The Raata identity is a spiritual Identity, not a Caldari Identity

So this is a very niche subject, but I feel like presenting this opinion regarding Raata identity after mulling over the concept for a few years now.

The ‘Raata’ were the first major civilization and culture on Caldari Prime, The Raata Empire was born out of the unification of the planet’s two tribes of Fuukiuye and Oryioni. Who for a good length of time were at war with one another for what I assume would be the typical reason dark age tribes would be beefing over.

The all the information about the Raata empire and its culture is vague and can be gleamed off the Cold Wind Chronicle. Which, Unfortunately is written like a piece of folk lore and therefore not concrete historical data. Yet - it still offers insight on the Raata identity.

Now - For the longest time to me , Raata seems to considered an exclusive thing to the Caldari as a deeper label to take pride in alongside of your identity as Caldari due to it being apart of the State’s history and tradition. However with this post I’m making the argument that the Caldari today fail to recognize the hypocrisy of the Caldari claiming exclusive rights to the identity.

So I present the title, The Raata identity is a spiritual Identity, not a Caldari Identity.

A spiritual identity to me, is an identity that transcends culture and race. It is you identifying with the spirituality first and anything else second. The spirituality I’m referencing is the Wayist religion that originates from Caldari Prime that has roots in the dark ages.

In the cold Wind Chronicle, everyone is referred to as ‘Raata’ despite having their own tribal identities. Standing behind symbols of houses when they come to the battlefield. These two sides are different cultures and to them, different ethnicity. Yet both sides are Raata and are affected by the spiritual deities hovering above them.

“Look at each other,” he told them. “How do you tell one man from the other? How do you know which man to kill?”

The men struggled to stand up and looked at their armors; the symbols of their Houses were torn and broken, not visible anymore.

“No two men on this field have the same face, but can you tell them apart now?”

They have a common ground in spirituality. And to the folklore, this spirituality steps in in the middle of this fight among man-made house and tribal identities, masks the symbols each man had on their armor and told them to look at one another as humans. To see beyond their tribalistic and ethnicity to see each other as Raata. Doing this, the two tribe would have to start mixing together to break down their tribal allegiances and merge their cultures onto becoming the foundation for what the Caldari would inherit.

All and all - This is the first progressive movement for the people of Caldari Prime, where they abandoned their traditional means of living and evolved their society with new and radical social changes. I dare say it was a incredibly liberal movement for the time.

Fast forward to Caldari and Gallente contact. At first the Caldari are accepting of this meeting of the two societies and joins the Federation, allowing their cultures to mingle again with a foreign entity. Long story short, this falls though and the ‘Caldari’ identity is born when the tensions of mixing starts to become a problem.

To me, the Caldari begin a regression into their tribalistic mindset. The scale has expanded, but it remains the same.

Two factions on different continents with two different identities and cultures. Replace the sea with space and consider planets their own continent and the scenario is almost the same just on a massive scale.

The term Caldari only came about after first contact with the Gallente in 22517AD, as a planetary identifier used to distinguish the races of their homeworld from those of their newfound partners (that term also being used for the exact same purpose). By this point, each Caldari race were organized into their own fully-fledged nation on Caldari Prime, with minimal to no cross-ethnic mingling. The boundaries between these ethnicities were profound, not only in physical appearance, but culturally. The Caldari’s concept of a nation differed from the Gallente’s definition, the latter of which tended to be built around purpose or ideology, rather than race or culture.

Just like me, everyone has their interpretation of all this - speaking for myself, this comes off strongly implying the Caldari label is one tied to ethnicity, merely being an umbrella identity like the Raata and grouping in the Civire and Deties under a new label. And to the later page’s credit they do mention that you’re able to be a Caldari citizen regardless of where you’re from but still cling on to some hard cultural xenophobia much like a tribe would. Instead of mixing and adopting the cultures of others, they eradicate the cultures and identity of those that come into the fold in favor of their own.

"I identify as Raata… Does that statement confuse any of you? Typically the word ‘Raata’ is only ever invoked by the Caldari as a buzzword when they start talking about how honorable their way of life is and how much they treasure their culture and history…
… So why would I, in the middle of a Guristas owned station in Venal - ever bring up the Raata and say I identify as one? Because being Raata has nothing to do with being Caldari… Raata is a spiritual identity that transcends meaningless differences in our corporeal forms and insignias. That is what the tribes of Caldari Prime aimed to achieve when they tossed aside their tribalistic ways as they saw in one another a spirit much like theirs, the spirit of humanity. To identify as Raata is to identify with the human spirit that resides in each of us - regardless if you’re Caldari, Gallente, Amarrian or Matari, you all have the right to claim this identity as your own. The Caldari will say it’s impossible unless you’re one of them, but I’d wager they do that out of fear of losing their fragile grip on this heritage and culture they claim to hold dear. I for one say we should help them loosen this grip…”

So this IS NOT prime fiction and merely an extension of my argument, this is a brief example of me presenting the idea of the Raata being a spiritual identity in a IC fashion. As well as explaining that It’s an identity not bound to one ethnicity or culture. That ANY human being can claim this identity if they agree with the spiritual message of Wayism.

