Mandalorians are a group of warriors in the Star Wars universe that follow a creed focused on strength, honor and warrior skills. They are known for their distinctive armor and helmet designs that obscure their identities. While adult Mandalorians have been featured prominently in Star Wars films, shows and expanded universe content, little has been revealed about Mandalorian children and what they are called. In this article, we will explore what is known about young Mandalorians and the terms used to describe them.
Mandalorian Culture and Children
The Mandalorian culture is centered around their warrior creed and clans. Children are raised from a young age to revere these Mandalorian ideals and prepare for their future roles as warriors. According to available Star Wars lore, Mandalorian children undergo rigorous training starting as toddlers to develop their combat skills, physical strength, endurance and discipline. This upbringing is necessary to transform children into the battle-ready warriors Mandalorian society expects them to become.
While training in the “Mandalorian way” is a core part of childhood, young Mandalorians are still allowed to be children in other respects. They play games and sports to build teamwork and strategic thinking. Creativity and problem-solving skills are nurtured. Relationships with clan members across generations are valued as an anchor amidst the continuous honing of their combat abilities. Parents and mentors emphasize that becoming a skilled Mandalorian warrior takes time and patience.
One term used to describe Mandalorian children is “foundlings.” Among the Mandalorian people, foundlings are children whose parents were either deceased or unable to care for them. They are adopted into Mandalorian clans and raised within the culture as a Mandalorian. In their society, clan bonds and the Mandalorian creed take precedence over biological family ties. Any child welcomed into a clan as a foundling is considered a Mandalorian.
This tradition of taking in foundlings has existed for generations and is a point of pride among Mandalorians. Caring for foundlings demonstrates commitment to the future of Mandalorian clans and allows orphans or castaways to become part of something greater than themselves. It gives foundlings a clear identity, purpose and skillset within the Mandalorian creed. Notable Mandalorians such as Jango Fett and Din Djarin were raised as foundlings by the clans that took them in.
Reasons a Child May Become a Mandalorian Foundling
– Biological parents died, either in battle or from other causes
– Children orphaned due to war, famine, disease or extreme poverty
– Parents abandoned the child due to inability to provide or care for them
– Child was lost or separated from family due to an accident or trauma
– Parents chose to give up custody of the child to the Mandalorian clan for any number of reasons
The Process of Becoming a Mandalorian Foundling
– A clan leader or warrior encounters an orphaned or abandoned child and decides to take them in. This is often during or after battles/wars when there are many orphaned children.
– The clan sponsors the foundling and provides food, shelter and protection.
– The foundling is formally adopted into the clan through ceremonial vows and receives a Mandalorian name.
-Training in Mandalorian culture, combat skills, history and creed begin immediately to integrate the foundling.
– The foundling learns to speak Mando’a and wear Mandalorian armor when older.
– Eventually the foundling graduates from trainee status and becomes a full warrior Mandalorian within the clan.
Childhood in Mandalorian Clans
While all young Mandalorians grow up learning warrior skills, their day-to-day childhood experiences can vary significantly between clans. Some of the factors that influence a Mandalorian child’s upbringing include:
– Wealth and resources – Clans with more resources can afford better armor, weapons, food, etc. for children. Poorer clans offer harsher living conditions.
– Planet of residence – Desert planets like Tatooine provide different terrain/conditions than icy planets for training.
– Warrior legacy – Clans with a strong warrior history emphasize it more. New clans focus on forging their legacy.
– Death Watch affiliation – Clans allied with this terrorist group have stricter, violent orientations.
-Clan size – Children get more individualized attention in smaller clans. Large clans function more like military units.
Daily Life of Mandalorian Children
A typical day for a Mandalorian child may include activities like:
– Morning training – physical conditioning, combat practice, weapons drills.
– Lessons – history, language, tactical thinking, technology, cultural stories.
– Shared mealtimes – community bonding time with the clan.
– Performing duties – cleaning, maintaining equipment, helping elders, etc.
– Afternoon training – specialized lessons with adult mentors.
– Free time – games, sports, creative hobbies, interacting with clan kids.
– Evening family time – spending time with parents before bed.
Life is very structured and regimented for young Mandalorians to ingrain discipline. There is little leisure time and fun must be found within training activities. Above all, they learn to dedicate themselves to the Mandalorian creed and clan identity wholeheartedly.
Key Aspects of Mandalorian Childhood
|Frequent practice in fighting, weaponry, strategy, survival skills. Physical demands improve strength and stamina.
|Strict rules and high expectations are enforced. Mandalorian values are drilled in.
|Forming bonds between clan members across ages. Supporting and protecting each other.
|Children are taught Mando’a early on. Speaking Mando’a reinforces cultural identity.
|Learning about Mandalorian heritage, battle legacy, origins, famous warriors, crusades, etc.
Nicknames and Titles
Mandalorian children are generally referred to by simple nicknames or titles related to their age and skills until they come of age. Some examples include:
– Ik’aad – Baby, toddler
– Beroya – Bounty hunter
– Verd’ika – Private, young warrior
– Ad’ika – Little one, kid
– Kyr’tsad – Rebel, dissenter
The nicknaming tradition stems from the Mandalorian emphasis on deeds and actions over individual status or personality. As children demonstrate their skills and adopt aspects of the Mandalorian creed, they earn descriptive titles. Once they reach adolescence and complete important rites of passage, they receive an adult name and title befitting a Mandalorian warrior.
Earning a Name in Mandalorian Culture
– Babies are nameless in the first months after birth.
– Simple nicknames based on personality/deeds are given as children grow.
– Around age 13, must complete coming of age trials to earn name.
– Trials often include:
– Survival test alone in wilderness
– Successful hunt and kill
– Intense combat gauntlet
– Clan leader assigns personalized adult name after trials based on a child’s demonstrated skills and attributes.
As Mandalorian children get older, they move through distinct ranks denoting their level of skill, experience and independence. Higher ranks indicate the child is ready for more responsibility and challenging assignments. Ranks motivate children to continually improve and take pride in their progress.
Mandalorian Child Ranks
|Those who no longer need to be cared for.
|Children old enough to ride speeder bikes.
|Ba’jur bal beskar’gam
|A learner almost ready to become a warrior.
|A private, or young warrior.
Reaching the Verd’ika rank around age 13-15 marks a major milestone on the path to becoming a full-fledged Mandalorian warrior. After Verd’ika, they begin to take on missions to prove themselves until they are seen as equals to adult Mandalorians around 18-20 years old. At this point, they graduate and adopt all the duties and expectations of mature clan members.
Armor and Weapons
A key part of Mandalorian culture is the iconic armor and weaponry they utilize. For children, receiving and learning to use Mandalorian armor and weapons is an important rite of passage.
Foundlings and young children wear simple clothing, but no armor. Around age 11-12, Mandalorian children are gifted their first armor and blaster rifle if they have shown discipline and martial skills. Prior to this, they may use wooden training weaponry. Owning real Mandalorian armor and weaponry signifies the child is ready for greater responsibility and independence.
The first armor a child receives is minimal, like a helmet and fitted chest plate. As they get older and rise in rank, additional armor components are awarded piece by piece to complete the set. Their weapons are also gradually upgraded to those preferred by the clan’s warriors. By age 15-16, a Mandalorian teenager will typically wear full beskar armor and carry advanced blaster rifles, jetpacks, grappling gear and other tools.
Receiving a complete adult set of Mandalorian battle armor is a celebrated achievement denoting the wearer as a true Mandalorian warrior in the eyes of the clan.
Mandalorian Child Armor and Weapons by Age
|Simple training clothes, no armor
|Training sticks or blunted blades
|Helmet, chest plate
|Child-sized blaster rifle
|Helmet, chest/back plates, vambraces
|Standard blaster rifle
|Full armor set with jetpack
|Heavy blaster, flamethrower, grappling gear
Adulthood and Leadership Roles
Around 18-20 years old, Mandalorian teens complete final tests and rituals to graduate to adulthood. These might include prolonged survival challenges, combat tournaments or staging rescue missions. With their clan’s approval, they adopt adult names and begin to serve in the same warrior capacities as mature clan members.
As they gain experience, adult Mandalorians may be selected for leadership positions like commanding squads, training new recruits, or leading operations. With enough victories and honorable deeds, some become clan chiefs later in life. Elders serve as advisors and are treated with great respect.
However, age matters less than prowess in Mandalorian society. The strongest, smartest, boldest warriors earn authority regardless of age. Leadership roles are granted based on merit, not seniority. A Mandalorian who performs heroic acts in battle may lead others at a young age if recognized by clan leaders.
To summarize key points:
– Mandalorian children are raised in a strict warrior culture and trained from a very young age.
– They are referred to as foundlings if orphaned and adopted into a Mandalorian clan.
– Childhood focuses on combat/survival training, discipline, language, heritage and forging clan bonds.
– Skills and abilities determine a child’s rank and access to armor/weapons as they mature.
– Graduating to adulthood means becoming a full-fledged Mandalorian warrior who lives by the clan’s creed.
– Leadership is earned through deeds and merit – age does not determine status in their society.
While their upbringing is harsh and regimented, loyal Mandalorian children take pride in their skills and identity. Through devoted training and acts of courage, they uphold the Mandalorian heritage and work to become true warriors worthy of wearing the armor.