Main character index can be found here.
- Animal Motif: Mammoths. They are a central part of their culture, with the people holding great mammoth hunts every year and using every part of the mammoth for building materials, tools, clothing, food and so on. They are famed for hunting mammoths and the animals also have spiritual significance to them - the mamuts as a collective group are called 'the Mammoth Hearth' and Mamut has a screen with alleged magical properties made from the skin of a white mammoth, believed to be extremely sacred.
- Brutal Honesty: Downplayed. They can come across this way to Jondalar, though not so much to Ayla. As a culture, the Mamutoi tend to be more straight-to-the-point and upfront compared to the Zelandonii, who tend to be more reserved or subtle (often for the sake of politeness and courtesy). Hence, they can come off as blunt to Jondalar (especially as he's conditioned himself to restrain his emotions), but they don't to Ayla, who was raised by people who literally can't lie.
- Facial Markings: Fully-trained mamuts have tattoos on one of their cheeks.
- Fantastic Honorifics: Holy men and women are called mamuts and referred to almost exclusively by their title.
- Fantastic Racism: Towards 'flatheads' and those of mixed spirits, although some people, in particular the Lion Camp eventually, are more tolerant of them.
- Theme Naming:
- The Mamutoi often have names ending in "ec" for men and "ie" for women. Names with only two syllables are also quite common.
- Mamutoi camps are always named after animals or plants; individual hearths within the camps are named after animals too (or at least the ones in the Lion Camp are). The hearth of the camp's mamut is always known as the Mammoth Hearth.
- Title Drop / What It Says On The Tin: Mamutoi literally means 'Mammoth Hunters' (or to be even more specific, the 'Children of the Great Mother who Hunt Mammoths').
The Lion Camp
The Lion Camp's master carver, son of Wymez and Jondalar's rival for Ayla's affections. He is notably of mixed ethnicity; his father is Ukrainian whilst his mother was a dark-skinned 'Aterian' (most likely African).
- Always Someone Better: Regards Jondalar as this by the end, as he's the one who has won Ayla's heart.
- Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped. He's the Betty to Jondalar's Veronica for Ayla.
- But Not Too Black: Averted. Although his father is definitely white, Ranec is explicitly described as having brown skin and dark, curly hair, clearly taking after his mother (who is implied to be African) and thus stands out amongst the Mamutoi.
- The Charmer: Incredibly charismatic and can win over almost anyone in a matter of moments.
- Chick Magnet: Women tend to fawn over him quite a bit, due to him being considered exotically handsome, charming, funny, and good in bed.
- Did Not Get the Girl: He had the girl (Ayla)...but in the end she confesses she was never truly in love with him and leaves him for her ex. He eventually gets back with his ex, Tricie.
- Disposable Fiancé: For Ayla in The Mammoth Hunters, as they actually go as far as getting engaged before Ayla calls it off - on the same day as their Matrimonial, in fact. In this particular case, Ayla confesses that she doesn't believe he did anything wrong - it's just that's she's already in love with someone else and she believes he deserves someone who genuinely loves him back.
- Happily Married: To Tricie, for the most part.
- Like a Son to Me: Nezzie helped his father raise him after his mother's death.
- Missing Mom: His mother drowned when he was a baby, as his family was trying to escape from inter-tribe violence across a river.
- Mixed Ancestry: His father Wymez is from the area now known as Ukraine, while his mother was indicated to be North African. Physically, he takes after his mother in appearance.
- Mr. Fanservice: Although Jondalar hogs most of the limelight, Ranec too gets his share of Fanservice-laden descriptions and explicit sex scenes.
- Nice Guy: He's very friendly and open-minded, with a cheery disposition, in contrast to Jondalar, who can be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He takes it to Dogged Nice Guy levels towards Ayla.
