TOGRUTA: Cultural Index
Hello, Ric here once more in a galaxy far
far… a something, something darkside with the Video on the Togruta! I’ve got to say
personally I didn’t know much about this Star Wars race at all and what I thought I
knew was wrong. So let’s get to it, and as with the Twi’lek video, Canon sources
take precedence over legends, but much of legends paint a more cohesive picture of the
species so I will be using a mix so long as it doesn’t contradict.
The Togruta are from the planet Shili located in the intermediary expanse region of the
Galaxy and have strong ties to both the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order. Shili is predominantly
a forest world of grasslands and jungles that cover its rocky canyons. The planes of Shili
are covered in the tall Turu-Grass, this red and white plant life provides amazing cover
for predators and the Togruta were one such species. Traits of this hunter’s past are
all over their culture and even physiology moulding who they are as a society.
Physically speaking two traits stand out from the Togruta, their variety of skin tones and
their ornate horns that give them their signature look. These “Montrals” are hollow and
act as an extra sense for sound perception with each Montral able to detect the location
of soundwaves in a similar function to the eardrum. They grew with age starting as small
bumps on the top of the head and eventually developing into more regal like structures,
sometimes there were individuals with three or four Montrals. Underneath the Montrals
are the Lekku, or head tails which also grow with age. In the Twi’lek, the Lekku partially
serve as energy storage for sustenance so it’s likely these serve a similar function
here. Back to the horns through, they cannot be
the primary auditory sense for a Togruta however, as this would potentially impair the hearing
of the young so they are considered and additional sense evolved to aid them in the stalking
of prey and differentiating the scurrying of Thimiar from the rustling of the grass.
Speaking of the grass, it should be noted that many Togruta are red and white to camouflage
themselves while on the hunt, although there are different skin tones including yellows,
pale greens and oranges. These skin tones are likely evolutionary advantages from various
other regions of Shili. As Togrutan culture became more domestic and society based, these
various skin tones became a more common sight alongside their peers.
Togruta are a tribal people, banding together in small communities for food and to survive
predators. This leads them to be very a sociable people and surprisingly open to other cultures.
Though their philosophy is one of survival of the fittest, surprisingly this is the likeliest
route of their open mindedness. After all if adopting a new way of thinking, or new
techniques leads to the betterment of your tribe, why not incorporate those aspects.
Being stubborn has its advantages, but being inflexible in a hunter-scavenger society is
more likely to result in hunger and the death of your tribe.
However this pseudo-Darwinistic approach did have its darker side, a member of the tribe
who was left behind stayed behind for the good of the many. The belief may seem barbaric
by galactic standards but made perfect sense in the tribal origins of the Togruta where
weakness would be hammered out or fall off the tribe completely. As said, the Togruta
are defined by years of evolutionary and societal beliefs that have served them well as a species
that’s strives to be in tune with nature. This belief also deepens into a spirituality
where in a Gia like fashion, they believe themselves connected to the life if the planet
Shili itself. This often Combined with their hunter’s knowledge and it’s likely that
this connection to the planet included a circle of life philosophy where the hunter, prey
nature relationships were respected. Practically this would ensure a balance between the people
and the land preventing over-hunting and the like. This deep connection to the planet was
often displayed with Togruta electing to go barefoot even to this day, to walk upon the
soil and earth of their homeworld as their ancestors did, and always have done. However,
as mentioned, they were an open minded practical people, so it’s not like they forgo boots
altogether. …To do so would lock them out of so many fashion trends.
Now if this idea of a unifying cycle of life and death in a spiritual setting seems familiar,
its will come as no shock then to learn that the Togruta have a long history with the Force.
