The Women Of Star Trek: Kanutu Nona

by Laura Goodwin

Kanutu Nona  (Nancy Kovak)

We meet her in A Private Little War. Nona is a highly skilled Kanutu (healer), and Tyree's wife. She is obviously originally of the villager tribe. Tyree apparently met and married her sometime after he met Kirk, since she has never met Kirk before.

Villagers were killing off her adopted tribe with Klingon-supplied flintlocks. When Nona realized that Kirk had more powerful weapons at his disposal, Nona naturally asked Kirk to use his weapons to vanquish the aggressive villagers. She is super-disappointed when Tyree hollers that he will not kill, and when Kirk furthermore shows that he is reluctant to share his advanced weaponry.

"We must fight, or die!" Nona reasonably explains, making it clear that it's a matter of sheer survival - but Tyree stubbornly refuses to hear her, and Kirk feels helpless (Prime Directive) to intervene.

Nona (horrified): "You would let him die when you have the weapons to make him powerful and safe? Then he has the WRONG FRIENDS! And I have the wrong husband."

Hey, put yourself in Nona's place for a minute, dear reader. Nona is a highly skilled and highly intelligent healer/magician, and she is married to a chief. Her hubby is the chief of a tribe that is slated for extermination. She was expecting better than this for herself. Nona does not want to die, she wants to live. She wants her hubby to get some balls, and defend his tribe with whatever means are at his disposal, of course. She has got wind of the fantastic power that is hovering inches from his reluctant grasp, and she is growing impatient for him to grab the reins of fate and hollar "Gee HUP!", of course.

Nona asks a very good question, here. What kind of friend, or brother, or friend/brother/ex-roomie/[your wild idea here] would allow for your destruction, when he has the power to prevent it? And what kind of man won't kill in self-defense, not even to defend his loved ones? If you were her, you would feel exactly the same way she does: you'd be upset. Nobody should be surprised at what Nona did (or tries to do) next. Poor, desperate thing!

Nona drugged Kirk, and bewitched him, and tried to seduce him, but ultimately she decided it would be faster and cheaper to brain him with a big rock, and steal his phaser.

FWIW, it's quite explicitly shown in the episode that the only reason that Kirk kissed her is because she drugged AND hypnotized him, and then she gave him a direct order to do it. Kirk was not in control of that situation: she was.

She was generally a very strong female who was accustomed to getting her way with men.

She took Kirk's phaser to her former kinsmen, since nobody at home understood her, and she tried to explain its powers to the first schmoes she met, but instead of listening to her, the gang of toughs try to rape her - she fought, of course, but she was outnumbered. Tyree, Kirk, and the rest came running to her rescue, but before they could save her, the baddies killed her.

Nona must be classed as a villain because of her deceptive, disloyal, bewitchy misbehavior. The hitting with a rock and stealing part wasn't very nice, either. Nevertheless, she is a sympathetic character, since her reasons for her desperate acts are well explained.

All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2003

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