Stretching back hundreds of thousands of years, recorded Bajoran history tells the story of a spiritual people trying to find their place among larger forces.
Early history Edit
Bajoran civilization began to flourish more than 500,000 years ago. The ancient Bajorans were renowned for their accomplishments in science, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts long before Humans learned to speak or make tools. By 30,000 years ago, antagonistic non-corporeal lifeforms known as "Pah-wraiths" and "Prophets" were present on Bajor, the latter of which were revered as gods by the Bajorans, who created an entire religion around them. One of each was imprisoned in a stone tablet manufactured in a now destroyed city dating to that time. Some 10,000 years later, the Bajorans build magnificent cities such as B'hala, which was constructed on top of the ruins of the stone tablet city. Also during that time, the Gratitude Festival was introduced, a tradition which would be continued to the present day. (TNG: "Ensign Ro"; DS9: "Emissary", "Fascination", "Rapture", "The Reckoning")
Approximately 10,000 years ago, the first of the Tears of the Prophets was discovered above Bajor. Over the years, eight more of these orb-like artifacts appeared and ushered in a new era of spiritual connection between the Bajorans and the Prophets. Around the same time, Bajoran archaeologists began their search for the famed and by then lost city of B'hala, which would, however, not be rediscovered until the 24th century. Bajoran religious development also included "prophecies" issued by spiritual writers such as Shabren, Talnot, Trakor, and Zocal. Trakor lived approximately 630 BC and was inspired by encounters with one of the orbs. By the 6th century, Bajorans also manufactured mandalas as religious tokens. (DS9: "Emissary", "Destiny", "Rapture", "In the Cards")
By the 16th century, Bajorans had developed sublight space travel employing solar-sail spacecraft called "lightships". Exploring their star system, Bajoran space travelers stumbled upon tachyon eddies, which accelerated their lightships beyond the speed of light and enabled them to reach the Cardassian system five light years away. Although this was evidenced by ancient crash sites of Bajoran lightships uncovered on Cardassia Prime, their discovery would not be disclosed by the Cardassian government until 2371, when a faithful reenactment proved the feasibility of such a journey. (DS9: "Explorers")
In the mid to late 17th century, it would be the last time until 2375 that the Book of the Kosst Amojan, an ancient tome considered highly dangerous, is removed from the Bajoran Central Archives. As it contained detailed instructions on how to release the Pah-wraiths in the Fire Caves, access to the book was restricted to the Kai alone. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")
During the 22nd century, Bajorans traveling through their star system unknowingly made the first observations of the home of the Prophets, called "Celestial Temple", a stable wormhole located in the Denorios Belt, an area between the ninth and tenth planets of the Bajoran system. Kai Taluno reported a sighting of would later be known as the wormhole, when his ship was "almost swallowed by the heavens" near the Denorios Belt. In the Bajoran year 9174 (late 22nd century), Akorem Laan, regarded as one of the planet's greatest poets at the time for works such as Gaudaal's Lament, departed Bajor in a lightship. His vessel was damaged in an ion storm, and drifted into the Denorios Belt, where he opened and entered the yet unknown wormhole and would stay with the Prophets until 2372. (DS9: "Emissary", "Accession")
By the beginning of the 24th century, Bajorans had established off-world colonies, e.g., Golana. By the 2370s, Bajoran colonies would include outlying planets such as Dreon VII, but also worlds within the Bajor system, e.g., Jeraddo and Bajor VIII. (DS9: "Past Prologue", "Progress", "For the Cause", "Time's Orphan")
Despite its high state of development, the Bajoran civilization continued to separate itself into nation-like factions as it is evidenced by the Paqu-Navot Treaty of 2279, which defined the border between two of them. Until the Occupation by Cardassia, Bajoran society also followed a strict system of castes known as D'jarras. It created a clearly stratified social hierarchy by pre-determining each Bajoran's occupation based on his or her family. (DS9: "The Storyteller", "Accession")
