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For the Karemma homeworld, please see Karemma (planet).

The Karemma or Karemman were a spacefaring humanoid species native to the planet Karemma in the Gamma Quadrant. They were members of the Dominion.

"CAR-em-ma" was the pronunciation for the name of this species from the script pronunciation guide for "Starship Down". [1]


The Karemma were tall and slender humanoids with thin skin folds around the eyes, nose, and mouth, and a prominent midline ridge extending upward from the forehead. They had dark hair that was combed back. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "Starship Down")

The Karemma make-up was influenced by the fact that one of them was to be played by Star Trek veteran actor James Cromwell. "Again, it was a matter of designing a new face for him, taking and pushing his cheeks around, his forehead around, and his nose around," explained Make-Up Supervisor Michael Westmore. "So, we designed a very special look that was made just for him." ("Michael Westmore's Aliens", DS9 Season 4 DVD special features)
In the script for "Starship Down", the Karemma were described as mostly "tall" and "thin." [2] This, of course, clearly implies that not all Karemma had those qualities.
James Cromwell gave some idea of the processes involved in the Karemma makeup; "They pull your hair up in tight little things which they stick pins in, and then they put a cap over you, and they put on this humongous wig which they attach with pins through the curls. Then they lay all this rubber over your face." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 7) He concluded, "The makeup was pretty dominating." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 284))


The first relations between the Karemma and the Alpha Quadrant were established in 2370 by the Ferengi. As the Dosi were not able to meet Grand Nagus Zek's request for 100,000 vats of tulaberry wine, they referred his chief negotiator Quark to the Karemma, a more important member of the Dominion. (DS9: "Rules of Acquisition")

The Ferengi subsequently began importing tulaberry wine from the Karemma. Through this relationship, Quark arranged a meeting in early 2371 between the Karemma official Ornithar and Federation representatives aboard the USS Defiant, who were seeking to contact the Founders. Ornithar admitted that he knew nothing of the Founders, but did direct the Defiant crew to a subspace relay on Callinon VII. (DS9: "The Search, Part I")

Later that year, a Karemma visited Deep Space 9 and strolled along the upper level of the Promenade. (DS9: "Prophet Motive")

By 2372, the Karemma had begun trading goods such as Karemman fleece with the Federation, through Ferengi intermediaries. Though no Ferengi vessels had been stopped by the Jem'Hadar, the Karemma were frustrated at their profits being sapped by a series of taxes and tariffs contrived by the Ferengi without Federation approval. At the behest of the Karemma Commerce Ministry, a Karemma ship met the Defiant at a remote Gamma Quadrant star system so that Minister Hanok could discuss the issue with Captain Benjamin Sisko and Quark. The meeting was interrupted when two Jem'Hadar fighters attacked; all four ships descended into the atmosphere of a nearby Class J gas giant, where the Defiant was able to destroy the Jem'Hadar craft and rescue the crew of the Karemma ship. The experience led to a breakthrough in negotiations. (DS9: "Starship Down")

Society and culture

The Karemma were an important economic power in the Dominion. They engaged in trade with non-Dominion races, which was overseen by the Karemma Commerce Ministry. Their exported products included tulaberry wine and fleece, and their Ministry of Trade sold torpedoes to the Jem'Hadar. Their unit of currency was the dirak, and they also accepted latinum. (DS9: "Rules of Acquisition", "The Search, Part I")

Officially, the Karemma believed that all merchandise had a set fair value, determined by the raw materials and labor involved in its creation, transportation costs, and a reasonable profit margin. They took a dim view of underhanded business practices, believing that greed led to misjudgement and reduced profits. Nevertheless, in actual practice the Karemma have been known to sell substandard goods. (DS9: "Starship Down")

The Karemma interacted with the Dominion only through Vorta agents, with the understanding that any disobedience would be punished by the Jem'Hadar. They had no knowledge of who the Founders were or if they even existed. The Vorta had instructed them to direct all further inquiries to an unmanned subspace relay on Callinon VII. (DS9: "The Search, Part I")

The teleplay of "Starship Down" referred to most Karemma as being "elegant in bearing." The script proceeded by commenting, "Although the Karemma are mercantilist by nature, they're classy about it: think fine gem appraiser, not used car salesman." [3]


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