On the morning after their arrival in the grasslands, Rell Iss busied himself in the welcome work of caring for the Third Mounted Patrol's herd of kaadu. It was a familiar task and allowed him to politely ignore the throngs of Naaboo who seemed to have nothing better to do than come and gawk at the army.
So when yet another group of Naaboo approached, Rell Iss concentrated a little more closely than usual on scrubbing Artil's mount, until a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts.
"There they are! Rell Iss, is that you?"
Melni Bibble was picking her way across the field, followed by Arlan Hepell, Irric and Nalla Eckener, and a crowd of other Naaboo that Rell Iss assumed were either sightseers or family members. Bringing up the rear of the group was a kaadu in full tack; several of the Naaboo kept glancing over their shoulders at it.
Melni, dressed now in an ankle-length robe of some shimmering material, broke into a trot. Behind her, moving at a much more dignified pace, walked Saché, Yané, and Hela Brandes. The rest of the Naaboo children also broke into a run; for a moment Rell Iss was reminded forcibly of the kaadu and falumpaset stampede during their journey to Tendesay. Ven Artil poked his head around the kaadu to laugh at the knot of children surrounding Rell Iss and excitedly jabbering at him in greeting.
"Rell Iss, you just know everyone all of a sudden, don't you?" he drawled, and stepped around the kaadu to be introduced. When he came to Hela Brandes's name, he made the finger-circle gesture at chest level and bowed. "Rep Brand-ess, my've heard great deal 'bout yousa. Issa pleasure to meet yous." He repeated the gesture to the elderly Naaboo introduced as Sio Bibble, Melni's grahnd-faather.
Brandes reached out to take his hand in a Naaboo greeting. "Captain Tarpals thinks very highly of you, Lieutenant. Is that the right rank? Did you know it took three people to do your job on our trip to Tendesay?"
Artil made a modest gesture with one hand. "Kippin' all'n dese pups out'n trouble issa tough job," he remarked. "But wesa manage." Grinning he turned to Rell Iss. "Go fetch the Captain. I suspect this is one group of Naaboo he'll want to see."
"How is Orrin?" asked Saché as the aide trotted off on his search.
Artil laughed. "Shesa doin' grand. Kenn tell shesa bekk to full strength – shesa givin' every'one hersa 'pinion, h'asked for or not. But mesa t'ink shesa be glad seein' yousa. Talks 'bout yousan a lot."
"I don't suppose you'd know anything about Corporal Herns?" asked Brandes.
"Notta 'corp'ral' enny mo-ah," Artil replied. "Hesa wass wounded in the battle, but survived. Gen'ral Yoss hass given hims a battlefield p'romotion. Hesa 'pparently rallied half a cav'lry division during the battle and charged two of the maccaneek tahnks – took them both out'n the fighting. The Gen'ral, shesa thinks hesa mebbe mekk an off'cer yet."
"Well, good for him!" Brandes laughed. "I am glad -- he was prickly at first, but I guess the children won him over."
Tarpals appeared a few minutes later and offered the members of his expanded command a formal salute, then allowed them to introduce him to various family members.
"An' whosa thiss?" he asked, nodding at the kaadu.
Melni shot her grahnd-faather a sheepish look. "I don't know. It just showed up last night at our home, and was still there this morning. It followed us down here. I tried to get the tack off, but it's tied on really tightly."
"It won't let anyone except Melni lead it," Irric added. "Not even Saché or Yané."
"But at least it doesn't run away from us, either," Nalla added.
The animal looked disturbingly familiar. Tarpals walked up to the kaadu, which sniffed him and bleated softly. The Gungan reached up to pat its neck, and then studied the saddle and blanket on its back. "Rell Iss, Ven, come look at this. Tell me if this looks like Peskis's tack."
Rell Iss nodded. Artil sighed. "I'm afraid so." He glanced over his shoulder at the Naaboo. "And the animal walked all the way up the hill to their city? The only time a kaadu would leave its rider like that is if he's dead and the bond is broken."
At the sound of Peskis's name, the children clustered around expectantly. "That's Peskis's kaadu?" asked Arlan. "Could we find him so we can give it back?"
"Peskis," Tarpals began, and stopped. He wasn't certain how much Naaboo sprattlings understood about death. "Peskis hass gone to tell his stories to the gods," he said finally.
