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Tribes

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The only way I know to create a Garden of Eden is through plain old hard work. That's something you tribals just don’t seem to understand. But I guess that’s the difference between us civilized folk and yourselves.

Civilized? You think you’re civilized because you live in the burnt-out ruins of a beforetime town?

Maida Buckner and the Chosen One

A tribe is an ambiguous term, generally used to refer to stateless societies that emerged across wasteland, characterized by the absence of formal government, a distinct cultural identity, and self-sufficiency. The term tribal is typically used as a pejorative noun by inhabitants of various non-tribal communities, to describe someone as primitive, uncouth, and unsophisticated.[1]

In a broad sense, every human society can be described as a tribe, a linked family of families, regardless of the place they inhabit or other circumstances.[2]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The pressures of life in the wasteland, especially in the immediate aftermath of the Great War, resulted in the emergence of tribes as the dominant form of organization of human societies. Focusing on the immediate needs, the tribes typically returned to simpler methods of agriculture, hunting, gathering, and in many cases, raiding.[3] Reliable technologies that did not require a great deal of technical knowledge dominated. As this knowledge disappeared, it was replaced by skills in surviving in the wasteland, harnessing its bounty, and surviving. As a result, tribesmen tend to be intelligent, curious, and adaptive, but lack knowledge taken for granted elsewhere.[4]

Identity[edit | edit source]

There is a great deal of overlap between tribesmen and denizens of frontier towns. Both groups work the land and survive thanks to their skills, with the distinction being drawn based on the area they inhabit: Those who live in the burned-out ruins of pre-War towns tend to see themselves as civilized and those who live in the countryside as savages.[5] The sentiment is mutual, though of course, tribes see themselves as civilized and those who squat among the ruins as savage.[6]

Isolated tribes, like the Dead Horses and Sorrows that inhabit Zion Canyon, have developed a very distinct culture and even language. They are seen as degenerate, as they do not share the language of the wasteland. Dealing with them frequently requires an interpreter.[7][8] These tribes can be superstitious about remnants of the pre-War world, treating them as taboo.[9]

All tribes express their unique cultural identity in various ways. Body modification (such as tattoos or piercing), hairstyles, war paint, and even weapons serve to emphasize their identity and set them apart from other human groups. For example, apart from an unique appearance, tribes of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau are associated with a specific weapon.[10]

Exploitations[edit | edit source]

These tribes are commonly seen as vulnerable and ruthlessly exploited. For example, traders hawk pre-War goods as religious artifacts, selling them at greatly inflated prices.[11] Others, such as NCR prospectors and settlers, may seize tribal territories and exterminate entire tribes if they resist. New Canaan missionaries recount situations where prospectors stalk and harass tribes for days in order to box a tribe in, then use grenades to eliminate them.[12]

List of tribes[edit | edit source]

