A Tamarian male

The Tamarians (also known as The Children of Tama) were a species native to the planet Tama, in the Alpha Quadrant.


Tamarians are humanoids. Compared to humans, there are some physical differences. The species has elongated thumbs, vertical nostrils, and no ear lobes. They have three ridges running along their heads. Tamarians have hairless bodies and white blood. (TNG: "Darmok")


First contact with the Federation occurred in the 2260s. However, effective communication wasn't established until 2368. (TNG: "Darmok")


Tamarians are highly ritualistic and some carry a ceremonial dagger.

The dagger is called, Betoken of Uzani. In lore, Uzani was the first to give his children the blade at "the time when the birds fly." At age 10, males are sent into the wilderness alone, with only the knife as a tool. It is a right of passage to adulthood. (Star Trek: Independence "Crimes and Shadows")

In one practice, they remove objects from their clothing, touch their forehead, and place the items around their body as they sleep.

Another observed ceremony is a type of death ritual. They remove their knifes, touch the blade, then touch their forehead, when a person dies. (TNG: "Darmok")

It is common in Tamarian culture to use hallucinations in rituals. (Star Trek: Independence "Crimes and Shadows")


Tamarian starship-galaxy class

A Tamarian starship (2368)

One branch of the military is known as the Tamarian Space Forces. (Star Trek: Independence)


In some areas, including engineering and weaponry, the Tamarians are slightly more advanced than the Federation.

Tamarian phasers are more powerful than Starfleet’s Type XII phasers. Their phasers were able to cause a Galaxy class’ shields to fail, after three discharges. The attack from the Galaxy class caused minimal damage to the Tamarian vessel.

They can prevent transporters and communications from working by using a particle scattering field. The field was created with a polarity coil generator. (TNG: "Darmok")


The written language consists of horizontal and vertical lines, with letters written around them. The Tamarians still use paper, in some instances.

The spoken word is very unusual. Tamarians speak, and think, in metaphors. They draw off their myths and stories, and use examples from them to communicate thoughts and ideas. That is one reason why it took so long for the Federation to have a successful dialog with the race.

Language Examples Edit

  • "Temba, his arms wide" – a gift/offering
  • "Uzani, his army with fists open" – to set up an ambush
  • "Uzani, with fists closed" – to ambush
  • "Picard and Dathon at El Adrel" – when Tamarians first communicated with the Federation
  • "Sokath, his eyes uncovered/opened" – a new understanding
  • "Rai and Jiri at Lungha. Rai of Luwani, Luwani under two moons. Giri, or Ubaya. Ubaya of crossroads, at Lungha. Lungha, her sky gray" – a formal greeting
  • “Chenza at court. The court of silence” – you’re not listening
  • “Kadir beneath Mo Moteh” – a failure
  • “Tolorn, when his horse fell!” – a profanity; lacking proper tools to do a job
  • "Na'thon at his quarry without a hammer." - equivalent to the phrase: "all work and no play..."

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