The Anibar (also known as the Wickerfolk) were a tribe who lived in clans and dwelt in the Shield lands of the Olphara Peninsula north of the Jhag Odhan on Seven Cities. They were small and wiry people with skin the colour of bog water. The men wore tanned hides, hide belts, and strips of fur around their upper arms. Their chests and shoulders were exposed and stitched with ritual scarring. Their lower jaws and upper lips were decorated with grey paint or wood ash as if they had beards. Their dark eyes were surrounded by elongated circles of icy blue and grey.
Their bodies were "bedecked in ornaments of cold-hammered copper that seemed shaped to mimic the phases of the moon." One of their leaders, Boatfinder, wore "a necklace made from the vertebrae of some large fish, and descending from it was a gold-ringed, black copper disc, representing...a total eclipse." They carried axes and spears as well as an assortment of knives.
The Anibar followed the ancient tradition of gift-giving, which had been mostly lost among the other peoples of Seven Cities. The concept of trade was not natural to their culture, but one they had been forced to learn. To an outsider's viewpoint, the Anibar had subtle and often confusing ways of attributing value to objects, making any kind of fair and equivalent trade or barter difficult. This meant they were prone to be cheated by unscrupulous foreign merchants.
During the warm months they hunted Bhederin in the Jhag Odhan, smoking the meat to preserve it for winter. They also gathered black grain from the lakes and rivers as well as berries from the flat-rock. Harvesting the elongated, mud-coloured black grain that grew in shallow reed beds involved beating it free of its stalks and collecting the released grain in canoes. After harvest, the various Anibar bands came together at gather camps on the plains to divide the fruits of their efforts so no band went hungry.
To ward off biting flies, the Anibar sometimes made headdresses of juniper branches threaded into headscarves. The green stems dangled in front of the forehead and down the back of the neck.
They divided time into three categories: the frozen time (past); the flowing time (present); the unfound time (future). Together the Anibar knew these concepts as "life's very secret". A burning bridge prevented travel from the flowing time to the frozen time.
In The Bonehunters
The Anibar were beset by enemies. When they met Samar Dev and Karsa Orlong, their leader, Boatfinder, requested from Karsa that he slay their enemies for them. The Anibar had a legend that the wielders of swords of birth-stone (which was the type of stone Karsa's sword was made of) would defend them in a time of great slaying. Karsa insisted on Boatfinder coming along on the quest.
While travelling with the Anibar, Boatfinder told Samar and Karsa the legend of his people. A man they called the Iron Prophet warned the Ugari and Anibar tibes of a Time of Great Slaying, and in that time of great peril, wielders of birth-stones would come to defend them. On being questioned by Samar Dev, he elaborated that "King" Iskar Jarak's kingdom was of the 'unfound time' meaning the future and that he was a Mezla. He also confirmed Samar's hunch that from the past to the present there was a bridge which they could not cross and that it was burning.
Karsa discovered that the warriors plaguing the Anibar were the Tiste Edur of the Third Edur Imperial Fleet. They had been sent to Seven Cities to kill and terrorise the population while searching for a champion to face Emperor Rhulad Sengar in mortal combat. Karsa tracked the Edur to their camp and slew many of them before being convinced to return to Letheras with the Edur to face their emperor.
Before the Malazan invasion of Seven Cities, the Anibar tribe dwelt on the plains of the Jhag Odhan and travelled to the East River (or River Ugarat) to trade with the great walled camps (cities and settlements) of the Ugari (Ugarat and the surrounding settlements). The Anibar traded meat and hides for iron tools and weapons.
Then came the Time of Great Slaying when the Mezla Slayers came, sending many of the Ugari to seek refuge among the Anibar. The Mezla followed and there was a great battle that saw the Ugari defeated and killed. The Anibar feared Mezla retribution for sheltering the Ugari and prepared to flee deeper into the Odhan. But the Mezla leader, King Iskar Jarak, and a hundred of his soldiers intercepted them. He told the Anibar they were not his enemy, but warned that others were coming and they would destroy the Anibar without mercy if they found them.
The Anibar took the King's advice and fled to new homelands in the north and west. King Iskar Jarak became known as the Iron Prophet by the Anibar and it was foretold that one day, in time of the Anibar's greatest peril, wielders of the birth-stone (the T'lan Imass with their flint swords) would come to defend the Anibar.
Notes and references
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, Epigraph
- The Bonehunters, Glossary, UK MMPB p.1209
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.483-484
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.487
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.569-572
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.490
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.489-490
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.490-491
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, UK HB p.587-589
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, UK HB p.590-595
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.659-666
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.487
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.487-488
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, US SFBC p.488