A tough, no-nonsense race, the Minmatar are a determined and independent people. Their home planet of Matar is a natural paradise, although centuries of abuse have taken much from its beauty.
Of the four major races of New Eden, none has endured more tragedy and suffering than the Minmatar. Once part of a thriving and technologically capable tribal civilization, billions of Matari were enslaved by the Amarr Empire for more than seven hundred years, until a mass rebellion freed most, but not all, of those held in servitude. Initially modeling its recovery after Gallente Federation notions of democracy, the Minmatar Republic was born through the cooperation of four major tribes.
The Minmatar are the most numerous of all the races in New Eden, but their vast numbers are dispersed widely and divided into many factions. While the Minmatar Republic is the official state, only a quarter of all Minmatar currently alive are part of it. A very large proportion, almost a third, remains enslaved within the huge Amarr Empire, while a fifth resides within the Gallente Federation, creating a powerful political bloc that contributes in no small part to the constant state of tension between Gallente and Amarr.
The remainder, who are not part of any formal organization, live as freemen throughout the world. Many are itinerant laborers, roaming from one system to another in search of work. A fair number make their living on the darker side of the law, acting as pirates, smugglers, and peddlers in all kinds of illegal goods. It is worth noting that many of the larger criminal groups in New Eden, such as the Angel Cartel include many people of Minmatar heritage among their leadership.
The free Minmatar peoples are resilient, ingenious, and hard working. Perhaps most of all they are proud, and many of them believe that democracy, though it served them well at first, will never restore what was taken from them by the Amarr Empire. As all seven tribes of Matar have united again and found a new sense of their identity in the Empyrean Age, the development of the Minmatar Republic has swung away from Gallente ideas of unadulterated democracy. The Minmatar have created a form of government truly reflective of their historical tribal culture. Almost invariably they remain deeply attached to their enslaved kindred and will go to extraordinary lengths to recover them. The Minmatar will forever resent the Amarr and yearn for the days before the empire’s accursed ships ever reached their home world.
The Minmatar Republic is very much based on tribal society. The Republic's justice system is handled on a tribal level. Tribes have their own courts and judgment halls.
There are seven major tribes: Sebiestor, Krusual, Brutor, Vherokior, Nefantar, Thukker and Starkmanir. Of these, the first four have traditionally made up the Republic while the other three suffered various fates of absence. This has changed in recent times, and many Nefantar, Starkmanir and Thukker have returned to join with the others, reuniting the Seven Tribes of Matar.
The Sebiestors are technically and mechanically inclined, much Minmatar technology comes from them. The Sebiestors have always been a leading tribe in the Minmatar Republic, though their authority has many times been under attack from the crafty Krusual tribe, their main rivals in Republic politics.
With a culture emphasizing the virtues of patience, contemplation, and practical skill, the Sebiestor are known far and wide as engineers and inventors. The Sebiestor reputation for tinkering with any kind of technology is well deserved, and this excellence in engineering naturally propelled the Sebiestor to the fore during the period when the old Minmatar Empire pushed into space. During the Amarr occupation, the Sebiestor did much to hold what remained of Minmatar society together with their skill at maintaining or adapting technology. The Sebiestor Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of the Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.
The Brutors suffered the worst under the Amarr occupation and many of them are still enslaved within the Amarr Empire. This fuels their hate for the Amarrians and they are the only tribe to actively pursue a continuation of the war against the Amarrians and their underlings, the Ammatars.
The Brutor are marked by a disciplined stoicism and deeply spiritual cast of mind that combine to project a sense of nobility around the people of this tribe. While the Brutor have a traditional mindset, they suffered great loss of cultural heritage and knowledge of their history during the Amarr occupation. To the occasional annoyance of the other tribes, the Brutor consider themselves responsible for the freedom of the entire Minmatar people and make no bones about standing on this claim for political purposes when it suits them. In particular, the Brutor are great supporters and protectors of the Starkmanir Tribe, on account of the former originating as an offshoot of the latter. The Brutor Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of the Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.
The Krusual tribe is cautious and cunning, shrouding its ways in subterfuge and secrecy. It is isolationist by nature, but lately it's been becoming more and more involved with the power politics of the Republic, staking a claim for its mastery.