- Not Good with Rejection: A more justified and sympathetic example. When Ayla tells him she won't be going ahead with their mating ceremony on the very day it's supposed to take place and that she's planning on leaving with Jondalar, he completely breaks down. He tearfully pleads with her not to leave and then becomes angry, telling her to go run off with "[her] flint knapper" and refusing to speak with her. Ayla doesn't blame him, feeling awful that she let things get to this point and broke his heart. He calms down later on, though he's still devastated.
- The Rival: To Jondalar, for Ayla's affections.
- Romantic Runner-Up: To Jondalar, for Ayla. She even states that she may have been able to love him, if she hadn't met Jondalar first.
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Claims that he will love Ayla for the rest of his life, and possibly even after. Although, he does eventually marry Tricie, everyone believes that he'll never truly get over Ayla.
The wise shaman of the Lion Camp, who becomes a mentor to Ayla.
- Chekhov's Gunman: In The Clan of the Cave Bear, Iza mentions that her grandmother nursed a young man of the Others back to health after he broke his leg and that he lived with them for a time. In The Mammoth Hunters, that man is revealed to be Mamut.
- Cool Old Guy: "I have forgotten more than you will ever know."
- Like a Daughter to Me: He regards Ayla as a daughter and formally adopts her.
- Merlin and Nimue: The Merlin to Ayla's Nimue in the third book, mentoring her as a shaman. Unlike some examples of this trope, there's no romance, with Mamut viewing Ayla as a daughter and even adopting her.
- The Obi-Wan: To Ayla.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Like all shamans, he's only referred to by his title 'Mamut'. He's so old, few people even know his real name.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To Ayla and Jondalar.
- You Remind Me of X: Of the second variant. When Ayla first meets him, he reminds her strongly of Creb, not so much in appearance, but in that they're both very old and exude an aura of power and wisdom. The effect is so compelling that Ayla kneels before him like she would to a senior Clan member out of respect. They eventually develop a close, father-daughter bond much like the one Ayla shared with Creb.
A young, half-Neanderthal boy who has been adopted by Talut and Nezzie.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Rydag is often ostracized by others because he's of 'mixed spirits'; also, due to a heart condition, he can't keep up with the other children and so often gets ignored or left out. He can't talk much either because of his hybrid status and so cannot interact easily with others. He is treated kindly by his adopted family, though, and eventually with Ayla's help, he learns how to communicate non-verbally and is accepted by the whole Lion Camp.
- Butt-Monkey: His mother died in childbirth and it's hinted his father may have died before that, he spends most of his life being shunned or mocked and called an abomination, and suffers from a heart condition that eventually kills him.
- Death of a Child: He dies towards the end of The Mammoth Hunters, in one of the biggest Tearjerkers in the series.
- Famous Last Words: "I am not animal", though said using Clan gestures, rather than verbalized.
- Genetic Memory: It's revealed he can access the Clan's racial memories, on account of his mother being a Clan woman.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: Some of the Mamutoi regard him as little more than an animal due to him being half-Clan...and that's one of the politer opinions. Others openly call him an "abomination" and think he should excluded from public events because he's of 'mixed spirits'.
- Happily Adopted: By Nezzie and Talut. Although the rest of his life is difficult, Talut and Nezzie treat him like their son and he obviously loves them.
- Heartwarming Orphan: He's a young half-Clan, half-Cro-Magnon boy who is adopted by Nezzie, the mate of the headman of the Mamutoi's Lion Camp. He's even sickly (a weak heart), but after Ayla teaches him the Clan's sign language, the rest of Lion Camp learn it to varying degrees so that they can communicate with him. When he dies of heart failure toward the end of The Mammoth Hunters, most of the Lion Camp are devastated (and even some readers get a little teary-eyed).
- Ill Boy: He suffers a heart condition that gives him breathing problems. Ayla is able to treat it with a herbal remedy, but in the end it's not enough to save him.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: Played straight, although technically he's got a heart condition, not cancer. He eventually dies from it, and the entire Camp, even including Wolf, is heartbroken.
- Mixed Ancestry: His mother was a Neanderthal and his father was Cro-Magnon.
