There are two
hundred races of Mandalorians, which are found amongst ten thousand individual
clans. Those ten thousand clans are usually composed of five 'tribes' each,
with a tribe encompassing one distinct family and extended family. For the most
part, a Mandalorian is defined by his or her clan, and then by tribe/family
within that clan.
Clans are defined by their geographic location, their potential for certain
endevours, and physical traits which all members carry in some form or another.
One clan may be known for their intelligence, another for their technological
prowess, and yet another for their dominance in the physical domain. Some may
have predominantly resided by the oceans, while others found a home in the mountainous
Southern continent, each location bringing more personality and definition to
the clan itself.
A clan tends to pass along at least one (if not several) visible physical traits
to its members. The trait could be something distinct, such as a dimple, a widow's
peak, or an unnatural shade of color for the hair, eyes or skin; it could also
be something subtle, like a common color combination for the hair, eyes and/or
skin present in the vast majority of clansmen. It could even be an instinctual
tendency or set of instinctual tendencies passed along due to the traditions
and way of life the clan leads in the region of the planet it occupies.
The eldest remembered head of each clan, perhaps three millennia in the past,
is considered to be that tribes 'Faith', or 'totem'. All the people within that
race worship their totem, the name of which is generally used as the war cry
for the clan itself. Though the Mandalorians are not a religious people, they
look to their totems for guidance.
Many old Human customs brought over via the colony ship faded from existance
over time as clans began to develop their own sets of traditions and cultural
standards for behavior. An example would be that there is no longer a custom
such as 'marriage' on Mandalore. A few clans still recognize the claiming of
but one mate to bear children with for extended periods of time, possibly until
death. The majority of clans, however, operate under the assumption that a man
and a woman can bear a child together if the two mutually decide to do so, with
no ceremonial custom bringing the two together before or after the child's birth
and with no restrictions applied that would keep the two together as a family
unit, or keep either from going forth and bearing a child with someone else.
This arrangement has brought an extreme genetic variation to the Mandalorian
race. Barring internal clan-related circumstances, the offspring of a mating
will spend half a year with the mother and the other half with the father. On
occasion, (and again, depending on the clan or clans in question) the mother
and father will choose to live together.