The Occupation Edit
- Main Article: Occupation of Bajor
Around 2319, Bajor's neighbor, the imperialistic Cardassian Union, established a military presence on the planet as it considered the Bajoran homeworld to be underdeveloped but rich in natural resources. In 2328, this Occupation of Bajor (or simply called the Occupation) also led to the formal annexation of Bajor by the Cardassians, who claimed to "help and develop" their neighbor. Despite their high state of cultural development, Cardassian technology was approximately 100 years ahead of Bajor, which is why the planet's population surrendered without any serious resistance at first. (TNG: "Ensign Ro"; DS9: "Emissary", "Waltz")
During the Occupation, the Cardassians perpetrated a coordinated scheme of strip-mining, forced labor, and genocide across the planet, with the Gallitep labor camp under Gul Darhe'el being one of the most infamous examples. Less obvious cruelties included the suppression of Bajoran religion by outlawing religious teaching, medical experiments on Bajoran subjects, like those conducted by Dr. Crell Moset, as well as Bajoran comfort women for Cardassian officers, who essentially represented a form of sexual slavery. The Cardassians also installed the Bajoran Occupational Government, essentially a puppet of the Cardassian Central Command intended to make the occupation look legitimate. In order to keep the Bajorans in line, Central Command also installed a prefect to oversee the planet. The last person to hold this post was the now-infamous Gul Dukat. He euphemistically considered the Bajorans his "children", but in fact oversaw the occupation with an iron fist from his residence on Terok Nor, an orbital ore processing station built by Bajoran slave labor between 2346 and 2351. (DS9: "Emissary", "Babel", "Duet", "The Collaborator", "Things Past", and more; VOY: "Nothing Human")
Over time, the Occupation gave rise to the fierce Bajoran Resistance, which was organized into small cells operating mostly independently from each other on- and off-Bajor. The Resistance used guerrilla as well as terror tactics, which eventually forced the Cardassians to withdraw, but also included radical sects like the Kohn-Ma, who would not even shy away from devising and deploying lethal biological weapons. While some noteworthy Resistance fighters like Kira Nerys, Lenaris Holem, Li Nalas, Shakaar Edon, or Surmak Ren would become high-ranking officials in the post-occupation Bajoran society, some like Orta or Tahna Los would continue to operate out of the legal system. (DS9: "Emissary", "Past Prologue", "Babel", "The Homecoming", "Shakaar", and more)
Formed less than two years after the end of the Occupation, many Bajorans willing to continue the fight against Cardassia would also join the Maquis, a rogue organization operating mostly along the Federation-Cardassian border and determined to resist the stipulations of the Federation-Cardassian Treaty. Some Bajorans also managed to flee their homeworld to join the Federation Starfleet, which was eager to incorporate Bajorans as a political statement towards Cardassia and was even said to give applicants the benefit of the doubt during exams. A great number of Bajorans who fled the occupation, though, settled on planets all over the known galaxy, but almost everywhere they remained separated from other peoples, living under the poorest circumstances in refugee camps like those on Valo II. (TNG: "Ensign Ro", "Preemptive Strike"; DS9: "Emissary", "The Maquis, Part I"; VOY: "Good Shepherd")
Independent Bajor Edit
Orientation and recovery Edit
After 50 years of occupation and over 10 million Bajoran casualties, the Cardassians finally withdrew from Bajor in 2369, no longer willing to fight the relentless terrorism of the Bajoran Resistance. The withdrawal was strongly opposed by Gul Dukat, the last prefect of Bajor. In their retreat, the Cardassians devastated Bajoran infrastructure and poisoned vast tracts of farmland, threatening a humanitarian catastrophe. The Bajoran Provisional Government was formed in the wake of the Occupation, but few had confidence that it would survive. Internecine conflicts suppressed during the Occupation – such as between the Paqu and Navot nations – soon began to flare again, but Kai Opaka, Bajor's religious leader, was instrumental in preventing civil war and keeping Bajoran society from falling apart. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Storyteller")
