Part 1: From Proposal to Protest
Before we begin, there’s a bit of preface history. The Khumaak is a replica of a relic from Amarr history. Sort of like an evil-looking staff used to represent important members of the clergy, pre-dating the Reclaiming of modern-era Amarr society.
During the earliest revolts of the Minmatar – about 20 years before the Yulai Convention – the slaves would take arms in whatever way they could, including making use of those rather menacing-looking symbolic staff things their former masters were carrying. Like this guy here:
Ignoring the knock-on effects of the rebellion, most notably the almost complete elimination of one of the seven tribes, I want to focus more on some of the player-created history surrounding this status symbol for both the Amarr and free Minmatar.
The Khumaak Debate
In February of YC106 (2004), the Sebiestor tribe – the ruling tribe in the Republic – issued a demand for the ban of Khumaaks from official apparel within state, military and fleet circles, citing that the presence of the ‘Hand of Maak’ was “an uncomfortable and unnecessary reminder of past bloodshed.”
Much rabbling ensued. Both from other NPC entities, such as the other tribes, and from player organisations, such as Oracle and The People’s Front of Minmatar; both of whom couldn’t understand the need to abandon symbols of the Matari people’s struggle and heritage.
Predictably, sales for the item went up massively following exposure in the press, and many were sold to capsuleers to carry in their ships as a symbol of Matari pride. Tense times were ahead as different tribes all voiced their concerns about the leadership decisions of PM Midular. This in turn caused a reaction from the oft-silent Malaetu Shakor on the issue:
The past week has served to do nothing but highlight the monumental inefficiency of this formalized bickering. Parliament needs to have supreme executive authority when irreconcilable internal differences arise within the tribes. As things stand now, there’s no telling what will come of the situation.
Meanwhile, prominent Oracle pilot, Wren, had been organising a peaceful protest in Eram for the 29th February outside the Sebiestor tribe headquarters, where there would be outspoken demand for Midular to speak out about her reasoning for attempting to ban a symbol of the Matari people.
Pilots were to gather a ways from the station and call for a response from the prime minister. Cans were jettisoned in such a manner as to spell the word ‘FREEDOM’ next to the station.
Each of the cans were password-protected, and upon the climax of the protest, each pilot was to warp to a can, and retrieve the single Khumaak from inside, followed by casting a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the current Republic administration.
This was, for all intents and purposes the true beginning of the rift between the loyalist and separatist factions of the Matari capsuleer community – in spite of several long-held grievances between the Oracle and Gradient corporations – and the start of a movement that would later be known as the People’s Republic of Minmatar, Friends of Matar, and later still, the Ushra’Khan.
But this was far from the last we would hear about the Khumaak…