An outsider looks around an Ashlander camp, sees the interactions, and speaks to some of the clan members. This outsider likely assumes that the Ashkhan leads the tribe, since the Ashkhan is usually the strongest warrior. This assumption leads the outsider to grief, should they ignore the more subtle strength and power within the tribe when trying to negotiate or request assistance. The Wise Woman serves as the spiritual leader of the tribe, and even the Ashkhan seeks her counsel and obeys her visions.
A Wise Woman employs a type of magic foreign to those trained in the use of the different schools of magicka. Her magic appears to be grounded in the natural world. Evidence exists that some Wise Women receive prophetic visions. Certain scholars studying the Ashlander clans say that this dream-interpretation simply makes use of intuition and a thorough understanding of the internal relationships and politics within a given clan to claim some sort of prophetic vision. They label Wise Women as lore-keepers, with a useful, if largely informal, knowledge of herbal alchemy. This attitude is dismissive and speaks to the lack of scholarly study on the part of the observer.
I have spent some time among the Ashlander clans and have personally witnessed a Wise Woman who was able to heal a gravely injured hunter. The recovery from a grievous injury within the span of a day was nothing short of miraculous. This hunter, who was gored badly by some creature, was at death's door when brought to the Wise Woman. The loss of blood alone did not bode well for survival. I did not witness whatever rituals the Wise Woman may have performed in his healing. I was, however, able to speak with the hunter, and within a day, she was up and walking.
The clan Wise Woman should never be ignored and her advice never dismissed. Not if you want to successfully deal with an Ashlander tribe.