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a race of nomadic desert mutants on Tatooine who roam the Jundland Wastes, the Sandpeople were often called Tusken Raiders. This name came from the humans who survived their first attack on a human settlement, which occured at Fort Tusken. Sandpeople were believed to have descended from the Ghorfas, but there was no hard evidence to link the two. Their origins - either native to Tatooine or transplanted - had been lost even to the Sandpeople themselves, although there were legends of a time when Tatooine was covered with grasslands. These legends held that the Builders - a group of Rakatan explorers - arrived on Tatooine and tried to enslave the ancient Sandpeople, who had discovered space travel and angered the Builders. They fought back and won their freedom, but the Rakatans burned the grasslands in retaliation, leaving Tatooine a desert wasteland. This story also claims that the root of the Sandpeoples' intense hatred of other beings derived from their war with the Builders, although written history points to a more recent event. Some 400 years before the attack on Fort Tusken, the desert bandit Alkhara slaughtered a group of Sandpeople who had befriended him. This was generally considered the source of the Sandpeoples' anger and mistrust. The Sandpeople dressed in heavy cloth robes, and had covered their heads with strips of cloth that held a breath mask and eye protection on their faces. Only an individual's mate was allowed to see them with their coverings removed. They learned how to train the banthas native to Tatooine as mounts, and a marauding group of Sandpeople would always ride them single file, to hide their numbers. Each individual worked with the same bantha for life. When a mount was killed or dies, the rider was left to wander the desert alone. If the bantha's spirit deemed it so, the rider would be befriended by another bantha. Otherwise, the rider would die in the sands. On the other hand, if a rider was killed or dies, its bantha was turned out into the desert. Although the Sandpeople were aggressive and violent by nature, they had deep-seated traditions that were tightly coupled to their everyday lives. Young individuals were required to prove their adulthood in various physical activities, the hardest of which was the manhood ritual of hunting down a krayt dragon. Because the Sandpeople had no written language, the most revered member of a clan or tribe was the storyteller. He knew the life-story of every member of his clan, and also knew the clan's history. The storyteller was required to memorize the histories word-for-word, eliminating any chance for misinterpretation or distortion. Apprentice storytellers often ware more hard-pressed to prove themselves than warriors, for a single mistake in reciting the histories meant instant death. As violent as their nature was, Sandpeople stayed as far from the moisture farmers as the farmers did them. There were occasional attacks on the more outlying settlements. A few scientists claimed that Sandpeople had human origins, but the autopsies done on what few dead that were left behind revealed cyborg eyes and other non-human characteristics. In battle, Sandpeople have been rumored to spit streams of blood at their victims, but this was attributed to superstitious moisture farmers.
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