Major Race is a concept in the Traveller Universe to classify different Alien races. There is some disagreement about what makes a Major Race and exactly which species are Major races. A Major Race is generally defined as one that developed jump drive technology (allowing interstellar travel) independently. While it is in general agreed there are 6 Major Races, how they are defined varies a little. All races that are not Major Races are Minor Races by default.
Even within the game this is understood to be a somewhat arbitrary distinction and something generally used for promoting the status of ones own race or diminishing another.
 Commonly accepted Major Races
Seven of the eight Classic Traveller Alien modules (those produced by GDW) focused on this commonly accepted list of Major Races. The eighth module was on the Darrians who at one point claimed to be a major race branch of humaniti but were latter classified as a minor race. The Vilani were not covered in the Alien modules as they are assumed to be the standard humans of the Traveller Core rulebooks.
Aslan are a bipedal species of feline appearance, slightly larger than a human. Aslan society has a strict code of honour and very strict gender roles. While at the time of the Imperium there was little or no dispute as to their status as a Major Race, during the Rebellion period it was alleged that the Aslan had attained jump drive through reverse-engineering a crashed Solomani vessel (similar to how the Geonee achieved jump technology -- see below), and are not thus not technically a Major Race.
 Droyne (Ancients)
The Droyne short-winged bipedal race of reptilian appearance. Though the oldest of the jump capable races, the Droyne were the last to be recognised as such probably because they do not have any empires or regions controlled by their race. The race is scattered across known space. Droyne control some worlds but also share some with other races. The Droyne homeworld is unknown though it is speculated it is probably in the Spinward Marches Sector of the Imperium, as this is where the greatest concentration of Droyne worlds are found.
Scholarship late in the Third Imperium confirmed that Droyne were the same race as the Ancients. Also the Chirpers, originally thought to be a separate race, have been identified as a Droyne that have reverted back to a primitive form.
The Hivers are race based on six-fold symmetry. Of all the major races they both appear and think the most "alien" to most humans. Despite their name Hivers actually have a highly individualistic society. They avoid where possible direct violence and war, preferring instead to work behind the scenes via all forms of covert manipulation.
Humaniti is the spelling used for Humanity in the Traveller Universe. When humans first reached out to travel to the stars most were very surprised to find they were already there. Three sub-species of humans independently developed jump drive technology and are therefore classified as Major Races in their own right.
The Solomani names derives from "Men of the Sol system." It is generally acknowledged that Terra is the original homeworld of Humaniti and that they were spread amongst the stars thousands of years ago by the Ancients. This, and the ease of which the Solomani defeated the Vilani in the Interstellar Wars are cited as arguments for the supremacy of pureblood Solomani by the Solomani Supremacy movement. In truth very few human gene pools have diverged much and with much intermingling of Solomani and Vilani peoples during the Rule of Man it is almost impossible to distinguish between Solomani and Vilani (and some of the minor human races).
K'kree are a race having 2 arms and 4 legs reminding humans somewhat of Centaurs. They are herd animals and rarely found alone. They are militant and often aggressive herbivores with a disdain for all meat eaters.
Vargr are a bipedal canine slightly smaller than a human. This species resembles Terran wolves because they are. Wolves taken from Terra were genetically manipulated by the Ancients to a bipedal form in an attempt to create suitable servants.
 Other claimants of Major Race status
Various races have claimed to be Major Races based on their Interstellar travel ability. Some races were later proved to have not developed jump technology themselves but rather found and/or reverse engineered jump drives from Ancients sites or lost modern ships of other races. Other were discounted because their interstellar travel depended on non-jump technologies such as generation ships or sleeper ships using suspended animation
The Suerrat claim to be a Major Race as they independently developed interstellar travel. However this was based on generation ships, not jump technology, so the claim is not accepted by other races who classify them as a Minor Race.
The Geonee claim to be a Major Race as they also developed the Jump Drive. Vilani research during the First Imperium showed the Genoee had reverse engineered the Jump Drive from an Ancient archological site on their home world.
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