There are thirteen zebra tribes, differentiated by their origins in zebra mythology and the regions they traditionally occupied. They are sometimes referred to as "the twelve and one". "The twelve" were supposedly the children of the sun and the earth, while "the one" were the children of the moon and the earth. A zebra's tribal affiliation is passed down matrilineally, from mother to child.
In zebra mythology, the Achu were one of the twelve tribes born from the sun and earth. They were born "of the high and fiery mountains", which probably refers to a volcanic region in the zebra lands. They are known as fierce fighters who developed many unarmed fighting styles, including at least one that is capable of defeating a power-armored foe.
Shujaa was a member of the Achu tribe prior to her defection.
The Propoli were born "in a village", and were probably one of the first of the twelve tribes to settle in one place. They are the builders and inventors who founded many great cities. They are marked by horizontal stripes, which do not touch the spine and intersect at the ribs.
Xanthe is a Propoli.
The Carnilia were born "on a fertile plain", and were probably the first zebras to develop agriculture. They are largely farmers, but they are perhaps more infamous among zebrakind for their sexual practices.
When famine strikes, Carnilia frequently disperse and may be adopted into new tribes. Their descendants are not forever marked as outsiders, though; their unusual curling stripe pattern tends to fade out within a couple of generations.
The Mendi were born "in a deep wood". They are described as healers.
Zecora was likely part of the Mendi tribe, considering her choice to live in the Everfree (a deep forest) and her skill at brewing potions, many of which involved healing or curing.
The Zencori were born "on a wind", which may refer to mountains, or to their habits of nomadism. They are the storytellers who maintain the oral history of zebrakind, not as dry lists of people and dates, but as lessons couched in entertaining stories.
The Atori were born "on the islands". "The islands" aren't identified, but may refer to Zanzebra. They are sailors who form a combination of navy and coast guard, though many have gone pirate in the years since the War.
They speak an unusual dialect in which phrases are constructed backwards compared to most Zebra speech. Those who frequently interact with other tribes often learn to speak in the conventional style for the sake of being understood.
Adama, a mare with whom Lancer was romantically involved, was Atori.
The Eschatik were born "in the deserts".
The Sahaani were born "in the southern snows", which probably refers to an antarctic region.
The Orah were born in "the swamps". Marked by thin, jagged stripes, they are hunters and beast-slayers who inhabit the lonely, wild places in Zebrinica. They are, by and large, isolationists who would prefer to have nothing to do with the other tribes. Most zebra therefore see them as backwards, inbred hillbillies. They speak a slurred, abbreviated version of the zebra tongue.
The Tappahani were born in "the jungle". They are famous for their feasts. Tappahani stripes are twisty and convoluted, and they speak in a rapid, rather rude version of the Zebra language. They also have a reputation for being high-strung.
The Logos were born "in a library". They kept the written history of the zebras, and probably dealt with all forms of recordkeeping and bureaucracy.
The Roamani were born "on a battlefield". In general, they were the greatest zebra fighters, and were likely the most powerful tribe, and the founders of Roam.
The last zebra Caesar was a Roamani.
The Starkatteri were also known as "the One". Unlike "the Twelve" tribes, they are said to have been sired by the moon rather than the sun in zebra mythology. They were the first tribe to build cities, but they practiced strange magics granted to them by striking deals with the stars.
The Starkatteri grew proud of their strange powers and fought a war to rule all of Zebrakind, which caused the Twelve to unite against them. The Starkatteri called down a large-scale meteor shower, which decimated both the Twelve's armies and the Starkatteri's own cities. The Twelve remained strong enough to win, however, and branded and shunned the Starkatteri. To this day, the Starkatteri are only grudgingly accepted in Zebra society, and they are easily identified by a pattern of facial stripes that are described as looking like the orbital paths of planets.
The original role of the Starkatteri in Zebra society is unclear, but Pythia indicated that Starkatteri necromancers originally acted as psychopomps, ushering the souls of the dying to the Summerlands (the Zebra version of the Everafter.) But then some of them started getting "creative" with their charges and gave all necromancers a bad name. This fate seems to be common among those who meddle with powers granted by the stars.
Prior to the Great War, the Starkatteri still had a role in the election of a Caesar, where they cast the deciding vote in case of a tie.
Known members of the Starkatteri tribe include Amadi and Pythia.