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.
For the Minmatar, the most important thing in life is to be able to take care of yourself on your own, and although kin and family play an important role in their society, they prefer identifying themselves by the clan or tribe to which they belong. A clan can have any number of people in it, and its size is largely dictated by the main activity of its members. Most specialize in one area of activity. While those who live on a planet can focus on agricultural or industrial activity, others who travel around the world of New Eden concentrate on trading, pirating, and suchlike.
In the distant past the clans constantly warred against each other. Since then, however, Minmatar have learned that cooperation is more important, and although the clans still try to maintain their regional and ideological identities, they act as a single unit towards other races.
The fortunes of the Minmatar have ebbed and flowed continuously. At one time they had a flourishing empire with a level of mechanical excellence never before or since seen anywhere. Later, however, they had to endure centuries of enslavement, toiling and dying for the benefit of foreign masters. Today most of them have regained their freedom, but the legacy of their enslavement has been the diaspora of the race.
The Minmatar are the most numerous of all the races in the world of New Eden, but their vast numbers are divided into many factions. While the Minmatar Republic is the official state, only a quarter of all Minmatar are part of it. The largest proportion, almost a third, are enslaved within the huge Amarr Empire, while a fifth resides within the Gallente Federation, creating a powerful political bloc which keeps relations between the Gallente and the Amarr in a constant state of tension. 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 for 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, and many of the larger criminal groups in the world of New Eden are run by Minmatar.
The large, fertile plains of Matar, home planet of the Minmatar, with endless herds of hoofed animals, proved ideal for a nomadic lifestyle. The fabulous conditions on Matar coupled with more than enough space meant there was less incentive to struggle to keep up the technology level after the closure of the EVE Gate. For ages the Minmatar roamed this paradise, slowly divided by time and distance into numerous tribes.
The tribal community was ideally suited for nomads, but remarkably the Minmatar kept their strong tribal ties after urbanization began, even if some of its more strict aspects have declined in recent times, such as the stringent caste system and (for some of the tribes) acreage serfdom for farmers and workers. To this day, Minmatar identify themselves first and foremost through their clan.
The Minmatar tribes evolved their own traditions over time, but limited communications between them ensured a few basic similarities in their social structure. One of these is the pyramid structure of the tribe: each tribe has a number of family clans, which are then further divided into sub-clans based on occupation, geographical location and other traits (this is different between the tribes even if the overall structure is the same). Each of the seven major tribes has a tribal leader; this person serves pretty much the same position as a president or a head of state for the tribes. The authority of the tribe leader is unquestioned within the tribe, but he has little or no power outside his tribe. The clan structure is both one of the main strengths and main weaknesses of the Minmatar. On the one hand the strong tribal bonds have kept the Minmatar pure in their cultural heritage, but on the other hand it makes them politically weak and vulnerable versus the other empires.
Tribes and Bloodlines
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 the Nefantar, Starkmanir and Thukker are now turning back to their homeland in great droves.
Widely respected as being among the most innovative thinkers of the cluster, the Sebiestor are an ingenious people with a natural fondness for engineering.
The Brutor are a martial people who live regimented, disciplined lives.
The Krusual tribe is sly and cunning, shrouding its ways in lies and secrecy.
The Vherokior are versatile people known for their access to all aspects of Minmatar society.
The Nefantar collaborated with the Amarr during the latter invasion and conquering of the Minmatar, though with ulterior motives in mind. They were driven out alongside the Amarr during the Minmatar Rebellion and today make up what's commonly known as the Ammatar 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 Starkmanir tribe was thought almost totally destroyed by the Amarr after a crushed rebellion four centuries ago, with a handful remaining as slaves within the Amarr Empire. As it turned out, they had suffered a different and rather less cursed fate.
The Republic celebrated recent events even though many were not entirely sure exactly what it is that they were celebrating. All they know for sure is that they gave the Amarr a bloody nose in a straight fight, liberating millions, and that the Minmatar Elders - whom many never believed even existed - have returned to help restore their tribal roots, so they're generally happy.
Finally, the Minmatar people had a reason to be proud again. Nowhere was this clearer than along the streets and alleys of the Republic. Minmatar warships had invaded Amarr space, beaten up entire fleets, and brought back countless liberated slaves. More than that, the Elders were involved, and while everyone had their own interpretation of who and what the Elders really were, pretty much everyone agreed that their return is a good thing. As a result, the mood is both jubilant and pugnacious, with many clamoring for the Republic to press its advantage and wipe the Amarr Empire off the map once and for all. Of course, this combative mentality conveniently ignores the actual scope of the raids and the losses suffered at the hands of Jamyl Sarum, but who wants to spoil the mood by mentioning that?
The events of recent times have also had an impact on the workings of the Republic, generally being viewed in a positive light. The removal of Midular's unpopular and largely corrupt government, the seemingly imminent rise of a warlike traditionalist regime, and Maleatu Shakor's rise to prominence were all seen as long-overdue changes, and any politicking along the way was largely glossed over. Of course, there are still those who feel that getting what you want isn't always a good thing, but they're mostly keeping their heads down for now.
The mood among the military is more introspective than that among the citizenry. They were completely blindsided by the Elders' taskforces, and most sat helplessly by while their Thukker counterparts led the charge and took all the glory. Some captains threw caution to the wind and joined up with the task forces, and their current status is up in the air, with many being classified deserters or mutineers. Most, however, stuck to their orders and held back, and are now somewhat bitter that their own people resent them for not doing something similar a long time ago. This perceived inaction has always been a source of tension between the citizenry and the military, and now the former believe that the Elders have proved them right. The fact that the Elders' fleet was built with money that should rightfully have gone to the Republic and the Republic Fleet has not come into it... at least not yet.
Politically, while most sympathize with Shakor's fiery rhetoric, the military has always been broadly supportive of Midular's moderate stance. However, they're also aware that times are changing and that the Republic Fleet will have to change too. Given the shocks of recent days, the military's position during what is likely to be a lengthy period of government transition is unclear.
The various clan chiefs and tribal leaders are still trying to figure out exactly what's going on and where they stand, but most of them realize that riding the wave of tribal patriotism from the masses is the wisest course of action. There's still some uncertainty regarding the return of the Minmatar Elders, but most are banking on the likelihood that the Elders won't seek an active role in Republic politics.
As a result, the four tribes are each jockeying to find a clear and defensible political stance. With the formation of a new parliament, Keitan Yun, Maleatu Shakor, the other three tribes, and even Midular represent enough wildcards to make any transition destined for a rough road. But the smart money is a bet on a return to more traditional ways. Staff of the Sanmatar have been trying to lay groundwork for the creation of a new Tribal Council encapsulating all seven tribes, but have run into all manners of problems. Some of these issues pertain to the unique nature of the Thukker tribe, whose itinerant nature has introduced complications with communication, coordination, and even the identification of proper representatives on the Thukker side.