D'jarras were a Bajoran caste system used during much of Bajoran history. The system created a stratified social hierarchy where everyone was born into a specific caste based on their family, which determined their occupation and social status. Members of higher-ranking D'jarras were treated with respect and deference by those of lower ranks.
The D'jarras were abandoned shortly after the beginning of the Occupation of Bajor when all Bajorans were needed to become soldiers to liberate their homeworld from the Cardassians. The system was not revived following the Cardassian withdrawal, since too many people were now performing jobs far different from their D'jarras.
Though not an entirely uncontroversial decision, it was not significantly challenged until 2372, when the 22nd century Bajoran poet Akorem Laan returned onboard his lightship from the Celestial Temple. Akorem was briefly accepted as the Emissary of the Prophets and reinstated the D'jarra system as one of his first acts as Emissary. This decision sparked a great deal of civil unrest and discrimination on Bajor. Aboard Deep Space 9, Vedek Porta murdered a vedek from the Imutta caste for refusing to resign because his D'jarra involved preparing the dead for burial and was therefore ceremonially unclean.
The permanent return of the D'jarras would have also forced Bajor's petition to join the Federation to be re-evaluated, since the Articles of the Federation barred membership to any world with a caste system. This was avoided when the Prophets returned Akorem Laan to his own time, Benjamin Sisko retook the title of Emissary, and the D'jarras were abandoned once again.
The following is a partial list of D'jarra and their approximate relative rankings:
- Ih'valla (artists)
- Te'nari (unknown)
- Mi'tino (merchants and landowners)
- Va'telo (pilots, sailors, drivers, and similar professions)
- Ke'lora (laborers and lawmen)
- Sern'apa (unknown)
- Imutta (those who deal with the dead, considered "unclean")