Aside from reconstruction-related issues, such as enforcing new building codes and discussing the irrigation of the Trilar Peninsula, the new Provisional Government made some decisive early decisions. It issued the Ilvian Proclamation, which exiled all Occupation-era collaborators, e.g., Kubus Oak, from Bajor on the one hand, and also set free Bajorans, who were imprisoned during the Occupation for committing a murder against a Cardassian on the other hand. Anti-Cardassian sentiment was also rampant among the general population as evidenced by the racist murder of Aamin Marritza, who assumed the identity of the infamous Gul Darhe'el and deliberately brought about his detention by the Bajorans in order to give them a sense of satisfying justice - an offer initially welcomed by Minister of State Kaval. Despite his true identity being revealed he was stabbed to death by a Bajoran. In contrast to these events, Bajorans attended to or even adopted Cardassian war orphans, who were deliberately left behind when the Occupation ended. (DS9: "A Man Alone", "Dax", "Duet", "Cardassians", "The Collaborator", and more)
Most importantly, though, the Provisional Government requested the United Federation of Planets as a protector power and to assist in the rebuilding of Bajor. Both governments established joint control of Terok Nor, a former Cardassian space station orbiting Bajor, which they renamed Deep Space 9. While the station officially became a Bajoran installation, it would be commanded by Starfleet aside a Bajoran liaison officer, a post first filled by Major Kira Nerys. Kai Opaka declared Deep Space 9's new Human Commander, Benjamin Sisko, whose long-term task also was to prepare Bajor for Federation membership, to be the long-awaited Emissary of the Prophets. Ushering in a new era of trade but also strategic importance and danger for the Bajor system, Sisko fullfilled one of the prophecies as Emissary shortly after by (re-)discovering the "Celestial Temple", a nearby wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant and home of the Prophets, to whose mouth Deep Space 9 was subsequently moved. Over the following two years, Federation assistance to Bajor included the reconstruction of its aqueduct system, tapping into the molten core of the Bajoran moon Jeraddo as a new major energy source, and offering some 3 million Skrreea refuges from the Gamma Quadrant, who initially sought asylum on Bajor, a new planet to colonize. (DS9: "Emissary", "Progress", TNG: "Birthright, Part I")
Despite its benefits for Bajor, the alliance with the Federation remained uneasy at first, as many Bajorans, including former resistance groups such as the radical Kohn-Ma, thought that the interests of the two powers should be kept separate. Certain religious representatives such as Vedek Winn Adami were also skeptical of Cmdr. Sisko, a "non-believer", to be declared the Emissary of the Prophets. She also publicly denounced Federation-inspired school curricula identifying the Prophets as mere "wormhole aliens" and instructed the Vedek Assembly to refuse Sisko's request to discuss the matter. The anti-Federation sentiment grew, even causing a bomb attack on Deep Space 9's school in late 2369, and would be exploited by the Bajoran anti-alien Alliance for Global Unity in early 2370. This Alliance, also known as the "Circle", denounced the Federation presence aboard Deep Space 9 as another form of occupation and was secretly led by high-ranking Minister Jaro Essa, who sought to dismantle the Provisional Government and install himself as the new leader of Bajor. After sidelining his biggest competitor Li Nalas, who was recently freed from a Cardassian labor camp, and garnering the support of other officials like Vedek Winn, who he promised the position of Kai, as well as General Krim, Jaro attempted a full-scale coup d'etat. With Krim's help, the Circle even managed to instigate anti-alien/anti-Federation riots on Bajor and to order Starfleet to withdraw from Deep Space 9. However, after it was discovered that the Circle was secretly being supplied with weapons by the Kressari, who turned out to be middlemen for the Cardassians who attempted to regain influence over Bajor by ousting the Federation, the coup quickly lost support, namely Vedek Winn and General Krim, and was quickly put down. (DS9: "Past Prologue", "In the Hands of the Prophets", "The Homecoming", "The Circle", "The Siege")