Arlan looked puzzled. "Oh. When do you think he'll be back?"
The Gungans exchanged glances; the Naaboo male who had been introduced as Arlan's father put a sympathetic hand on the boy's back. "Mesa not sure," Tarpals replied. "Could be long-o time."
"Peskis hedd lotta stories," Rell Iss added. He had brought the animal to a crouch and was opening the saddlebags to lay the contents out on the grass; the kaadu turned its head to watch him, then swiveled its neck to nudge Melni, who was wiping her eyes. She understands, I think, Tarpals reflected.
When Rell Iss pulled out the little carrying tube, Arlan looked hurt. "That's my picture! Peskis asked for it special!" Rell Iss passed him the tube, and the boy pried the end off. He grinned, surprising everyone. "He took my picture with him! See?"
The tube was empty, the flimsy bearing the drawing of the Gungans holding hands with the Naaboo gone. Artil, Tarpals, and Rell Iss stared at each other.
"We saw him pack that," Artil remarked. "Why would someone take the picture, then seal the tube up and put it back underneath the rest of Peskis's supplies?"
"I don't know," Tarpals replied, mystified. "How would anyone else even know where it was?" He gazed thoughtfully at the kaadu, which was alternating between pulling up tufts of grass and nuzzling Melni's sleeve, much to the disgust of her grahnd-faather. Melni patted the kaadu's neck, and it crooned softly.
"In the meantime, what are we supposed to do with this animal?" Sio Bibble demanded. "It's already made a mess of the gubernatorial office's lawn, not to mention following my granddaughter around like a voorpak."
"Nothing wesa kenn do 'bout it," Tarpals told him. "Riders gott'n special bond with the kaadu. Thiss'n picked out Melni." The elderly Naaboo looked ready to explode. "Wesa being here 'nother few days," Tarpals continued. "Wesa teach Melni to tekk care of hims." Tarpals began ticking points off on his fingers. "Hesa gonna need pasture, place to sleep...."
"Hey!" Arlan exclaimed suddenly. "Peskis is back already! And he changed his clothes!" The boy bolted across the field toward a heavy-set figure in leather and suede robes that was gliding toward them.
"Wait, Arlan, dat's—" Rell Iss began.
Treece cocked her head in surprise at the Naaboo child pelting toward her, but she obligingly crouched down to his height. The boy flung himself into her arms; the look she shot the rest of the group was one of pleased bewilderment.
"You're back!" Arlan cried. He pulled away slightly. "Everyone said you had gone away, but—" He broke off, eyes wide, when he realized that the Gungan he had just hugged was a complete stranger. Then he turned and fled back to the group, to hide behind his father.
Treece straightened and finished her walk toward them, serenely acknowledging the respectful gestures the Gungans made at her approach. Even Sio Bibble stopped sputtering.
The Shrine Keeper smiled at Arlan, but spoke to Tarpals. "Well, that was a pleasant surprise."
"He thought you were someone else, I'm afraid," Tarpals explained.
"Oh. And here I just thought he was being friendly." She glanced around at the group of Naaboo, all of whom were staring at her. "Are these the Naaboo you told me about? The ones who traveled with you?"
"Yes." Tarpals switched to Bassic and introduced the members of the group he knew.
Treece gripped each person's hands in both of her own, smiling. At last she came to Arlan, who was still peeping around his father's leg. "An' diss'n Arlan. Hesa h'artist, yiss?"
"Yiss. Hesa drew that picture of the maccaneek tahnk," Tarpals replied.
"Berry nice meetin' yous," Treece said, again crouching down to the boy's height.
Arlan pressed against his father and whispered, "I'm sorry."
"Sorry for what'n?"
"I thought – I thought you were – somebody else," Arlan answered.
"T'ought I wass a friend of yoursan, p'raps?" Treece suggested. The boy nodded.
Treece calmly folded her legs under her and sat on the ground. "How 'bout yousa tell me 'bout yoursa friend." She patted the ground beside her and, after glancing at his father, Arlan sat down next to her.
"He knew all kinds of stories. An' I drew him a picture, 'cept it's gone. He was always laughing, an' he liked everyone."
Nalla added, "He taught us all about plants and how to find them."
