Tongue Tied

The Kinitawowi are a race of simian-like genetically-engineered mutants, or GELFs, inhabiting Deep Space.

Although a space-faring species, the Kinitawowi commandeered any technology they possess, and they have a tribal, savage culture.

Television Series


Kinitawowi are bulky humanoids that stand in at around six feet high; they are covered in warts and shaggy dull orange/copper/brown fur similar to that of an orangutan. Kryten states some GELFs (though he does not detail whether this is a feature unique to the Kinitawowi, affects certain species or is an individual mutation) have their sphincter orifice in their face, and as such touching of the face can be considered highly offensive to them. Their bodies are extremely tough; a direct blast of plasma from a bazookoid merely stunned a Kinitawowi at close range.

History and Culture

According to the official Red Dwarf website, the Kinitawowi were waste products from government genetic splicing experiments. Frankenstein-like, they contained the DNA of many different Earth creatures, and it was decided to do away with them due to the amount of mucus they created. Laws prevented them from being slaughtered, but a legal loophole allowed their creators to freeze them and blast them off into Deep Space. The Kinitawowi agreed as they were told that they were to be considered heroic explorers, along with the Alberogs and Snugiraffes.[1]

According to Kryten, the Kinitawowi were bred as quartermasters aboard Deep Space Space Corps starships, whereas their sister-species, the Brefewino, were bred as hunters and butchers.[2] Both species lead a primitive tribal existence on various moons and asteroids. Their space is bordered by gigantic stone warning beacons that resembled skulls many miles across carved out of asteroids.

Arnold Rimmer believed them to be scavengers, and recalled from old space legends that unfortunate humans that unwittingly wandered into Kinitawowi territorial space were often skinned alive to make beanbags. Kinitawowi typically made use of spears and bows and arrows as weapons, whilst the Brefewino preferred bazookoids and scimitar-like swords.

The Kinitawowi Chief and pet Emohawk in his watunga

Nevertheless, the Kinitawowi were one of the friendlier "kintetiakh" (or tribes) of humanoid GELFs and that they didn't always kill on sight as other humanoid GELFs apparently do. Indeed, not skinning strangers alive on sight was considered a warm greeting. Kinitawowi villages resemble African tribal villages, dimly-lit by flaming torches. The structures of these villages are simple huts or "watunga". The Kinitawowi have their own language, which as Lister put it, sounds like a "footballer clearing his nose", but Mechanoids are programmed to translate the Kinitawowi speak. Trading is done on a swap basis for items of similar value, although the GELF chief will decide what that value is. The Kinitawowi have important engine parts such as the Oxy-Generation Unit to trade, but this may result in them demanding to use a human to mate with and add a little outside influence to the tribe's gene pool. After a successful trade, instead of a handshake, Kinitawowi custom is to hold the ankle of the other individual with one hand whilst the other does the same; and then jumping up and down on the spot. The Kinitawowi are skilled in rearing Emohawks and will use them on any human that reneges on a deal.

Some Kinitawowi have the ability to peruse prey across space in battle cruisers, whilst others went out on their own, such as the Kinitawowi which worked with the Simulant Trader on SS Centauri.


The Starbug crew first met the Kinitawowi when they were in need supplies, especially an Oxy-Generation Unit. The Kinitawowi had one to trade but required Lister to marry the chieftain's daughter in exchange. A disgusted Lister married the chief's daughter, but fled in the night. The furious chief (played by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott who latter hosted Can't Smeg, Won't Smeg) sent his emohawk after the Red Dwarf crew to drain their emotions. ("Emohawk")

A Kinitawowi battle cruiser chasing Starbug

The Kinitawowi pursued Starbug across space in a Kinitawowi battle cruiser, in a bid to return Dave Lister to his Kinitawowi wife until the Kinitawowi battle cruiser was crippled when it crashed onto an ice planet during a chase with Starbug (with the help of the skills of new crewmember Kristine Kochanski), killing the Kinitawowi chief and Lister's wife. ("Ouroboros")

A bustling GELF trading village is seen in the unproduced "lost episode" of Series VII, "Identity Within", which is available for viewing in storyboard form on the Series VII DVD. Here Kinitawowi are seen living alongside and trading with Brefewino among with other species.

Kryten became insanely jealous of the idea of Dave Lister and Kochanski getting together, and daydreamed of a future in which they were a couple and he himself was ill treated. In Kryten's future vision, Lister and Kochanski are seen having social dinner occasions and inviting Kinitawowi round (who are seen wearing ties) since there is nobody else to invite to the dinners. ("Duct Soup")

Able with a Kinitawowi slavemaster ("Beyond a Joke")

Cat and Kochanski later impersonated Kinitawowi to trade with a Simulant who hates humans but not GELFs. In the end they were tricked by the Simulant and his actual Kinitawowi crew mate who ransacked Starbug and stole the damaged form of Kryten.

This Kinitawowi was killed when his ship, SS Centauri, was destroyed by Able, a mechanoid they kept who sacrificed himself to save the life of his "brother" Kryten and his companions. This Kinitawowi marks the last Kinitawowi seen in the television series. ("Beyond a Joke")


The Kinitawowi and their moon are featured in the final Red Dwarf novel Last Human, where they are described as being a prominent member nation of the Great GELF State.


The Kinitawowi flag

  • In the episode "Emohawk", a flag or standard is seen on a number of occasions in the Kinitawowi village. The symbol is that of a horizontal arm with hands at each end, with a similar vertical design behind it. It is seen in the village proper, in the Chief's Watunga, and in the hut of Lister's "bride". It is possible that this is the symbol of the tribe or least the clan.
  • Kinitawowi are a playable race in Red Dwarf the Roleplaying Game. They have slightly inferior Dexterity and notably inferior Intelligence compared to humans, but significantly superior Perception and highly superior Strength. They gain a bonus to the skills Bargain and Intimidation, but their temper is a major weakness, causing them to take a -2 penalty to all Intelligence and Perception -based skill checks when angry.
  • The Kinitawowi may be a pastiche of the Wookies from Star Wars, being tall, immensely strong, hairy, vaguely ape-like tribal humanoids in a science fiction setting who are known for their unintelligible speech patterns and capacity for brutish acts of violence.