- Momma's Boy: Though he loves both his adopted parents, he is especially close to Nezzie. One of the first Clan signs he makes is to her, with Ayla explaining that he called her "mother".
- The Silent Bob: He's unable to vocalize much because he's half-Clan, but Ayla discovers he has the Clan's inherited memories for their sign language. She starts teaching (or rather reminding) him how to use Clan signs and teaches them to the rest of the Lion Camp, allowing him to communicate that way.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: He's a sweet, but sickly little boy who is unfairly ostracized for being a 'child of mixed spirits' and only ever wanted to be accepted, eventually dying from a heart condition he was born with.
- You Remind Me of X: In some ways, he reminds Ayla of her son, Durc, especially as he was also half-Clan, half-Cro Magnon.
The headman of the Lion Camp. He is the brother of Tulie, the mate of Nezzie, the father of Danug, Latie and Rugie, and adopted father of Rydag.
- Happily Married: To Nezzie.
- The Leader: Of the Lion Camp, alongside his sister.
- Like a Daughter to Me: Regards Ayla as this.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He happily allows Ayla to keep Wolf, though he says he'll hold her accountable if she cannot keep him under control or he hurts someone, terms Ayla finds fair.
Talut's mate, mother of Danug, Latie and Rugie, and adoptive mother of Rydag. She's also the sister of Wymez and aunt to Ranec.
- Good Parents: She's a very caring and dedicated parent to all her children.
- Happily Married: To Talut.
- Like a Daughter to Me: Regards Ayla as this.
- Nice Girl: One of the kindest and most giving characters in the whole series.
- Parental Substitute: To Ayla and also Ranec, due to his mother dying when he was a baby.
Nezzie and Talut's eldest daughter.
- All Girls Like Ponies: She quickly becomes attached to Whinney and Racer and is thrilled when Ayla lets her ride on Whinney. She even states a desire to tame a horse of her own someday, asking Ayla how she did it.
- Big Sister Worship: She comes to view Ayla as a Cool Big Sis and greatly admires her.
- Precocious Crush: Develops one on Jondalar (although she's implied to be in her early teens, rather than a young child). She even requests that Jondalar be the one who deflowers her during First Rites, though he declines due to viewing her more as a younger sister (and because of his emotional hangups about Ayla).
The headwoman of the Lion Camp. Sister of Talut. She is mated to Barzec. She was also mated to Darnev simultaneously, though he had passed away by the events of The Mammoth Hunters. She is the mother of Tarneg, Deegie, Druwez, Brinan and Tusie.
- Exotic Extended Marriage: She was mated to both Darnev and Barzec at the same time (they were best friends and didn't seem to mind). In The Land of Painted Caves, it's revealed she mated Wymez.
- Fiery Redhead: She's a passionate, strong-willed redhead.
- Happily Married: To Barzec. She was also Happily Married to his best friend (at the same time) before he died.
- Honorary Aunt: Becomes something of one towards Ayla.
- The Leader: Of the Lion Camp, alongside her brother.
- Shipper on Deck: She accurately predicted that Ayla would choose neither Vincavec or Ranec, but her First Love Jondalar, and is happy she followed her heart.
- Tsundere: Can be somewhat aloof and suspicious, especially towards newcomers Ayla and Jondalar, but she eventually comes to trust and respect them and stands up for Ayla when people judge her Clan background.
- Widow Woman: Her mate Darnev (the father of her two eldest children, Tarneg and Deegie) died two years prior to the third book, though she was still happily mated to Barzec.
Eldest daughter of Tulie and Darnev, sister to Tarneg, Druwez, Brinan and Tusie. She becomes close friends with Ayla.
- Best Friend: Becomes this to Ayla. When Ayla leaves the Mamutoi to journey to the Zelandonii, Deegie is in floods of tears, saying how she had "never had a friend like [her]". Ayla herself thinks of Deegie as a sister and cries at the thought of leaving her.