Pride is a common Minmatar trait, but the Krusual are wont to take it to extraordinary lengths. They rarely lose an opportunity to remind the other tribes that they alone managed to maintain strongholds in the mountainous Tronhadar region of Matar during the Amarr occupation. It is certainly remarkable that in all the long years of the occupation, the Amarr were unable to once and for all crush Krusual resistance. Their ability to hold onto a certain amount of independence during the occupation resulted in the Krusual retaining more of their pre-conquest culture than any other tribe, and their underground bases played an important role in sheltering some Vherokior mystics. The Krusual Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of the Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.
The Vherokior tribe is perhaps the least troubled of the Minmatar tribes, with little aspiration for dominance, content to live on the fringe. Most Vherokiors are shop-keepers or small scale businessmen, seldom venturing into the interstellar corporate leagues.
Vherokior are disinclined to engage in great collective efforts, and their various clans are rather loosely grouped under the tribal chief’s authority. Indeed, the clans themselves hold nominal authority in many cases, with the family being by far the most important social unit to the individual Vherokior. These families are traditionally matriarchal in structure, though the aftermath of the Amarrian occupation has disrupted this pattern somewhat, as with so many other aspects of Minmatar tribal culture. Most Vherokior have long-abandoned the ancient nomadism of their tribe but the Vherokior mystics are the guardians of the Voluval Ritual and travel immense distances in this role. The Vherokior Tribe was one of the four founding tribes of Minmatar Republic following the success of the Great Rebellion.
The Nefantar Tribe played a notorious role during the Amarr Empire's occupation of the Minmatar home worlds as collaborators who actively assisted in the enslavement of other tribes by the Amarr. The Nefantar were so faithful to the Amarr that Emperor Damius III bestowed the name "Ammatar" upon them. When the Great Rebellion succeeded in driving the Amarr from the Minmatar Regions they were also driven out.The Amarr subsequently set up the Nefantar in a puppet state called the Ammatar Mandate. Unbeknownst to anyone else, certain Ammatar elites had hidden a large number of Starkmanir Tribe survivors from the Amarr within the Mandate.
After the discovery of the Starkmanir led to a Minmatar invasion in YC110, the Nefantar conspirators and their families led a mass defection of many Ammatar back to the Minmatar Republic, assisting in the recovery of the Starkmanir. Today, the Nefantar tribe has been restored as one of the Seven Tribes of Matar, even while many of their tribe remain loyal to the Amarr Empire back in the Mandate.
The Thukkers, a nomadic tribe, are scattered throughout the world of New Eden, surviving through self-sufficiency and skill as much as possible in the wastelands of space. Their tribal bindings are very loose and many of them don't even consider themselves to be a part of a tribe any longer, having rejected many of the strongest traditions of the Minmatar. They are trained to handle unforeseen circumstances and encouraged to rely on their judgement and intuition.
The closest thing the Thukker have got to home is the Great Wildlands region, where they are very numerous, but the Thukkers like to be on the move, constantly going from one solar system to another in their huge caravans, trading and scavenging. Many frown upon the Thukkers, considering them to be nothing but scoundrels and thieves. Indeed, the Thukkers often operate on the shadier side of the law, but their resourcefulness and diligence count a lot more for their success than their criminal activities.
According to what remains of the historical records of the Minmatar, the Thukker tribe had always been a nomadic people, journeying back and forth across Matar in large caravans. The development of the old Minmatar Empire appears to have done little to inhibit the wandering of the Thukker. Indeed, the Great Caravanserai itself was constructed by the Thukker long ago to serve as a major junction in their network of routes and caravanserais. The Amarr found the Thukker intractable and many escaped to remote areas of space, forming the nucleus of the later culture of Great Caravans.
The Thukker were notable fighters in the Great Rebellion but declined to join in the founding of the Republic. The wanderering Thukker Tribe officially joined the Republic in YC111, maintaining full autonomy of their Great Wildlands region but once more uniting the Minmatar as seven tribes.
Subjected to an Amarr campaign of annihilation after a rebellion four centuries ago, with barely a handful remaining as slaves within the Amarr Empire, the Starkmanir Tribe was considered lost for centuries until the discovery in YC110 of a viable surviving population hidden by Nefantar elites on Halturzhan, the sixth planet of Jarizza in the Ammatar Mandate.
The discovery spurred a Minmatar fleet into an invasion of Amarr territories with a view to recovering the Starkmanir and as many other enslaved Minmatar as possible. The vast majority of surviving Starkmanir were successfully recovered, evacuated to the Minmatar Republic, and settled on lands set aside for them by the larger tribes.
Though few in number, the Starkmanir have full status as one of the Seven Tribes of Matar and govern their affairs through a council of clan chiefs headed by the overall chief of the Starkmanir Tribe.
