Jaffa who are in service of a Goa'uld bear a black tattoo of their master's insignia on their foreheads. The highest-ranking Jaffa in service of a Goa'uld is known as the First Prime and bears a raised gold insignia, made by baring the bone with a special knife and filling the wound with molten gold; Teal'c describes it as a very painful process. Other high-ranking Jaffa may bear similar silver marks. The elite guard of powerful Goa'uld sometimes wear helmets shaped like that Goa'uld's symbolic animal; the helmets are made from articulated metal plates that can fold to reveal the face, and are intended to intimidate the Goa'uld's enslaved human populations. Helmeted Jaffa seen or mentioned in the series include the Horus Guards (falcon-headed, serving Ra and Heru-ur), Serpent Guards (cobra-headed, serving Apophis), and the Setesh Guards (Set animal-headed, serving Seth). A jackal-headed (Anubis) guard also appears in service of Ra in the Stargate movie
Soon after, forces of the Tau'ri are able to defeat the Replicators. The Jaffa see the Goa'uld's inability to save themselves from the Replicators as proof that they are false Gods, especially when System Lord Ba'al makes a cowardly escape from the Jaffa Resistance, after which the Jaffa turn against the Goa'uld en masse.
In season nine, the Jaffa Resistance and the destruction of the System Lords gave birth to the Free Jaffa Nation, with the planet Dakara as its new capital. The new nation immediately became a major power, inheriting part of the fleets of the System Lords, partially filling the power vacuum left by their defeat. In an elaborate ceremony marking the official founding of the Jaffa Nation, Teal'c and Bra'tac were knighted Bloodkin to all Jaffa, the highest honour that can be bestowed on any Jaffa.
The nation was initially ruled by the Jaffa High Council, on which votes were appropriated based on unconfirmed military assets, the nation is divided between at least two major political factions: the opposition progressives who support Teal'c and Master Bra'tac's vision of a representative democracy and the ruling traditionalists who support the military oligarchy with Gerak at the head of the High Council.
With the arrival of the Ori, things began to become difficult for the Jaffa Nation. The nation was initially committed to resisting the spread of Origin and its attendant Priors; most Jaffa were horrified at the idea of worshipping false gods once more, as the resistance of the Jaffa of Kallana showed ("Beachhead"). However, Gerak was converted to Origin and as a result the Ori gained a powerful ally in the form of the Jaffa loyal to them. However, Gerak's choice threatened to split the Jaffa with civil war as the progressives and even some of Gerak's fellow traditionalists were opposed to this idea; even Gerak's aide Yat'Yir had doubts. In the end, however, Gerak chose to rebel against the Ori.
A resolution passed by the High Council mandated a referendum to determine whether the nation would adopt a constitution based on Earth representative democracies. It passed in "Stronghold", with elections to be held two months later. The Jaffa suffered greatly against the followers of the Ori with their ships being almost completely ineffective at stopping the recently arrived Ori battlecruisers. One of the first Jaffa worlds to fall to the Ori was Teal'c's home planet of Chulak.
The Jaffa leader Se'tak took matters into his own hands to deal with the Ori via the Dakara Superweapon. This weapon was used to target Ori worlds to wipe out the followers of Origin. A Jaffa strike force faced competition in the form of SG-1 and Adria, who killed the Jaffa who challenged her. Learning of the location of Dakara, Adria targeted the Dakara device and destroyed it, along with Se'tak and his loyal followers. Master Bra'tac survived the devastation of Dakara. Many other Jaffa worlds bowed down to the Ori afterwards, whether through fear or having actually been converted is unknown.
Several Jaffa worlds had willingly fallen into the hand of the Ori crusaders though small resistance movements still existed that gained intelligence on these enemies. Some groups, such as the Illac Renin, became devoted to the path the Ori showed them though many resisted it. In order to help stabilise the leadership of the Jaffa, a peaceful summit was called on the Jaffa world of Dar Eshkalon but a deceptive strike killed many of it attendees. It was revealed that this was done by radical Jaffa who followed the Ori and were led by a former First Prime known as Arkad who wished to steer the Jaffa's destiny into the hands of the Ori. Furthermore, to gain the favour of his new masters, he attempted to stockpile weapons grade naquadah to use against the Tau'ri but he was killed by Teal'c before he could accomplish this. Currently, the fate of the Jaffa Nation is unknown beyond the elimination of this single threat. (Talion)
Some known councillors include:
Allied with the other rebel Jaffa, Ishta's group soon becomes too large to easily conceal. Under attack by Moloc's Imperial Guard and forced to evacuate their original homeworld, the Hak'tyl briefly shelter at the SGC while agitating for a full-scale uprising against Moloc. Teal'c warns that should they succeed Moloc would only be replaced by a more powerful Goa'uld. Nevertheless, the insurrection takes place, and the SGC assassinates Moloc with a pair of laser-guided missiles. Teal'c's prediction comes true and Moloc's domain is absorbed by Ba'al; the Hak'tyl leave for their new homeworld to plan another war. The Hak'tyl are a significant power in the Free Jaffa Nation, and are represented by Ka'lel on the High Council. One of their main concerns is the inequal treatment of females in many Jaffa societies.
In the season 9 episode , SG-1 seeks out the Sodan. In their first encounter, Cameron Mitchell is forced to go through a form of ritual combat called Kel Shak Lo after being forced to kill a Sodan warrior, in the process earning their respect. The Sodan are eventually approached by a Prior of the Ori. At first they are interested in Origin, but reject it after being ordered to destroy a group of simple farmers for defying the Ori. They help SG-1 to capture the Prior and obtain a blood sample with which to fight a plague on Earth. In revenge, the Priors infect the Sodan Vol'nek with a disease that kills him and resurrects him as a bloodthirsty monster who massacres the Sodan. Afterwards, the SGC collect the Sodan personal cloaks for experimentation, but find them unsuitable for use by humans.