Before anything else, let me tell you that this topic will not be possible if it wasn’t because of my OCD.
After watching Marvel’s Black Panther, the fight scenes are good, the special effects are extraordinary, and obviously, you wouldn’t ask for more. But it’s not the flying ninja cat dodging bullets skills that made me enjoy the film. Instead, my attention was fully drawn to Wakanda and how their country works in harmony.
Now, before I mention a lot more, let me warn you first that there are minor spoilers ahead. Minor because this information may or may not be in the original story, it just happened that I noticed them. Besides, if you’re a fan of the original Black Panther story, you might look back to some of your old comics and find out that I am wrong. Let’s be clear that these are the things I just noticed in the film and looked, supported by some references from the wiki.
Now. If you haven’t watched Black Panther, here’s how the Wakanda became the mightiest empire in Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Millions of years ago, a meteorite made of Vibranium struck the continent of Africa. And when the time of men came, five tribes settled on it and called it Wakanda. These tribes are in constant war with each other until a shaman was led by the spirit of the Black Panther to a Heart Shaped herb. The plant granted him superhuman abilities and became the protector of Wakanda – the first Black Panther. The four tribes agreed to live under the king’s rule besides the Jabari tribe who isolated themselves in the mountains. Until the time of T’Chala, the new king and Black Panther.
And on T’Chala’s ritual combat, these five tribes introduced themselves one by one. You thought their clothing colors and weapons are nothing to do with their tribe? They may be living in one nation but they are from different tribes. They worship different gods, Different beliefs, different fighting styles, different culture, and other things that will differentiate one tribe from another.
Here are the Tribes of Wakanda and their roles in the kingdom:
The Merchant Tribe
The Merchant tribe’s role is to maintain the economic system of the country. The elder of the Merchant tribe also has a seat on the high court. They were the first to answer on (James) Zuri’s call on who wants to challenge the prince.
The Border Tribe
Wears blue blankets and tasked to defend the country from outsiders and invaders. These defenders look like a normal cattle herders but if you’re an outsider and gets to close, they would give you a taste of their Vibranium weapons concealed by their Vibranium cloaks that can also be used as barriers. They worship the Hyena God and uses a sickle-sword called khopesh. They can also ride Rhinos with Vibranium armor.
The River Tribe
The river tribe are the worshipers of the Crocodile god, you can notice on the chief’s clothes in the day of ritual combat. They wear green clothes and circle piercings. They also use circular blades like the ones Nakia is using in her fight against Killmonger.
The Mining Tribe
I think is the royal guard and in charge of mining the Vibranium beneath Wakanda. They wear red cloaks and red armor with accessories of golden rays that resembles the mane of a lion. They worship the lion god and uses Vibranium spears in combat.
The Jabari Tribe
The tribe that has no role in the country yet. But if so, T’Chala would appoint them as the warrior tribe. As T’Chala and M’Baku spoke to each other, T’Chala invited M’Baku and his Jabari tribe to join his cause to overthrow Killmonger. Although M’Baku respectfully declined the offer, he still joined the battle to win back Wakanda. They worship the great white gorilla-god Hanuman of the mountains and mace as their weapon of choice.
These priests are the worshipers of the Panther God. They wear a distinctive violet or purple cloak. Zuri is the current shaman of Wakanda and wears the same cloak color which could explain why the first Black Panther, also a shaman, first seen the spirit of the Black Panther. Their task is to take care of the heart-shaped herbs for the next king.
See how they strictly adhere to their color?
Now I don’t know why some wear orange, yellow, or brown. I even saw pink worn by a child. Maybe some tribes have 2 colors. But hey, nobody’s stopping anyone to define their own fashion statements, right?
Black is the King’s, and maybe the royal family’s color. You wouldn’t call him the Black Panther if he wears pink right (Pun intended)? And as for the white clothes, T’chala wears when he visited the Ancestral Plain, it’s probably their traditional mourning color equivalent to our black clothes during funerals. The queen can also be seen wearing white when T’chala arrived, she may look happy but she’s grieving for his king. The past kings in the Ancestral Plain also wear white.
These tribes’ differences are what divides them, but under the King’s rule, also what keeps them in harmony for generations.
Do you agree with my OCD, now? “Wakanda forever!”