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GonzoTheGreat
02-17-2015, 05:29 AM
The concept first pops up in TFoH, and then Aiel keep joining this group right until AMoL:
Rhuarc crawled to her left, a Stone Dog named Shaen to her right. Both wore the red headband of the siswai'aman. She didn't know what to make of Rhuarc, a clan chief, donning that headband. He had never spoken of it; it was as if the headband did not exist. So it was with all of the siswai'aman. Amys crawled on Shaen's right. For once, no one had objected to Wise Ones joining the advance scouts. In a place such as this, at a time such as this, the eyes of one who could channel might see what ordinary eyes would not. The pattern is the same every time: Aiel join this group, but they do not talk about it.
First rule of Dragon Club: don't talk about Dragon Club.

And that's it. It seems very anticlimactic to me; it had seemed as if there would be some point to the whole siswai'aman business, but that turns out to be a mistaken impression as far as I now can see.

Terez
02-17-2015, 06:41 AM
The Aiel were basically slaves in the Age of Legends, if not in the usual way. (They were honored slaves; this was part of RJ's whole southern apologism thing.) I think that's why they wouldn't talk about it; it was shameful to them. As to why the siswai'aman belonged specifically to Rand:

He enjoyed Charn's stories even if he could not make himself believe, but some earned the old man frowns and scoldings. Like when he claimed to have served one of the Forsaken, once. Not just any Forsaken, but Lanfear herself. As well say he had served Ishamael. If Charn had to make up stories, Coumin wished he could say he had served Lews Therin, the great leader himself. Of course, everyone would ask why he was not serving the Dragon now, but that would be better than the way things were. Coumin did not like the way citizens looked at Charn when he said that Lanfear had not always been evil.
Coumin was the earliest Aiel we know of who broke from the Way. He was regarded as being off his rocker by the Da'shain of the time. Unlike his descendant who did the same, he didn't gain any friends or followers in that path.

Daekyras
02-18-2015, 08:46 AM
These aiel were turning their back on their clans. They were breaking from the bonds that they had spent their entire lives holding too.

I believe this is why they wouldnt talk about it. They were embarrassed. But you're right, it did seem to go nowhere.

so did "cha faile" now that I think about it. Stupid sub plot anyway.

Hugh the Hand
02-18-2015, 08:47 AM
One of many things we can hope are tied up in the Encyclopedia or through the notes.

Or just something that did not make it due to timing.

But a fair catch

Terez
02-18-2015, 09:15 AM
These aiel were turning their back on their clans. They were breaking from the bonds that they had spent their entire lives holding too.
The siswai'aman didn't break clan. Only the Brotherless and the Shaido who left to join their societies in Rand's army.

Daekyras
02-18-2015, 09:17 AM
The siswai'aman didn't break clan. Only the Brotherless and the Shaido who left to join their societies in Rand's army.

Thanks T, always there to help a brother out.

Did they leave their original societies?

Terez
02-18-2015, 09:22 AM
Thanks T, always there to help a brother out.

Did they leave their original societies?
Nope. Nothing was really different about the way they lived lives except 1) they were willing to do special favors for Rand along with the Maidens, and 2) the headband and the associated awkwardness.

Hugh the Hand
02-18-2015, 09:22 AM
My reading was they just wore the headband, that everyone ignored, and did everything else normally.

Daekyras
02-18-2015, 09:25 AM
Well then, what a silly sub plot then....

Terez
02-18-2015, 09:27 AM
The whole point of it is that they were expressing a higher level of devotion to the Car'a'carn than other Aiel. I'm not sure why people expected more; the awkwardness was pretty much explained when Asmodean told Rand what their name meant (following what Rand saw in the columns).