What Constitutes a Rahi?

Sorta just been wondering this, but what made some species “rahi” and some not? In particular, why would Keetongu’s species be considered rahi despite being capable of intelligent thought? Is it simply the fact that they were created from viruses instead of whatever was used to create the sapient species’?


I’ve seen it said that Rahi roughly and broadly translates to “wildlife,” and that the distinction of what is and isn’t a Rahi is inexact.

There’s a specific plant on Mata Nui that is arguably a Rahi because it seems to have intelligent thought, even though plants are not normally Rahi.

Then there’s the Karzahni Root and Morbuzahk Root, which are obviously sentient and intelligent, but I’ve never heard them described as Rahi.

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Yeah I know that Rahi pretty much means wildlife, but it feels like there are way too intelligent creatures in the MU that shouldn’t be labeled as rahi but are.

Like, in the context of the real world, it’s real obvious no other animal has the distinction that humans do, but this can’t be said in bonkle, where there are more than a few rahi species that have matoran level intelligence, if not greater.

Some come pretty close. i.e. Crows, Apes, Dolphins

I’d say Rahi are more meaningfully distinct from Matoran than Animals from Humans by virtue of the fact that they have different origins. Rahi are creations of the Makuta, Matoran were created by the Great Beings.

I think it works like this, but I’m not 100% sure.

Rahi= made by the Makuta

Not Rahi = made by the Great Beings or existing before they made the Great Spirit (that’s why Bara Magna creatures have never been described as Rahi, at least I don’t remember them being called such)

The whole intelligent/non intelligent debate above infuriates me quite a bit so I won’t get into it at all.

Also keep in mind that Rahi had completely different jobs in the MU than Matoran did. There are no Rahi scholars or Rahi mask-makers. So that was another way distinctions were drawn.


Biosector states that Rahi literally means “not us” in Matoran tongue:

One may think that “Rahi” refers solely to the wildlife. But what if it also refers to anything that is not Matoran? After all on Mata Nui there were only Matoran villagers (Matoran themselves, the Turaga and, eventually, the Toa) and the Rahi, and at the time it was the whole universe for them, with no other creatures outside of it.
But then there’s Matoran Universe, and Metru Nui, inhabited solely by the Matoran. Sure, there were creatures in there, but it seem to always be such a closeted, in on itself society. So in the end, does that mean that any outsider, intelligent or otherwise, is a Rahi, because it’s not a Matoran?
Maybe I cling to this specific translation too much?


That’s actually an interesting idea.

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How do we think of living things that aren’t human?


Animals and/or aliens? :stuck_out_tongue:

So if a Rahi is literally anything that isn’t a Matoran, Toa or Turaga…does that make races like the Skakdi and Vortixx Rahi as well? what about Makuta?

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I can imagine Rahi being a derogatory term towards other non-matoran inhabitants of the MU now. Interesting stuff.


“Filthy Rahi”


Feel free to correct me on this; however, as far as I recall, there are zero canon instances of an individual who is not a Matoran or some interrelated species, such as a Toa, using the term “Rahi”. The way that I always saw it was that “Rahi” was a term used by Matoran and Matoran only, similar to how several Native American, including the Inuit, held societal identifications in their own culture that appear deceptively simplistic to outsiders. “Inuit” translates as “the people” in Inuit.

Further, it’s heavily implied that most Matoran have had very little, if any interaction with other sapient species in the MU in the years between the Great Cataclysm and the Reign of Shadows; I would assume that, despite such interactions having once been much more common, most Matoran don’t think of the existence of other sapient species on a regular basis. The Skakdi, as an example, likely have their own word for beings that don’t belong to their own species; after all, they have their own language.

EDIT: So, I just discovered that Ancient was the individual responsible for branding the team of Skakdi who would eventually try to steal the Ignika as “Piraka”, a word that has been confirmed to, in fact, be native to the Matoran language. It’s possible that Ancient and, by extension, a number of other Dark Hunters are familiar with a select number of Matoran words, such as “Piraka”; historically, obscenities have been the most mutually understood words across diverse societies on Earth. However, it’s possible that Matoran is the universal language or “Basic”, to use an analogy, of the MU. Maybe the Skakdi and the Zyglak, the two confirmed species to use their own distinct languages, are just the weird ones.

I prefer to think that the Matoran Tongue is your good old Fantasy Human Common, with Skakdi, - and other species because why not? - having their own unique tongues/dialects.

Also, your post does not in any way contradict what has been already discussed in this thread, so there’s no need to correct you. =)

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I can get behind that, though I personally prefer the idea that Matoran isn’t universal. Y’know, that’s what headcanons are for. :stuck_out_tongue:

As far as being corrected is concerned, my memory of “zero canon instances of an individual who is not a Matoran… use the term ‘Rahi’” was something that I was pretty unsure of, hence the invitation to be corrected if necessary.

Well, there was not any mentions of that, yes. But still, your thoughts are pretty inline with the discussion, and it pleases me to know there’s more like-minded people around.

About the Matoran being supremacists and their tongue being the common one, think about it that way: the Matoran are the workers inside Mata Nui robot. They are literally the most vital part of his inner workings. So everything must be tailored to serve their sole purpose of keeping the Great Spirit alive. So Mata Nui created the Vortixx, the Skakdi, the Makuta, and others, to, essentially, serve the Matoran. Not as slaves or servants of course, but their services should be tightly connected to the Matoran needs and welfare. So it can be only natural that after everyone became self-aware, the Matoran might have developed a bit of a superiority complex.

I don’t really think so. The Matoran didn’t know they were inside a giant robot for a long time, and they were not one of the stronger species. I think the supremacist would come from being the most common sapient species (?).

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about supremacism:

Supremacism is the worldview that a particular age, race, species, ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, ideology, nation, or culture is superior to other variations of that trait, and it advocates that those who identify with it dominate, control, and subjugate those who do not.

So even without being aware that they are inside a Spirit Robot (and I never stated they are), they still follow the Three Virtues, one of them being Duty, and I quote Biosector here:

The second virtue, Duty is the job which a Matoran has been entrusted to do. Failure to perform their allotted task can be detrimental to the health of the Great Spirit, so Matoran seek to do their job to the best of their abilities, in order to keep their universe functioning.

And given that Matoran are the most plentiful species in the Universe, and that their job, their Duty is so critically vital for the health of the Great Spirit, and that not every other species in the Universe adhere the Three Virtues (some even disdain the notion, according to Biosector), they may have feel supreme towards the other species simply because they do something that none other species do.
Makes sense?

EDIT: And it’s not a good thing of course. Supremacism is never a good thing, but that adds that much more flaw to the Matoran society, and I love to see imperfection in characters/species etc.

Yeah, I forgot about the three vitrues thing, which definitly can support their supremacist mindset. However I think that the problem I saw with your first post, that I worded badly in mine, was the other races serving them. They wouldn’t know or expect that because they didn’t know that they were part of a giant robot. Hopefully that makes more sense.

And I do know what supremacism is

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