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D'jarra

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The D'jarras were a Bajoran caste system, once used by the Bajorans to create a stratified social hierarchy. Everyone was born into a specific caste of D'jarras based on their family, which determined their occupation. Higher-ranking D'jarras were treated with respect and deference by those of lower ranks. For example, the Ih'valla are a caste of artists and sculptors, and were ranked higher than the Te'nari. In some cases, Bajoran family names indicated the D'jarra to which family members belonged; for example, the family name Kira indicated membership in the Ih'valla, or artists' D'jarra.

The D'jarra system was set aside during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, so that all Bajorans could fight as soldiers to liberate their homeworld. After the Cardassian withdrawal, the status quo was maintained, as too many people were now performing jobs far different from their D'jarras.

In 2372, Akorem Laan called for the restoration of the D'jarra system after he assumed the position of Emissary of the Prophets, believing that the Bajorans had strayed from the path the Prophets set for them by abandoning the D'jarras. The resumption of the D'jarras was a deeply divisive issue amongst the Bajorans, many of whom refused to return to their castes. Akorem hoped that eventually the D'jarras would be enforced by legal measures, such as deportation.

For the Federation, the D'jarras were also a source of great concern since caste-based discrimination would disqualify Bajor for Federation membership. When a vedek from the family Imutta was murdered by Vedek Porta for refusing to resign, because his D'jarra involved preparing the dead for burial and was therefore unclean, Captain Benjamin Sisko challenged Akorem's claim as the Emissary. After the Prophets confirmed that Sisko was the true Emissary, the idea of returning to the D'jarra system was quickly abandoned. (DS9: "Accession")

Individuals with known D'jarras

Since the D'jarra system had been long since abandoned in the period shown in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the D'jarras of most Bajoran individuals is not known. However, the D'jarras of most Bajoran characters seen or mentioned in the episode "Accession" can be deduced:
  • Kira Nerys would have been a member of the Ih'valla, or artists' D'jarra. Presumably other members of her family, such as her brothers Kira Pohl and Kira Reon, would also have been Ih'valla.
  • Shakaar Edon would have been a member of the farmers' D'jarra. Akorem Laan and Vedek Porta hoped that if the D'jarra system were restored, Bajorans would not elect a member of this D'jarra to political office.
  • Since Vedek Porta and Kai Winn Adami supported Akorem's plan to restore the D'jarras, it can be reasonably inferred that they were both members of a priestly D'jarra.
  • Gia was a member of the Te'nari D'jarra.
  • Vedek Imutta was a member of a D'jarra whose role was to prepare the dead for burial. Under the D'jarra system, members of this caste were considered unclean.
Compare the "untouchable" Dalit caste in the Indian caste system on Earth.

Apocrypha

The non-canon Star Trek: Terok Nor novel series includes several other D'jarra castes:

  • Mi'tino - low ranking merchants and land owners
  • Va'telo - pilots, sailors and similar professions
  • Ke'lora - laborers and lawmen
  • Sern'apa - unspecified, possible the priests.

Imutta is listed as the "unclean" caste that deals with the dead. In "Accession", Imutta was only given as the family name of a person of this caste.

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