The following list summarizes information found in the respective articles. Consult them for additional information and references. The list does not include unidentified tribal groups that make up the Oregon cannibals or nomads.
Tribe Area Characteristics Status Appearances
80s Utah A large warband specializing in tracking and exploration. Continue to inhabit areas alongside I-80. Mentioned in Honest Hearts
Arroyo tribe New Arroyo A tribe founded by the Vault Dweller, with a distinct identity centered around the worship of the ancestors and a simple, uncomplicated life. Destroyed by the Enclave, remnants founded New Arroyo and discarded their tribal identity. Appears in Fallout 2.
Blackfoot Grand Canyon One of seven tribes that inhabited the Grand Canyon. Became the foundation of the Legion, losing its tribal identity. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas.
Boomers Nellis AFB, Mojave Wasteland A tribe that originated from Vault 34, with access to high technology and a culture built around the worship of explosives. Unknown. Appears in Fallout: New Vegas
Ciphers New California An unique, technologically-talented tribe. Alive. Mentioned in Dead Money.
Crazy Horns Utah Frontier tribe that interacted with New Canaan. Destroyed by raiders, prospectors, and/or slavers.[13] Mentioned in Honest Hearts
Dead Horses Zion Canyon A hunter-gatherer tribe living in Zion Canyon Either evacuated the canyon or destroyed the White Legs, protecting their home. Appears in Honest Hearts.
Fredonians Grand Canyon Unknown. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Great Khans Red Rock Canyon A raider tribe that developed from the Khans. Distinct in its strong Mongol-like identity, which allowed them to rule the Mojave for years until the arrival of the Republic. Brutalized by the NCR during the Bitter Springs Massacre and forced into the desolate Red Rock Canyon. Status unclear. Appears in Fallout: New Vegas
Hangdogs Denver An unique tribe built on a symbiotic relationship with dogs. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Hidebarks Unknown Unknown. Parent tribe of Lanius. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Jackals Mojave The smallest of the tribes that originated from Vault 15. Scavengers and opportunists. Largely destroyed by the Khans. Remnants pushed out into the Mojave by the NCR. Appears in Fallout: New Vegas
Kaibabs Grand Canyon Unknown. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Khans New California A large raider tribe with an identity inspired by Mongol tribes, originating from Vault 15. Brutalized by the Vault Dweller. Fragmented into the New Khans and then into the Great Khans. Appears in Fallout, mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas.
Mojave Boot-Riders Mojave Wasteland A nomadic tribe that inhabited the Mojave area. Fighters without peer. Reformed by Robert House into the Chairmen. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Omertas New Vegas A treacherous group of ruthless opportunists. Unknown. Appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
Point Lookout tribals Point Lookout A settled tribe living at the Ark & Dove Cathedral, focusing on punga fruit cultivation. Alive. Appears in Point Lookout
Ridgers Grand Canyon Unknown. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Slither Kin Mojave A treacherous group of ruthless opportunists. Reformed by Robert House into the Omertas. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas.
Sorrows Zion Canyon A peaceful tribe living off the land in Zion, worshipping the Father-in-the-Cave. Host a small New Canaan mission. Either evacuated the canyon or aided the Dead Horses in destroying the White Legs. Appears in Honest Hearts.
Sun Dogs Unknown Unknown. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas
Tar Walkers Utah Frontier tribe that interacted with New Canaan. Destroyed by raiders, prospectors, and/or slavers.[13] Mentioned in Honest Hearts
Treeminders Capital Wasteland A small tribe dedicated to the protection of the Oasis, with a distinct mythology and religion. Unknown. Appears in Fallout 3.
Twin Mothers tribe Unknown A peaceful tribe inhabiting an isolated cave dwelling. Assimilated by the Legion. Mentioned in Lonesome Road
Vipers New California
Mojave Wasteland
A raider tribe that originated in Vault 15. Worshiping snakes and fond of using poisoned weapons, the Vipers eventually became one of the largest raider tribes in New California, threatening even the Hub. Almost destroyed by the Brotherhood of Steel in a retaliatory campaign during the 2150s. Remnants pushed out of New California by the NCR. Mentioned in Fallout, appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
White Glove Society New Vegas A sophisticated tribe of former cannibals, reformed by Robert House. Unknown. Appears in Fallout: New Vegas.
White Legs Salt Lake City (outskirts and the great salt lake) Warlike scavenger tribe, relying on raiding and abduction to support themselves. Routed by Joshua Graham and the Courier, later destroyed by the 80s and the Legion. Appears in Honest Hearts.

Tribes outside the main continuity[edit | edit source]

Fallout Tactics[edit | edit source]

