In Black Panther, a number of Wakandans have lip tattoos that they use to prove their Wakandan citizenship, including King T'Chaka (if I recall correctly), Zuri, N'Jobu, and Killmonger.

One answer to "What are the other tribes that live in Wakanda and why didn't they help during the uprising?" suggests only War Dogs get lip tattoos.

Who gets a lip tattoo? Anyone in Wakanda? Anyone who leaves Wakanda?

  • Feel free to edit in anyone I forgot, did Nakia have one? Feb 23, 2018 at 17:25
  • 4
    I don't recall T'Chaka having one. The guards showed up and demanded N'Jobu show his and then Zuri reveals his shortly after.
    – phantom42
    Feb 23, 2018 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


When T’Challa, Shuri, Okoye, and Ross are looking at the hologram of Killmonger, they mention that he has “a War Dog tattoo” but that they don’t have him in their records. (This is right before Ross says “he’s one of ours.”) Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume this tattoo is specific to War Dogs, although Killmonger only has one presumably because his dad inscribed it on him before his death as a form of identification should he ever go to Wakanda.

Note that T’Chaka is never shown to have this tattoo.

The War Dogs, contrary to what the above linked question/article imply, don't seem to be a tribe of their own. There are five tribes (River, Border, Merchant, Mining, and Jabari), plus the royal family. We see this during the prologue and during the first waterfall fight scene.

The War Dogs, however, is the name given to spies that leave Wakanda's borders. This applies to Nakia, N'Jobu, and Zuri. Nakia, for example, is the heir to the River Tribe as well as being a War Dog--we see her decline her chance to claim the throne by fighting T'Challa.

So, a War Dog can be from any tribe or group--it just means that they're a spy.

  • Sure, but the answer to the linked question says the royal family and the war dogs are different tribes. Feb 27, 2018 at 5:23
  • The linked q answer/article don't strike me as particularly accurate--there are definitely five tribes, plus the royal family. The other groups are not their own tribes. This was shown in the opening narration and the first waterfall fight scene.
    – Kitkat
    Feb 27, 2018 at 21:35
  • I thought so too ... I thought they said five tribes but maybe I was misremembering. Feb 27, 2018 at 21:37
  • For example, Nakia is both a War Dog and the heir to the River Tribe.
    – Kitkat
    Feb 27, 2018 at 21:37

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