"Her throat required only a collar. Her thigh required only a brand."
- PLAYERS OF GOR, Pg. 228

Relationship of the Collar and the Brand
RELATIONSHIP AND SYMBOLISM OF THE COLLAR AND THE BRAND

"The brand is to be distinguished from the collar, though both are a designation of slavery. The primary significance of the collar is that it identifies the master and his city. The collar of a given girl maybe be changed countless times, but the brand continues throughout to bespeak her status."

- OUTLAW OF GOR, Pg. 187

In Gorean Slavery, to both masters and slaves, the collar and brand are much more then simply a band of steel and a mark on one's flesh. Both have intense personal and symbolic meanings, which impress themselves upon the very being of the girl and mark her both internally and externally as slave.

"The brand is impersonal; the collar intensely personal; the brand marks her property; the collar proclaims whose property she is, who it is who has either taken or paid for, her; that the brand is an impersonal designation of an absence of status in the social structure is perhaps another reason why masters do not often brand their own girls; the brand relationship to the free man is institutional; the collar relationship, on the other hand, is an intensely personal one."

- TRIBESMEN OF GOR, Pg. 42

The collar serves as an outward symbol of slavery, showing to the world the condition that the one wearing it is held in. It is commonly made of steel, very tight fitting, inscribed with the name and city of the owner, and secured with a "6-pin or disk" lock, one pin for each letter in the word "kajira." Design and inscription can vary from simple to ornate, depending on the master and the status the girl is given in his eyes, but the purpose remains the same, to mark the girl as slave and indicate who her owner is, to make her know this by the feel of the steel on her flesh, and to provide a simple and effective means of attaching a leash or tether. In this way, though an outward sign of slavery, the collar is very personal, for it marks to whom the girl may own, for though a brand can never be removed, collars might change with the changing of owners. It is also for this reason that owners will almost always collar their own girls, for the placement of such is a direct, material link, between slave and owner.

"'What is the common purpose of a collar?'
'The collar has four common purposes, Master,' she said. 'First, it visibly designates me as a slave, as a brand might not, if it should be covered by clothing. Second, it impresses my slavery upon me. Thirdly, it identifies my master. Fourthly - fourthly -'
'Fourthly?' he asked.
'Fourthly,' she said, 'it makes it easier to leash me.'"

- EXPLORERS OF GOR, Pg. 80

The brand is a permanent, unchanging symbol of a girl's slavery. Whether it is visible or covered, its existence cannot be denied and its mark burns not only into the flesh of the girl, but into her very being, altering her and her perception of herself drastically. The psychological effect of branding is a major part of why such is done. Besides marking the girl as slave, at the moment the brand is placed to the flesh, girl's are known to experience a change in personality, the brand having the effect of very strongly convincing the girl that she is now truly a slave and a rightless animal owned by men. Many are known to become more docile and accepting at that moment, knowing now that resistance is no longer acceptable and the truth must be accepted. Not all are effected in the same way, some are even known to become more hostile, but regardless of how they might react, the realization that this is really happening, and that they are no longer free, is made very clear as the iron is applied. Any woman born of Gor knows at that moment society ceases to see her as a free woman, and that mark means that she will most likely never be free again. Even those not born of Gor know that as the iron burns the brand into them, that in that symbolic motion, they are being treated as an animal by men, and that from that moment on, that is how things will be.

"I have wondered upon occasion why brands are used on Gorean slaves. Surely Goreans have at their disposal means for indelibly but painlessly marking the human body. My conjecture, confirmed to some extent by the speculations of the Older Tarl, who had taught me the craft of arms in Ko-ro-ba years ago, is that the brand is used primarily, oddly enough, because of its reputed psychological effect.
In theory, if not in practice, when the girl finds herself branded like an animal, finds her fair skin marked by the iron of a master, she cannot fail, somehow, in the deepest levels of her thought, to regard herself as something which is owned, as mere property, as something belonging to the brute who has put the burning iron into her thigh.
Most simply, the brand is supposed to convince the girl that she is truly owned; it is supposed to make her feel owned. When the iron is pulled away and she knows the pain and degradation and smells the odor of her burned flesh, she is supposed to tell herself, understanding its full and terrible import, I AM HIS.
Actually I suppose the effect depends greatly on the girl. In many girls I would suppose the brand has little effect besides contributing to their shame, their misery and humiliation. With other girls it might well increase their intractability, their hostility. On the other hand, I have known of several cases in which a proud, insolent woman, even one of great intelligene, who resisted a master to the very touch of the iron, once branded became instantly a passionate and obedient Pleasure Slave."

