The Tribe of Rushing Water is a group of cats that live in the mountains past Highstones. They are almost the same thing as a Clan, but have different positions and terms. They also have a different tradition of how they receive their names. They have a custom of "sharing prey," where they take a bite of their prey, and then give it to another Tribe cat.
Cats of the Tribe are divided into several categories: to-bes, cave-guards, prey-hunters, kit-mothers, kits, elders, and the Healer. Also, whenever the Healer feels it's needed, they will pick a Healer to-be that will take their place once they pass. Cats can also stay with the Tribe for a while, and then leave (an example being the six cats who traveled to the sun-drown place).
The Tribe's Healer acts as the leader and medicine cat to the Tribe. Not only do they lead the Tribe, they also use healing herbs to cure wounds and sickness. The Healer receives signs from their warrior ancestors in the Cave of Pointed Stones. They interpret the signs of rock, leaf, and water to read messages from the Tribe of Endless Hunting. Unlike Clan cats, Healers do not dream. The Healer also almost never leaves the cave, because unlike leaders they do not have nine lives and it's easier for them to be killed. The only times they come out of the cave is for to-be ceremonies. Every Healer changes their name to Teller of the Pointed Stones, or Stoneteller, once they become the Tribe's official Healer. The new Healer is appointed by the previous Healer. 
Prey-hunters are the lithe, quick cats of the Tribe who can jump high to catch mountain birds such as eagles or hawks to feed to their tribemates. Prey-hunters are tribe cats whose only duties are to catch prey for the tribe. They are the hunters of the Tribe, using stealth and surprise along with camouflage to catch their food. It is their responsibility to feed the Tribe and catch their prey, especially for the nursing cats, and the young and old. They depend on speed, for there are not many places to hide in the almost-bare surroundings. Normally prey-hunters hunt in teams to help catch prey. Prey-hunters often coat themselves with mud; this disguises them, covers their scent, and protects against the wind. A group of cave-guards accompany them to spot trouble. Prey-hunters are chosen from birth for their lithe and agile build.
Cave-guards are thick, strong, and lean cats that protect and guard the entrance of the Tribe's cave. They are the main fighting force of the Tribe and have the responsibility of defending the cave from predators such as big birds. Watching the skies to protect the prey-hunters from hawks and eagles while they hunt is another one of their responsibilities. They are also the most experienced with fighting. To hide their scent and blend in with the rocky scenery, they often coat themselves with mud. These cats are chosen from birth for their muscular and stocky build.
The Tribe's equivalent of an apprentice, to-bes are young cats in training. To-bes are trained in either prey-hunting or cave-guarding. They train with their mentors and learn the skills of what they have to learn. When they are finished training, they are made into either prey-hunters or cave-guards by the Tribe Healer. Tribe cats believe that they are born into their duty, though they can change positions. Unlike Clan apprentices, to-bes start training at the age of eight moons. The Stoneteller will receive a message from The Tribe of Endless Hunting when it is time to choose his own to-be. Once this happens, they can become something else, but as noted by Brook in The Sight to Hollypaw, most do not.
As their name suggests, kit-mothers are she-cats who are about to have or are nursing kits, the equivalent of queens. A prey-hunter or a cave-guard becomes a kit-mother when they become heavily pregnant and they can't continue with their duties. When they have their kits, they remain kit-mothers for a time to nurse them. An ancient tradition is that the queens name their kits after what they see when their kits are first born.
Elders are the oldest and weakest cats in the Tribe. Elders are retired cats that have stopped doing their Prey-Hunter or Cave-Guard duties. They are often consulted in difficult times. The elders of the Tribe have a very similar role to the elders of the Clans. They are fed by the Prey-Hunters and are protected by the Cave-Guards.
Kits are young cats that are not yet to-bes; the same as Clan kits. They are too young to do to-be duties, so they stay in the nursery with their mother. Kits stay a kit for 8 moons. At their birth, it is foretold by the Tribe healer if they will become a prey-hunter, a cave-guard or the next Teller of the Pointed Stones. Kits that seem fast and lithe are prey-hunters; kits that look strong will be cave-guards. They can be to-bes when they are eight moons old.