"He knew how to make medicine," Irric said. The children were all clustered in a circle around Treece; Tarpals recognized it as an informal version of the Ceremony of Memories, a Gungan custom for remembering the dead.
"He was one of the first of your people to show us friendship," Saché added.
"He was brave enough to stand up for what he believed in," said Yané.
"He had a kind and generous heart," Hela Brandes finished. "And he will be greatly missed."
Treece nodded. "Ones who's goin' afore uss'n still 'live in oursan minds an' hearts," she said formally. "What wass hiss name an' clan?"
The humans all looked around at each other. Finally, Brandes answered, "His name was Peskis, but I'm not sure what clan he belonged to. Perhaps the Captain would know?"
Tarpals shook his head. "Wass from the Desna unit, but mesa don't know 'bout clan –"
He broke off. Treece was staring up at him with a stunned look on her face. "Peskis? That's the name he told you?" she asked in High Gungan.
"Yiss." Tarpals tilted his head and eyed her sideways. The humans were likewise staring at her.
"Did you know him?" asked Arlan.
"Yiss," Treece said faintly. "Mesa knew hims."
"Was he related to you?" asked Yané.
Treece shook her head. "No. No, wesa no related...." She visibly shook herself, and then went on to finish the ceremony. "Wesan all medd who wesan are wit' the he'p of others. Iss allus a good t'ing to remember the ones gone afore ussan. Iff'n yousan needin' hims, yoursan frien' will be dere, even iff'n yousan can't see hims. Remember hims." She climbed heavily to her feet, assisted by Brandes and Tarpals. "Roos, I need to talk to you," she said in High Gungan. "'Scuse'a ussan," she added to everyone else and the two moved off.
Glancing around to make certain everyone was out of earshot, Treece leaned toward him and lowered her voice. "Roos, do you know what the name 'Peskis' really is?"
"No," he replied, drawing the word out uncertainly.
"It's one of the Secret Names," she replied.
"It's one of the Secret Names, the ones the Shrine Keepers use when we pray to the gods. No one other than the Shrine Keepers should know such a name. No one would be allowed to give one of those names to their children." One of the responsibilities of the Shrine Keepers was the bestowing of names upon Gungan sprattlings when the child was old enough to be acknowledged as a member of the community.
Tarpals huffed in confusion. "Wait. Just wait. Is it possible that there's some mistake? That the naming was an accident?"
Treece was shaking her head. "Roos, no Shrine Keeper would commit that kind of sacrilege. Nor would any of us allow anyone to go around calling him- or herself by one of the Secret Names. It's just – unthinkable."
His response of "Well, obviously someone thought of it" went unspoken. "I think there's a simple way to clear this up," he said finally. "Captain Marl of the Desna settlement would know him – he wore that area's Patrol band. I can send Rell Iss to ask her."
"She won't know anything about him," Treece said firmly.
Tarpals sent Rell Iss in search of Marl, and set Artil to teaching Melni and the rest of the Naaboo about the care and training of kaadu, much to the discomfort of Melni's grandfather.
Rell Iss returned shortly with the message that Marl did indeed have one member of her unit unaccounted for, and he was indeed an Ankuran, but the name hadn't been Peskis – he had called himself Kessen, and he had been with the unit for ten seasons. Prior to that, Kessen had come from another region of Gungan territory, and Marl couldn't remember which off-hand, or whether she had even checked his story when he first joined, come to think of it. Apparently he'd been some sort of herbalist, with a little military training, but had proven to be a quick study in Marl's command. Oddly enough, Rell Iss finished his report, Marl seemed to think that Kessen had drifted into that previous region from somewhere else, and had looked to be the same age as he was when he joined her command. "She joked that he must have found some special plant that kept him from getting older, because he certainly aged well," Rell Iss said. Tarpals thanked and dismissed him.
"Perhaps he was a trainee to a Shrine Keeper in his youth?" he suggested.
Treece shook her head. "Knowledge of the Secret Names isn't something you give a trainee. It would make more sense to me if he were exactly he seems to be – one of the gods themselves. Think about it – his body never recovered, a mysterious past, the fact that H'arlan's picture is gone, some of the comments you said he made during the trip, his kaadu choosing another rider...."
"Melni apparently wanted a riding animal, according to Orrin," Tarpals remarked. "One should always be careful with one's wishes."
