What is a Mandalorian?

A Mandalorian is many things. We are a seemingly contradictory people. Some people might ask why, and in some ways they have no right to ask. Such is the fact that straddling the line between contradiction and hypocrisy is practically impossible for your average person. Most don’t even seem to see a difference between the two.

But there is a difference. That line is there, and we balance upon it with utmost confidence. Honesty is a virtue, and Mandalorians respect honesty. We are never more honest with anyone than ourselves.

I suppose the best way to really start is to touch on the basics of what it takes for an outsider, or aruetii, to even garner any notice past a fist:

As long as individuals spoke their mind and said what they meant, accepted a meal when offered—as an offered meal was a great compliment for a nomadic society that ofttimes lived hand to mouth—looked them straight in the eye or the horizontal section of their visor when wearing a helmet, took off their boots when entering their home, paid their debts, fussed over their children, never made a pass at a Mandalorian of the opposite sex unless the individual planned to become part of the culture, and respected the elderly—as any Mandalorian who has reached such an age would be an exceptional warrior—anyone who encountered a Mandalorian outside of combat was unlikely to come to harm.

What does this tell us? Mandalorians have a certain list of priorities that never seem to change. 1) Your family, 2) Your Honor, 3) Your professionalism.

Without family, a mandalorian isn’t truly alive yet. Being a father is, ironically, a great path to being a proper warrior. He learns what it means to nurture, and gives whatever struggle he has a meaning. It’s what separates Mandalorians from barbaric, nihilistic men who have fallen prey to the savagery of war.

A warrior is nothing without honor. Simply keeping their word, and never bowing out of their personal code of conduct means all the difference between a true warrior and someone destined to fall out of the true role of warriors.

Professionalism seems to be the wrong word. Mandalorians at war are a huge force of death and destruction. But there is a clear cut goal. Being a professional prevents all sorts of nasty problems that others run into during war. Theft, pillaging, rape… these are not what Mandalorians fight for.

The psyche of Mandalorians is likewise tangled. The deepest depths of hate, and the highest peak of love. Unbridled passion and cool efficiency. Savagery guided and moderated by sheer professionalism. Frankly, Mandalorians are a warlike people. Its an integral part of our culture. But we rarely fight as a cohesive state. We lend our skills to others as Mercenaries. This hones our strength, dulls theirs, and provides leverage in politics past what others think of.

Ease makes decay, and pressure makes gems.

While there is a great host of things that make a Mandalorian a Mandalorian, nothing will tell you more than the fact that three of the tenants of being a Mandalorian directly apply to FAMILY. Bajur- Education. Raising your child like you. Aranov- Self Defense (as well as that of your family). Aliit- Family. It is NAMED in the resol’nare. It is expected of you to contribute to the welfare of those you call family.

We have no word for hero- to really be a Mandalorian means that you are expected to do heroic things. To live and die for that which you care for, to live and die for something other than just yourself. That is heroic. What we do have is a word for those who are NOT hero’s. That word is coward. And it is Cowards that are well and truly doomed to being outsiders.

ret’uryce mhi, bur’yce.

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One Response to “What is a Mandalorian?”

  1. You did it again. Like your marriage topic you explained what it means to Mandalorian very well!

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