Earth's Children

Mamut was the mamut (holy-man) of the Lion Camp of the Mamutoi. He was the oldest mamut, so old that no one remembered his given name. Most members of the Lion Camp were kin to Mamut.



Mamut was said to be so old that no one remembered his given name. When asked about his age, he said that he had stopped counting his years but claimed to be the ancestor of four generations. However, Mamut's approximate age can be calculated from the details of his Journey.

Mamut was a young man when he went on his Journey. Journeys were usually undertaken by adolescent men (before settling down to start a family). When Mamut stayed with a clan (the one that Ayla later joined), Creb and Brun were alive, but Iza had not been born. (Creb and Iza were 11 years apart.) Creb was still a boy when Mamut arrived. That summer, the clan attended a Clan Gathering. Clan Gatherings were held every seven years. During the events of The Clan of the Cave Bear, Creb attended gatherings when he was 29 (the summer before Ayla was adopted) and 36. Assuming that Gatherings followed their regular schedule, Creb also attended Gatherings at ages 22, 15, 8, and 1. Therefore, Creb was 8 years old when Mamut stayed with his clan. (That is the only year that satisfies the other conditions: that Creb was a boy and that Brun (but not yet Iza) was alive.

Creb was 25 years older than Ayla. When Ayla arrived at Lion Camp, she was 17. (She turned 18 that winter.) Therefore, it is likely that Mamut stayed with the clan about 34 years before the events of The Mammoth Hunters, making Mamut's likely age between 49 and 59.


As a young man, Mamut went on a Journey, intending to follow the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. He took a shortcut through Clan territory across the peninsula that jutted into the Black Sea. He fell down a high river bank, hitting his head and severely breaking his arm.

Mamut had lost his pack and was disoriented. Delirious with pain, he stumbled along the river until he saw a campfire at dusk. He lost consciousness, and when he awoke, he found a poultice on his head and his arm in a sling.

Mamut was shocked to discover that he was in a Clan camp. The woman who healed him was Uba, the maternal grandmother of Iza. Uba was so skilled that Mamut's arm did not become infected. He regained full use of his arm, and it did not give him any trouble until he began to feel minor aches as an old man.

Mamut stayed with the clan until they left for the Clan Gathering. He hunted with them and learned some of their language and customs. The hunting ceremony that he participated in had a lasting effect; Mamut wondered if it had changed him or made him more powerful.

While Mamut was recovering, a young woman helped to take care of him. After Mamut was included in a hunting ceremony, she was given to him. At first, Mamut did not find her attractive, but he was a healthy young man and was expected to relieve his needs with her. The longer he stayed, the more appealing she became to him. He considered taking her with him when he returned to the Mamutoi, but he thought that she would be happier with her clan and was not sure how he would be welcomed if he returned with a Clan woman.

When Ayla stayed with the Mamutoi, each was able to fill in some of the gaps in this story for the other.

Relationship With Ayla[]

Talut and Nezzie (the headman and his mate) had planned to adopt Ayla into the Lion Hearth until Mamut stunned everyone by declaring that Ayla was a daughter of the Mammoth Hearth.

In many ways, Mamut reminded Ayla of Creb. Both were ancient and powerful holy-men who taught Ayla the ways of her adoptive peoples. Mamut was also a father figure to Ayla, giving her a shoulder to cry on when she thought that Jondalar no longer loved her in The Mammoth Hunters.

Mamut believed that Ayla had great power and that she must be trained to serve Mut, the Great Earth Mother. In addition to being a Healer, Mamut thought that she might be both a Searcher (one who locates prey) and a Caller (one who controls animals).

Mamut was also curious about the Clan's spiritual beliefs. When he learned that Ayla still carried the sacred root used by mog-urs, he persuaded her to make the drink for the Spring Festival and journey with him to the spirit world. The drink proved to be too powerful for them, and they were nearly lost in the spirit world. (Only Jondalar was able to call Ayla back.) This occurred in the last book of the series, The Land of Painted Caves. Mamut gained a newfound respect for Creb, who was not only able to navigate this treacherous world but guide others through it. Afterwards, Mamut (like Creb before him) vowed never to use the root again.


Italics indicate an adoptive relationship.

Mate: at least two unnamed women

Issue, biological: a son, two daughters, at least four unnamed grandchildren, Tulie (great-granddaughter), Talut (great-grandson), Tarneg (great-great-grandson), Deegie (great-great-granddaughter)*, Druwez (great-great-grandson), Brinan (great-great-grandson), Tusie (great-great-granddaughter), Danug (great-great-grandson), Latie (great-great-granddaughter), Rugie (great-great-granddaughter), and

Issue, adoptive: Ayla (daughter), Durc (grandson), Jonayla (granddaughter), and Rydag (great-great-grandson)

Extended Family: Manuv (first cousin once removed)*, Tornec (first cousin twice removed), Nuvie (first cousin thrice removed), Hartal (first cousin thrice removed); possibly Tholie (a great-great-granddaughter or great-great-grandniece)

  • Deegie described Mamut as her great-grandfather. (She said that Mamut's first woman was the mother of her grandmother.) However, if Mamut's account is true, he is Deegie's great-great-grandfather.
  • Cousins can either be cousins in the literal sense or half-siblings who share the same father. This description treats all "cousins" as first cousins unless there is evidence to the contrary.
  • Talut said that Tholie was the daughter of his cousin.