"The elder with her doesn't seem very happy about it," Treece noted, watching the group of Naaboo clustered around Melni, who was finally sitting in the kaadu's saddle, despite her skirts. She was grinning broadly.
"We'll figure something out. Nass has been making noises about sending some of our folk to live among the Naaboo and teach them about us. I've recommended Orrin, as well as Kimma Nril and her family. She's taking care of a Naaboo sprattling now – it might be a good compromise for them."
He and Treece fell silent for a while, watching the activity around them: the humans and Gungans in a circle around Melni and the kaadu, the Naaboo hovercar that was landing further down the field and discharging a group of Gungans who had accepted a ride, army trainers leading a herd of falumpasets to a nearby lake for a bath and a drink.
Drawing out of his reverie, Tarpals asked, "Just out of curiosity, are you allowed to tell me which of the gods the Secret Name of 'Peskis' belongs to?"
Treece shot him a wry look. "It belongs to A'Pensik."
"God of luck and chance."
"And change." Her gaze followed his around the encampment, noting the clusters of brightly garbed Naaboo amid the sea of browns, rusts, and greens of the Gungans and their earth-tone clothing. "World-shaking change that started with two small groups of individuals who, in order to survive, had to choose to cooperate, even though their respective people had distrusted each other for generations." Her expression changed to something resembling a smirk. "Sneaky of him. But of course, he is the trickster among the gods." She gave Tarpals a sympathetic smile. "We're all used to the gods being in the Sky Home or the Deep Home, or just 'somewhere else'. But the old stories talk about them as real beings. I can't imagine our ancestors would lie about something like that."
"It's going to take some getting used to – if it's true," Tarpals remarked. He shook himself mentally. "And I actually told him at one point that I didn't trust luck, either."
"Well, he professed not to have much faith in the gods, so I'd say you're even," Treece commented. "Besides, enough of the old stories portray Peskis as being a rather nosy and fickle god, so he really can't blame you for being suspicious of luck."
Before them, Hela Brandes separated from the group as the kaadu stood up, Melni clinging to the saddle horn. The Naaboo approached the two Gungans.
"Are you all right, Captain? You look a bit distressed."
Treece chuckled. Tarpals offered Brandes a wan smile. "Mesa fine. Chust hevving a talk 'bout the gods."
Brandes's smile vanished. "I'm sorry about Peskis. We'll all miss him."
Treece shot Tarpals a look. "Yiss. But hesa gone on'y in body. Wesa be seein' him 'gain, p'raps."
"I suppose that's one way of looking at it," Brandes remarked. "Which reminds me – Edvic's family wants to hold a memorial service. I thought, if you had time, you might want to attend."
Tarpals nodded. "Wesa mekk it a point for bein' there. Iss the least wesan kenn do. Hesa medd a valuable member of the Third."
"I'll let his family know. Oh, and I'm afraid I have some bad news. Do you remember the joint project we discussed? The one that involved the Neimoidians?" Tarpals nodded. "Well, I'm afraid it's been cancelled. The Queen has sent Viceroy Gunray and his cronies away to Coruscant to stand trial. This invasion of theirs was outside the action allowed by their treaty. They're going to be punished for what they did here, but I'm afraid it won't be by us."
Tarpals clicked his teeth together in annoyance. "Mebbe iss chust as well," he remarked. "Don't think wesa bein' satisfied with chust slapping thems anymore. Pr'olly some'a ussan wantin' to use theirsan hides for target practice."
"I wouldn't blame you in the slightest," Brandes said. "I almost did that myself."
"Wass a good shooting, that'n," Tarpals complimented her, and the woman laughed.
"I was scared to death, but don't you dare tell anyone!"
"Theysan won't be hearing it from mesa," he promised.
"Mesa thinkin' yousa both already hedd yoursa 'joint pra-ject'," Treece remarked. "Yousa took two leedle groups an' medd one team out'n dem. Dat's a 'pra-ject' worth braggin' 'bout."
"That alone would be a story worth telling the gods, don't you think?" asked Brandes.
"Right 'nough," Tarpals agreed. He offered his left arm to Treece, and his right to Brandes. He nodded to the knot of spectators who were watching as Melni made her first attempt to guide the kaadu in a circle. "Wesa introduce yousan all to the rest'n the Third – after all, yousan all part'n the same command." The three of them strolled across the grass to the join the combined group of Naaboo and Gungans cheering Melni on.