Ranec's father and Nezzie's brother. A carver of the Lion Camp, who once went on a journey to Africa and met Ranec's mother there.
- The Charmer: Who'd you think Ranec got his charm and charisma from?
- Happily Married: Was to Ranec's mother until her death. It's revealed in the sixth book that he entered an Exotic Extended Marriage with Tulie and that they're all pretty happy together.
- The Lost Lenore: Ranec's mother, who tragically drowned whilst they were fleeing from inter-tribe violence.
- Nice Guy: Like his son, he's very friendly and open-minded.
- Second Love: Tulie seems to be this for him.
Member of the Crane Hearth. Mother of Fralie, mother-in-law of Frebec.
- Cool Old Lady: When she stops being a Jerkass.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Revealed to have one.
- Humble Pie: She mellows out a bit after Ayla chews her out for making an already sick Fralie and her premature baby worse off and persuading her to work with Frebec to save them, which succeeds.
- Meaningful Name: She's a bitter old crone, is cross a lot of the time, and must be a real cross to bear if she lives at your hearth. But it also has "rosie" in it, suggesting a time long ago when I Was Quite a Looker.
- My Beloved Smother: Can be this to Fralie.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: To Frebec, constantly arguing with him and criticizing him. She makes it plain she views him as being 'beneath' her daughter. They get on better by the end.
- Took a Level in Kindness: She becomes much friendlier and less argumentative after Ayla saves Fralie and her baby.
Head of the Crane Hearth. Mate of Fralie, son-in-law of Crozie.
- Happily Married: To Fralie in the end.
- Humble Pie: When the heavily pregnant Fralie falls gravely ill and gives birth to a premature baby, his fear that they could die prompts him to swallow his pride and put aside his prejudice to allow Ayla to help them. She manages to save them both, after which Frebec is eternally grateful and begins to mellow out.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Revealed to have one in the end.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: He comes from a low ranking family and his mate, who already has children from a previous relationship, thus raising her status greatly, is considered way out of his league. He is painfully aware of this and of Crozies low opinion of him, and so acts like an arrogant Jerkass to cover up his insecurities. He eventually gets over it and develops better self-worth and confidence.
- Jerkass: He's neglectful to his mate, bickers constantly with his mother-in-law, riles up everyone else and is very judgmental of Ayla and Rydag. But it's implied that a lot of this stems from feelings of inferiority, he genuinely loves Fralie and he turns into a Nice Guy by the end of the book.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He becomes much nicer by the end of third book, even standing up for Ayla and Rydag, whom he was previously very judgmental of, when people make discriminatory remarks about them.
Member of the Crane Hearth. She is the daughter of Crozie and mate to Frebec.
- Happily Married: To Frebec in the end.
- Ill Girl: Shes often sick and low on energy, to the point where both she and her unborn baby are at real risk. She gets better after Ayla is allowed to treat her and her husband and mother stop fighting constantly.
- Meaningful Name: Her name sounds a bit like frail, which she is at the start of the third book.
- Shrinking Violet: Shes rather meek and soft-spoken, especially when shes caught in the middle of Frebec and Crozies arguments. However, she begins standing up for herself more.
A powerful and ambitious mamut, who founded and leads the Mammoth Camp and plots to mate Ayla to create a dynasty.
- Anti-Hero: He's got a bit of sinister reputation, is overconfident and smug, and wants to marry Ayla purely to further his own ambitions, even though he's well aware she's with someone else and is meant to be marrying him. However, he makes his intentions clear off the bat, so it's not like he trying to manipulate Ayla, and he also stands up for her when some people judge her Clan background.
- The Charmer: He's incredibly compelling or magnetic, and seemingly has the ability to hypnotise people (it's unclear if this is purely psychological or genuine magical abilities). Ayla, however, is able to resist his attempts to hypnotise her when they first meet, impressing him.
