The Nora tribe is a human tribe in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is a matriarchal hunter-gatherer society situated in what is known as the Sacred Land. The Nora are the first tribe encountered in Horizon Zero Dawn. It is notable for its leaders, the High Matriarchs, rituals such as the Proving, and its strong taboos against the technology of the ancient world and talking to outcasts.


Recently, the Nora were in conflict with the Carja, a rival tribe that had imprisoned and enslaved their people in the past.[1] Under the Mad Sun-King Jiran, the Red Raids claimed the lives of many Nora, but the next Sun-King, Avad, sought a more peaceful approach, which led to two years of peace before the recent conflicts broke out. Due to the ferocity of their defense during the raids, the Carja came to regard them as brave and fierce warriors, albeit technologically and socially backwards.

At one point, a Carja scribe by the name of Aman traveled to the edge of Nora territory to collect what information he could find on the tribe. He also expressed a desire to return with a diplomatic expedition, including a female scribe, who he hoped would be able to gain their trust easier.


IMG 0149

Concept art of the Nora tribe.


The Nora live in small settlements situated in the mountains and forests of the Sacred Land. They do not have much in the way of agriculture, and are primarily hunter-gatherers, most of which is done by Braves. They have developed the ropecaster, which ties down their enemies.

The All-Mother is their patron deity. All the tribe's leaders are females, essentially grandmothers and great-grandmothers. To be a mother within the Nora is to take on sacred significance.

The Nora are very spiritual and practice a number of rituals. Newborns undergo a naming ritual, where the Matriarchs decide on a name for the child. Adolescent members of the tribe undergo a ritual called "the Proving". Those who pass will be recognized as Braves; the winners are granted a boon and they may ask for any kind of reward.

The Nora rarely leave the Sacred Land, and those who do rarely return. Most are content to live in the relatively peaceful valley, although increasingly aggressive machines have posed a serious threat to their home.

Known Members

Known Settlements, Outposts, and Gates


  • The Nora's custom of seeing machines as forbidden by higher powers is very similar to that of the Yevonites from Final Fantasy X, who also believed that the evils of the world were wrought by people using machinery (machina), which is now taboo and forbidden.
  • The Nora culture seems to be an amalgamation of aboriginal and barbarian cultures.
    • The outfits and weaponry are reminiscent of native American tribes. Though some of the outfits bare an aesthetic similar to Viking garb, such as Rost and Varl's outfits.
    • The war paint designs are very similar to those of ancient Celtic and Pictish Warriors.
    • The architectural style is very reminiscent of Viking architecture.
  • It is possible the tribe got their name from dilapidated NORAD signs. NORAD was headquartered in Colorado Springs, now known as Devil's Thirst.
  • Male naming convention is one syllable long ending in a consonant. Female names can but mostly do not follow the same convention.



  1. Game Informer #82: Woman vs. Machine

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