"Are your soldiers going to accept that?" Brandes asked. "After all, we're not Gungans, and we're certainly not military."
"'Course'n theys will," Tarpals assured her. "Yousa remember the secont rule of the Third Mounted Pah-troll, Rep Brand-ess?" Treece rolled her eyes and gave Tarpals's arm an affectionate squeeze. "The kippton might'n not allus be right, but –"
" – Hesa allus the captain," chorused the entire contingent of the Third present, Naaboo and Gungan alike, and all of them burst out laughing together.
~*~*~*~ End ~*~*~*~
Normally, I would place the following in a separate "chapter", but FFN doesn't allow authors' notes as separate chapters, so....
For those readers who have made it this far, congratulations, and thank you! I know that stories featuring minor background characters from the films and original characters don't usually have a broad appeal, so I appreciate your commitment.
This author's note consists of my thoughts on various aspects of Star Wars, and gives credit for inspirations from other sources, so feel free to bail out if that sort of thing doesn't appeal to you. At the end of my ramblings is a bibliography of many of the sources I used for research on the Gungans; some of this comes from official Star Wars sources, some from research on Native American folklore and culture.
First off, everything recognizable as Star Wars, whether in the story or the information below, belongs to George Lucas. No money was made for the writing of this story. (For one thing, this was so labor-intensive that there's no way anyone could have paid me enough to do it!)
While I would love to take credit for creating all of Peskis's Gungan folk tales (only the story of the peko-peko is even remotely mine), I must admit to borrowing (in some cases heavily) from Native American legends. The story of Naa'a'orrek is a retelling of two versions of a story I read years ago; the best place to find it is probably The Windigo's Return: a North Woods Story, by Douglas Wood, although I've seen it elsewhere. In my version it's actually blended with a string story called "The Mosquito", which can be found (complete with do-it-yourself instructions) in a book called Story Vine: Unusual Tales from Around the World.
Readers can decide for themselves who or what Peskis was (or wasn't). Stories of the Trickster can be found all over the world in many different cultures. The Trickster appears as Anansi the Spider, Br'er Rabbit, Coyote, and Raven, to name a few. The Trickster often relies on wits and cleverness to overcome opponents or achieve his goals, but sometimes he outsmarts himself. One of the most intriguing views of the Trickster can be found in Andre Norton's book Fur Magic. I'm not certain how authentic it is in terms of Native American legend, but her story reveals a somewhat darker side of Coyote, who calls himself The Changer. He is responsible for forming man, but by doing so changes the world in ways even he himself had not foreseen, thereby bringing about his own downfall.
Anyone interested in exploring adaptations of Native American legends can start with the works of two authors: Joseph Bruchac, who has adapted many tales of the Eastern Woodlands Indians, and Paul Goble‚ who works mostly with the tales of the Plains Indians. Any decent library or bookstore will have copies of at least some of their works. Mr. Goble won the 1973 Caldecott Award for his book The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses which features the author's distinctive artwork. There is also a "Christmas story" called The Give-Away, written by Ray Buckley; it sounds a great deal like Peskis's Bargain Story fragment. While this is not a traditional Native American legend or myth, it was written and illustrated by a man who is part Indian.
Many of the Gungans' survival skills are also drawn from historic Native American culture. The circular houses Orrin and the two Handmaidens create are based on wood and bark houses used by the Native Americans in parts of the northeastern United States before the European explorers arrived, as are the bark cups and plates, the cooking skin, and various herbal remedies.
The names of many of the animals in this story are taken from The Wildlife of Star Wars, one of my all-time favorite reference and coffee table books. (Yes, I really do have books like that out where everyone can see them. You should see the rest of my house....) The only creatures that are my own creation are the flittavenss; everything else is borrowed.
The competitions the Gungans hold at the beginning of the rainy season are loosely based on the concept of the Festival of Warriors mentioned in the Episode I Adventure book of that name. It was written by Ryder Windham, and was available through Scholastic at one time. I finally had a chance to read it -- copies are hard to come by – but my competitions are very different from what's in the book.
Captain Tarpals's first name in actually found in Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters, published in 2002. The only mention of it is in the entry on Jar Jar Binks, where Tarpals actually gets two or three paragraphs. It doesn't seem to appear anywhere else.
