Personal Log -April 14th, 2114
[Log: Introduction][Discuss in Forums]
Personal Log -April 14th, 2114
In the next few paragraphs I will discuss the predators' culture/society including values/political organization/legal system/Religion, life cycle including marriage/reproduction, language, and ending with technology.
First of all, the predators never call themselves predators, this is only a human identification for their race. They call themselves the Yautja, which when translated is both the singular and plural form of the word, 'hunter/hunters'.
The Yautja have one all consuming goal as a race, to be the most dangerous creatures in the universe. Honor and valor are everything in Yautja life, shame and weakness are to be hunted and killed.
I never fully figured out the Yautja's political organization. They are organized in one of the following two possible ways: The first way is that an entire clan is lead exclusively by a single clan leader, another possible method of organization is that the clan is made up of several tribes with their own chieftains that are subordinate to a single clan leader. The clan leader himself would be the direct head of one of these tribes. This latter view has had far more evidence to support it than the other view. It is my belief that there are between three to five tribes within a clan while a clan itself would number around fifty Yautja (not including the lower castes whom are part of the clan, but not part of any tribe). When a group of clans get together they are called a fleet.
Each clan and/or tribe behaves like many predator packs (wolves/hyenas), a continual jostling for dominance, the older, smarter, more experienced were either submitted to or forced to submit to. In fact, tribes are often called packs by the Yautja themselves. During my stay with the Yautja I have also heard the term 'elder', but I believe this is a term that refers to any seasoned, highly honored, and high ranked predator, the clan leader being the very highest in this category. From all my experiences in the two year period of living with the Yautja, there is nothing higher than a clan leader, and he would obviously be followed by each chieftain that would head each individual tribe within the clan. The clan leader and chieftain's words are law. However, when the clan leader's arrival is anticipated, all the Yautja stand in attention waiting for him. Only the clan leader receives this special honor.
The rank of the predators is solely from strongest to weakest. In fact, since there is sometimes limited space in a hunt, rank determines who stays on the ship and who is allowed to participate in the hunt. Fighting proves one's position and you are only as good as your last fight, probably the first thing I learned about Yautja culture. These fights are conducted bare handed and done in a fighting ring, a Yauja strips down to the bare minimum of clothing to fight for their rank among their fellow Yautja. The winner either knocks the other predator unconscious or out of the ring. These fights are always initiated by a Claw Challenge (explained later).
Another aspect of Yautja culture that I didn't fully understand is the caste system. Within the ranks of the Yautja, I could clearly define the lower castes, however I was unable to distinguish the number of lower castes and what made one caste different from another. I could only define three castes, but there are probably many more. The top caste is the elders, these Yautja are the strongest and the most experienced (own the most trophies), and have achieved a respected level of honor and valor. The next category is 'the Blooded', actually being blooded means that one has fulfilled the Rite of Manhood (explained later) and is recognized as a mature adult, elders of course qualify. These adults, however, have varying degrees of experience (trophies), honor, and valor, and have not reached a level where they are looked up to for their prowess, abilities, or achievements (being an elder). The lower castes are the weakest predators that have lost many fights in the pecking order among the other predators. Once you reach the lower castes, it is next to impossible to get out. They do all the jobs the other predators/Yautja are too honored to do: cleaning the ship, cooking, and all the various tasks needed to run the ship.
The upper castes, Elders and the Blooded, only task is to gain honor and valor. When they aren't hunting, they are fighting for higher rank in the pecking order or training to improve their abilities to fight and hunt. However, only the highest caste and a few of the blooded caste (probably defining the blooded caste into at least two castes) get their own quarters and have advanced in the caste system due to their level of prowess, strength, achievements, abilities, aggression, and experience i.e. trophies. All of these elements can be summed up with the words honor and valor. I was privileged, however, due to my uniqueness. I was allowed my own quarters as well. All the other Yautja had to sleep in 'the pit', a large room that housed all the other Yautja during their needed time of sleep.
Below is a small chart that attempts to separate the various castes:
-Clan Leader (highest elder)
-Chieftains, leaders of the other tribes, clan leader runner-ups, and they probably help in making clan wide decisions.
-Elders: ship leaders, warrior trainers, adjutants
-Blooded with their own quarters
-Blooded without their own quarters
-Guards, lower caste
-Engineering, lower caste
-Doctors, lower caste
-Cooks, lower caste
-Basic clean up and upkeep, lower caste
-Heavy duty clean up, radioactive leaks, vomiting, and other messes, lower caste.
-Nest Clearer, upkeep the pit and clean up bodily solids and fluids, lower caste.
-Students, not caste defined.
Now in talking about castes, it is important to talk about trophies. Heads are the only trophy that effects one's caste, other trophies are kept for the purposes of attracting females (explained in marriage/reproduction section), which might include necklaces of teeth or various hide garments. It takes twenty normal trophies to equal one alien/bug trophy. Many, many predators wear the head of an alien/bug on their chest, which is attached to their armor. When a trophy is collected, a special tool is used to make a small break in the top of the skull, then the inside of the skull is cleaned of all its internal fluids with a straw-like device. Next, another tool blows away all the remaining fluids on the skull and then the skull is polished.
Another element of Yautja culture that I found impressive was that bureaucracy thrives even among the savage, tribe like culture of the Yautja. A Yautja may decide to send an application to another clan leader in order to switch clans, which would also require the permission of his own clan leader. I don't know what goes into this process. I heard of one account when a Yautja clan leader wanted to transfer to another clan because he no longer wanted a clan that had students within it, some clans don't have young Yautja at all. I do not know how this arrangement is worked out.
The Yautja's entire society is built around hunting other intelligent indigenous predators that can hunt back. The hunt encompasses every area of their lives, and so it will be brought up frequently. In the hunt, their are a set of rules from locations to the type of ships that can be used. I have not been in their culture long enough in order to explain all the rules in detail, but I know that I will include the most important. Some reasons for rules are obvious and others to tradition. The following is the Yautja's strict code of honor (paragraphs after some of the laws are added commentary, when they are needed)...
[Log: Introduction][Discuss in Forums]
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