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Species Singers, Human[1]
World Roshar
Universe Cosmere
Featured In The Stormlight Archive
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The Horneaters, or Unkalaki[2] as they refer to themselves, are a race of people on the world of Roshar. They live on the tops of mountains called Horneater Peaks. They currently have no Shardplate or Shardblades.[3] They are one of several races on Roshar with listener blood in their ancestry.[4] As a result, they have a higher tendency to be asexual than other races without listener ancestors.[5] Furthermore, they seem to be able to faintly hear the Rhythms[6], although it remains unclear whether they are able to distinguish them or attribute them to certain feelings. Features that are often associated with Horneaters are pale skin, tall stature, and red hair. [7]


A Horneater's occupation is determined by birth order. First and second sons obtain food, third sons are craftsmen, and fourth sons are warriors.[8] If siblings die, the younger ones advance in this order of professions, meaning a son that started training as a warrior would be forced to abandon his career in order to become a craftsman if his older brother died. It is unknown what more fertile families do with the later children, and it is not entirely clear how daughters fit into this system. This regulation reflects the social status of each type of profession in the Horneater culture. Basic functions like gathering food are valued the most while professions related to warfare are seen as least important. Therefore a third son craftsman like Rock refuses to become a spearman soldier like the rest of Bridge Four because it would be "beneath him".

The nuatoma, they see our lack of Shards as a great shame. They want these weapons very badly. It is believed that the nuatoma who first obtains a Shardblade would become king, a thing we have not had for many years. No peak would fight another peak where a man held one of the blessed Blades.

Rock to Kaladin and Teft[3]

The Unkalaki are organised in clan-like social structures. The leaders of these clans are called Nuatoma. The relatives of a Nuatoma serve him and act as his household. Nuatomas regularly leave the Horneater homeland in attempts to win Shards in duels with Shardbearers. The first Nuatoma who could win a Shardblade would become the king of the Unkalaki.[3]. This position would now be given to Rock, after he killed Meridas Amaram, a shardbearer, during the Battle of Thaylen Field.

It is unclear if Nuatomas are fourth sons or if their position excludes them from the normal profession system.

Some Horneaters are born with the ability to see normally invisible spren like Sylphrena. These individuals are called alaii'iku.[9]

At one point, Rock tells Bridge Four about the Unkalaki dueling system, saying that the two men would drink mudbeer and sing until one of them gives up. The point is that by the end of the duel, no one will recall why they were fighting.[10]

Unkalaki names are usually entire sentences in the form of poems, this makes them hard to remember for people who are used to Alethi names. Insults with similar rhyme and structure as the poem name of the insulted party are valued especially high in conflicts among Horneaters. [10]

Rock wears a beard style called humaka'aban, which he says is the pride of every Unkalaki. Kaladin describes it as long sideburns that curve down to the chin. The chin itself and the area around the lips are cleanly shaven. Rock seems reluctant to the idea that other people besides Horneaters could wear the beard style.[11]


The Unkalaki received their common name "Horneaters" due to their ability to eat the hard shells of crustaceans. Rock ascribes this ability to their unusually strong teeth. Unkalaki cuisine utilizes less spices than Alethi cuisine.[3]

Your food here, it has so many spices that you cannot taste anything else. Might as well be eating stones powdered with pepper!

Rock to Kaladin and Teft[3]

Horneater lager has the reputation to melt teeth and cups. [12]


  • The Horneaters have three powerful gods they sought aid from: the Gods of the waters, the Gods of the mountains and the Gods of the trees. [12] This may refer to Roshar's three Shards.
  • Spren are worshipped by the Unkalaki. Rock offers to build a shrine for Sylphrena at one point.[13]
  • Naturally heated lakes on the Horneater Peaks are called Oceans. There is an Ocean on each of the Peaks. Underneath the normal water is the so-called Water of life. It is said to be connected to the Gods and Horneaters who swim in the Oceans can sometimes see the Place of the Gods (most likely the Shadesmar, likely via Cultivation's Perpendicularity). Swimming in the Oceans is said to be lethal to outsiders, though according to Sigzil this is only because the Unkalaki execute any outsiders who swim in their Oceans.
  • Lunu'anaki is the name of the Unkalaki god of travel and mischief who cannot hurt man. Rock saw Hoid emerge from an Ocean and came to the conclusion that he must be Lunu'anaki.[12]

The Story of the Horneater Peaks[edit]

Rock tells members of Bridge Four the story of how the Unkalaki claimed the Horneater Peaks.

