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The Mammoth-Men are a tribe of humans who live in the caves of Ja-Ru, a region in the northeast of Pellucidar. Like most if not all tribes of Pellucidar, the Mammoth-Men are fierce and generally uninterested in making friends with those outside their tribes- in fact, the notion of doing so baffles most Mammoth-Men. Perhaps what most sets the Mammoth-Men apart from other tribes is their custom of capturing the mighty Tandor (mammoths, hence the tribe's name) and training them as mounts.

If any tribe is more war-like or at least more feared than the others, it is likely the Mammoth-Men. Not only do their titanic mounts give them a considerable advantage in battle, the Mammoth-Men are a particularly large and aggressive folk. Even the women tend to be thick and tough, all the better for dealing with their demanding and often abusive husbands.


The society of the Mammoth-Men appears to revolve largely around their mounts. The men are expected to be strong enough to aid in the capture and training of mammoths, which is dangerous and can result in the death of many warriors. A rider is to sit on the neck and command the trained animal by slapping it on the head or back, depending on the command. Warriors ride out in troops astride their mammoths and seem to travel everywhere with their mounts. Like other tribes, Mammoth-Men use mammoth hide to produce items such as sandals. It is unclear whether the Mammoth-Men kill some mammoths for their hide and meat, or make use of animals which have died due to other causes.

The tribe is decidedly patriarchal and is headed by a chief, usually a particularly large man whose word is regarded as law. He is entitled to the finest, biggest bull mammoths and he is not necessarily required to take part in the training of them. The chief is not bound by any known set of rules and essentially may do as he pleases.

The marital system of the tribe is violent but somewhat organized. When a warrior wants to wed a young woman, he must fight another man who represents her- this is usually someone close such as a father, though the woman may select another man should the father refuse to right. If the prospective warrior wins, he claims the woman as his wife and may also claim any of her unwed sisters. The combat must be performed without weapons. It is notable that a woman sometimes opens proceedings by approaching a man she wants and sending another to beat the former into submission, though it should also be noted that inebriation was involved in the one known incident of this nature. The chief may claim whomever he pleases as his wife and may forbid marriage between tribe members.

When celebrating some momentous occasion, such as the capture of a particularly troublesome mammoth, the Mammoth-Men take part in a sort of large party called a "jaroo". All members of the tribe and even the prisoners feast on meat and tubers while getting drunk on fermented maize. Fights often break out and unexpected marriages may occur.

Relations with other tribes[]


Von Horst faces wild beasts in the "little canyon".

The Mammoth-Men are constantly in a state of conflict with other tribes, and their seems to be a particular animosity between them and the Bastians of Basti, a somewhat nearby region in Pellucidar's northwest. The Mammoth-Men never hesitate to run enemies down and take them captive, provided they don't kill them, and Mammoth-Men likely have the upper hand in most fights.

Captives are generally disliked but they may earn some respect. They are quartered with a family chosen by the chief and kept alive for a time. Captive women sometimes become unhappily married to men, but male captives are almost guaranteed to die. They are taken to an amphitheater-like formation known as the "little canyon", given a spear and a stone knife, and forced to confront Tarag packs and possibly unruly mammoths. As long as there is plenty of violence and all the prisoners are killed off, the Mammoth-Men are presumably content.

Technology and Cuisine[]

Mammoth-Men are simple and only use basic clothing items, such as mammoth-hide sandals, and utilize generic tools and weapons such as stone knives and spears. Their diet is very meat-oriented and dried venison is a staple of their diet. Tubers and maize are also common food items, and the latter can be fermented into a potent drink. Ja-Ru, being a fertile land, presumably offers a bountiful supply of other vegetables and fruit.

Notable Mammoth-Men[]

  • Thorek
  • Mamth
  • Gorph
  • Lotai
  • Mumal
  • Horg
  • Grum
  • Trog

Notable Appearances[]

The Mammoth-Men play a major part in Back to the Stone Age, the fifth novel in the Pellucidar series. Lieutenant Frederich Wilhelm Eric von Mendel-dorf und von Horst (often referred to as Von Horst) encounters them extensively in the second half of the book, though he encountered and even befriended an individual named Thorek earlier in the story.