement, a natural vanity. Player of Gor, page 11
We now returned our attention to the woman in the silken, shimmering robes of concealment, standing before our table. Her eyes were apprehensive, over her veil. I could see that the beating of the female slave had had its effect on her. She was breathing deeply. Her breasts, rising and falling, moved nicely under the silk. Players of Gor, page 12
“Your legs look well,” I said.
Again she struck me, and then again.
“I note that you have not yet been permitted footwear,” I said. Her feet, bare in the stirrups of the saddle, were dark with dirt, as were her lower legs, from her ride. Her legs did indeed look well, covered with dust though they might be, shapely against the leather of the saddle, and the thick, scaled hide of the tharlarion. The skirt she had been permitted was almost slave short and was cut at the sides. She had not been permitted sleeves in the garment. She was attractive. Probably most men would have wanted to clean her up a bit before using her. It was interesting to conjecture what she might look like washed and combed, and perfumed, and put in a bit of slave silk, and appropriately collared, of course. The skirt she wore, though it came high on her thighs, and was cut at the sides, had a very high waist, its belting cord cinched just under her breasts. Yes, altogether it was a fetching ensemble. Men who had an eye for women must have designed it and she, doubtless, had been given no choice but to wear it. It was opaque, of course. That was surely a concession to her status, that of the free woman. If I came to own her I thought I might give her a similar garment, but one of diaphanous silk. Too, I might shorten it a bit. The inmates of such garment, incidentally, suitable collared, of course, also look well bedecked with barbaric Gorean slave jewelry. Some women, in the beginning, object strenuously to such jewelry, but soon they are begging for it. Her hair, I noted, was loose. This was also doubtless meaningful. Slaves must often wear their hair in such a fashion.
She struck me twice more with the whip, wheeling about on the tharlarion.
“Your hair is loose,” I observed.
“Sleen! Sleen!” she screamed.
Again and again the whip fell. I closed my eyes, that I not be blinded. I was pleased she did not have a man's strength. Then, sweating, angrily, she replaced the whip at the side of her saddle.
I grinned at her. Yes, she would look well, properly attired, or properly unattired, cringing at my feet in a collar, knowing that her least discrepancy from the absolute perfections of slave service would instantly bring upon down her the stroke of the five-stranded slave lash, or worse.
“Laugh, fool!” she cried. “It is you who are in manacles! It is you who are my prisoner!”
I looked up at her, not speaking.
“You were the cause of my reduction in rank,” she cried. “You were the cause of my loss of status in Brundisium, my descent from favor in the eyes of my Ubar, Belnar, the reason I have been denied the right to conceal my features, my right as a free female, the reason I have been placed in brief, shameful garments, forcing me to make clear to men my femaleness, the reason I may not bind my hair, but must wear it as though it might be that of a slave, but that is all finished now. Now all changes! No, fool, you will be the reason not only for my restoration to privilege and station in Brundisium, the reason for my new rise to favor in the court, in the eyes of Belnar, my Ubar, but the cause, as well, of my attaining there, in the palace and in the service of my Ubar and the state, new heights of prestige, status and power! Let Flaminius weep with envy! I shall be a thousand times higher than he!” Players of Gor, page 286-287
She reached to the veils about her throat and shoulders and, dropped them softly to the grass. She stood not more then a hundred yards from the gate of Tesius, in the city of Samnium, some two hundred pasangs east and a bit south of Brundisium, both cities continental allies of the island ubarate of Cos. She slipped softly from her slippers. She must then have felt the touch of the grass blades on her ankles. She looked at me. Her hands went to the stiff, high brocaded collar of her robes, the robes of concealment, to the numerous eye and hooks there, holding it tightly, protectively, about her throat, up high under her chin.
"Do not dally," I told her.
In a few moments she had parted her robes, and slipped them, first the street robe, that stiff, ornate fabric, and them the house robe, scarcely less inflexible and forbidding from her small soft shoulders. Clad now only in a silken sliplike undergarment, she then looked at me. Mercenaries of Gor, page 9
"In Ar's Station," he said, 'as in Ar, robes of concealment, precisely, are not legally obligatory for free women, no more than the veil. Such things are more a matter of custom. On the other hand, as you know, there are statutes prescribing certain standards of decorum for free women. For example, they may not appear naked in the streets, as may slaves. Indeed, a free woman who appears in public in violation of these standards of decorum, for example, with her arms or legs too much bared, may be made a slave." Renegades of Gor, page 367-368
She moved her foot a little, causing the bangles on her left ankle to move slightly. Most free women, of course, would never wear such things, They are regarded as suitable and appropriate only for slaves. She moved the bracelets on her left wrist up her left forearm an inch or two. Mercenaries of Gor, page 343-344
She was small and her figure, obscured to be sure under the heavy fabrics of the robes of concealment, surely uncom-fortable, and seemingly incongruous, in the delta, seemed cuddly. She was veiled, as is common for Gorean women in the high cities, particularly those of station. In some cities the veil is prescribed by law for free women, as well as by custom and etiquette; and in most cities it is prohibited, by law, to slaves.
“Withdraw,” said she to those about. “I would speak with him privately.”
My keeper checked the manacles on my wrists and the length, stoutness and fastening of the neck-rope. Then he, with the others, withdrew.
She lifted the hems of her robes a tiny bit, lifting them a bit from the wet sand, holding them in one hand. She did not, I gathered, wish them soiled. She seemed haughty, displeased, disdainful, fastidious. Doubtless there were places other than the delta which she would have preferred to frequent, such as the arcades, the courts and shops of Ar. I could see the toes of her embroidered slippers. Vagabonds of Gor, page 106
She wore a sleeveless, calf-length brown dress, woven of the wool of the bounding hurt. This was, in spite of the lack of sleeves, clearly the garment of a free woman. That could be told by such things as its quality, length, sturdiness and opacity. It did not, for example, as might have rep cloth, a light, clinging fabric often used for slave garments, make obvious the lineaments of its occupant´s figure. But, too, it was surely the sort of garment that would be likely to be worn only by a woman of the lower castes. It was a simple, plain, everyday work garment. I did, in spite of such features as its sturdiness and opacity, find it attractive on her. It was, of course, save sandals, all she wore.
“I cannot wear this!” she had cried, looking at it, shaking it out, when I had thrown it to her.
“Why not?” I had asked, genuinely puzzled. She was, at that time, in a belly cord and slave strips.
“Impossible!” she said.
“It is the garment of a free woman,” I had said.
“It is a lower-caste garment!” she said. “I am of high caste!” Ina was, I had learned, of the Builders, one of the five high castes on Gor, the others being the Initiates, Physi-cians, Scribes and Warriors. Vagabonds of Gor, page 106
Free women in most of the high cities of Gor, particularly those of higher caste, go veiled in public. Also they commonly wear the robes of concealment which cover them, in effect, from head to toe. Even gloves are often worn. There are many reasons for this, having to do with modesty, security, and such. Players of Gor, page 12
|Quotes on Free Women Dress|