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Women's Circle

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"Everyone said Two Rivers men were stubborn, but they could not match Two Rivers women."
   —from the thoughts of Egwene al'Vere[1]

In the Two Rivers district of western Andor the villages of Taren Ferry, Watch Hill, Emond's Field, and Deven Ride hold themselves politically independent and practice a form of gender-based bicameral government. The Women's Circle of each community is an all-female committee whose members are elder women chosen to join the Circle by existing members.[2] Each Circle is headed by a Wisdom who is also chosen by existing members and serves for life. The number of members in each community's Circle is not set at a certain amount, though they do tend to be proportional in size to the population of the differing communities; with Taren Ferry's Circle being the largest and Deven Ride's having the fewest members.

The primary function of Circles is to establish and maintain social protocols within Two Rivers culture. Young women in the Two Rivers are not allowed to Braid their hair until members of the local Women's Circle decide that they are of marriageable age. When weddings do occur, members of the Circle stand as witnesses while the local Wisdom performs the ceremony. Circles will also convene to settle non-property related disputes amongst folk. Members also occasionally assist Wisdoms in the arts of healing, weather prediction, and herblore.

The power of the Women's Circle in each community is balanced by - and often at odds with -the equally important Village Council. Councils are nine-member committees of men in each village who have been elected into office by townsfolk. They are headed by a Mayor who is also elected into office and serves as one of the nine members. Though these two ruling bodies frequently bicker over small issues, it is generally understood and accepted that Councils regulate economic matters and Circles hold sway over social issues.

Beginning in the summer of 999 NE the Circles of each village began to defer to Perrin Aybara and Faile Aybara who have emerged as sovereign nobles ruling over the Two Rivers district. Under this new structure, Circles dispatch their Wisdoms to Emond's Field to engage in dispute resolution while in audience with either Perrin or Faile.[3] Faile has also worked in secret to manipulate Circle memberships in order to consolidate her political control over the four villages in the Two Rivers.[3]

NotesEdit

  1. The Shadow Rising, Chapter 7
  2. The Eye of the World, Chapter 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lord of Chaos, Prologue

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