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Lipan
Lipan
Political Information
Group type:American Tribe
Leader Title:Chief
Leader:Various
Societal Information
Location(s):Texas-Mexico Border Area
Historical Information
Policy Information
Goals:Survival
Allies:Some Merchants
Enemies:Comancheros, La Legión de la Gente, La Ciudadela
For millennia before Columbus and the Spaniards, there lived millions of men and women on the plains of North America. They lived a simple way of life in harmony with nature. They roamed nomadically or in small settlements without tools or the luxuries of Europe. They were the American Natives, a proud people who fought tooth and nail for centuries after the era of European discovery to stay alive. While their fight ultimately failed and they were ground beneath European heels, civilized to join the new order, or herded onto reservations, their culture never died. And when fire engulfed the earth and the many nations that had removed these native tribes were wiped out by their weapons, the time of the Native American had come again. Across the atomic wasteland many tribes have been revived and one such tribe is the Lipan of Northern Tamaulipas and Southern Texas. A collection of small nomadic bands, the Lipan are notorious for their fierce prowess and battle and durability in the wilderness. And while they are small, they are determined in their quest to ensure that they do not lose again to the ancestors of the Spanish and English.

History

Before the War and the times of Columbus there lived the Apache tribe. When the Spaniards with their broadswords and glistening helmets and dreams of gold came they called the eastern Apache the Lipan tribe. The interactions between Lipans with the Spaniards and later the Mexicans and the Americans was rough and harsh. Centuries of bloody war and disease brought down their ranks from a pervasive people to a small isolated tribe wiped out of many areas and confined to a reservation in the American southwest.

The Lipan tribe remained a proud but dying race for close to two centuries until atomic fire wiped out the world in 2077. With this the survivors of America struggled to live and from radiation, disease, famine, and internal fighting hundreds of millions died. But the Lipan and other native tribes knew what it was to live off the land. Knew what it was to coexist with nature and make do with little. They jumped the reservation and with homemade weapons they formed migratory bands hunting with bows, arrows, and spears as their ancestors did.

Over time the tribes migrated with most settling on the former American border with Mexico. Staying in Southeastern Texas and Northwestern Tamaulipas where food was plentiful for those who knew how to find it and civilization too loosely organized to fight them. The Lipan became hostile from an early time, attacking settlements in former Hidalgo County, Texas as early as the 2130s.

Indian Camp
This tradition of war continued as the many tribes of the Lipan wandered nomadically around their geographic range for centuries. Surviving off the land and pillaging American and Mexican settlements for food, resources, and weapons. They became as feared as the ruffian Comancheros and in some cases more so. With a reputation for scalping, burning, torture, and gruesome forms of murder, their quest to reclaim their ancient homeland made them the enemies of those trying to rebuild their former nations. War was common as Lipan braves struck fear into the hearts of the better equipped settlers. While lacking firearms, they possessed a tenacious spirit and in many cases gained them.

Not all Lipan proved hostile though, some traded and still trade with caravans for guns, alcohol, tobacco, and other scrap. Some take in new members and others even convert to Christendom. For over two centuries the Lipan people have survived radiation and famine, mutating with the environment they lived off of as they reverted back to the old ways. Many see these tribals as an image of what a sustainable post-nuclear humanity could look like. Many more however see them as an obstacle to building up a civilization in the border area as the Spaniards did centuries ago. However their simple lifestyle has allowed them to prosper and they certainly will not go easy.

Culture

Lipan culture is nomadic and animalistic. Their core beliefs revolve around their connection to nature, they believe they are the children of Earth and that they belong to the Earth not vice-versa. They cherish natural life and believe that wasting it is a grave sin against nature. They also believe that they, The Lipan are the natural inheritors to the Earth as they are the only ones who respect it. Most tribes see the Whites and Latinos of Texas and Mexico as usurpers and demons who must be put down violently to achieve a harmonious balance with nature.

