Heya! Welcome to this topic.
Before we begin, I'll start with a foreward. I've always loved the Tribe as a separate cat culture, and felt it didn't have a lot of expansion beyond 'oh we have a similar culture lmaonade' and everything seemed far too similar for a group that was separated from the Clans for so long. That's why I made this fanmade system for it - not only does it fix what canon started, but it expands into tradition, and how Tribes interact with one another (given the situation that there would be more than one).
That said, let's begin!
The religious beliefs of the canon Tribe are almost a carbon copy of the Clans'; it's a group of ancestors in the stars. The two societies may have similar introductions, but they shouldn't have their religious mythos be so indifferent!
In my fan system, there are two cats that were said to exist in the beginning. Their names were Moon (Moon That Shines On Lake) and Sun (Sun On The Far Horizon).
Moon was said to have the ability to hide in the deepest shadow, and his skill in tracking allowed him to always find what he was looking for. Sun was said to be fit and strong, as active as sunlight as it spreads across the plains. These two cats are said to be the cat-manifestations of the Sun and Moon themselves, and are said to always have their eyes on their kin - the modern Tribe cats.
There are many Tribe sayings in this fan-system that cats would use that incorporate these cats' names; "for Sun's sake", or "Moon watch over you" (the latter usually meant for cats travelling a far distance). Although the ancestors of the Tribe are emphasized like in canon, these two cats are seen as the active 'gods', so to speak, that keep watch over the Tribes and report back to the ancestors that-still-be.
In the stars, in the Tribe of Endless Hunting, fallen cats and other ancestors whose names are still remembered (even faintly!) listen to Sun and Moon and counsel with each other on how best to communicate their praise or discipline to their living kin.ii. Ranking
Listed from highest to lowest ranking;Council
- The Council is usually made up of cats that are too old to fight, but there are often exceptions - this may range from a cat who wants to retire early to a cat who has a disability that may somehow prevent them from doing the job they trained - only some disabled cats join the Council, however, and most of them are perfectly capable of doing what they want to do with their life, be it hunting or guarding.Stoneteller
- The title actually differs from Tribe to Tribe. Not all Tribes have stones to tell, after all - for example, there may be a Rootreader (Reader of Gnarled Roots), or Pathtreader (Treader of Faint Paths). The title doesn't have to be any of these three, either - as long as it fits the setting, it works. They're only called their previous name by close family, friends, or mates.
Stoneteller cats are ones who were trained from a young age (as tribunes) to guide the Tribe in spiritual matters, either by the previous Stoneteller or a Councilmember (if the Stoneteller died too early to mentor). The Stoneteller's tribune stays their tribune until they die.Kit-keepers
- these are cats who are nursing or expecting kits. They are to be given respect and care for the time they're caring for their kits.Prey-Hunters, Ground-Guards
- Since not all Tribes are in caves, they're called Ground-Guards instead of Cave-Guards. Tribunes are suggested one of these two positions due to their build at the time of tribute, but can change positions a few times if they have difficulty in the one they choose. It's got a less negative stigma if done during tribunehood.Tribune
- These are cats fresh out of the nursery who are ready for training. They graduate to their chosen position during their Initiation ceremony.Kit
- The weakest members of the Tribe, they must be cared for.iii. Names
A kit is named at birth according to their pelt color; unlike in canon, they're given a name that fits how they look, like Dove for a light gray cat or Squirrel for a reddish or gray cat (depending on where the Tribe is located).
After becoming a tribune and training for a while, they are given their Initiation. After completing the task given for Initiation, they're named in a way that reflects whatever skill was most prominent in their training. Example: If Dove showed skill in their agility and ability to leap and jump, they may be named Dove That Takes To Flight (still informally going by Dove, of course). Cats can also be named in a way that reflects their personality; example: Squirrel was a very skittish and cautious cat as they trained, so they were named Squirrel In Highest Pine. The cat's name is given by the Council.
Full names are never extremely long or short - these names often range from five to eight syllables, varying very minimally from this. iv. Traditions
Tribes always hold their Initiation ceremonies during the new moon (or as close as possible to it). There are only a few times this is excused - usually if a cat had to train for longer due to some restriction.
Tribes usually have an specific meeting-place that they gather at during the full moon, akin to the Clans. Here, they usually have a makeshift sleeping-ground for those who need rest or for the situation where cats are staying there for more than just the night.
On the second full moon of summer, the Tribes come together at their temporary shared sleeping-ground to hunt and celebrate together. This is to give thanks to Sun and Moon and those-who-came-before for their efforts and for the plentiful prey, and to emphasize on the harmony the Tribes should keep with each other. This celebration usually lasts for a few days.
Stonetellers (and similar titles), as the spiritual guidance of the Tribe, often go to a place in the territory that has the most natural energy - for example, a wide expanse of grass that overlooks the Tribe's valley, or a thick patch of woodland where one can feel a little isolated. Often, they bring a Ground-guard or two with them so they can be protected - not that they don't know how to fight, but they're the Tribe's most direct route to the Tribe of Endless Hunting.
The Council always discusses decisions with the rest of the Tribe, and listens to each member's viewpoint and opinions before coming to a decision. It sometimes takes days for them to reach a conclusion.
Annnnnd that's all I've got! It's kinda rough 'round the edges, but it's good enough for what it is, haha. Hopefully some of you all like how it's structured O: