The CHAH-mooz-ee, an important symbol associated with the tribe

Chakotay's tribe was a group of Native Americans descended from the ancient Rubber Tree People.


The tribe was descended from the ancient Rubber Tree People of the Central American jungle. According to ancient myth, the Sky Spirits from above created the first Rubber People in their own image and led the way to a sacred land where they would live for eternity. This story had a basis in truth: the Rubber Tree People traced their lineage to the Inheritors, the Humans honored by the Sky Spirits, which turned out to be ancient alien visitors, with certain genetic gifts. Their ancient language, also shared with their cousins in Central America, appeared almost unchanged from that of the Sky Spirits.

The exact origins of the tribe were obscure until, during the 24th century, Kolopak spent some years tracking down the origins of his tribe, and his son Chakotay later had the opportunity to meet the Sky Spirits on their homeworld in the Delta Quadrant. (VOY: "Tattoo")

Some centuries before the 24th century, many women of the tribe were raped by white conquerors. The tribe did not reject the children born from this, but accepted them into the tribe. One of these, Ce Acatl, became a great leader and a direct ancestor of Kolopak and Chakotay. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")

By the 24th century, the tribe had a presence on a colony near the Cardassian border. This group was opined to have refused to accept the 24th century, at least as compared to other tribes. (VOY: "Tattoo")

Spiritual beliefs

Tribe members had rich spiritual beliefs. They honored the Sky Spirits and the land. (VOY: "Tattoo")

In a practice similar to, but predating, Carl Jung's active imagination technique, tribe members were taught that an animal guide accompanied them through life, and that they should talk to them as if to a counselor. They could not speak this animal's name without offending it. Vision quests might be undertaken, induced originally using psychoactive herbs, and later through a device called an akoonah. A medicine wheel was a tool used to track altered states of consciousness, particularly in a medical context. (VOY: "The Cloud", "Cathexis")

A medicine bundle, an item custom assembled by each individual to contain objects of a personal nature and not quickly shown around, was a component in some spiritual rituals. (VOY: "The Cloud", "Initiations")

Chakotay associated his death with crossing over into the Happy Hunting Grounds. The dead might be commemorated using a ritual called the Pakra. (VOY: "Unity", "Initiations")

A blessing attributed to the spirits of these people wished them "Peace in your heart, fortune in your steps". (VOY: "Innocence")

In "The Omega Directive", Seven of Nine asked Chakotay what he would do if he could see "your God, your Great Spirit", a question which Chakotay answers by saying he'd pursue it.

Other cultural practices

The Native American practice that if someone saved another person's life, their life belonged to their savior, did not apply to this tribe. They had also never used bows and arrows. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Basics, Part II")

These people believed that a man did not own land, and that he didn't own anything but the courage and loyalty in his heart. (VOY: "Initiations")

Chakotay considered his name to be a gift from his tribe. (VOY: "Initiations")

In 2372, Chakotay made up an ancient legend he claimed existed among his people. It pertained to an angry warrior and his tribe finding peace by vowing to protect a female chief and her tribe. (VOY: "Resolutions")

In addition to the blessing mentioned above, another saying of the tribe was "Even the eagle must know when to sleep". (VOY: "Resolutions")

Other cultural concepts included:

According to "Waking Moments", Kolopak used to invite Chakotay to go into a forest and hunt deer, apparently with a spear. This might be another cultural element.
In "Living Witness", a distorted historical recreation of Chakotay claims that his "native people" are enlightened and non-violent. However, this holoprogram was riddled with errors, to the point that Chakotay sported a Maori tattoo.


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