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Would a system of caste system based on hair color work for a medieval society? The lighter the color the higher you would be. This question assumes that the people of this worlds hair color is hereditary and the people living here have not discovered hair dye. How stable would this caste system be? Is there any blatant problems with this system?

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    $\begingroup$ I think this would be difficult, because, for the most part small medieval settlements consisted almost entirely of the same hair color. Maybe instead of a full-caste system, you might just have special good/bad status for the fluke recessives. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Sep 14 '15 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ While the system sounds cool, it would be really racist. Especially since white people are pretty much the only ones who don't have black hair. But I guess caste systems aren't the best systems for equality. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Sep 14 '15 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ Almost all caste system are bias. event today white males are more likely to be hired and suceed $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Sep 14 '15 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ Even without hair dye your hair can lighten from exposure to sunlight or change with age. Blonde teenagers can become light brown-haired adults. Which doesn't really work well since working out in the sun is typically a low-status position in medieval society while it would be strange for teens to almost automatically out-rank their parents for a few years. $\endgroup$ – Murphy Sep 15 '15 at 15:57
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It would be a very rigid cast system since it would be hard to impossible to change your lot in life. and what about bald people? or the aged? White haired old men and women? Do they get raised by virtue of age and wisdom? What about those who are bald? Where do they fit in? Is a shaved head a mark of shame, having their locks shorn from their head? Would wigs or some other mark be given to the few who are elevated above their station?

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    $\begingroup$ Even though this is more of a questionair, it made me think of points about the topic. I didn't even think about wigs or aged hair, good job $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Sep 14 '15 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ Well you asked if there were any problems with the scenario, and questions is how I thought it might work best to point them out... $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Sep 14 '15 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Lord of Eden : I believe you mean questionhair... $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Sep 17 '15 at 12:27
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Well, the exact scenario presented in your question seems unlikely to me. For one thing, unless your world is illogical, you need to come up with an explanation for why hair dye, wigs, and other ways to change hair color continue not to be invented. For another, if people mate in non-random ways, other minor genetic differences will probably develop between castes that will cause other differences in appearance (In fact, it seems likely that the castes have been somewhat different in ethnic makeup since the beginning). Lighter hair might be one feature associated with higher castes, but it seems unlikely to be the only one.

In fact though, it seems to me that hair color could be part of a caste system even if hair dyes exist. All you need is sumptuary laws for hair, that forbid low-class people from dyeing their hair or wearing light-colored wigs but that allow this for members of higher castes.

Anyway, a relevant real-life example might possibly be Brazil, where class and skin color have some connection. Obviously, there is not a caste system.

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