Their entire belief system seems to reflect that of Force believers but as viewed from
the perspective of a hunter-gatherer culture. A unifying spirituality that connects you
to the planet, through the planet to its life, maintaining a balance to as not to upset the
natural order, limited to a single ecosystem but in essence it’s the same principle as
the Force. Perhaps this then explains why they seem to have a higher-than-average percentage
of force sensitive individuals and curiously with a majority of those being female. (Although
I can’t think of any examples)… nope. Being a part of the Galactic Republic they
of course had a diplomatic arm and seeing Togruta among the other interstellar races
was not unheard off, although not as plentiful as humans, neimoidian or twi’lek. This is
again, probably due to their tribal nature connection to their homeworld, leaving only
when they have a reason to. Despite this however, as mentioned they are a very sociable people
often quiet but approachable making diplomatic relations with them fairly easy. They even
have established colony worlds of their own, such as, a planet that was very similar to
Shili in environment, with a temperate climate, untamed grasslands but a higher percentage
of surface water. The inhabitants of this colony seemed determined to create a society
unbiased by growing galactic conflict and officially disarmed themselves in an attempt
to remain neutral during the Clone Wars. Perhaps the Togrutan’s largest presence
outside of their homeworld, the architecture did much to remind the people of their roots,
mimicking their physical traits in an attempt to reinforce an identity so far from home
with houses and towering spires resembling Montrals.
The capital city of Shili was Corvala and was its primary connection to the greater
community through trade and commerce. Cities and colonies were overseen by a governor and
officials who oversee the wellbeing of the community as a whole, a tribe leader, on a
large scale. In terms of art, the Togruta created a lot
in the way of wearables. Jewellery was abundant in their culture and had forever been used
to denote status alongside simple fashion. Broaches and headwear were common with a variety
of materials being used, including elements from the hunt like bones and teeth. The teeth
of the Akul were prized accessories as the Akul was a fearsome beast that preyed upon
the Togruta and defeating one was a feat above and beyond what was expected of a hunter.
There was an abundance of leather and furs in their culture too, again the skins from
their kills being used alongside the bone and meat, ensuring there was as little waste
as possible from their prey. Light headdresses often adorned the Montral and Lekku of the
Togruta, usually accentuating their shape or following a Togrutan’s natural skin tone
variations. A notable example was the fact that with no hair, Ahsoka Tano could not sport
a padawan braid and instead wore a beaded string as part of her headgear.
Scarves, shawls and cloaks were also manufactured though with the increase in trade and the
availability of materials thanks to galactic commerce, it’s hard to say where most of
their clothing is created. It’s likely however that due to a Togrutan’s heritage, there
is a preference for natural materials over artificial replications of leather and synthetic
cloth. Their planet’s plentiful supply of wood
meant that much furniture and construction used this material and Togrutan wooden furniture
was often ported off world for trade and as belongings. Sheel Mafeen, a Togrutan poetess
based on Coruscant mentions offhandedly that having the furniture around helps her feel
connected to her homeworld suggesting that perhaps a Togrutan spiritual ties to their
homeworld remain through the inanimate objects made of the land, though this observation
is singular and with little to back it up. Generally, the Togruta are seen to stand out
in a crowd due to their striking appearance complete with regal natural headdress in the
form of their horns and headtails. Their uncommon appearance off planet too served to increase
their uniqueness and many who were away from their tribe did so with a purpose in mind,
a Jedi, a Diplomat, a trader and so on. When separated from their tribe, the naturally
sociable togruta would form their own loyalty and attachments to others to recreate that
sense of community they needed, a traits best exemplified by Jedi apprentices of this species
who raised away from their home, do their best to integrate with a newfound family.
They were unsuited to long periods of isolation. Although they possess the aptitude for hunting,
they are not considered warriors perhaps as this may conflict with their spirituality.
When violence is conducted for food or to hunt prey, it is condoned, however outright
war and conflict is a waste. A Togruta, when met as an individual, will likely be open
an amenable in order to facilitate the social interaction and companionship they require
making them an easy-going species to associate with but one that can often be taken advantage
of by greater galactic powers such as the separatists then later the Galactic Empire.
So their strength lies in unity, unity both among their own people and by forging alliances
with other powers. Thanks for watching this cultural index the
results for this video being chosen were so close that we’re probably going to do the
Drell next episode anyway as of the time of writing, there’s only 3 between them. Well,
say next episode… but there’s actually another that…well… ahem.
Thanks for watching, I actually learned a lot about the Togruta researching this and
it’s nice to see a Star Wars race that seems to have a strong unique background., anywho
thanks again and until next video, I’ve been Ric, goodbye!