|Average height||2 meters|
The Taungs, later known as the Mandalorians, were a warlike humanoid species that dominated the planet Coruscant thousands of years before the rise of Humans.
A tall and strong species, the Taungs were warriors by nature. Their build was similar to Humans, save for a gray skin-tone and their face, which was dramatically different from baseline Humans yet resembled the faceplate of a Mandalorian helmet.
The Taungs and the thirteen native Human nations, the Battalions of Zhell, eventually battled for control of Coruscant. Though the Zhell were nearly exterminated in a volcanic explosion, they managed to drive the Taungs from Coruscant. Due to the two years of darkness caused by the ash, the Taungs named themselves the Warriors of the Shadow.
The Taungs, under the leadership of the legendary Mandalore the First, eventually conquered another world which they renamed in honor of their leader, Mandalore. The species as a whole then also took the name, becoming the Mandalorians (or Mando'ade in their native Mando'a).
In ancient times, Mandalorians were intensely religious, worshipping war and taking their myths literally. However disillusionment with devastating wars of conquest led to a re-interpretation of the stories as parables, to confer philosophical meaning rather than fact. In Mandalorian myth, the sloth-god Arasuum eternally fought the destroyer god Kad Ha'rangir. This represented the constant struggle between stagnation, and the opportunity for change that stemmed from destruction. The ancient Taung waged war for their gods before deifying war itself.
The Taungs eventually became extinct, which many attributed to the destructive Mandalorian Wars. But the Taung legacy remained, resulting in the epic poem Dha Werda Verda being included in traditional Mandalorian lore.
Much like the Sith species which gave rise to the Sith Order, the name "Mandalorian" became associated with a multi-species culture of warrior clans, who, regardless of species, adhered to the tenets of the Mandalorians. These Mandalorians, who were mostly baseline Humans, held the legacy of the Taungs in high regard.
Taung names were derived from their language. They often selected names reflecting positive personality traits, such as "Atin" for "stubborn" and "Kot" for "strength". Taung Heights, a district of Coruscant, was presumably named for the Taung, as was Taungsday in the Galactic Standard Calendar.