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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> "Tribalism"

By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 1

I'd like to ask a serious question here about why Heathenry is often considered tribal with ingrained words like chief, tribe, and other words we associate with First Nations peoples. Historical Scandinavian Pagans did not live in tribes and the closest people to them who did were the Saami. So, why do Heathens feel the need to assign these terms to themselves? I see this mostly from Folkish Heathens and people who treat Heathenry like it is a living, singular culture rather than as a polytheistic religion and I just don't get it. Norse polytheism historically is dead and has been revived in revival and reconstruction efforts, so there is no one right way to do things as well as there are an abundance of people who are solitary and cannot be a part of a "tribe" - not to mention that the entire basis of these religions are on the relationship people have with their understanding of the lore and finding what is right for them as individuals. I don't understand why the kinds of Heathens I mentioned above treat themselves as "right" and everyone else as wrong and the only reason I'm talking about it now is that I see it everywhere I see a gathering of Heathens unless they are "fringe" like I am as a Rokkatruar.

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Re: "Tribalism"
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

I'd like to see this answered from someone with a more tribalistic approach to Heathenry because I'm on the "fringe" too, as someone who is largely solitary and whom works with many of the Rokkr and Loki's kin. I've never approached Heathenry with a tribe-mindset. I see it a loooot on the online community, and especially in some groups like r/asatru. I think in some of these groups I definitely see what you're talking about, where they determine a very narrow and strict set of things which are "right" and if you don't agree or are different then you're "wrong" and not welcome.

Some readings

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Re: "Tribalism"
By: / Novice
Post # 3
oh hey, im not fringey. so here we go.

i think most of the 'tribalism' we see among heathens comes in part as a misnomer for the duty you have to kith and kin and your lands. treating heathenry like a tribe or brotherhood or whatever you wanna call it, i think comes from the fact that its a fairly small religion and the knowledge that if you want to keep like-minded company, you cant always pick and choose, so the whole "were heathens and therefore friends/brothers" mentality owes alot to that fact.
theres also the germanic, saxon, etc heathens who did live in tribes. even though theyre less common, the germanic culture is still held in pretty high esteem among scandinavian heathens, and especially among the more Odinistic heathens.. want proof? go to a troth gathering, mention the battle of teutoborg forest, and count the grins. lol
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