As I entered the Garundi town I was met immediately by an angry mob. “Begone, outsider!” they yelled, while waving sticks and torches in the air. It was with no small amount of surprise that I discovered they were shouting not at me, but rather at one of their own, and chasing him from their midst. When it was clear he would not return, the crowd turned to me. “Welcome, stranger!” the headman called out. “Please come in and taste the fullness of Garundi hospitality!” – Dr. Levanston Jeggare, Pathfinder
Physical Description and Physical Outlook
There is no certain knowledge regarding the origins of the great and noble Garundi race, with their proud cheekbones, broad shoulders, dark skin, and often prematurely white hair. Regardless of the climate in which they live, Garundi dress in colorful clothing equally practical and beautiful. They usually attempt to incorporate parts of traditional garb into whatever outfits they don. This frequently means that men wear sashes, kilts, long robes, or flat-topped hats, while women cover themselves in billowing blouses, wraps, and shawls. As they originated on a continent known for its temperature extremes, their clothing usually consist of loosely fitting layers. In the northern sections of Garund, traditional Garundi dress adopted aspects of Keleshite garb, while heavy Vudran influences are recognizable in Nex.
The Garundi people seem to be among the very oldest in the Inner Sea region, as some truly ancient ruins made by lost Garundi civilizations predate the Earthfall and the collapse of Azlant. The notable ancient empires of Osirion, Jistka, and the Tekritanin League all brought civilization to northern Garund after the end of the Age of Darkness. These Garundi kingdoms were among the first to rise after a millennium of worldwide savagery, and they helped to drive civilization north into Avistan.
On the other hand, in between (and sometimes during) epochs of powerful civilizations and sprawling empires, the Garundi people seem to take to wandering. Garundi influences are felt across the entirety of the continent with which they share their ethnic name, and many scholars believe the Mwangi descend from very ancient Garundi wanderers. Individual clans of Garundi, if not entire communities within communities, exist in cities across southern Avistan and are reported even to occasionally turn up on the wide steppes of Casmaron.
While scholars agree that they originally came from the southern reaches of Garund, few can agree on exactly when this migration occurred or what prompted it. Despite some superficial similarities, there is no reliable evidence that the Garundi had any direct ties whatever to the Azlanti culture of the Inner Sea, although a great deal of evidence shows they were contemporaries.
Garundi communities can be found throughout Garund’s civilized nations – and even through many of the uncivilized ones. They generally make for kind and caring neighbors, happy to pitch in to build a stronger community for everyone to enjoy. The interactions between individuals and families within their own community is not well understood by outsiders.
Garundi culture tends to divide itself into relatively small clans, about 15-20 families that travel together. These clans form the basic unit of Garundi society, unlike the nuclear-family-based cultures of the Taldans and Chelaxians. In their hearts, it seems Garundi are expansionists, as a newly founded clan tends to travel until it discovers an area suitable for development not already claimed by another Garundi clan. That others might claim the territory seems to matter little to the Garundi. Once the clan finds a suitable location, it immediately begins building a permanent settlement if one does not exist and establishing a strictly hierarchical community. This hierarchy is only applied to Garundi families. Any families or clans from other cultures have no part within this organization – neither above nor below the Garundi society, but outside of it completely. So while one Garundi family might rank higher or lower than another, all non-Garundi families are considered equal.
Any other Garundi clans that pass through the territory are welcomed as honored guests, but are not allowed to settle permanently. After a full month has passed, the visiting clan is obligated to leave or to pay a hefty tribute to the dominant families of the existing community. If this tribute is paid every month for a full year, the clan is allowed to join the permanent community, but must take up the lowest rung on the social ladder.
Even the earliest records of Garundi arrivals in the northern countries indicate this behavioral pattern – a clan would arrive and immediately settle in the port city. The next arriving clan would stay a month or two at most, then move on to the next town inland and establish a community there. This trend continued until, in present times, thriving Garundi communities exist throughout the civilized nations.
Often it is possible to estimate how long the Graundi community has been part of a town by how thoroughly its members have established themselves in the greater community through marriage. Children of mixed Garundi marriages rarely have the deep black skin tone of their southern forefathers. In coastal nations, such as Osirion, Rahadoum, and Thuvia, Garundi skin tone ranges from light brown to the deep red of Osirion’s ruling caste.
While the wave of immigration from the southern continent ended centuries ago, there yet remain new clans wandering the land searching for a town, fertile valley, or river delta to claim as their own. These clans come from existing Garundi communities and are generally composed of individuals whose ancestry placed them on the lower social strata. With little or no hope of bettering their or their progeny’s positions in the established community, they opted to band together, leave the community, and search for greener pastures elsewhere. in many cases, individual Garundi strike out on their own, hoping to achieve such acclaim and personal success that upon their return they are invited to marry into upper-class families.
Garundi communities can be found in nearly every corner of the map. Since these communities generally work hard to blend in and become integral parts of their surroundings, it is sometimes easy to miss them. Particularly large Garundi populations are found across northern and eastern Garund, of course, but many are also found in southern parts of that countinent, as well as in southwestern Cheliax, Qadira, Taldor, southern Andoran, and increasingly in Isger and Galt.
Garundi worship gods with song, food, and dance. They tend to see little use in somber ritual, although they do frequently adopt the slow chanting that seems so popular among the Chelaxians and Taldans. Even when praying to Pharasma in her role as goddess of the dead, Garundi sing and dance (fequently slower and more exactingly than more celebratory dancing, though). The birth of a child, also an aspect of life controlled by Pharasma, brings out the brightest, most gaily colored outfits and loudest, fastest songs and dances. In ceremonies celebrating the worship of Nethys, god of magic, Garundi dance with bright streamers (to represent magic, even when spellcasters are present) and black and white robes (made in such a way as to lift at the waist when the wearer spins about). Garundi in the northern deserts of Garund tend to worship Sarenrae, while those in the south of that continent frequently bend knees to Gozreh.
Among other peoples, the Garundi have the reputation of being pack rats – amassing collections of stones, leaves, twigs, and even clumps of earth as they travel. This is not an urge for material possession, but an expression of the significance that physical location holds for this culture. A Garundi clan does not consider itself successful until it has a particular place on a mpa to which it belongs and can claim it as its own. Since it sometimes takes years or even generations to find the right location, though, the clan gathers mementos of the places it has been – physical records of a spiritual journey. During the annual week-long midsummer Kianidi festival, they present their collections to the clan elders, who select the most appropriate items to be added to the official clan history. It is considered a great honor to have one’s keepsake selected, and individual status within the clan is measured in part by the number of items selected from the Garundi’s collection.
Language and Naming
Garundi speak Osiriani, a language directly related to Ancient Osiriani. This language is spoken all over Garund. Garundi names are used to define both the territory claimed by the clan and the individual’s place in the local hierarchy. those at the top of the hierarchy have names that span the entirety of the territory – the name of the city, geographic region, or a nearby major river or mountain. Mid-ranking Garundi are named after sites, geographic features, or buildings known to most locals – waterfalls, neighborhoods, or important local industry. Low-standing clan members have names of local sites (often from near where they were born – streets, statues, trees.
Male: Akin, Amare, Dahrehn, Daudi, Jaali, Jawara, Jirani, Jiri, Kito, Melaku, Omari, Rafiki, Rani, Rubani, Sefu, Zahur, Zuri
Female: Akina, Amara, Ashia, Deka, Eshe, Hasina, Jini, Jwahir, Kahina, Kamaria, Leyli, Malkia, Ofrah, Pendah, Rana, Raziya, Zalika
Sources: Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting