The Dark Crystal Wiki
The Dark Crystal Wiki
Gelfling clan symbols

Gelfling clan symbols, with the Aureyal in the center

During the Age of Division prior to the Garthim War, the Gelfling race was divided into seven clans. Each clan was ruled by a matriarch known as a Maudra, with the predominant clan's Maudra being known as the All-Maudra, appointed by the Skeksis to rule the entire Gelfling race.[1]

The Seven Clans[]


Main article: Dousan Clan

The Dousan Clan lived in the Crystal Desert, a sprawling desert comprised of tiny crystals rather than sand.[2] They resided within mobile "sandships", bone-and-crystal constructs that travelled the desert like seafaring ships, while on foot their crystalweave cloaks made them nigh on invisible within the Crystal Sea. Culturally, the Dousan were unusually quiet in order to not "waste moisture", speaking more often with gestures than whispered word,[3] although music was focal to their shamanic rituals, said to invoke the Song of Thra. The Dousan also focused more of their attention on the afterlife than their current lives, abstaining from materialism.[1] They were viewed with suspicion by both Skeksis and other Gelflings alike, having a reputation for worshiping death, and were not permitted to serve as guards in the Castle of the Crystal.[4] Within the center of the Crystal Sea was the Wellspring, a hidden oasis where the clan congregated and served as a makeshift capital.

The Dousan Clan was ruled by Maudra Seethi.


Main article: Drenchen Clan

Amphibious Gelfling living in the Swamp of Sog to the south, Drenchens had a greenish complexion and usually wore their hair in dreadlocks. Being typically more rotund and hirsute than other Gelfling, the Drenchen nevertheless excelled at combat if they could be motivated to make the effort.[3] Like all Gelfling, female Drenchen had wings, but they were more suited to swimming underwater as fins. The trek into their native swamps was so exhaustive that Skeksis frequently skipped the Drenchen during tithing ceremonies and censuses,[1] and at the center of said swamp was the Great Smerth encircling a massive, identically named tree, serving as the capital.

The Drenchen were ruled by Maudra Laesid.


Main article: Grottan Clan

A minuscule clan numbering no more than three dozen, the green-skinned Grottans lived underground for so long that their eyes became nearly solid black, so incredibly sensitive to light that they could see even in the darkest caves. Grottans also had ears large enough to identify faint echoes, and despite their small numbers, their total longevity was roughly three or four times greater than other Gelfling.[1] SkekTek believed their essence to have sight-enhancing properties,[3] but reaching their deep abodes was incredibly difficult. Rising east of the Dark Wood, north of the urRu valley, west of the grass lands and south of the silver sea the grot mountains were honeycombed with a complex cave network navigable only to the Grottan Clan, and at the center was Domrak village, the capital of the clan overlooking a completely still lake. Far above a cleft of rock lead to the surface, but at so great a distance that it typically appeared as a small moon when it was light outside.[5]

The Grottans were ruled by Maudra Argot.


Main article: Sifa Clan

The Sifans were once homogeneous, but life as traders, mariners, fishermen, and travelers resulted in a racially heterogeneous clan that accepted many. They worshiped the wind for dictating their fates on the Silver Seas, were experts on symbology, and were famed for their magical charms which they would sell to other clans.[1] By reputation, the Sifa were known never to give advice or material away without payment,[6] never forgot a slight, and were as dangerous as they were adventurous,[7] with some Sifans practicing slavery.[6] SkekNa believed their essence had longevity-enhancing properties,[3] and the port of Cera-Na was their capital.

The Sifans were ruled by Maudra Ethri, but being decentralized, they usually looked to Elders for leadership.


Main article: Spriton Clan

A warmongering race, skekNa believed their essence to provide enhanced strength to the drinker.[3] The Spritons constantly feuded with the Stonewood Clan over the Dark Wood, where they lived deep within, around Sami Thicket their capital. Their craftsmanship was sought by many other clans, be it weaponry and textiles.[1]

The Spriton clan was lead by Maudra Mera.


Main article: Stonewood Clan

The Stonewood Clan made their capital in Stone-in-the-Wood within the Dark Wood which they claimed in spite of the Spritons. Stonewoods were proud and old, second only to the Vaprans, providing many soldiers as guards of the Castle of the Crystal and seeing themselves as warriors, heroes, and adventurers.[1] They also have talent with cobbling and toolmaking.[3]

The Stonewood Clan was lead by Maudra Fara.


Main article: Vapra Clan

Imperious and proud northerners, the Vaprans typically had white or raven black hair and fair skin, perfect for camouflaging themselves in their snowy homeland on the northern coast of the Silver Sea.[3] The Vapra Clan was considered the oldest,[1] most cultured and intellectual of all the clans, and was dominant at the start of the Age of Resistance, with their Maudra Mayrin serving as the All-Maudra to the entire Gelfling race from their capital in Ha'rar. SkekNa considered their clan to be the most vital to the Skeksis, as their essence was unmatched in its restorative effects.

The Vapra Clan was led by All-Maudra Mayrin, who was succeeded on her death by All-Maudra Seladon.

Behind the scenes[]

According to Lisa Henson, the Gelfling Clans were not based on any human cultures, but were meant to reflect how different populations might differ from one another.[8]