As the Moon fell across the sky, he was cut by the mountains. His light spilled onto Eshan and created the Echani.
Echani Creation Story
Like many societies through the galaxy, the Echani’s origins have been based largely on the success of oral tradition. As the Echani were introduced to other explorers and conquerors in the galaxy, those stories quickly were translated and converted into written and artistic formats, in an effort to better preserved tradition. Many Echani recite folk stories that carry a religious element of worshiping nature and the supernatural. Some scholars speculate the Echani, due to their close relation to humans, could have been the result of genetic experimentation and selective breeding. However, with little scientific support of such cases, it’s more widely accepted the Echani are the result of genetic evolutionary advantages of the Human species. It is believed at one point early Eshan faced a cataclysm, blocking out a majority of the sun’s light and leaving the planet in an almost eternal twilight. This speculation could have lead to the creation of a Moon Creator and the desire for mates who represented the exotic physical traits of their god. Regardless, Echani are closely related to the Human genome, with the exception of small handful of variations.
The Echani are a matriarchal society, though it is believed they were not always this way. Scholars have located patriarchal influenced customs when examining isolated Echani clans predating matriarchal groups; they are unsure though on when this switch had happened, but are certain it was never done in peace.
As the Moon slept, darkness would fall and evil would devour his children, the Echani. So the Moon created the Sun to chase off the darkness. But the Moon was jealous, as he had made the sun too powerful, too bright and he hated that his children would spend more time with the Sun than him. He sought to kill the Sun and begun to chase her, but the Sun, she was clever and picked her servants to hide her light within.
The Sun’s Gift, Echani Folklore
Scholars have found many variations of The Sun’s Gift, a folk tale about how the Force came to the Echani. In some stories, the Moon has been depicted as female and the sun, male, and in other clans, these roles are reversed. However, most Scholars agree that clans would arrange the genders in what would suite their cultural needs at the time.
It has been theorized that the rise of such matriarchal clans were due to the majority of men fighting or hunting away from home. This would leave the women, many who carried children, to stay behind and care for the village homes and their families. Many women would then pick up roles as not only mothers and homemakers, but as farmers, artist, councilors, blacksmiths, etc; there was also an emphasis of women learning medicine to care for those who were sick or had been injured in battle. Though it wasn’t uncommon to see women hunt or join in battle and to be treated as equals. Many of these roles are still seen today by the Echani people throughout the galaxy. Men who were too old, weak, or frail to hunt or fight, would join the women back at the villages with little discrimination. They took on any role that would help the village thrive.
Courtship is relatively new in Echani customs. Marriage was generally sudden as sons and daughters were married into rival clans in order to foster peace. Otherwise, marriage was also determined through combat by men and women alike. Marriage into other clans were encouraged to strengthen bonds between allies and to avoid crossing familial bloodlines.
As the Echani were exposed to invaders and other galactic cultures, courtship rituals became more common. Due to being able to produce off-spring with humans, Echani relationships became common with humans, but were still considered taboo. A relationship with a Human Mandalorian was considered the most acceptable of these relationships. Courtships could last from a few days to a few years before either terminating the relationship or tying their families together in marriage. Marriages are a three day celebration in Echani culture with festive music, dancing and plenty of food.
Once married, it was expected for spouses to be loyal and supportive to one another. With a matriarchal focus, women are in charge of the homes, but with expanded galactic influences in the past several millennia, homes are a shared responsibility. Couples, just like in many societies around the galaxy, are encouraged to have off-spring and family sizes vary depending on the couple's preference. Echani families also see much involvement from Grandmothers and Aunts in raising and caring for children in the home. Due to close family involvement, extended family is seen to be much more involved in the care taking of children of single parents.
Echani who lose their spouse to death are encouraged to remarry following their grieving period. While those who lose their spouse to due divorce or bear children out of wedlock may be forced into arranged marriages in the belief they lack appropriate judgement in partners. This is seen in more conservative Echani clans, but with the expansion of exploration and interactions of others on a galactic level, Echani are generally free to do as they please.
Regardless of societal roles, the Echani value their warrior heritage as both Echani girls and boys are taught to fight from a young age. It is believed that their martial art is a form of communication, and may have been developed before their verbal language: Echani. Physical contact and non-verbal gestures are still preferred by many Echani today:
Galactic Basic is as it is: Basic.