Gungan culture is a wide-open field in fanfic writing – very few other authors are doing it. While there is a great deal of information available in various sources, there is also plenty of room for exploration. One of the challenges of writing about these people is in making them understandable, but not human. I've drawn heavily on the natural history of Terrestrial amphibians: frogs, toads, salamanders, and their relatives. For example, one of the reasons my Gungans don't include reproductive rights in their "marriages" is because a Gungan is only sexually active a few times in his or her life. Otollo Gungans have a three-year cycle, Ankurans a five-year cycle.
If you've ever studied amphibian reproduction, you know that the mating is done in water, the fertilization of the eggs occurs outside the female's body, and one pair of amphibians can produce dozens of eggs. Imagine that kind of reproduction technique linked to the human tendency to have sex on, sometimes, a daily basis. Without the long periods of sexual inactivity, the galaxy far, far away would be hip deep in baby Gungans! In a further effort to control their population, the ruling councils of most large Gungan cities allow only the strongest, smartest and most capable adults to breed, so would-be mates are expected to compete or pass a series of tests in order to be eligible. Somebody with Tarpals's rank and occupation would be sought after for both marriage and mating; even though he has three "wives" (at least in this story), Tarpals might not actually father any of their offspring; it would depend on each individual's mating cycle. The year that he's "interested", it's possible that none of his "wives" would be fertile.
Thus, Gungans "marry", but the spouses might not be the biological parents of the children they "Take In".
Bresman, Jonathan. The Art of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Ebury Press, London, 1999.
Brooks, Terry. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Ballentine Books, New York, 1999.
Buckley, Ray. The Give-Away. Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1999.
Lewis, Ann Margaret. Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Alien Species. Del Rey, New York, 2001.
Lucas, George. Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace Movie Storybook. Random House, New York, 1999.
Pellowski, Anne, and Lynn Sweat. Story Vine: a Source Book of Unusual and Easy-to-Tell Stories from Around the World. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1984.
Milliron, Kerry. Star Wars: Episode I: Jar Jar Binks. Random House, NY, 1999.
Reynolds, David West. Star Wars: Episode I Incredible Cross-Sections. Dorling Kindersley, New York, 1999.
Reynolds, David West. Star Wars: Episode I: The Visual Dictionary. Dorling Kindersley, New York, 1999.
The Secrets of Naboo (Star Wars Roleplaying Game). Wizards of the Coast, Renton (Washington), 1999.
Wallace, Daniel. Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters. Ballentine, New York, 2002
Whitlatch, Terryl and Bob Carrau. The Wildlife of Star Wars. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2001.
Windham, Ryder. Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace Scrapbook. Random House, New York, 1999.
Windham, Ryder. Festival of Warriors. Scholastic, New York, 2000.
Windham, Ryder. Pirates from Beyond the Sea. Scholastic, New York, 2000.
Windham, Ryder. Rescue in the Core. Scholastic, New York, 2000.
Wood, Douglas. The Wendigo's Return: a North Woods Story. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1996.
Glossary of Gungan terms
Atlatl: a sling-like weapon used to throw a buuma (blue energy sphere). (See Star Wars: Episode I Visual Dictionary, page 41. Side note: here on Earth, an atlatl was actually a specially carved length of wood that was fitted over the throwing end of a spear or javelin, allowing the caster to throw the spear further and more accurately.)
Aiwha: an aquatic creature found in Naboo's oceans. It resembles a manta ray with a bird-like face and thick tail. One appeared briefly in Attack of the Clones as a riding animal on Kamino. The Gungans use them for the same purpose (according to the book The Wildlife of Star Wars, by Terryl Whitlatch and Bob Carrau, pages 128 - 129).
Bassic: the Gungan term for Basic, the language spoken by the humans of Naboo (and most of the rest of the galaxy).
Bon-gho: a type of small submarine, triangular in shape, used to transport people and cargo. Often misspelled as "bongo" by the humans of Naboo.
Buumas: spheres of blue energy, usually thrown by hand or with an atlatl. The energy shocks an animal's nervous system, stunning it so the hunter can tie it up and take it home alive. Generally misspelled (and mispronounced) as "boomers" by the humans of Naboo. An irduul-buuma is the largest sphere that can be thrown without special equipment; it's about the size of a beach ball.
