Earth's Children

Iza as portrayed by Pamela Reed in the film

Iza was the medicine woman of Brun's clan. She is descended from an unbroken line of renowned medicine women, and because of this, she was the first-ranked woman in the clan. (Ebra, Brun's mate, was jealous of Iza for usurping her place as the first-ranked woman, but she did not show it.)

Before the earthquake that destroyed the clan's previous cave, Iza had been mated to a cruel and arrogant man who routinely beat Iza to prove his manhood. Unbeknownst to anyone in the clan, Iza was taking a secret medicine that prevented her from conceiving a child. Iza wanted to shame her mate by making the clan think that her mate's totem was too weak to defeat her totem. The clan believed that Iza was barren and attributed this to her totem, the Saiga Antelope, which was an unusually strong totem for a woman.

Iza's mate finally impregnated her, but he died a few months later during the earthquake. Iza secretly wished that her child would be a girl -- if she had given birth to a son, it would have vindicated her mate and endowed him with posthumous prestige. Having a female child would also allow her to carry on her line of medicine women and would allow her to live with Creb, her older brother.

After the earthquake, Iza shared a hearth with Creb, the crippled Mog-ur. Although the siblings never mated -- that was forbidden -- they enjoyed a close relationship that was normally reserved for mates. Creb's being a mog-ur and Iza's being a medicine woman, the two also regarded each other as something of professional colleagues, although they were reluctant to share too much of their knowledge with each other.

Iza was 19 and pregnant with her daughter, Uba, when she adopted Ayla, a five-year-old Cro-Magnon child. Iza worried that Ayla, who was ugly (in the eyes of the Clan) and had a man's totem, would never mate, so she trained Ayla as a medicine woman to bestow her with status in her own right.

Iza died of tuberculosis at the age of 26, shortly after the clan returned from the Clan Gathering. On the night of her death, Iza urged Ayla to leave the clan and find her own people. Iza knew that Ayla was not really clan and that she would no longer be safe there once Broud succeeded Brun as leader.


Italics indicate an adoptive relationship: in this case, through Iza's adoption of Ayla as her daughter is it historical fiction Ancestors: Uba (maternal grandmother) Siblings: Creb (brother) and Brun (brother) Mate: deceased Issue: Ayla (adopted daughter), Uba (daughter), and Durc (grandson) Extended Family: Broud (nephew), Brac (grand-nephew), Grev (grand-nephew), and Durc (grand-nephew)