Van Buren[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References

  1. KCBUCK.MSG, KCHILD.MSG, Klamath citizen: (Kcitizen.msg), Jenny (KCJENNY.MSG), Maida Buckner (KCMAIDA.MSG), Sally Dunton (KCSALLY.MSG), Slim Picket (KCSLIM.MSG), Three-Card Monte: (NC3MONTE.MSG), Porn actress: (NcActres.msg), Bishop's bodyguard (NcBisGrd.msg), John Bishop (NcBishop.msg), Bishop's man (NcBisMen.msg), Casino bouncer (NcCasBou.msg), Ethyl Wright (NCETHWRI.MSG), Fluffer (NcFluffe.msg), Leslie Anne Bishop (NCLABISH.MSG), Lil' Jesus Mordino (NcLilJes.msg), Mason (NcMason.msg), Mordino's man (NcMorMen.msg), Orville Wright (NcOrvill.msg), Reno townsfolk (NcPerson.msg), Pit boss (NcPitBos.msg, NCPITBOX.MSG), Cat's Paw girls (NcProsti.msg), Renesco (NcRenesc.msg), Sheb (NcSheb.msg), Wright child (NcWriChi.msg, NcWriPly.msg, NcWriTee.msg), Myron (NhMyron.msg)
  2. The Courier: "Are the New Canaanites really a tribe?"
    Joshua Graham: "We wear more clothing than them and understand more about technology, but we're still a tribe, a linked family of families. The Boneyard, Phoenix, New Vegas, they're just places, metal and stone. New Canaan dies, but the tribe lives on. When the walls come tumbling down, when you lose everything you have, you always have family. And your family always has tribe."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  3. The Courier: "Wasn't Mexico City basically annihilated in the Great War?"
    Raul Tejada: "I don't think it was as hard hit as DC or Bakersfield, but it was bad enough. By the time we got there, the city was a radioactive ruin. Still, the city was full of looters, already forming into the beginnings of raider tribes. Crime was bad before the War, but now it was a nightmare. We were living like scavengers, scraping by on what little food we could find, always looking for medicine for my burns. And then, of course, the radiation started to kick in, turning me into this handsome devil you see before you."
    (Raul Tejada's dialogue)
  4. The Courier: "Joshua told me you needed a few things. I think this is everything."
    Daniel: "Well I'll be. I was starting to lose hope we'd be able to get any of this, much less all of it. Tribals are smart but... well, they're ignorant. Letting go of a taboo is difficult for them, so I knew it would have to be one of us. Turns out all it took was a Gentile. Or, uh... no offense. These supplies are a godsend, but if we're going to evacuate Zion without drawing more White Leg attention, I need you to go back into the valley. Specifically, I need you to scout out some locations for White Legs and try to recover a map of Grand Staircase, a wilderness area to the east. There's also the matter of the roads. We're going to be heading out of the east side of the park, but I'm not sure the way is clear."
    (Daniel (Honest Hearts)'s dialogue)
  5. The Chosen One: "{242}{}{Have you ever heard of something called a Garden of Eden Creation Kit?}"
    Maida Buckner: "{270}{}{The only way I know to create a Garden of Eden is through plain old hard work. That's something you tribals just don’t seem to understand. But I guess that’s the difference between us civilized folk and yourselves.}"
    The Chosen One: "{273}{}{Civilized? You think you’re civilized because you live in the burnt-out ruins of a beforetime town? Tell me something else.}"
    (KCMAIDA.MSG)
  6. The Chosen One: "{292}{}{What about tribes in the area?}"
    Maida Buckner: "{300}{}{Well, I didn’t count tribes when you asked about civilized towns. But I guess there’s a group of savages somewhere to the northwest -- and then Sulik’s tribe, far to the southwest.}"
    The Chosen One: "{301}{}{That’s funny, my tribe doesn’t count pre-war towns when we talk about civilized places. Tell me something else.}"
    (KCMAIDA.MSG)
  7. The Courier: "Do they speak... our language?"
    Joshua Graham: "Most don't. It's been hundreds of years since the war. They've developed their own languages. Take the Dead Horses. We think they were originally refugees from a place called "Res," east of the Grand Canyon. They speak a combination of Res and a language spoken by travelers who were visiting Res when the bombs fell. Over time, the two languages blended. I was a translator years ago, but it's hard to keep up with all of the tribal variations."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  8. The Courier: "Degenerate tribes?"
    Jed Masterson: "That's right. The folks that lived in Zion before the war, they didn't just get a little savage, they're downright feral. Most of them don't even speak English any more - you got to get yourself a New Canaanite translator to talk to them. The ones you really got to watch out for are the White Legs, from the Great Salt Lake. They'll attack just about anyone that ain't one of theirs."
    (Jed Masterson's dialogue)
  9. The Courier: "Taboo?"
    Joshua Graham: "The Sorrows believe in a spirit that lives in the caves, say the spirit punished them once for trespassing. They put special marks around the cave entrances to keep people out. It doesn't work on the White Legs, of course, but the Dead Horses are spooked."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  10. The Courier: "Nice guns."
    Joshua Graham: "In the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, all tribes are known for a specific weapon. White Legs are known for their big submachine guns, "storm drums." They broke into an armory near Spanish Fork and have been using them for years. Of course, the Dead Horses have their wooden war clubs and even the Sorrows have their Yao Guai gauntlets. This type of .45 Automatic pistol was designed by one of my tribe almost four hundred years ago. Learning its use is a New Canaanite rite of passage."
    (Joshua Graham's dialogue)
  11. The Chosen One: "{371}{}{Tell me more about the trader some call…Vic?}"
    Whiskey Bob: "{380}{}{Well, Vic was quite a fella. He didn’t like to work too much, so he would specialize in expensive pre-war things and then go sell them to the Den -- or even hawk them to stupid tribals as religious artifacts (chuckles to himself). Oops, no offense. Anyhow, I haven’t seen him for a while. Last I heard, he went south to sell some stuff. Maybe to the Den.}"
    (KCBOB.MSG)
  12. The Courier: "The use of violence only leads to more violence."
    Daniel:"Try walking alongside a tribal child, a refugee, and holding her hand for three days because her parents were killed by NCR prospectors. After the prospectors have stalked the remainder of the tribe, they fire off a few shots to scare them, and the tribe bunches together for safety. A grenade comes rolling in and kills another six people. The only reason you survive is because someone else's body absorbed the shrapnel. You're left sprawled out on the ground with ringing in your ears and a little girl's hand in your hand because that's all that's left of her. After you've done that, if you can look me in the eye and tell me it's better to stand aside, maybe then I'll listen to you."
    (Daniel's dialogue (Honest Hearts))
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Courier: "Has this happened before, the White Legs attacking other tribes?"
    Daniel: "Yes. But not just White Legs. Raiders too. Prospectors. Slavers. Anyone who thinks they can exploit the ignorant and the innocent. We lost the Tar Walkers. And the Crazy Horns. We did our best, but we made mistakes. We paid for them, but they paid more. I'd like to get out from under that debt someday. Until then, it's enough to stop ourselves from getting deeper in the hole."
    (Daniel (Honest Hearts)'s dialogue)
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