- OUTLAW OF GOR, Pg. 189

While a collar might be changed as a girl passes hands, the brand is an institutional mark of her status in society, and while having a personal effect on a girl, in what it says to her, it is outwardly a very impersonal sign. It is for this reason, along with the skill proper placement requires, that owners will often have a metal worker place the brand on the girl.

"'On such a girl,' I said, 'brand and collar are no more then emblems, mere tokens, proclaiming on her body the truth of her, the deepest truth of her, which no longer may she conceal.'"

- TRIBESMEN OF GOR, Pg. 91-92

But even though the collar and the brand have intense personal and symbolic meanings, they are not what makes a girl a slave, excepting perhaps in a legal sense. They are, for all their symbolism, external objects which serve to recognize and announce internals truths that were present before either collar or brand were applied. These truths being, that the person wearing them is truly a woman, and as a woman so wearing them, is a slave to men. Part of what causes a girl to come to love her collar and her brand, is the knowledge that they declare to the world what the girl is, and that with them she is given the freedom to be what she naturally is. Even as signs of bondage, they are also a key unlocking things prior trapped within, things that only bondage can free and allow the enslaved girl to joyfully experience.

"What is the magic, the mystery of the brand, the collar, I wondered, that by means of them such marvels might be wrought? It had to do, I supposed, with the nature of woman, her deepest needs, with the order of nature, with the pervasive themes of dominance and submission. In bondage woman is in her place in nature, and she will not be truly happy until she is there. Given this, it may be seen that, in a sense, the brand and collar, as lovely and decorative as they are, and as exciting and profoundly meaningful as they are, when they are fixed on a woman, and she wears them, and as obviously important as they are from the point of view of property law, may be viewed not so much as instituting or producing bondage as recognizing it, as serving, in a way, as tokens, or outward signs, of these marvelous inward truths, these ultimate realities. The true slave knows that her slavery, her natural slavery, is not a matter of the brand and collar, which have more to do with legalities, but of herself. She may love her brand and collar, and beg them, and rejoice in them, but I do not think this is merely because they make her so exciting, desirable and beautiful; I think it is also, at least, because they proclaim publicly to the world what she is, because by means of them her deepest truth, freeing her of concealments and deceits, cutting through confusions, resolving doubts, ending hesitancies, making her at last whole and one, to her joy, is marked upon her. The true slave is within the woman. She knows it is there. She will not be happy until she terminates inward dissonances, until she casts out rending contradictions, until she achieves emotional, moral, physiological and psychological consistency, until she surrenders to her inward truths."

- VAGABONDS OF GOR, Pg. 40-41

For More Information On Collaring And Branding...

On Collarings and Brandings - How Collarings and Brandings are commonly done.
A Study of the Collar - A discussion on Collars taken from the books.
Types of Collars - Common forms of Gorean Slave Collars.
Types of Brands - Common forms of Gorean Slave Brands.
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"Gorean girls, however, who are aware of the cultural implications of their collar, and its meaning, usually spend little time, once it is helplessly locked on their throats, in fighting their womanhood. They must bend, or die. In bending, in submission, in total, will-less submission to a master, they find themselves free for the first time from the chains of egoism, liberated from the grasping pursuits of the self, readied for the surrenders of love."

- BEASTS OF GOR, Pg. 123

"The condition of slavery does not require the collar, or the brand, or an anklet, bracelet or ring, or any overt sign of bondage. Such things, as symbolic as they are, as profoundly meaningful as they are, and as useful as they are for marking properties, identifying masters, and such, are not necessary to slavery. They are, in effect, though their affixing can legally effect imbondment, ultimately, in themselves, tokens of bondage, and are not to be confused with the reality itself. The uncollared slave is not then a free woman but only a slave who is not then in a collar. Similarly a slave is still a slave even if her brand could be made to magically disappear or, if she has been made a slave in some other way, if she has not yet been branded."

- RENEGADES OF GOR, Pg. 273

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