Political stabilization Edit
After this incident, the Bajoran political situation stabilized despite some internal power struggles due to Winn Adami's ongoing strife for more power. After Kai Opaka went missing in the Gamma Quadrant in mid-2369, Winn became the new Kai in 2370 by blacken and ousting her favored rival candidate Vedek Bareil Antos. This was possible due to Bareil protecting Kai Opaka's legacy by falsely claiming that it had been his and not Opaka's radical and questionable decision to sacrifice 43 Bajoran Resistance fighters in order to save the lives of thousands during the Occupation. Exploiting Bareil's unbroken loyalty and devotion to the position of the Kai, Winn would also try to take false credit for negotiating the Bajoran-Cardassian Treaty by her own the following year. (DS9: "Battle Lines", "The Collaborator", "Life Support")
Although a certain sense of pragmatism had already motivated some limited cooperation several months earlier, when the Bajoran Chamber of Ministers agreed to hand over three Cardassian dissidents – Natima Lang, Rekelen and Hogue – to the Cardassian Union in exchange for the release of a half-dozen Bajoran prisoners, the Bajoran-Cardassian relationship was still characterized by distrust as of 2371. This became evident when the Bajoran government expressed concern toward Cmdr. Sisko about Elim Garak, a Cardassian citizen in exile, who still resided on Deep Space 9. Some Ministers in the government called for Garak's removal from the station but relented after Sisko demonstrated Garak's strategic value when he sent him to rescue Major Kira Nerys from the Obsidian Order on Cardassia Prime. Soon after, the conclusion of talks in mid-2371 for the Bajoran-Cardassian Treaty finally marked an important step towards normalizing the relationship, which, despite Kai Winn's claims, was accomplished by Vedek Bareil over the course of 5 months and even cost his life as he refused necessary medical treatment in order to finish the negotiations in time. The first joint Federation-Bajoran-Cardassian effort under the new peace treaty, called the Wormhole Comm Relay Project, was to create a Gamma Quadrant relay station to aid communications through the Bajoran wormhole aka the Celestial Temple. Although Kai Winn and the Vedek Assembly approved the project, Vedek Yarka quoted Trakor's Third Prophecy when accusing the participating Cardassian scientists, Ulani Belor, Gilora Rejal, and Dejar, to be "three vipers that would destroy the Celestial Temple". Although Dejar was indeed exposed by Ulani Belor as an Obsidian Order operative, who, as it turned out, was not only tasked with surveillance but to undermine Bajoran-Cardassian relations by sabotaging the entire project, the Wormhole Comm Relay was successfully completed. (DS9: "Profit and Loss", "Second Skin", "Life Support", "Destiny")
In late 2371, Kai Winn's ambitions for more power reached a preliminary climax when she was appointed as interim head of state after the incumbent First Minister of Bajor, Kalem Apren, died of heart failure. Without any serious rival candidate, she hoped to permanently unite Bajor's two most important positions as Kai and First Minister in her person and immediately sought to increase her popular approval by initiating a program to grow cash crops in Rakantha Province. However, the required soil reclamators were still in use by a group of farmers around former resistance fighter Shakaar Edon, whose refusal to prematurely return the equipment escalated into an armed guerrilla conflict. After the pursuing militia, commanded by fellow ex-resistance fighter Lenaris Holem, joined the rebels, Shakaar's defiance toward Winn gained him immense popularity, eventually forcing Winn to grudgingly support his bid to become new First Minister, which Shakaar subsequently did. He then visited Deep Space 9 in mid-2372 to negotiate Bajor's admittance into the Federation. Although he criticized the Federation's inherent self-righteousness, First Minister Shakaar pushed to cut in half the time Bajor would have to wait to become a member - a longing he believed to be an effect of 50 years of Cardassian occupation. Despite