The Cold Wind folklore has these people on a battlefield with their own mortal realm allegiances in the forms of tribes and the winds come down and say “■■■■ that, you’re all human beings” and this should extend to the entire cluster of New Eden. If the Maker made all of this, then they created the home worlds of each strain of humanity across it. They all exist equally in the same existence yet the Caldari claim “Raata” as theirs and theirs alone.

“The Way,” this religion is a blend of animism and ancestor worship and is practiced mainly by Civire and Deteis in the State and elsewhere, though the Way is a cyclical fad in the Gallente Federation, where Gallente youth have sometimes used it as a symbol of rebellion. Such practice is considered blasphemous and disrespectful, though most Caldari tend to simply dismiss it as “Gallente being Gallente.”

Caldari culture even shuns the idea of people outside their ethnic group practicing and taking up the spirituality. Mocking it as “Gallente being Gallente” and maybe this youth’s interpretation coming off poorly due to the spirituality being kept closer to the Caldari than anyone else. While the spirituality isn’t an evangelical one where you go out of your way to preach to people, that doesn’t mean it has to be closed doors and still very much capable of being for anyone to adopt. Yet the primary ethnicity of the State seem to think otherwise.

So really I don’t know what else to say in the moment, so i’ma open it up to discussion as I felt like I present enough of a case for this rather pointless topic.


I had not considered it, but if your interpretation of the Cold Wind chronicle is that the same spiritual forces would descend on a contemporary battlefield and say exactly the same thing to all of our current perpetual combatants, I’m inclined to agree. This interpretation also helps me with the Achura, whose inclusion in the State I have previously found a bit more “convenient” than “convincing” (delightful Adversary Kim notwithstanding).

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Well, I make this perspective from a Wayist philosphy in Guristas culture. And the message there isn’t that we all need to stop fighting because we’re all humans.Merely that ethnicity and allegiances are all ■■■■■■■■ concepts made by humans.

Though it can absolutely be interpreted it as a message for peace among all humans

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My interpretation of your interpretation (lol) would be the Winds are asking the question “what are you fighting for?” When the answer is “well, his armor was painted blue on the left side and mine was painted blue on the right side,” then hey, stop fighting. When the answer is “to survive,” hey, keep fighting.

The Caldari have the best chance of introducing spiritual variety to the setting without stirring up all that ■■■■… and exploring Wayism from the Gurista perspective is intriguing.

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Out of character, I think your interpretation has merit. My final thesis in uni was about how the Royal Antiquarian Society studied and adapted the history of the Dutch Republic to suit the nation-building needs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and how said vision was infused into the culture through museums and the education system. The Caldari State hits a lot of similar notes, as it not only views itself as a successor state and behaves accordingly, but also reintroducing a simplified version of the Raata language in the shape of Napanii, and making it a mandatory language within the education curriculum.

In character, however, I believe most Caldari would disagree with the notion that Raata culture is not linked to Caldari culture, because the Deteis and the Civire view themselves as the descendants of the Raata. Biologically speaking, they are exactly that. You will also recall that Demographics of the Caldari State teaches us that the Deteis and Civire view their biological heritage as an expression of culture, and don’t intermarry for that reason. Even if you were to make the argument that they might be biological descendants, but different in terms of culture, the argument that would likely be fielded is that the Gallente tried to coerce the Caldari to abandon their traditions and join the melting pot that the Federation is. The end result of that discussion would therefore most likely be increased Grr towards the Gallente, and clamouring from both scholars and teachers to dedicate more of the research budget and the school curriculum to learning about the Raata and teaching Caldari children about their heritage.

As such, whilst I agree OOC, IC there is no reason why someone who grew up within the State would doubt it, and breaking with it might very well be frowned upon.


I’m not suggesting there is no link between the two, but suggesting that Modern day Caldari are missing the point of what the Raata were, which was an identity conjured out of a shared spirituality between two groups that initially were at each other’s throats who came together under a new identity. Merging their socites and cultures together.

Kinda why Im presenting this idea OOC instead of trying to argue about it IC just yet. While I understand people’s characters seeing no reason to think this way, I don’t think it’s impossible for anyone IC to look at this and not see merit it in the argument. Even In real life, people are submerged in a cultural way of thinking for their whole lives and while they will have some natural fortitude in their way of thinking about such things, it’s not impossible to get them to reconsider what they know if someone can just give them a convincing enough argument

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We do not really have the information to be definitive; as you admit there is one chronicle attending to Raata identity in any meaningful way, and there is a lot more allegory than detail.

