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Bajoran
Bajoran symbol
Leeta, a Bajoran female (2374)
Vedek Bareil Antos, a Bajoran male (2371)
The Bajorans (also known as the "Bajora") were a humanoid species native to the planet Bajor in the Alpha Quadrant. The Bajorans had one of the oldest and richest cultures in the quadrant, though in the 24th century they suffered greatly at the hands of the Cardassian Union. With their liberation from the Cardassians and the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole in 2369, the Bajorans were thrust onto the interstellar stage.

Physiology Edit

Bajoran skull scan
Bajoran skull scan

Bajorans resembled Humans in appearance, and were distinguished by a series of four to seven horizontal creases across their noses. Bajorans also featured light and dark skinned variants, although the dark skinned Bajorans appeared to be a very small minority. (DS9: "The Homecoming") The Bajoran heart was mirrored along a horizontal axis, unlike the Human heart, which is mirrored along a vertical axis. A puncture in the lower ventricle of the heart would cause instantaneous death. Bajoran women gestated for only five months, forming an intricate network of blood vessels between the mother and the fetus. During the pregnancy, Bajoran women were frequently afflicted by bouts of uncontrollable sneezing. (TNG: "Descent"; DS9: "A Man Alone", "Body Parts", "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places") Bajorans had a lifespan of at least 100 years; as arbiter Els Renora stated her age to be such, and looked and acted as a healthy 21st century human in her seventies (DS9: "Dax"). Given her apparent good health, it is quite possible they lived even longer.

The original Bajoran makeup scheme also included an extension of the nose creases, forming a small ridge above the inner part of the eyebrows, referred to by the make-up team as "wings". Nana Visitor had these wings in "Emissary", but afterwards they were not seen again barring some exceptions in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's first season. Characters who had initially appeared with the previous makeup design -- Ro Laren, Sito Jaxa, and Opaka -- later bore the "new" Bajoran physiology in their reappearances. Reportedly, they were removed due to interfering with the natural frown lines on the actors' foreheads.

History Edit

Main articles: Bajoran history and Bajor: Historical

Ancient Bajor Edit

In the 24th century, Bajoran civilization stretched back more than half a million years. The ancient Bajorans were renowned for their accomplishments in science, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts. The greatest of these early Bajoran civilizations was the First Republic, which flourished between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago. During this time, magnificent cities such as B'hala were built.

The next great phase of Bajoran civilization began approximately 10,000 years ago, when the first of the Tears of the Prophets were discovered above Bajor. These artifacts ushered in a new era of spiritual connection with the Bajoran gods, the Prophets. By the 16th century, the Bajorans had developed sublight space travel and were exploring their home star system with solar-sail spacecraft. Some Bajoran explorers even reached the Cardassian system, several light years away. This period came to an end with the annexation of Bajor by Cardassia sometime before 2319. (TNG: "Ensign Ro"; DS9: "Rapture", "Emissary", "Explorers")

Prior to the Cardassian occupation, Bajorans followed a strict system of castes known as D'jarras. (DS9: "Accession")

Cardassian Occupation Edit

The Occupation of Bajor (usually simply referred to as the Occupation) was a period from 2328 to 2369 during which the Bajoran homeworld of Bajor was under the control of the Cardassian Union. During the Occupation, the Cardassians perpetrated a coordinated scheme of strip-mining, forced labor, and genocide across the planet. The Occupation gave rise to the fierce Bajoran Resistance, which used guerrilla and terror tactics to eventually force the Cardassians to withdraw. Many Bajorans also fled the occupation and settled on planets all over the known galaxy, but almost everywhere they remained separated from other peoples, living under the poorest circumstances in refugee camps like those on Valo II.

Independent Bajor Edit

In 2369, after over forty years of domination over Bajor, the Cardassians finally left, no longer willing to stand against the relentless terrorism of the Bajoran Resistance. As the Bajorans established an independent government, the United Federation of Planets moved into the system and, along with the Bajoran military, established joint control of Terok Nor, a mining station, which they renamed Deep Space 9. Bajor applied for Federation membership in 2373, but retracted their application at the last moment because their Emissary told them this would be disastrous for Bajor. The two governments maintained a cordial relationship, however.