Many Echani traditions include fighting and their art is studied by enthusiasts and scholars alike. Spacers frequently report about an Echani’s abilities to be supernatural, as they are able to read their opponents through subtle gestures, not commonly observed by the average eye. Scholars within the Jedi Order do believe their fighting style was to combat frequent invasion and the evolution of material and blaster weapons and armor as depicted in many manuscripts and poems dating as far back as five millennia.
It was believed until about five millennia ago, there was much superstition against those who were gifted by the Sun from those who were not and thus many wars broke out between clans. Jedi Scholars have been able to pin point similarities with Jedi Martial Artists on their attention to detail of the anatomy of species, thus believe the Echani fighting style was created as those sensitive to the Force were able to share where on the body would be most effective in neutralize their opponents. In result over millennia, the art was perfected.
Echani warriors are not known to clad in heavy armor, they may choose to go without it or wear light armor. This can be seen with weapons also, preferring short swords or daggers forged by their own hands. Echani Masters report the art is focused on speed and agility to overcome their opponents; many have commented also they believe their opponents underestimate them when they fail to wear armor or carry weapons. In combat, Echani clothing will not have color preferences as seen with clan seals in the galaxy. Most Echani can identify by the fighting techniques; though for decorative purposes, they may wear intricate medallions with family crests or trinkets that were taken from battle as trophies.
Those willing to step up to challenge an Echani is not meant with contempt, but always with respect, regardless if one wins or losses and the challenger is expected to do the same. Gloating or other negative derogative behaviors are seen as troublesome and members can be quickly out casted and only reintroduced through combat once more to the village clans.
The Light Side and the Dark Side are not foreign concepts to the Echani. Early records indicate before invaders arrived, the Echani had already developed terminology and incorporated the Force into their Folklore and origins. Scholars do date around five millennia ago, civil wars broke between Echani clans of those sensitive to the Force and those who were not due to ignorance and superstition between all Echani individuals. This also about the same time the Echani encountered early Sith groups.
Echani children who are Force sensitive are raised currently with the Jedi in Echani clans within the Order. Though learning more about their abilities with the Force, Echani are still encouraged to use their specialized martial arts without aid from the Force. Most Echani become notable warriors within the Jedi Order and are valued for their knowledge on battles and weapons.
The Echani are not immune to the Dark Side. Child folklore stories of dark witches are still shared between members today. For many Echani to even be called a witch is highly insulting. Echani exploration history has noted their experiences with the Dark Side during colonization within the core worlds. The discovery of Thyrsus and its corruption from a Dark Sided Nexus had deterred the Echani from further colonization.
It was as though they had become greedy for the Sun's power. Their skin and hair blackened, and their eyes blinded by the Sun's magnificent light. They claimed to be no longer Echani, but Thyrsians! They worshiped the Sun like no other, but we can see they wanted to enslave her and hide behind their new name: Sun Guard."
Kros Reignyld, Echani General during the Sun Guard Uprising
Skirmishes broke out between the Sun Guard and the Echani Warriors with no definition of an end. Jedi scholars do speculate the Sun Guard eventually was absorbed by the Sith Orders of the time.
Scholars speculate the Mandalorians were the first off-worlders the Echani have encountered. No exact date can be translated, but early traces can be found of early Mandalorian clan similarities backing millennia. Poems and epics describe early confrontations of demi-gods sent by the Moon. Believing they were being tested, the Echani saw it as a test of strength and perseverance. Scholars have been able to pin point when the Echani were victorious in battle against the Mandalorians by art, weapon, and armor influences of the time, as well as inherited trophies from their ancestors. Their rivalry still continues with the Mandalorians into today.
I wish to expand on the Echani culture since many of the members on the site still look to use the species from EU. The short EU article doesn't really talk much on the Echani as in the why's for a lot of their customs and behavior. This is not necessarily a cut and paste or expansion from Wookieepedia and there was a lot of information that didn't make sense or contradicted statements, so I tried to pull what made sense and what did not to expand and to try to create something fresh that could offer further expansion, exploration and story opportunity for those who are interested. I intend also to add more pictures when I get some extra time.
I love absolutely everything about this, particularly the way in which the Sun Guard is introduced. It always frustrated me that this culture was never elaborated upon, despite its prominence in the EU. You've done a fantastic job of that, here, GABA. Approved.