"To be one with the jungle is to take what you need and endure what you must."
— Umbaru saying.(src)
The Torajan Jungles have cultivated many ancient civilizations of men, but the Umbaru are the exception in that they haven't been lost to the annals of time. It is known that the Umbaru were well established in the jungles by the time of the Mage Clan Wars. At some point, five clans migrated to higher elevations and began developing along different lines than the clansmen they left behind. They lived in relative peace and began the transition from a hunter-gatherer society to a farming one. However, through contact with the Vizjerei and the demon Zagraal, these five clans would become the khazra. They became furious marauders, driven to raid villages and caravans to sate their bloodlust and procure sacrificial victims for their demonic master. After years of this terror, the Umbaru of the lower Tengaze sent their Witch Doctor warriors to eradicate the khazra's threat to the region. Filled with otherworldly power, the Witch Doctors cut a swath of destruction through the khazra until they confronted Zagraal himself. In a now-legendary battle, the valiant heroes fought to the last man before finally bringing Zagraal down. The khazra as a race survived, but without a master, became weak and purposeless.
Currently the Umbaru are in a state of upheaval due to their most recent tribal war. In this period, a heretic Witch Doctor of the Five Hills Tribe claimed that the elder priests had succumbed to corruption. The heretic was banished, but his words remained. It was later discovered that the tribal warfare orchestrated by the elders was unnecessary, a game to allow them to remain in power. The Witch Doctor Benu, achieving spirithood, resolved to open his people's eyes to the truth.
- ""To live is to sacrifice. To sacrifice is to live."
—An Umbaru mantra
The Umbaru are a hunter-gatherer society, and are ruled by high priests. The tribes engage in ritualistic warfare in which prisoners willingly submit themselves as sacrifices to honor the spirits of the rainforest. Only those taken in battle are considered worthy of ritual sacrifice. After such sacrifice, the victim's body is eviscarated, and its organs removed and placed in jars. The Umbaru's overriding belief is that the mortal realm is merely a curtain that veils a true reality called the Mbwiru Eikura, a realm commonly referred to as the "Unformed Land." The Umbaru Witch Doctors are able to see and experience this realm. In truth, the Unformed Land is open to all, and the tribal sacrifices are unnecessary. It is a truth that at least two Witch Doctors preach/have preached.
Umbaru culture is very different to those that lie westward. They believe in concepts such as honor and heroism, but what may constitute these traits does not necessarily align with the beliefs of other cultures. Aside from the Unformed Land, the most sacred belief of Umbaru culture is their philosophy of self-sacrifice and non-individuality, of suppressing one's self-interest for the good of the tribe.
Cannibalism in Umbaru culture is regarded as an "unthinkable" action, and those who partake in such an act (according to their beliefs) are denied entrance to the Unformed Land.
The Umbaru possess a separate language from the other peoples of Sanctuary. The following is a list of terms/phrases/ from their language:
- "Chena" (fever)
- "Igani Bawe" (Harvest of Souls)
- "Kareeb" (cannibal)
- "Khazra" (demon/devil)
- "Owaze" (flight)
- "Te Wok Nu'cha" (The Final March)
The Witch Doctor class of Diablo III is of the Umbaru.