The Bayuk Okla are an alliance of tribal bands that inhabit the area around what was New Orleans, Louisiana.
Choctaw for "Bayou People," the Bayuk Okla subsist on what they can gather from the surrounding swamps. The tribe was formed by survivors of the Great War who were not able to secure a place in a vault or a shelter of their own. Because of the socioeconomic turmoil of the time, most of the survivors largely came from Louisiana Creole, Cajun, and Native American backgrounds.
The tribe is a collection of five bands, each of which excels in a certain craft. The Charognard clan is mostly French Creoles and are skilled, if not simply lucky, scavengers who go where others deem to be too dangerous. The Koupab clan is a racially diverse clan who are all descended from prisoners that survived the war in the basements of the New Orleans Parish Prison. They are quasi-raiders and are an accomplished warrior society. They do not take joy in raiding communities, and only take what they need to survive. Without any other skills, raiding is all they can do. The Nwa clan is composed of mostly African Louisiana Creoles and is skilled in agriculture, even in the marshlands of the Mississippi. The Pâle are expert diplomats and negotiators, descended from the French Creoles of the area. Of all the bands, the Pâle take the most pride in intellect and their extensive libraries; they can easily be mistaken for not being actual tribals. The Oka-Aya is composed mainly of Choctaw Native Americans and is known for its expert boat makers. The name Oka-Aya is derived from the Choctaw words for "water travel."
These five bands seem to be very different from each other, but each tribe uses and trades their particular skill set among other tribes. More often than not, the Chargonards, Oka-Aya, and Nwa respectively trade scavenged goods, boats, or agricultural products between other bands, or secure Koupab protection or the services of a Pâle diplomat.
Cultures vary from band to band, doing activities consistent with their skills: the Chargonards scavenge more often, the Oka-Aya have a small and sustainable lumber industry, and so on. All Bayuk Okla share a common language, an amalgamation of English, Choctaw, Louisiana Creole French, and Cajun French. This language is used to facilitate relations between the five bands, but because English the common language of the wasteland, plain English is widely spoken as well, especially to outsiders.
The Bayuk Okla have a long tradition of vision quests. Whenever a tribe member makes it to the age of 25, they are sent into the swamps under the influence psychoactive agents to wander and come to an understanding of what their life is and what it could be. Completing such a quest is also said to bring about two more quarter centuries of life and good luck. The spiritual quests last anywhere between three to five days. Any tribe member that does not return is either thought to be dead or have found better opportunities for themselves. Either way, the family tribes remembers the lost member in song and dance.
Partaking in ritual cannibalism is common within the tribe, whereby the recently deceased is cooked and consumed as part of the grieving process. Food can be rare in the wasteland and burying or burning meat is seen as completely wasteful in the Bayuk culture. They have no qualms consuming the body of their people because they believe they are only eating the vessel that transported the actual person's soul; they are not eating the person itself. Consuming the soul's vessel also acts as the person's last selfless deed to the tribal band, in that they are giving their body so their family and friends can eat and survive longer.
Each band of the Bayuk Okla controls a specific area of territory within New Orleans Ruins. The Chargonards have taken over the Tulane Ruins, the remnants of Tulane University. The people live in the lecture halls, laboratories, and athletics hall while scavenging plans are drawn up in the administration offices. The Nwa live in New Harahan, the renovated ruins of the Harahan suburbs of New Orleans where much of the streets have been torn up and replaced with arable farm land. The Oka-Aya live in New Orleans City Park where they have access to the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Botanical Garden. Most take shelter in the museum and use the Botanical Garden and surrounding park for wood to craft their boats and rafts.
The Koupab have not ventured far away from their prisoner roots, taking up residence in the New Orleans Parish Prison, though they have taken to calling it "The Perish". They have altered the sign in front of the prison to enforce to their raider-like tendencies and what they think is clever wordplay. The Pâle also have not ventured from their French backgrounds and make their home in the French Quarter (or as they call it, the Vieux Carré) and use the apartments, restaurants and shop fronts as housing.
Bayuk Okla bands are largely independent of each other and govern according to their own set of unique laws. However, should something affect all bands, a tribal council convenes in rotating host territory. A tribal council is composed of a band's single chief or shaman along with a maximum of three aids the leader can bring. Currently, the leaders and representatives for the Charognards, Koupabs, Nwa, Oka-Aya, and Pâle, are respectively, Bonn Nòt, Gwo Gwo Mak, Sipokni Nawaya, Pushma Taha and Vitreté Zanmi.
Aside from a general council, the bands are primarily egalitarian, allowing one to move up in life depending on their qualifications alone. If a leader, be it a chief or a shaman, should die, the band recommends influential and prominent figures to fill the vacancy. Should there be more than one person recommended, the recommended people convene in a concil to determine who can best lead the band. Change in leadership may also take place if a large majority of members endorses the change of a current leader, but sometimes the leader themselves will recognize their time as chief has come to a close and recommend a successor themselves.
Technology is roughly homogenous throughout the Bayuk Okla. The Chargonards may come across a useful and advanced piece of technology like a Geiger counter or working radio, but it usually gets traded throughout the bands eventually. Conventional firearms are a common sight among Bayuk guards, as are protective pieces of armor used by police before the war. Civilian Bayuks often weigh light and breathable clothes to deal with the heat and humidity, but it is not uncommon to see everyone going topless.
The Bayuks do not have the capacity, nor the knowledge to create sophisticated medicine, so they rely on natural herbal remedies to cure ailments. The Bayuks also do not have the capacity nor the necessity to create their own dwelling so they live in whatever ruins they can find. Plenty of ruined buildings provide shelter within their own territory.