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Siswai'aman means "Spears of the Dragon," and sounds much more possessive in the Old Tongue. More accurate may be "The Spears Owned by the Dragon."[1] Aiel who consider themselves siswai'aman wear red headbands with the ancient symbol of Aes Sedai on it.[2] Both men and women wear the headband of the siswai'aman,[3] but no woman who is a Maiden of the Spear has taken part in this yet. [4]

Siswai'aman

Members of the siswai'aman.

The headband is described as scarlet or crimson strips of cloth, worn above the brows, knotted at the temples. The ancient symbol of Aes Sedai sits on the forehead: a disc with a sinuous line separating a white side from a black side. It is the symbol on Rand al'Thor's banner.

Aiel who carry the spear normally wear nothing on their heads aside from a shoufa, always colored in such a way that the wearer is camouflaged in rocks and shadows. The bright red headbands worn by these warriors is an oddity. Even stranger, there are siswai'aman among the gai'shain who wear the narrow headband. Gai'shain under normal circumstances separate themselves from virtually all personal identity except his or her name for the duration of his or her service. An article declaring an allegiance or a belief is highly unusual. Further, a gai'shain's dedication to touching no weapon extends to clothing: they are never to wear anything that those who touch weapons do, thus their white robes.[2]

Aes Sedai banner

Headbands take the design of the Banner of Light.

Although the headbands make a loud visual statement, no Aiel is comfortable speaking of their existence.[1]

Beyond the physical appearance of the headbands, their significance is most profound. It is remarkable that any Aiel would swear such fealty to a single person as the siswai'aman do the the Dragon. The Aiel typically view Rand al'Thor, the Car'a'carn, as the first among equals, and, like all leaders, not deserving of unalienable command. The siswai'aman break this Aiel ideology by devoting themselves to the will of Rand al'Thor in a way representing very highly a Wetlander's approach to his Lord. It is seemingly the cultural antithesis of Aiel behavior. However, the siswai'aman are rooted in toh. They believe serving Rand expiates their ancestral sins in failing the Aes Sedai.

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lord of Chaos, Chapter 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Fires of Heaven, Chapter 46
  3. Lord of Chaos, Chapter 46
  4. A Crown of Swords, Chapter 20

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