The Unkalaki were at the brink of extinction due to their belligerent nature at that time. They had a leader called tana'kai, who talked to the three most powerful gods on Roshar and asked them for shelter. They were the gods of the trees, the waters and the mountains respectively.

Both the god of the trees and the god of the waters refuse to give them shelter since they could not guarantee the safety of the Unkalaki. The god of the mountains does not outright decline the request but tells the tana'kai that his slopes are places only for spirits and they could not sustain life. The tana'kai solves the dilemma by asking the god of the waters to place lakes on the peaks of the mountains, the mountain god to heat them with his thermal energy from the deeps of the earth and the god of the forests to bring edible plants to the now habitable areas on the mountain peaks. The gods were pleased with this solution and the Horneaters moved to the peaks.[12]


The Unkalaki language is part of the Dawnate language family, with distant roots in the Dawnchant. Though the vocabulary is distinctive, it shares similar grammar with the Shin and Parshendi languages.[14]


Typical Unkalaki names are quite long, forming a poem.[10]

  • Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor - Rock's real name, shortened to Lunamor, describes a very special rock.[10]
  • Lunu'anaki - The god of travel and mischief who cannot hurt man, probably a name for Hoid.[12]
  • Unulukuak'kina'autu'atai - One of Shallan's aliases, meaning yet unknown.[15]
  • Tuaka'li'na'calmi'nor - Lunamor's wife, shortened to Tuaka, translated as Song.[6]
  • Kuma'tiki - Lunamor's second daughter, a type of shell found in the Horneater Peaks.[6]


  • afah'liki
  • alaii'iku - can see spren [16]
  • ali'i'kamura

With ali'i'kamura to protect, perhaps it will be safe.

  • alil’tiki’i
  • ana'kai

You're crazy! You're ana'kai crazy.

  • holetental - Likely related to the Radiants or spren.

Is not thing to learn. Is of the holetental. For him only.

  • humaka'aban - A beard style. Long sideburns that curve down to the chin. The chin itself and the area around the lips are cleanly shaven.[11]
  • Kali'kalin'da
  • kaluk'i'iki - Only a woman can be called this title.

When you are able to travel that far without being eaten by chasmfiend or killed in floods, I shall name you my kaluk'i'iki.

—Rock to Kaladin[8]
  • Kuma'tiki
  • Lunu’anaki - Likely a name for Hoid
  • mafah'liki - Unkalaki concept of spren.[9]

Uma'ami tukuma mafah'liki...

—the beginning of a respectful phrase about spren[6]
  • nuatoma - Unkalaki concept of nobility or ruling class, the same as Alethi lighteyes.[3]
  • tana'kai - Similar to a king, but has further meanings.[12]
  • tuanalikina - Fourth son and younger[6]
  • tuma'alki - Probably means "weak" or "of poor quality".

Spices they have for us to requisition are tuma'alki!

  • Uli'tekanaki

I cannot fight. What man could do this thing before the Uli'tekanaki?

  • umarti'a - A cousin of someone.[3]

Umalakai'ki! Kama mohoray namavau—

Lunamor's exclamation when Kaladin awakens [19]


  • The Unkalaki peoples are a mixture of Hawaiian, Scottish and Russian cultures.[20]
  • Because of their Singer heritage, they have extra jaw pieces at the back of their mouths which help them eat shells.[21]


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