The Jabari Tribe, also referred to as the J'Abari or the Mountain Tribe, is a tribe consisting of Wakandans who shunned the use of vibranium and removed themselves from mainstream society. Adhering to traditional customs, which include worshiping the gorilla god Hanuman, the Jabari are staunch opponents of T'Challa's modernized rule and the Black Panther mantle.
While initially enemies of T'Challa, they alongside their leader M'Baku later join forces with him to stop Erik Killmonger from enacting his plans and overthrowing him, upon learning he seized the throne. After the battle they become allies to the king when M'Baku is granted a seat in the Wakandan Tribal Council. Two years later, they would assist their king and the Avengers in the Battle of Wakanda, only for most of them to disintegrate, once Thanos succeeds in his quest to obtain all the stones and use their power to destroy half of all life in the universe.
Following the Avengers' resurrection of Thanos' victims, the Jabari joined the allies of Earth in a final stand against the Mad Titan's army before Iron Man used the Nano Gauntlet to turn the invaders to dust.
Millennia ago, the people who would later become known as the Jabari went to war with four other tribes over a meteorite made of an alien metal. The fighting continued until the warrior-shaman Bashenga donned the title of "Black Panther", uniting the tribes as first king of Wakanda. While the other four tribes pledged their loyalty to Bashenga, the Jabari rejected the use of vibranium and went into seclusion, building a city in the mountains out of wood sacred to the ape god Hanuman.
Challenging the Crown
During T'Challa's incoronation at Warrior Falls, Zuri offered all the Wakandan tribes a chance to put forth a warrior to challenge for the throne. Once all the tribes had declined, the Jabari Tribe, led by M'Baku, interrupted the ceremony, chanting and emerging from the fall's caves.
M'Baku challenged T'Challa for the throne and T'Challa accepted. The two fought using spears and shields while surrounded by the Jabari and the Dora Milaje. At the end of the battle, T'Challa managed to knock M'Baku down and pin him at the edge of the water fall. Not wanting to kill M'Baku, T'Challa urged him to yield, stating that the Jabari Tribe needed him, to which M'Baku gave in.
Saving T'Challa's life
Ramonda was permitted to stay in Jabari Land for her safety once T'Challa had recovered. T'Challa then announced his intention to take back the throne from Erik Killmonger, requesting aid from the Jabari Tribe, however M'Baku refused to help T'Challa, pointing out that no Wakandan king had even come to Jabari Land in centuries.
Eventually realizing the fate of Wakanda was on the line, M'Baku decided to organize the Jabari warriors and head to Mount Bashenga, aiding the Dora Milaje where M'Baku lifted one of the Border Tribe foot soldiers and threw him into the force field. Following their victory over Killmonger's forces, M'Baku joined the Tribal Council, finally giving the Jabari a voice in governing Wakanda.
In 2018, M'Baku and the Jabari joined T’Challa, the Wakandan armies, and members of the Avengers to fight against the Outriders. After the battle was over, the Snap happened, and half of the Jabari disintegrated.
Five years later, as a result of the Blip, the Jabari warriors were restored to life. Shortly, M'Baku and the Jabari were recruited by the Masters of the Mystic Arts to join the battle against an alternate Thanos and his army and were transported via Inter-Dimensional Portals to the ruins of the Avengers Compound in New York. After the battle was over, the Jabari went home.
The Jabari's traditional colors are brown and white in honor of the White Ape. Unlike the other Wakandan tribes, which incorporate Vibranium-based technology into everyday life, the Jabari outright reject the use of Vibranium altogether, adhering staunchly to a more primitive lifestyle. Because of this, the tribe has a strong tradition of woodworking and agriculture. The Jabari also shun the use of vibranium in warfare, though they are formidable warriors nonetheless, having survived two battles against Thanos' forces.
- The Jabari are inspired by the Karo tribe of Ethiopia and the Dogon people of Mali.
- The Jabari speak in a Yoruba dialect, as opposed to the Xhosa spoken by all the other Wakandans.
- Winston Duke describe the Jabari as people who "strongly believe that to move forward, you have to have a strong adherence and respect for the past. So they have a deep moral conscience."