- Failed a Spot Check: His cunning plan to marry Ayla (or even become co-mates with Ranec) is undone when she chooses to get back with Jondalar, which he had not even considered.
- Gold Digger: The Stone Age equivalent. He wants Ayla to be his mate mostly because of her abilities as a hunter, healer and novice shaman would increase his own status. To his credit, he's at least honest about it. Ayla never seriously considers him, though, as she wants to be loved more than anything else.
- Graceful Loser: Though irritated, he accepts it when Ayla chooses Jondalar over him and grudgingly but willingly pays Tulie what she's due (she had bet against him that Ayla would pick Jondalar).
- Hopeless Suitor: In all honesty, he was the only one who thought he had a chance with Ayla.
- Love Dodecahedron: He doesn't actually turn up until the last third of The Mammoth Hunters, but is instantly attracted to Ayla and makes a bid for her hand. Ayla is with Ranec at the time and they're betrothed, though she's also still carrying a torch for Jondalar.
- Odd Name Out: Vincavec is one of the few Mamutoi characters whose name has more than two syllables.
- The Rival: To both Ranec and Jondalar for Ayla. However, he was willing to co-mate Ayla with Ranec if need be, and he didn't even really consider Jondalar much competition.
- Romantic Runner-Up: To Jondalar for Ayla (though he wasn't so much in love with her as he was attracted to her beauty, talents and the status she could bring him).
Ranec's ex girlfriend, who still loves him. She was also a 'red-foot' (the Mamutoi equivalent of a donii-woman who teaches adolescent boys about sex).
- All Love Is Unrequited: She is in love with Ranec, but he has eyes for no one but Ayla. He eventually gets back with her some time after Ayla broke up with him.
- First Girl Wins: She and Ranec got back together after Ayla left with Jondalar.
- Happily Married: It's revealed she's more or less happily mated to Ranec.
- Heroes Want Redheads: She is an attractive redhead who was in a relationship with Ranec (they had talked about marrying and even had a child together), but then Ranec met Ayla... It's revealed in the sixth book that she and Ranec eventually got back together.
- Love Dodecahedron: She is in love with Ranec, who loves Ayla, who still loves Jondalar but mistakenly believes he doesn't love her and vice versa...Yeah, it's complicated.
- Love Hurts: She's clearly hurt and bitter about Ranec abruptly dumping her to pursue Ayla, who he hasn't known for nearly as long. This continued even after they got married, with Tricie being resentful of Ranec constantly moping over Ayla despite having agreed to mate her. They eventually reached an understanding and are now relatively happy together.
- The Missus and the Ex: Ranec reluctantly introduces her to Ayla. The women are gracious to each other, though Tricie is clearly bitter about being replaced in Ranec's affections (especially as he had given her the impression he would mate her and raise their baby with her once she had completed her 'red-foot' duties)...which Ayla clearly picks up on. When Ayla breaks up with Ranec, she actually suggests he reconsider Tricie, as she truly loves him.
Headwoman of the Willow Camp and aunt of Tholie. She's related to Darnev, Tulie's mate.
- Connected All Along: Shortly after meeting her when she helps them get out of a swamp, Thonolan and Jondalar learn she's their friend Tholie's aunt. Later in The Mammoth Hunters, Jondalar and Ayla learn that she's distantly related to Talut and Tulie, the leaders of the Mamutoi camp they're staying with.
- The Leader: Of the Willow Camp.
A Mamutoi hunter who is a distant cousin of Tholie's, and becomes Serenio's second mate.
- The Ghost: He never appears in person but is mentioned in The Plains of Passage.
- Happily Married: Serenio willingly moved in with the Mamutio to mate him and they are very happy together.
- Love at First Sight: It's said he was instantly taken with Serenio the moment he laid eyes on her.
- Second Love: To Serenio. After her first mate died, she fell in love with Jondalar, but she knew he didn't feel the same way. Gulec, on the other hand, fully returns her love and everyone says that she "lights up" in his presence and is happier than she's been in years.