slow negotiations and two attempts on Shakaar's life by the True Way, a Cardassian terrorist movement opposing its government's rapprochement towards Bajor and the Federation, the talks were successfully concluded. This aforementioned rapprochement had become evident with the Klingon-Cardassian War, a conflict that started earlier that year and was instigated by a hegemonic power from the Gamma Quadrant called "Dominion". As the war not only caused a cessation of the Federation-Klingon alliance but also urged the Cardassian Union, which suddenly found itself the victim of aggression and in a dire strategic position, to pursue any available outside support, Shakaar managed to convince Major Kira to attend the Korma Conference, where Bajor was to share intelligence on the Klingons with Cardassian representatives. The Federation's concerns, as expressed by instructing Kira not to share any sensitive information Starfleet had previously given to the Bajorans, did not materialize, though, as a Klingon ship had already destroyed the venue upon her arrival, killing all attendees including 15 Bajorans. (DS9: "Shakaar", "Crossfire", "Return to Grace")
Delay of Federation membership and Dominion War Edit
Bajor's petition for Federation membership was eventually accepted in 2373. However, on the eve of the signing ceremony on Deep Space 9, Cpt. Sisko, the Emissary of the Prophets, received a series of pagh'tem'far predicting disaster for Bajor unless "it stood alone". As a result, the Chamber of Ministers voted to delay the acceptance of Federation membership. Sisko was later confronted by Admiral Charlie Whatley, who asked Sisko to contact the Chamber of Ministers and convince them that he was mistaken, but Sisko refused. Another minor Bajoran-Federation estrangement occurred later that year, when the Bajoran government declined to intervene when arms dealer Hagath and his associates sold weapons within the Bajoran system. Hagath had previously supplied the Bajoran Resistance, and it was felt that Bajor, at least partially, owed its freedom to Hagath and people like him. After the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion in mid-2373, quickly driving out the Klingons as well as the Maquis, a major war with the Dominion was on the horizon. Now, the Emissary's earlier intervention allowed a neutral stance for Bajor, which, following Sisko's endorsement, even signed a nonaggression pact with the Dominion. This saved Bajor from coming under foreign occupation when war broke out and Deep Space 9 was quickly captured by Dominion-Cardassian forces, who were officially, though compulsorily, "welcomed" into Bajoran space by Major Kira on behalf of the Bajoran government. (DS9: "Rapture", "Business as Usual", "By Inferno's Light", "Call to Arms")
In early 2374, during the first months of the Dominion War, Bajor was cut off from all interstellar trade, leading to economic hardship and supply shortfalls. With no one else to turn to, the Bajoran government allowed the Dominion to send 400 Vorta facilitators to Bajor to provide technical assistance. Soon after, the Cardassians gifted fifteen industrial replicators to Bajor as a gesture of friendship. The Bajorans also gained a voice on Deep Space 9 through Odo, formally a member of the Bajoran militia, who became part of the station ruling council along Gul Dukat and Weyoun. These events were controversial amongst the Bajorans, many of whom feared that they legitimized the Dominion presence in the system and would lead to the erosion of Bajoran sovereignty. Protestors such as Vedek Yassim openly denounced cooperation with the Dominion, and eventually a resistance movement arose on Deep Space 9 including Major Kira, Sisko's son Jake, and a Ferengi member of the Bajoran station crew, Rom. When the latter was exposed, Major Kira went to the Council of Ministers, asking them to lodge a formal protest against the planned execution of Rom. As Weyoun previously pointed out that such a protest would fall on deaf ears, Rom was freed by force and subsequently became crucial in enabling the Federation-Klingon alliance to recapture Deep Space 9 during Operation Return by sabotaging the station's weapons. This, in turn, prevented Cpt. Sisko's ship from being destroyed before it could enter the wormhole, where he pleaded with the Prophets to save Bajor, who then simply made 2,800 Dominion ships coming in from the Gamma Quadrant as reinforcements disappear. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals", "Sons and Daughters", "Behind the Lines", "Favor the Bold", "Sacrifice of Angels")