The Minmatar Republic of today is a tribal republic with some democratic aspects.
In the republic’s first phase, which for practical purposes lasted until shortly after the start of the Empyrean War in YC110, the tribes had no official say in government matters, and the Republic Parliament was a very powerful body. This Gallente-inspired political system placed the prime minister at the apex of the power structure as head of government and de facto head of state. In fact, given the importance of the tribes and their sense of sovereignty, the “First Republic” did not codify several important concepts, such as head of state or supreme judicial authority.
Following the unopposed election of Maleatu Shakor as prime minister and his acclamation as the first Sanmatar since the Great Rebellion, the political order of the republic was radically altered to hand effective power back to the tribes. Sanmatar Shakor ruled by edict, with the support of the tribes, and effectively bypassed the parliament. He called for a Tribal Assembly, the first gathering of the seven tribes since the Amarrian occupation of Matar, and this event resulted in a formal redrafting of the Minmatar Republic’s political structure.
Today the Tribal Council effectively governs all aspects of the republic, foreign and domestic, economic and military. A shift back to the old ways has begun, and many would say the era of the democratic experiment is over for the Minmatar.
While not the official head of state within the republic, the Sanmatar carries out several functions that normally apply in states where an individual is head of state. In addition, in situations where the whole council cannot or will not attend in its entirety, the Sanmatar acts as the recognized head of state. As the council rarely meets outside of council meetings this, in effect, means for much of the time the Sanmatar is the visible and de facto head of state for the Minmatar Republic.
Once every two years a Tribal Assembly is held to choose a Sanmatar (an old Minmatar title of leadership literally translated as “true Matar”). The Sanmatar presides over all Tribal Council meetings, acting as a mediator, but carrying no vote in council decisions. The Sanmatar’s sole official power is the ability to declare an emergency, during which period he is granted complete executive control. However, the Tribal Council can vote by simple majority to end the emergency at any time, and when they do so, the Sanmatar is removed from office, unless the council votes by two-thirds majority to retain the current Sanmatar.
The council meets weekly at the Great Caravanserai on Matar, by ancient tradition a neutral ground for the tribes. While most meetings are conducted in person, it is sometimes necessary for members to join a meeting remotely via holography. In addition, while it is expected that each tribal chief attend all council meetings, she is entitled to appoint a second to take her place. All meetings are held in conclave—that is, in private with public attendance not permitted. The prime minister of the republic has a standing invitation to attend but may take no part in proceedings. The remit for council meetings is to make final decisions on matter presented to them and discuss republic-wide issues formally. The majority of the actual political and detail work occurs between formal council meetings.
For some decisions, commissions will be formed to investigate and report back; for others, experts will be summoned to be questioned and ministers can be brought in to explain their actions. The council has the power to deal with any issues as it sees fit, while bearing in mind the internal sovereignty of the tribes.
The Tribal Council sits as the supreme authority over republic matters. While each tribe has full autonomy, the council is made up of the tribal chiefs, who in turn govern their respective tribes. In essence, all power is held by the council. To the majority of Minmatar, this seems only right and proper: the chiefs chosen by each tribe are meant to lead.
Most of the actual work is done by lower bodies, such as the parliament, and much of the final approval by the council is decided beforehand, in any case. The council rarely bothers itself with any issues it considers minor, and many items are passed on to respective bodies to handle. There is very little bureaucracy in the council; decisions are made or they are delegated. There is almost no binding procedure to hinder the workings of the Tribal Council.
The Republic Parliament is a thirty-five-seat house that embodies the legislative and administrative functions of the Minmatar Republic. It also takes on any issues passed down to it from the Tribal Council. The parliament is directly accountable to the Tribal Council and subservient to it in all matters. This, in addition to the fact that each tribe functions as an autonomous and internally sovereign body, means that the parliament, in contrast to its earlier incarnation, now wields little real power.
Members of Parliament are chosen by the seven individual tribes. The manner and time of choosing is left up to the tribes themselves; the only requirement is that each tribe fills all five seats in Parliament allocated to them. The term each member of Parliament serves is determined by the tribe he represents.
The prime minister is a member of Parliament directly appointed by the Tribal Council who serves as the chairperson of the parliament. It is the prime minister’s responsibility to guide and direct the parliament. The prime minister also distributes issues to be resolved that are handed down by the Tribal Council. The office carries with it a standing invitation to attend the Tribal Council as an observer.