Prior to the beginning of the Dominion War in 2373, Bajor signed a nonaggression pact with the Dominion, choosing to remain neutral. This saved Bajor from coming under the rule of another foreign power when the Dominion captured Deep Space 9 later in the year. Bajor finally joined the fight against the Dominion in 2374 after the Allies recaptured Deep Space 9 in Operation Return. The Bajorans continued to fight against the Dominion until 2375, when the Treaty of Bajor was signed on Deep Space 9. Following the war, Bajor resumed its attempts to become a member of the United Federation of Planets. (DS9: "Emissary", "Rapture", "Call to Arms", "Sacrifice of Angels", "What You Leave Behind")

Government Edit

Following the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor, the interim Bajoran Provisional Government was set up to administer the planet and its various colonies. Bajoran politics is balanced between the secular Chamber of Ministers, led by the First Minister, and the religious Vedek Assembly, led by the kai. It is possible for one individual to be both the kai and the first minister simultaneously, as Winn Adami was for several weeks in 2371. (DS9: "Shakaar")

Agencies Edit

Religion and spirituality Edit

See main article: Bajoran religion

Winn adami
Kai Winn Adami

Bajorans have a deeply spiritual society, and the Bajoran religion is a major unifying force on the planet; the spiritual leader, or kai, wields a great deal of moral and political authority, advising and influencing the planet's political leader, the First Minister. The kai is chosen from a council of vedeks, the title given to Bajoran religious leaders. Other religious titles are ranjen and prylar. The Bajoran religion is based upon the revelations of the Prophets, who come to be known as the timeless beings residing in the Bajoran wormhole, or as it is called by the Bajorans, the Celestial Temple. Since Starfleet officer Benjamin Sisko was the first to make contact with them, he is acclaimed by the Bajoran spiritual leadership as the Emissary of the Prophets. Part of the Bajoran religion involves the use of the Tears of the Prophets, reality-distorting energy orbs produced by the Prophets. Several of these were stolen by the Cardassians during the Occupation, though a number have been recovered.

See also Edit

Language Edit

See main article: Bajoran language

Culture and society Edit

Bajoran culture and customs are closely tied with Bajor's religious beliefs.

Names Edit

Bajoran custom places the surname (or family name) before the given name. Therefore, Major Kira Nerys would properly be addressed as Major Kira, not Major Nerys. (TNG: "Ensign Ro")

This convention is also used in many Earth cultures, including Hungarian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese naming.

Childbirth Edit

Kira giving birth
Kira Nerys giving birth

The traditional Bajoran birthing ceremony is attended by the woman's family and a midwife. The objective of the ritual is to induce complete relaxation through a combination of breathing exercises, rhythmic percussion music and incense, allowing the woman to give birth without pain. However, the birth must take place in a certain period of time, or the level of endorphins within the mother's system will build to toxic levels.

When the child is born, he or she is greeted with the following words: "Awake child, we await you with love and welcome you into the world." (DS9: "The Begotten")

Funerary customs Edit

The Bajorans generally bury their deceased in graves marked with a decorated arch. Bajoran funeral rites can be quite elaborate; for example, the Bajoran death chant is over two hours long. However, the preservation of the body itself is not of particular significance to the Bajorans, who believe that after death a person's pagh joins the Prophets in the Celestial Temple, leaving only an empty shell. To mourn the death of a loved one, Bajorans light duranja lamps. (DS9: "Shakaar", "Indiscretion", "Ties of Blood and Water")

Music Edit

Bajor, as an advanced society, was well-known for its music both before, and after, the Occupation. The Jalanda Forum was a popular performance venue. The belaklavion was a Bajoran musical instrument.

Holidays and festivals Edit

Bajorans typically clap right palm on left wrist. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")

Food and beverages Edit

Parallel universes Edit

In the mirror universe, the Bajorans were a race conquered by the Terran Empire. They were liberated by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance and became leading members. Some, however, joined the Terran Rebellion. (DS9: "Crossover", "The Emperor's New Cloak")

The Bajorans of the mirror universe did not know of the Prophets and were not a spiritual people like their primary universe counterparts. (DS9: "Resurrection")

Mirror Bareil's statements in that episode seem to be inconsistent with mirror Garak´s reference to pagh and spiritual journey in "Crossover".
Ronald D. Moore commented: "The intention was that there were Orbs on the other side, but they had been lost or destroyed or something and that they had passed into legend for the Mirror Bajorans." (AOL chat, 1997)

In another quantum reality, the Bajorans had overthrown the Cardassian Union prior to 2370 and had become increasingly aggressive towards the Federation. On Stardate 47391.2, a Bajoran warship destroyed the Argus Array as they thought that Starfleet was using it to spy on them. The next day, the same ship attacked the USS Enterprise-D under the command of Captain William T. Riker, causing damage to its power systems. The warship later disengaged after the appearance of approximately 285,000 near duplicate Enterprises which appeared following a series of quantum incursions into that reality. (TNG: "Parallels")

People Edit

See also Edit

Technology Edit

The Bajorans had simple holographic technology, such as the ability to hide entrances with false holographic covers. (DS9: "Emissary")

See also Edit

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Background information Edit

Name and Concept Edit

^ The term "Bajora" can be heard in TNG: "Ensign Ro", DS9: "Emissary", and DS9: "A Man Alone" but was not reused after Deep Space Nine's first season. It may be alternate or outdated terminology.

The introduction of the Bajorans in TNG: "Ensign Ro" seemed to suggest that the episode's writers, TNG Executive Producers Rick Berman and Michael Piller, sympathized with the plight of the Palestinians. "The Bajorans are the PLO but they're also the Kurds, the Jews, and the American Indians," Piller responded. "They are any racially bound group of people who have been deprived of their home by a powerful force [....] When you talk about a civilization like the Bajorans who were great architects and builders with enormous artistic skills centuries before humans were even standing erect, you might be thinking a lot more about Indians than Palestinians." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 2/3, p. 38 & 43) Berman, discussing "Ensign Ro", similarly emphasized that the Bajorans were not modeled on any particular real-life group; "The Kurds, the Palestinians, the Jews in the 1940s, the boat people from Haiti – unfortunately, the homeless and terrorism are problems [in every age]." (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)

Regarding parallels between the Bajorans and real-world cultures, Ronald D. Moore commented, "Depending on the episode, you could also call Bajor Israel, or Iran, or even America and the Cardassians could be Germans, or Russians or several other examples. While these parallels do enter our discussions and sometimes are more overt than others, we don't really try to make Bajor a direct analogy to any specific contemporary country or people. Blending the experiences of many Earth peoples and races into our storytelling allows us to comment on these subjects without advocating a particular political point of view, while at the same time allowing us to view the topics in a different light without the baggage of contemporary politics." (AOL chat, 1997)

As Bajorans are provided with much-needed blankets in "Ensign Ro", Jonathan Frakes jokingly referred to the group as "the people who needed towels." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 23, No. 2/3, p. 43) Nana Visitor compared the strong Bajoran women with the Celtic women who fought along with their men. (DS9 Season 1 DVD special feature "Crew Dossier: Kira Nerys")

Judging by Akorem Laan's familiarity with the Cardassians in "Accession", it seems that the Bajorans knew about, or had contact with, the Cardassians by at least the 22nd century. This is consistent with ENT: "Observer Effect", which establishes that the Cardassians engaged in interstellar space travel prior to 2154.

Makeup Edit

Michael Westmore's inspiration for the Bajoran makeup came from Rick Berman, who, after hiring Michelle Forbes to play Ro Laren on TNG, told Westmore, "We've hired a pretty girl and I want to keep her that way. Think of something that we can take and make her look a little alien, and still get the idea she's from another planet, but she's still gorgeous." (Michael Westmore's Aliens: Season One, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features) The nose design was partly "influenced" by Dave Rossi, who had accidentally damaged the original plaster casts by strapping them down on his bicycle while transporting them between Westmore and Berman. Westmore repaired the damage and used some of the indentations caused by the strap to add to the design. (Star Trek Magazine issue 123)

Several Bajoran nose special effects applications were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [2]

Apocrypha Edit

According to the DS9 Pocket Books novel Warpath, the Bajora were an "ethnic subgroup" who "became a nation-state, and eventually dominated the planet culturally and economically, subsuming other ethnic identities. Thousands of years later, despite the persistence of regional and ethnic variation among the people of Bajor, they now share a common identity as Bajorans."

James T. Kirk made first contact with the Bajorans during the five-year mission of the USS Enterprise, according to the novel Allegiance in Exile.

The Bajorans join the Federation in the novel Unity.

External links Edit

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