Any one of many characters in Cordwainer Smith's stories, underpeople are human-sized and (roughly) -shaped beings created from animals, and kept as slaves. While able to speak and behave fairly normally, they retain some "animal" characterstics: cats are graceful and affectionate, dogs are loyal and have a strong sense of responsibility, cattle, or "bull" underpeople are stolid, undemanding, but terribly moral, and turtles just keep doing their jobs. There are also eagles, snakes, rats, foxes, and many others. The designation of an underperson is the initial letter of their species, or race, followed by a glottal stop, indicated by an apostrophe, followed by an uncapitalized given name, similar to military rank, as C'melanie, or "C'mell", D'joan (their liberator), T'ruth, etc.
Many of Smith's stories concern the liberation of these people to full citizenship and the influence of their faith, the Old Strong Religion on the Known Universe. Their gesture of unity is the two-up, two-down gesture of benediction, also known as the "peace sign".

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