Caadrey: the personal aide to a military commander. Generally runs errands, relays orders, and does clerical work. Caadreys frequently become officers.
Cesta: a long pole with two points on the end; a palm-sized buuma can be fitted between the two points and thrown, as was seen in the Gungan battle sequence in The Phantom Menace. Cestas can be used as killing weapons, unlike electropoles, which deliver a painful or paralyzing shock but are generally non-lethal. (See Star Wars: Episode I Visual Dictionary, page 41.)
Chesna-recorr: (translates almost literally as "hunter-speak") a hand and finger sign language used by hunters, soldiers, and any other Gungan who wants or needs to speak without making sounds.
Dessana il-parntar: "Stone of Memory". A flat stone inscribed with the name of deceased individual, often decorated with carvings, painted images, or other items that symbolize the deceased. It is generally hung from a cord, and placed in one of the Sacred Places to commemorate the dead.
Electropole: a long pole with a tip that delivers an electrical shock; the butt end has a curved section used as a hand-grip. (We see Tarpals carrying one early in The Phantom Menace.) Electropoles were developed to paralyze prey animals so the creatures could be captured live. (Gungans prefer their food live or freshly killed.) Also used as a sort of cattle prod on occasion.
Essoan: (pronounced "ess-OH-ann") The male member of a Pledged couple: basically, a "husband", although other males also pledged to the same female would call each other an essoan as well. Closest human term would be "life partner".
Essoia: (pronounced "ess-OY-ah") The closest human equivalent would be marriage, although that's not entirely accurate. Gungans can have multiple partners of either gender, as long as everyone in the relationship agrees. Married couples are referred to as "Pledged". Males generally Pledge to females and vice versa, although same-gender Pledges occur as well. Marriage in Gungan society is done for economic, social, and personal reasons, and, due to Gungan reproductive cycles, tends to be a completely non-sexual relationship.
Essoin: (pronounced "ess-OH-inn") The female member of a Pledged couple: basically a "wife", although other females pledged to the same male would call each other an essoin as well. Closest human term would be "life partner".
Falumpaset: large, dromedary-like mammals used as riding animals and beasts of burden. Very stubborn and hard to control. Governor (Boss) Nass rides one in the parade at the end of The Phantom Menace. (More information available in either The Wildlife of Star Wars on page 94, or the databank entry on falumpasets.)
Fambaa: huge, dinosaur-like reptiles with four powerful legs and a thin tail. Used by the Gungans to carry extremely heavy loads, like shield generators. A fambaa generally requires at least two handlers. (More information available in either The Wildlife of Star Wars on pages 106 - 107, or the databank entry on fambaa.)
Farseeins: at its simplest, a pair of binoculars especially designed for the Gungan face and eyestalks. (See The Art of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, page 88 or Star Wars Episode I: Visual Dictionary, page 41.) Term is also used to describe any device that allows someone to see a long distance.
Flittavenss: a small, brownish bird with a long beak. Similar to a kiwi, but able to fly.
Goff: an enormous reptavian with a gnarled beak. ("Reptavians" are creatures that have both reptile and bird characteristics.) They're basically a legend among the Naboo because they're so seldom seen. Harvesting the feathers is the most common test for Gungan career military personnel wishing to become officers. (See The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 130 – 131.)
Grahnd-faather: Gungan pronunciation of the Basic term "grand-father".
Guungan: Gungans' term for their own race. It basically translates as "the People".
Haillu: the long, floppy Gungan "ears" on the back of the head. (See Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Visual Dictionary, pages 36 - 37, or the Databank article on Gungans.) Gungan females in particular often wear their haillu tied back at the base (the thin part that connects the haillu to the back of the head), although Governor Nass also does so in The Phantom Menace. In my stories, Gungans use their haillu to display aggression by raising them slightly; haillu also serve to help regulate body temperature by dissipating heat into the air or water. It's not unusual to see strings of feathers, shell, carved bone, beads of various materials, or other decorations hanging from the base of Gungan haillu.
Hue-min: Gungan pronunciation of "human". Gungans actually distinguish between the Naboo and humans from other planets, now that they know such beings exist.
Insall ta-diraada: the Gungan term for "good evening".
Ipsil: a type of tree with small, fluttery leaves that produces a nourishing seed.
