> Surely many Praxians would feel a greater commitment to
> protecting their own beasts than they would to protecting
> Waha worshippers of another tribe?
> How else can one explain the custom of cattle-raiding?
That's one way of looking at it. The point of beast-raiding is for your clan's attendant bachelors to get another tribe's animals and gift them to the parents of your clan's young women. The bachelors then get invited to dinner. Eating the other tribe's animals means you don't have to eat your own. You won't really be competent at raising another tribe's beasts, so there's no point in trying to keep them. Eating them while they are still fat means that you don't have to eat your own breeding stock. The effect on the other tribe is entirely co-incidental.
Beast raiding a clan of your own tribe is somewhat different. Then, the gift that the bachelor makes is much more significant. He is adding to her future breeding herd. He may, in fact, loan the beast to the clan's queen for safekeeping before he makes such a gift, since it is a pretty big deal. Bachelors who are not ready to make a commitment but have gathered some beasts their own tribe will have a problem when the bachelor band moves off to a different clan. Bachelor bands who are looking to move along to a new host clan often refuse to raid clans of their own tribe. Sometimes, bachelors will end up returning beasts to the clan that they previously raided, so that the band can move on with the previously raided clan.
In both cases, the raided clan will have a very strong reason to either counter-raid. Afterwards, they may arrange a swap. Or, if the raided clan happened to have enough non-tribal beasts, they might just swap right away.
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