While much is known about the physical attributes and hunting tactics of these iconic creatures, little is known about their religion and beliefs. In this article, we delve into the mysterious world of the Yautja gods, exploring the myths, legends, and rituals that have been hinted at throughout the Predator franchise. From the sacred hunt of the Black Warrior to the enigmatic Kaail, we seek to uncover the secrets of the Predator pantheon and shed light on the spiritual practices of these fearsome beings.
For the Yautja everything resolves around the Hunt and battle. So it is fitting that the main God of the Predators is called the Black Warrior. As described in the Aliens vs. Predator: Prey and Aliens vs. Predator: War novelization, the Predators pray to this god before going on their hunts. The Black Warrior is also meant to represent Death, which is a thing the Yautja should not be afraid of. The Black Warrior will claim honorable Predators and take them their version of heaven. As described in Predator: Eyes of the Demon, the Black Warrior does not only claim Predator hunters, he will also "claim" Yautja children who have died of health reasons. The visual representation comes from an artist called, who has created a Predator Black Warrior Executioner.
In the Alien vs. Predator movie novelization, Scar, Celtic, and Chopper Predators pray to a god described as an "Extraterrestrial Odin". The representation of this god was carved into a giant stone on the Predator Mothership in a ritual chamber. This savage deity would throw thunderbolts and the three Young Blood Predators kneeled before him. In this version of the movie's events, the blooding symbol carved on the bio-masks and foreheads was also a thunderbolt, similar to the AvP: Comics. This god is of course influenced by Nordic mythology, but it can be argued that perhaps the Nordic people were affected by the Predators themselves, after having met the Viking Predator. Although there is no canonical image of the Extraterrestrial Odin, the fan art of Andrey Anosov is well-fitted for it.
The Kaail wasn't directly a Yautja god but can be considered a prophet of the Yautja race. He was the first Predator that can be considered a Yautja, as the Predators were called the Hish-Qu-Ten (or just Hish) before his time. Kaail (also known as the Alpha Predator) led a successful rebellion against the insectoid Amengi race that kept the Predators as slaves, resulting in the Predators becoming free and adapting the Amengi technology to their own needs. Adding to the mythology of the Alpha was his unique presence, being an albino with white skin and dreadlocks. Kaail is a legend among the Yautja and the "First Hunter" is often remembered, and perhaps prayed to as well.
While the Kaail was the first to be considered Yautja, Lord Predator was the first Predator to successfully hunt Xenomorphs, becoming another important prophet. The act of hunting and killing Xenomorphs (named Serpents) later became almost a religious experience itself, with successful hunters marking them with their clan symbol - often a thunderbolt, tieing in with the Extraterrestrial Odin god. Several statues were erected for Lord, especially on the planet BG-386 where the events of the Aliens vs. Predator 2010 game took place. The sarcophagus with Lord's body was inside a giant temple, next to another statue of the legendary hunter. Dark Predator paid respect to Lord but had to blow up his temple to eradicate the Xenomorph infestation nearby.
Predator Pilgrimage to Yautja Prime
Throughout several millennia, the Predators spread out across the galaxy, using their ships to explore and hunt on numerous planets. By the time of the Rage War in the 27th century, the Predators had spread very far from their homeworld. It became an act of pilgrimage to visit Yautja Prime at least once during their long lifetimes. This voyage would be long and dangerous, regardless of their fast ships. The homeworld itself offered numerous temples and statues dedicated to their Gods and legendary hunters, like Kaail, Lord, or even Wolf (a statue of Wolf is barely visible in the lower middle part of the image above).
Predators Being Gods to Humans
While the Yautja worshipped their own gods, at a certain period of time in Earth's history the humans worshipped Predators as gods. Around 2000 BC.in the Predator timeline the Yautja descended from the skies in Northern Cambodia in their giant ships and awed the native population living there. The Predators thought the humans to build giant temples (the Temples of the Gods) and the humans worshipped them in return. The Yautja demanded sacrifices - occasionally a group of "volunteers" were infected with facehuggers and birthed Xenomorphs for the Predators to hunt. This religious bloodshed did not last long, the Xenomorph population got out of control and the Predators activated a giant self-destruct on top of a temple, killing everything in sight.
In conclusion, while much is known about the physical prowess and hunting tactics of the Yautja, their religion, and beliefs have remained largely shrouded in mystery. The main god of the Yautja is the Black Warrior, while some Young Blood Predators are known to worship an "Extraterrestrial Odin" with a Nordic influence. The main prophets of the Yautja race were Kaail and Lord, whose statues were placed on different planets. Unsurprisingly to the Predators, they became godly entities on Earth thousands of years ago, until their exploits were cut short by a self-destruct explosion. Perhaps a future sequel to the Predator movies will shed more light on the Predator warrior-like religion.