Friday, September 30, 2011

Mandalorian Saying

In case I haven’t mentioned, Mandalorians aren’t big on bloodline. Family to them is more about relationship, who is there for you and who takes care of you rather than actual lineage.

Aliit ori’shya tal’din.

Family is more than bloodline.

Adoption is pretty common to the Mandalorians. Kal Skirata legally adopted almost every single clone trooper he ever trained, not because they had no family, but because he cared. It mattered to him what happened to them, and he helped them set up real lives outside the war. They called him Kal’buir, or “Papa Kal”. And sure, you may think adopted nearly a hundred clone troopers is obvious since, well, they never had parents to begin with. But Kal didn’t stop there. When a Jedi Knight named Bardan Jusik left the Jedi Order Kal adopted him too, and when his boys started to get married, he called his new in-laws ad’ike, or “little sons/daughters” (because there’s no gender specification in Mando’a). Family is family, blood or not, in-laws or not. You’re either family, or an aruetiise, which means anything from “outsider” to “traitor”, though it most often is used to talk about anything non Mandalorian.

And Kal didn’t do this because he didn’t have a family. He did; at one point. But his wife divorced him, and his two sons declared him dar’buir which means “no longer a parent”. Again, a legal term for Mandalorians. But even though his sons divorced him, his daughter never officially did. Despite all that Kal never stopped supporting his family, he still sent his kids money, even after 30 years of not having seen them. It may seem like nothing, but then after 30 years when his daughter reappears and needs his help he helps her, and she asks for cin vhetin, or “a fresh start”.

I meant this to be a quick little blurb about the Mandalorian saying “family is more than bloodline”, and it seems to have turned into more of a Kal Skirata bio. But I think that says something. There are all these little sayings that give aruetiise an understanding of the Mandalorian mentality, but it’s easier to prop Kal up and say, “Look! This man right here just about embodies everything that the Mandalorians stand for, and how they think”. Sometimes that helps.


  1. Very good explanation of Family is more than bloodline. I was looking for the Mandalorian phrase for the adoption ceremony. I think it was like this: You are now my family.
    ~Runi'lor (Poet Prince)

  2. The Mandalorian adoption vow is this: Ni kar'tayl gai sa'ad.

    It translates to: I know your name as my child.

    Hope that helps and is what you were looking for. Oya!