Despite the limited Bajoran military capabilities, Deep Space 9, with its location by the wormhole, became the strategically most important installation for the Federation Alliance. Both the Klingon Empire as well as the Romulan Star Empire, which joined the Alliance in late 2374, established contact offices on the station and First Minister Shakaar received briefings on the war. In early 2375, the Bajoran Government granted the Romulans permission to build a military hospital on the uninhabited Bajoran moon Derna. However, an attempt by the Romulans to arm the hospital with plasma torpedoes precipitated a crisis among the Allies. The Bajorans blockaded Derna and demanded that the Romulans remove the weapons, nearly leading to hostilities until Senator Cretak relented under Federation pressure. The war was finally brought to an end in late 2375, when the Federation Alliance successfully attacked Cardassia Prime and took the Dominion representative for all forces in the Alpha Quadrant into custody. Soon after, the Bajoran Republic was one of the signatories of the Treaty of Bajor on Deep Space 9, which formally concluded the conflict. (DS9: "His Way", "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols", "What You Leave Behind")
Meanwhile, Kai Winn still sought ways to expand her power and allied herself with Dukat, who was posing as a Bajoran Farmer and started to become obsessed with the Pah-wraiths the previous year, even declaring himself their "Emissary". In late 2374, he had already become possessed by the Wraiths, causing the temporary sealing of the Celestial Temple amongst others, resulting in a short-lived spread of the Cult of the Pah-wraiths. In late 2375, feeling betrayed by the Prophets, Winn joined Dukat in his quest to unleash the Wraiths by learning the secrets from the Book of the Kosst Amojan. During their failed attempt to apply those secrets in the Fire Caves on Bajor, Dukat killed Winn, who rediscovered her faith for the Prophets - and their Emissary - during her last moments. After the Emissary of the Prophets, i.e., Sisko, arrived at the scene, he engaged Dukat, dragging him as well as the Book of the Kosst Amojan along when plunging into the fires. While Dukat and the book incinerated, joining the Pah-wraiths in their now unbreakable imprisonment, Sisko joined the Prophets in the Celestial Temple but promised his wife to return "in a year, or maybe... yesterday". Although Vedek Ungtae was quickly rumored to be a likely candidate to replace the deceased Kai Winn, the absence of the Emissary and the ultimately averted threats by the Pah-wraiths, the Cardassians as well as the Dominion now leave Bajor in a position, where it has to choose its path in interstellar history. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols", "Covenant", "'Til Death Do Us Part", and more)
Summary of key datesEdit
- 500,000 years ago: Ancient Bajoran civilization flourishes and is renowned for its accomplishments in science, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts.
- 30,000 years ago: A "Pah-wraiths" and a "Prophets", antagonistic non-corporeal beings, are imprisoned in a stone tablet on Bajor. The Bajorans create an entire religion around the Prophets.
- 20,000 years ago: The magnificent city of B'hala is build and the Gratitude Festival is introduced.
- 10,000 years ago: The first of the Tears of the Prophets is discovered above Bajor and Bajoran archaeologists begin their search for the famed and now lost city of B'hala.
- 7th century BC: Being inspired by encounters with the Orb of Prophecy and Change, Bajoran spiritual writer Trakor issues a set of prohecies.
- 6th century AD: Bajorans manufacture mandalas as religious tokens.
- 16th century: Using lightships, Bajoran explorers stumble upon tachyon eddies in the Bajoran system, which propel them all the way to the 5 light years distant Cardassia Prime.
In the video game Star Trek Online Bajor's renewed application to join the Federation was accepted in 2384. In 2392 a Bajoran candidate was considered an outside choice in the Federation presidential race. Bajor attained full membership in 2393 and by 2409, Kira had become Kai.