This harmony with nature is the reason for their nomadic lifestyle, they believe in following the food, not staying put and farming. The tribes migrate with the seasons in search of fresh food growing off of vines and cacti or in search of animals to hunt. Most tribes have set areas in which they spend the summer and winter in and then spend the other months travelling to and forth. Others are pure nomads, never returning to land once they leave.

Within the tribes there is a strong warlike nature. Boys are raised from birth to be Lipan braves. In every tribe, every man is a brave. To be a brave is the rite of passage and from around thirteen to fifty a man is always a warrior and a hunter. Any man who can't fight or hunt is abandoned by the tribe as a weakling. The same is true for the squaws who are responsible for cleaning meat and cooking it, for preparing plants, for carrying tipis, and for preparing garments. In a Lipan tribe everyone pulls their weight.

Within Lipan culture, there is a chief or chieftain who leads the tribe absolutely. This is normally a hereditary position and always held for life. Below him are the elders who influence the chief, these are the braves who have lived a long life and now are entitled to retire. They are highly respected for their seniority. Below the elders are the shamans who divine prophecy and are responsible for healing. Below them are the braves who fight and below them are the squaws and children.

Women have a low place in Lipan society. They are valued as homemakers and bearers of children but not entitled other rights. They are married off by their fathers to suitors often at around thirteen to fifteen and are only entitled protection from being excessively beaten or killed. Polygamy is acceptable in Lipan culture with the only reservation that no brave may have more wives than their chief.

The Lipan worship a variety of pagan gods that vary tribe to tribe. Their gods are normally connected to nature and seen as patrons of rain, land, game, or plants. They have belief that the spirit is reincarnated after death, there is no concept of a heaven or a hell. Their language is a hodge-podge of traditional Lipan, Apache, Comanche, Spanish, and English words which is generally quite hard for outsiders to understand. Outsiders sometimes learn it and some have attempted to document it. However most attempts are futile. While most Lipan are animalistic pagans, some mainly tribes to the south near the Papal States are Roman Catholic. These tribes are normally friendlier towards outsiders.

Strength

Indian Brave
The strength of the Lipan is a hard thing to figure. For one it should be noted that no particular challenge to their existence has ever been so threatening that it has brought a unification, near-unification, or even close to a half-unification of the various Lipan tribes that wander their geographical area. While sometimes one or two tribes will fight as one, they normally fight alone and often fight each other over supplies. It is believed there are somewhere between one to two thousand Lipans in the border region this counts both those born Lipan Indians and those integrated into the tribes.

Generally a tribe of Lipan natives is around fifty to sixty, with the largest tribe led by Chief Blue Jacket consisting of a little under two hundred. Some tribes are as small as twenty or so people and little more than a wandering extended family. While some tribes kill all outsiders, others have no problem letting them in. These tribes are normally the more successful and long lasting ones and also the ones more likely to be of Christian religion and of a more tolerable disposition to White and Latino traders.

Relations

Relations with outsiders vary tribe to tribe. As a rule of thumb, most tribes are hostile to any and all White and Latinos, viewing them as the enemy. The fact that few speak their language and few of their own speak English or Spanish has also made it hard for traders to interact with those tribes that are willing to have peaceful relationships with outsiders. They are considered by border society to be a threat to civilization like comancheros and banditos and are normally shot on sight. This has led to the theory that many tribes simply fight in self-defense and while this is partially true it must be noted that the Lipan "Nation" is generally violent by their philosophy as they believe the land to be theirs and all non-Lipan usurpers.

Notable Lipan

Blue Jacket
  • Chief Blue Jacket - The war chief of his tribe, Blue Jacket is among the most well-known of the Lipan chieftains. Born the son of a first generation Lipan, he is fluent in the Lipan language and in Spanish. He ascended to the rank of chief by distinguishing himself as a fearless warrior in a skirmish with another Lipan tribe in which his chief was killed. Since there was no heir, he was chosen by the shaman and has adopted a liberal policy towards bringing outsiders in. He favors the border country of Tamaulipas and has no problem negotiating and trading with outsiders, making him an oddity. While he is certainly not peaceful, he and his tribe are Christian and the largest known of the Lipan.
Tamaulipas

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