There is already reasonable basis to say that Raata identity transcends race, as the descendants of Deteaas and K’vire remain not only ethnically distinct from one another but equally legitimate heirs to the Raata legacy; and while it cannot be argued that sameness is not prominent in your quotation from Cold Wind, when read in context it very much invokes a crucible in which a people were forged– it is certainly plausible for people outside their shared history to assert claims on the Raata legacy, though I cannot envisage those of Civire or Deteis ancestry viewing such claims as anything but appropriation.

In summary, my understanding (which could certainly be flawed) is that without the shared history, culture, and context of how the Caldari see themselves, Wayism is just Wayism.

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And what’s necessarily wrong with Wayism being just Wayism? The idea that Wayism Is just for the Caldari due to their history with it I feel is an outdated concept.

Why? Because despite their society and perspective evolving as they expand into the space age, colonizing a bunch of different worlds and coming in contact with so many different groups - When it comes to Wayism, they kinda act like only they exist and everything else is a non-entity. Either being directly rejected or out right ignored.

They continue to look at spirituality through this narrow way of thinking with Caldari Prime being the centerpeice. Which is absolutely fair and accpetable for the era in which that’s all they knew.

But nowadays they see much more of what the Maker has created, and what else exists in the world. Sure they may have originated the spiritual teachings, but what about it’s tenets makes it exclusive to them?

You don’t look at the Raata Empire as Caldari history, Caldari were an afterthought - You look at the Raata Empire as Raata history. The history of the spirtuality. And when you adopt the spirituality for yourself, that becomes your history. Albeit it may be awkward to do this mainly because the Caldari have kept the spirituality so insular and became unaccepting of outsiders and have marketed Wayism as theirs and theirs alone. Monopolizing it with their claims to the heritage for having a lineage from the people that used to live in that society and inheriting some traditions.

Nothing, being Wayist doesn’t necessarily make one Raata

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Then to you, what makes someone Raata?

Propositions everyone agrees with are dull, anyway. It’s fine, and even desirable, for “proper” Caldari society to disagree with you (of course, the Achura have no particular reason to be hostile). By aligning with the Guristas, you absolve yourself of reason to care what “proper” Caldari think, and you turn the outlaws into the dynamic spiritual subculture (which is basically how being an outlaw is supposed to work lol).


With Caldari notions of honourable conduct being revivalist in nature (we don’t know how accurately), the best information we have is that Raata culture is significantly everything you’re dismissing as contemporary misunderstanding.

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As much as I think the Caldari misunderstand it, i can too can be misunderstanding it. It’s a far gone cultural identity that doesn’t have any significance anymore in the modern age of New Eden.

I think for a civilization as old as it is and good chance some poor historical documentation around that period. It’s just as likely for the Caldari to have the wrong idea and for me to also have the wrong idea.

It’s a futile fight of what “True Raata” is and all we can do is peice together what might’ve been.

But, I find it fun to present an altetnative based in what information we have.

I would like to note these bits of Cold Wind chronicle:

Cold Wind was before and will be after, the first of the Winds to blow among the Kaalakiota Peaks and the one that loves things that grow strong. He saw the Raata men arrive and blew his welcome among the kresh trees.

He asked Wind-from-the-West about these men, and Wind-from-the-West told him tales of fires and blood and burning. But the Raata men respected the woods, the stones and the water, and Cold Wind felt happy to share his tales with them.

Other men arrived, this time from the West, and Cold Wind once again felt happy. Yet these other men brought the fire Wind-from-the-West spoke of, and the blood and the burning. They tore stones to build walls and trees to make pikes. They killed all those that were different, and claimed all these lands and waters for themselves.

The men from the West felt fear creep into their heart. Some left, then others followed, then all the rest of them.

The Raata men rejoiced and celebrated their victory, and sang praises to their Cold Wind

There we can see quite clear separation between Raata, who hear Winds, respect nature and so on, and others who don’t. And nothing said about those others joining Raata - they bring destruction instead and flee after being pushed out. Also text implies that tribes of Raata still have something like shared place of origin - Kaalakiota mountains.
But question indeed how much we can trust what is IC Lai Dai(?) article - folklore as you said, Avio, and maybe written in time period when gallente-caldari story already happened with all the consequences.
Point is: some place for separation presented - something like “people from Kaalakiota mountains who hear the Winds and loved by them vs. everybody else”.

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Only it is not far gone, the nature of revivalism in the vein we are led to believe the Caldari practice it, is that their ideas of honour and propriety are tremendously informed by their self-image as the successors of the Raata Empire.
Whether their image of the Raata Empire is false, flawed or on point is almost irrelevant; it would answer the question ‘What was Raata culture?’, for ‘What is Raata culture?’… I think we can consider billions of Caldari to be living it, to a greater or lesser degree.

