Category:Jaffa

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The Jaffa were originally human, taken from Earth millennia ago, and have been genetically altered to incubate a Goa'uld larva inside a pouch in the abdomen. While a Jaffa carries a symbiote, he or she is given a longer life (estimated to be approximately 135 years), increased strength, and an enhanced ability to recover from illness and wounds. The symbiote acts as the Jaffa's immune system. Once a symbiote has been implanted inside a Jaffa, it cannot be removed without killing the Jaffa. When the symbiote matures, it is removed from the Jaffa and placed in a host, usually a human, thereby becoming a Goa'uld. The Jaffa must then receive a new symbiote or die.

Because of the advantages in strength and healing ability that the symbiote confers, many of the male Jaffa become warriors serving under a Goa'uld (e.g., Teal'c was in the service of Apophis). The Goa'uld maintain their power over the Jaffa that serve them by telling the Jaffa that the Goa'uld are gods. Thus, Jaffa, both male and female, serve the Goa'uld by practicing the rituals of worship associated with recognizing the Goa'uld as a god.