The Tabaxi were the largest tribe of humans in Chult in the 14th century DR. When most people referred to Chultans, they were speaking of members of this tribe, as the Tabaxi had absorbed most of the other Chultan tribes.
Alongside the Eshowe and Thinguth, the Tabaxi were one of a number of tribes that emigrated from Katashaka in −2809 DR. The Tabaxi originally worshiped the deity Olurobo and his children, called the nyama-nummo, with their lands ruled by the Sleeper, greatest of the nyama-nummo. Then, from around −3000 DR, the couatl Ecatzin came and shared the message of Ubtao. Although initially resistant, some members of the tribe gradually came to accept the couatl's words. Then, on the Night of Feasting, the Sleeper awoke from within the Palace of the Alliz-Dren. A woman named Oyai had been chosen from birth to be a Tarasajok, which meant that she would be the first to be fed to the Sleeper on awakening. However, Ubtao had made Oyai one of his Chosen, the first bara, and she slew the Sleeper with powerful magic. Afterward, 300 canoes of people who had taken up the worship of Ubtao agreed to follow Ecatzin over the ocean and north to Chult.
Centuries later, the Tabaxi fought the Eshowe (the second-most-populous Chultan tribe) across the territory of Chult in a bloody war that lasted from −438 DR to −122 DR. In −137 DR, the Eshowe had conjured up a dreadful shadow-beast that attacked the Tabaxi city of Mezro. In vengeance, the Tabaxi protector Ras Nsi hunted and killed nearly all of the Eshowe tribesmen. Shortly after the end of the war, the remaining tribes were absorbed into the Tabaxi and became known collectively as Chultans.
Confusion with the "Cat-Men"
"Tabaxi" was also a term given to a race of humanoid jaguars found in both Chult and Maztica. It has been suggested that this was an error in naming. The explanation was that an explorer from Cormyr saw a Tabaxi tribesman dressed in ceremonial garb of panther skin and was told by a guide that the man was a Tabaxi. Misunderstanding what the guide meant, this explorer assumed that all cat-men were called "Tabaxi".
In actuality the Cormyrean explorer was not far off from the truth. The human tribesmen named their people after the enigmatic feline-humanoids.
- The Ring of Winter
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- Matthew Sernett (2016-12-15). Lore You Should Know: Tabaxi vs. tabaxi (Web). In John Houlihan, Shauna Narciso eds. Dragon+ #11. Wizards of the Coast. p. 16. Retrieved on 2018-05-23.
Maztica: Azuposi • Dog People • Green Folk • Metahel • Nahopaca • Nexalan • Payit (Itza)
Taan: Commani, Dalat, Fankiang, Gur, Guychiang, Igidujin, Kashghun, Khassidi, Naican, Oigur, Pazruki, Quirish, T'aghur, Tsu-tsu, Tuigan, Zamogedi
Kara-Tur & Malatra: Bavanese & Bertanese • Bawani • Han • Issacortae • Koryoan • Kozakuran • Kuong • Nubari • Pazruki • Purang • Seng • Shou • Tabotan • Tayanulchi • Wanese • Wu-haltai