Kippton: Gungan pronunciation of "Captain". The actual Gungan word for the closest of their military ranks is unpronounceable by humans.
Kaadu: tall, two-legged reptilian creatures used as riding animals. (For more information, see The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 104 - 105, or the Databank entry on kaadu.)
Maatra: female parent in a Gungan family. Would be considered a mother by humans, although she is usually not the biological parent of the children.
Maccaneeks: Gungan word for droids (term taken from The Phantom Menace)
Militiagung: part-time soldiers in the Gungan army (basically most of the adult population). (See either the Star Wars: Episode I Visual Dictionary, page 40, or the Databank entry on the Gungan Grand Army.) The term is used only when the individual is actually serving in a military capacity; the rest of the time, they're civilians.
Naaboo: the human residents of Naboo, Gungan pronunciation. The Gungans do not use this as the name of their planet, having their own term for it.
Naamana (nah-MAH-nah): a Gungan military rank, roughly equaling that of a lieutenant.
Naamana-rissah (nah-MAH-nah riss-AH): the second-in-command of a Gungan military unit.
Nar-gletch: (Basic translation: "in shadow") A large, lion-like swamp predator, the nar-gletch (or "narglatch" to the Naboo) has heavy shoulders, powerful jaws, a smooth dark grey hide, and a fan-like growth of cartilage on the end of its tail (according to The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 124 - 125). At one time, the test of a Gungan chieftain was to stalk a nar-gletch and actually touch it, then get away alive. Not often done in modern times.
Nuna: a plump, flightless, birdlike creature. Curious, but not terribly bright. They breed very quickly and provide food for many swamp predators. (See The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 102 - 103, or the Databank entry on nunas.)
Nyork: a small creature of the swamps. Interestingly enough, The Wildlife of Star Wars mentions them, but does not provide a picture. I tend to think of them as little, nippy fish, or possibly salamander-ish.
Orrek: monster. Naa'a'orrek (Naah-AH-ore-eck): Hungry Monster. Kynaalat-h'orrek (Key-nahl-ATT-hore-eck): Thunder Monster.
Paatra: male adult in a Gungan family. Would be considered a father in a human family, although he is usually not the biological parent of the children.
Peko-paykosa-avenss: "blue-sky-flier". A large bird with bright blue plumage, a heavy beak, manta-ray-like wings, and a long tail. Associated with good fortune, according to the entry at the official Star Wars site's Databank article on peko-peko. The Gungan term, however, is straight from my own imagination). These birds are often seen as a symbol of a long and happy marriage, since a pair will mate for life.
Pikobi: a flightless bird-like reptile. Pikobis have stunted wings, webbed feet, and long beaks and tails. (See The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 100 – 101.)
Pyrus: a specially treated sphere of energy that releases its heat and light evenly over a period of time. Used to heat certain medicines. Gungans don't use fire, and indeed, have no word for it, other than an ancient term that means "devourer"; the word is believed to have come from the time when Gungans lived all over Naboo and would have possibly seen brush or grass fires on the plateaus.
Repsanna: (often shortened to "Rep") title for a member of a Gungan governor's advisory council.
Shaupaut: a mammal that resembles a cross between a monkey and an opossum. (See The Wildlife of Star Wars, page 120.)
Silo'in (SEE-low-in): the female child in a Gungan family. May not necessarily be the biological child of the adults.
Tahnk: Gungan pronunciation of "tank".
Terazod: a large, amiable swamp mammal, resembling a deer with a long tail and a rather horsy face. The tail has several blunt, hornlike stubs on the end, and a bony spike grows down the center of the face. (See The Wildlife of Star Wars, page 95.)
Uuray: a strong, sleek fish, generally blue and yellow in color. The Gungans hunt them as sport fish (according to The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 84 - 85, which calls them "rays"). (Author's note: if you get a chance, read over the section on "Fishes of the Abyss" and see if you find yourself humming a certain tune from The Sound of Music. Seriously!)
Zalaaca: a large, panther-like predator of the swamps. Zalaacas typically have bluish hides, a parrot-beak muzzle, and pointed spurs on the backs of their hind legs. They are occasionally caught and trained as riding animals by the Gungans, but this is rare (according to The Wildlife of Star Wars, pages 118 - 119).