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Sure we can consider that, but I also think it’s fair to consider that Caldari culture in itself is different . I’ve never rejected that they’ve inherited some traits of the culture of the past but something tells me Raata society had some different ■■■■ going on compared to current Day Caldari.

I fully believe that spirituality played a way bigger role in Raata era than it did current day. Not to the extend that it played a massive absolute role in government (Though maybe it had influence) , but it was a way more wide spread thing among the population with much stronger ties, being seen as the actual way of life for them - Which ties back into my argument that the Raata identity is a spiritual one, it’s tied to the spirituality.

Wayism today seems to be kept around for ‘nostalgia’ or as a callback for the Caldari, like I mention prior about the very teaching being outdated and insular - Spirituality had fell to the wayside in Caldari society and is used more as a prop than a way of life.

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You might find material to help develop your premise in the trajectory of Buddhism from India through China, into Japan, and out to the world. Because it treated gods as abstractions of an individual’s thought process, cultures outside India were able to integrate Buddhism quickly simply by updating the their existing pantheons.

A school that incorporated Taoist ideas emerged in China, migrated to Japan, and became Zen. After a thousand years, Zen shot to prominence in the West as a motorcycle maintenance technique (close association with sharp swords further boosting its appeal). The Zen “brand” is so strong, many people may not be aware it is Buddhism, incorporates Taoist elements, and originated in India. However, the fact they are not aware doesn’t actually change anything - which is, you know, “very Zen.”


They aren’t losing sight of the point. Cold Wind said two bloodlines, one race. Those two bloodlines are the Civire and the Deteis. Back then, those two bloodlines constituted the population of the Raata Empire. Now, those two bloodlines constitute the ethnic Caldari, which represent 95% of the population of the Caldari State. The Civire and Deteis today do not view themselves as heirs of the Raata but as a direct continuation of the Civire and Deteis who constituted the Raata Empire. If there is any cultural difference between the two, this will be blamed on the Gallente, specifically the Cultural Deliverance Society.

The Megas view themselves as successor states of the Raata Empire, comparable to how the Diadochi saw themselves as successor states of the Macedonian empire. The State exists because the Megas created it together. By virtue of this, if the State is not seen as a direct continuation of the Raata Empire, then it will be seen as the sole legitimate successor thereof.

The Caldari (which I define as the Civire and the Deteis) and Wayism (which I understand as seen here) are intrinsically linked. The Caldari may have created Wayism, but they believe that Wayism created them. The Maker does not play an active role in it as he simply created things. What does play an active role is that the Caldari believe that the Winds guided them (not others) to become what they are today. They similarly believe that cultural heritage and biological heritage are directly linked. They do not adopt an aggressively racist view that everyone who is not Caldari is inferior. They do adopt the view that every person has an obligation to their ancestors to continue their own culture by adhering to their ancestors’ beliefs and selecting a partner from amongst their own people.

If a Caldari and an Amarrian were to marry and have children, this would be viewed negatively. Not because it dilutes the Caldari bloodline, but because it is perceived as disrespectful towards the ancestors of both that Caldari and that Amarrian.

If an Amarrian were to convert to Wayism, this would be viewed negatively. Not because it is viewed as cultural appropriation, but because it is perceived as that Amarrian offending his ancestors by abandoning the Amarrian faith.

There is no such thing as a Raata, and there never was. The Raata Empire was populated and defined by the Civire and the Deteis, the same way as the State is populated and defined by the Civire and the Deteis.

Whilst it might be considered revivalist OOC, the Caldari would not see it that way. The Raata Empire, the Megas, the State and Wayism are all products of the Civire and the Deteis, who believe that the Winds willed them to be one race. Therefore these things are viewed to be as Caldari as the Civire and the Deteis themselves, with any differences once again being blamed on the Gallente, with lore even referencing this specifically:

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Buddhism was used as an example here, and it is a useful example; largely in that despite how widely it spread there is no mainstream conflation between Buddhism and Indian national identity, nor any identity based upon the iron age Shakya clan Gautama Buddha once ruled.

The real legacy of the Raata period for the Caldari would in my opinion be akin to the legacy of the Sassanid period for later Persians– distance in time and paucity of primary sources making it impossible to clearly distinguish between genuine reports of their practices, and fictitious accounts of later customs projected upon the Raata as an idealized era of honour and decorum.

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Whilst there is no conflation between Buddhism and the Indian national identity, there definitely is conflation between the Caldari and the traditions and political entities that they created. If you yearn for a real life comparison, then you are better off looking at the way the Jews believe Judaism to be intrinsically linked to both their people and their land of origin. For the Caldari, their planet of origin plays a slightly lesser role, because they believe the winds are not constrained by locality, but Caldari Prime still plays an important part in both Wayism and Caldari politics.