Earth's Children
Species Cro-Magnon
Culture Lanzadonii
Camp First Cave of the Lanzadonii
Spouse Echozar
Children Bokovan

Joplaya is Jondalar's close cousin (actually his half-sister) and a member of the Lanzadonii. She is the daughter of Dalanar and Jerika, and a skilled flint knapper. She later mates Echozar and has a son with him, named Bokovan.


Joplaya was born to Dalanar and his second mate, Jerika, shortly after he formed the Lanzadonii. Her 'close cousin' Jondalar was sent to live with her people after an incident where he beat a man who tried to separate him from his lover Zolena, with whom a relationship would've been considered taboo. Joplaya and Jondalar grew up together and were both trained as flint knappers by the man of their hearth, Dalanar - Jondalar even admits that Joplaya is a better knapper than he. Joplaya eventually fell in love with Jondalar, but their relationship was doomed from the start. As his 'close cousin', Joplaya was forbidden to mate Jondalar; Jondalar himself seemed oblivious to her romantics feelings for him and viewed her only as a sister.

Joplaya was close friends with a Lanzadonii man of mixed spirits, named Echozar. She was unfazed by his Clan background and treated him like any other person, with kindness and respect. Echozar soon fell deeply in love with her. Joplaya recognized this, but although she cared for Echozar, she still pined for Jondalar, even knowing she could never be with him. However, when Jondalar finally returned after his five year Journey in The Plains of Passage, bringing his true love Ayla with him, Joplaya finally had to accept that she had to move on from him. She agreed to mate Echozar, knowing that he truly loved her and would be a good companion. She also bore no ill will towards Ayla and the two women became friends, though Ayla soon picked up on Joplaya's feelings for Jondalar and felt sorry for her.

Joplaya and Echozar traveled to the Zelandonii Summer meeting to be mated, as their people had no shaman yet to conduct the ritual. The ceremony went smoothly, save for a few troublemakers who pointed out Echozar's Clan background and insulted him, even saying that it was wrong for an 'animal' to be allowed to mate. Others were not so cruel, but pointed out that they made an odd couple, with Joplaya being extremely beautiful, and Echozar regarded as being rather ugly by Cro Magnon standards. Joplaya, however, was unfazed by this and was mostly happy to be mating Echozar. It was later revealed that she was pregnant Echozar's child. Her mother was worried that her daughter's petite frame could make carrying and delivering a child - especially one with Clan heritage (they having larger skulls) - difficult or even dangerous. Jerika attempted to persuade Joplaya to end the pregnancy for her own safety, but Joplaya refused.

Joplaya safely delivered a healthy baby boy, whom she named Bokovan. However, Jerika insisted that Joplaya take the contraceptive herbs introduced to them by Ayla, to prevent another pregnancy, which Jerika feared could prove fatal to her daughter. Joplaya was apparently content with her mate and son, and remained friends with Ayla and Jondalar, although she never truly got over her feelings for the latter.

Physical Appearance[]

Joplaya is described as being "exotically" beautiful, likely due to being of mixed ethnicity - her father Dalanar is Caucasian, whilst her mother Jerika came from Asia, near the "Eastern Sea". Joplaya has green, slightly slanted eyes and black hair. She is said to have a melancholy air about her. She is tall and slight of build, with "very narrow hips".


Joplaya is a kind and gracious young woman. She is polite and respectful to everyone she meets and, unlike many other Cro Magnon, she is not prejudiced towards the Clan or those of mixed spirits, treating them like everyone else. She is welcoming of people from all walks of life and open-minded. Jondalar mentions that she can be a "terrible tease", with a good sense of humour. Due to her forbidden - and unrequited - love for Jondalar, Joplaya develops a certain sadness about her that never truly goes away, although she is reasonably content with mating Echozar, as she is fond of him and knows he will be a good mate. She also harbours no ill will towards Ayla for winning Jondalar's love, actually going out of her way to befriend the woman and being genuinely happy that Jondalar found someone to love at last. Joplaya can also be somewhat stubborn - for years, she held onto the hope that Jondalar might return her love, even though realistically she knew a relationship with him was impossible, only giving up that hope when he returned with Ayla; she also refused to end her pregnancy despite the potential health risks, although after her son's birth, she agreed to her mother's request to take contraceptive herbs to prevent another pregnancy, lest this one prove fatal and leave Bokovan motherless.


  • The Valley of Horses
  • The Mammoth Hunters (mentioned only)
  • The Plains of Passage
  • The Shelters of Stone
  • The Land of Painted Caves