is a society of primate, furred sentients who inhabit Compact Space in the Chanur
books by C.J. Cherryh
. A colorful lot, the mahen
(as their people are referred to in plural, mahe
in singular) are tall, lanky raffs who run a section of space between the Hani
and the Kif
. They uplifted
the Hani, giving them space travel, in order to offset the influence of the kif
in the fragile political entity known as the Compact
The Mahendo'sat run their affairs by proxy; respected individuals called Personages hold important posts. Aides (Voices) speak for them; and their agents are turned loose to enforce and in some cases make policy across the light-years of space their reach extends.
The Mahen are fierce traders, and colorful gamblers. Their swearing is used nearly universally by the oxy-breathing races of the Compact for its sharp and effective humor. Opponents are frequently "damned to a mahen hell" when they become troublesome - the Mahendo'sat are unusual in the Compact for believing in an afterlife, and for having a variety of hells personalized for offenders. Some notable individuals of the species include the hunter-ship captains Ismehanin-min (also known as Goldtooth for onomotovisual reasons) and Keia Nomesteturjai (Jik to his friends). For their stories, read the Chanur Saga.