Tongue Tied

Watunga was a word in GELF language which could mean home, dwelling, or hut, given the primitive style of GELF homes.

Types of Watunga

Kinitawowi Watunga

The Kinitawowi chief, his daughter, and pet Emohawk in his watunga

Kryten, Arnold Rimmer and Cat in the watunga

The boys from the Dwarf first entered a watunga on the Kinitawowi homeworld, where they had been forced to go due to attacks from a Space Corps External Enforcement Vehicle.

In need of an OG Unit for Starbug, they were forced to trade with the natives, making offerings for the privilege of entering the chief's hut - Swiss watches, levi jeans, and Cuban cigars. Although Kryten was worried that Lister may have touched the chief's sphincter (located in the face), the chief was pleased.

Entering the watunga, the bartering began proper. The watunga was built of wood, stone and furs, lit (although it was still rather dull) and warmed by a central hearth fire. Although there no "human bean bags" which Arnold Rimmer had previously said the Kinitawowi have, the watunga did however contain decorations of human skulls.

It was here that the chief explained that he wanted Lister to marry his daughter in trade for the OG Unit, to which Lister was forced to agree. However, after obtaining the OG Unit and marrying his GELF bride, Lister absconded without consummating the marriage. ("Emohawk", Series VI)

The same hut was also described in the Red Dwarf novel Last Human.

Brefewino Watunga

A Brefewino has a Cat snack in a gambling den

Watungas are seen in the "lost episode" of Series VII, "Identity Within", reconstructed in story-board form on the Series VII DVD. These watungas belong to the Brefewino, whose homeworld planet is one of the busiest worlds yet seen (or not seen) in the franchise. Being a larger tribe than the Kinitawowi, the Brefewino are also host to numerous other species of GELFs. Accordingly, the Brefewino watungas are larger, housing gambling dens (four-dimensional pontoon is the favoured game. and mushy peas the currency), marketplaces and drinking holes. ("Identity Within", Series VII)

BEGG Watunga

The Dwarfers in the BEGG watunga on the BEGG moon

Later view

The watunga seen on the BEGG moon is perhaps the most primitive seen in the show, being made of simple canvas tents. There are four such dwellings seen, clumped together in a snowy valley (with Starbug parked besides them, which the BEGGs had won in an earlier poker game with Lister).

Only the central watunga was inhabited, or was at least the only one with any fire and warmth. This was where the boys from the Dwarf had their dealings with the BEGGs and offered them the spoon of destiny, and where the BEGGs choked to death (since Kryten and Cat were quantum entangled and were saying that they would "choke" in another poker game).

The BEGGs were apparently hoarders and their watunga is full of junk and trinkets, possibly off what they won in poker games, or took from people they ate. This included the electronic junk and power cables that the BEGGs were chewing on, an old television, etc. The were more furnishings, upholstery and drapes seen than in other watungas, although there was also cages, ropes and chains. There was also a human skeleton hung up in the back of the tent, perhaps of the "English boarding school teacher" the Begg Chief said he had formerly eaten. ("Entangled", Series X)