Tribe cats have their own special way of hunting. Prey-Hunters find some prey (i.e. a mouse), sit in a hiding place, and wait until they see an eagle (or other bird of prey) attack the prey. They then jump onto and kill the eagle, thus delivering two pieces of prey for the Tribe. The six questing Clan cats learned this technique to some extent, most notably Stormfur.
Kit-mothers name their kits after the first thing they see after the birth of their kits, for example, Brook Where Small Fish Swim, or Star That Shines On Water. In Cats of the Clans, Rock notes that he finds this method strange, as he perceives that this way of naming kits would cause many kits to be named things like "Wall of Cave," or "Floor of Cave." Unlike the cats of the Clans, Tribe cats shorten their names to the first word in their name (e.g. Brook, Star). However, the ancient Tribe uses the same naming conventions as the Ancients. For Example: Bright Stream, Silver Frost, and Dewy Leaf. Tribe cats' names do not modify through their lives, except for the Healer, whose name is changed into Teller of the Pointed Stones (Stoneteller) upon appointment.[source?]
The Tribe of Endless Hunting is comprised of the spirits of the ancestors of the Tribe of Rushing Water. They send warnings and signs to the Tribe Healer and will show them which to-be should train to become the next Healer. They are the equivalent of StarClan.
Tribe cats believe in an afterlife similar to the Clan cats. The ancestral spirits that make up the Tribe of Endless Hunting are similar to those that make up StarClan. However, they are born in the Tribe. The Tribe of Rushing Water contacts their ancestors every full moon in a ceremony called the Telling. This occurs in the Cave of Pointed Stones. Unlike the Moonpool, the Tribe of Endless Hunting contacts the living cats through omens and not dreams.
General Tribe Cat Terminology
- Beetle-brain – Friendly insult; similar to mouse-brain.
- Caught-prey – A dead prey animal caught for the purpose of consumption; similar to fresh-kill.
- Time of Freed Water– The season of spring, known to the forest Clans as newleaf.
- Time of Frozen Water – The season of winter, known to the forest Clans as leaf-bare.
- Tribe of Endless Hunting - Similar to StarClan, these are the Tribe's ancestors.
- Giving of close comfort - Act of cats grooming each other; similar to sharing tongues.
- A List of All Tribe Cats
- Clan Terminology
- Modern Tribe of Rushing Water
- Ancient Tribe of Rushing Water
- Teller of the Pointed Stones
References and Citations
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 294
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Outcast, page 53
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 82
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 224
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 129
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Revealed in Outcast, page 52
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 225
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 294
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Revealed in Dawn, page 305
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 92
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 270
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, pages 270-271
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 295
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 289
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 290
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Revealed in Moonrise, page 137
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Revealed in Outcast, page 223
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 132
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Revealed in Moonrise, page 114
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 216
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 322
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 2
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 Revealed in Moonrise, page 118
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 274
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 116
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 221
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 222
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 240
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 5
- ↑ Revealed in The Sight, pages 234-235
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 194
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 112
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Revealed in Moonrise, page 111
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 95
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, pages 4-5
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 4
- ↑ Revealed in Sign of the Moon, page 6
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 Revealed in Moonrise, page 140
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 6
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 55
- ↑ Revealed in Dawn, page 301
- ↑ 42.0 42.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 263
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 1
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 2
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 173
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 113
- ↑ Revealed in Moonrise, page 159
|Hierarchy and Groups in the Warriors World|
|Clan Hierarchy||Kits • Apprentices • Warriors • Deputies • Leaders • Queens • Elders • Medicine Cats|
|Ceremonies||Vigil • Apprentice • Warrior • Deputy • Leader • Elder • Medicine Cat • Name Changing|
|Tribe Hierarchy||To-Bes • Cave-Guards • Prey Hunters • Kit Mothers • Healer/Stoneteller|
|Miscellaneous||General Clan Information • General Tribe Information • Cat Names|
|Other Groups||Loners • Rogues • BloodClan • Cats of the Park • The Early Settlers • Clear Sky's Group • Tall Shadow's Group|