The Amazon Rite of Caste is an ancient tradition, which an Amazon gives to another, usually (though not always) on their deathbed. It bestows all of their belongings and birth rights to that person. Because the Amazons cannot procreate on their own (being all female), the Rite of Caste is often used instead of blood or adopted familial relationship to determine property and succession rights.
A notable example of this is Terreis and Gabrielle. In the episode Hooves and Harlots, a flurry of arrows are fired and Terreis is hit, giving her a fatal wound. In the heat of the moment Gabrielle, who had recently, but briefly, found herself warming to her, throws herself over an injured Terreis to protect her. Before dying, Terreis gives Gabrielle her Rite of Caste, claiming that what she did was something that only an Amazon would do for another Amazon. Gabrielle became an Amazon princess and inherited her weapons and clothing. Because Terreis was heir of her sister Melosa, Gabrielle, as the heir of Terreis, was next in line for the throne of the Telaquire Amazons. By contrast, although Velasca was Melosa's (adopted) daughter, she was awarded no Rite of Caste, and thus Gabrielle preceded her in the succession.
Five years later, Gabrielle grants Xena's newborn daughter Eve, her Rite of Caste.