This article was inspired by the release of Mandalorian the TV show on Disney+. Some other columnists have thrown out the idea that the Fett’s (Jango and Boba) are no Mandalorians. I am going to call bull and take a minute to explain their culture to let you see why.
The cliff notes quick answer is that Mandalorians do not view blood as the determining factor to be part of their clan or family. They adopt you or take you in, you are now part of the clan. That is it. Jango got his armor from the mercenary who raised him, who happened to be a Mandolorian himself. Boba is given the same treatment.
Now for the more in-depth answer. Mandalorians were originally a race called the Taung. They kind of looked like Predators from the Predator movies and kind of acted like them too. That race died out during the first Sith Wars fight, Darth Revan before he became a Sith.
Their original home planet would eventually become Coruscant, the capital of the Republic. The human species kicked them off, which forced them to resettle. They ended up on a planet they called Mandalore. When a warrior was able to unite the clans that was also the name he was called. Most tended to forsake their original name during their time as Mandalore.
They were not all meatheads and warriors. Although, most commonly they hired themselves out as mercenaries. They did develop and build some amazing weapons of war that allowed them to threaten the Republic several times. Including a hybrid of animal and ship that used to fight their wars.
Their armor was something that set them even further apart. Not just because it looked cool, but because it was made from one of the few metals that could stop, not resist, stop a lightsaber. Beskar’gam, or Mandalorian metal. It was lighter and stronger than the normal Plasteel that Republic or even Stormtroopers wore.
Their culture was largely centered around combat. There are exceptions in this history, like during the early parts of the Clone Wars. It was also this kind of bloodthirst that led to them having a shortage in their population. Most warriors would go off and never return. Some by choice, some because they couldn’t.
To tend to the orphans and to keep their population from dying out they built into their culture that blood is not family. It didn’t matter what race they were, although some were more common than others. Once a clan took you in, you were part of their family. Although being excommunicated was a thing. It was also possible for the warrior to go off and start his own clan name. Like the Fetts did.
The last part of their culture to bring up was how men and women were treated comparatively. There was no difference. Women were expected to be able to shoot and kill when needed. Men were expected to be able to keep house if that was their role or the need was there. Not all warriors lived up to that, but it was the norm.
It is worth mentioning that everything I just said was pre Mickey Mouse. It is possible for it all to go away if they release new information. However, as it is such a vast culture that has been created and expanded on. I doubt they will throw it all away.
Just so you get the idea of how vast it has been written on, there is a near complete language created for it. There are only two other functional ‘fictional’ languages. Elvish from Tolkien and Klingon from Star Trek. Worth mentioning that there are enough people who speak those two languages that they are recognized as real languages by the UN.