The name Mwangi (pronounced MWAN-gi) is given to a group of related but ultimately different ethnicities which inhabit the west coast of Garund from the desert states of Rahadoum and Thuvia in the north down through the Mwangi Expanse, which bears their name, all the way to the southern reaches of the continent.
The appearance of the Mwangi people mainly depends on which subgroup they belong to. The four main groups are Zenj, Bonuwat, Mauxi, and Bekyar. There are certain generalities that are true of all the varied Mwangi. Their skin is always dark, varying from dusky through grey to coal black skin tones. Their hair is always black though it is worn in a variety of styles. Their is no one Mwangi style of clothing as it varies with the tribes and their location.
Though their history varies from tribe to tribe, the Mwangi people share one aspect of their history so old that few can remember its actual nature. The Mwangi are descendants of what must have once been a vast empire. Huge ruins of ancient fortresses and temples still dot the forested interior of the Mwangi Expanse. Little is known of this ancient kingdom, and the modern Mwangi avoid these ancient ruins as they feel some strange pull from them. The Bekyar people in particular are known for their fear of these ancient sites. The oldest of these ruins is the city of Mzali, where a mummified king of this ancient civilization, Walkena, has returned to life and wants to reclaim the lost empire's former glory.
There is no single, united Mwangi culture. Each of their many subcultures has its own set of beliefs and traditions. Most prefer inter-linked tribal structures, though the Mauxi people of Thuvia do not.
Opinions are divided as to whether the Caldaru and Lergeni of the Mwangi Expanse are related to any of the other groups, separate sub-groups in their own right, or not actually part of the Mwangi peoples.
The Zenj are believed to be the most common of the Mwangi, living in hundreds of small tribes in the jungles and savannas of the Mwangi Expanse. Some of the tribes live in villages alongside the region's many rivers while others are nomadic herders who graze their cattle or goats in the Expanse's grasslands and hills. Jungle tribes tend to be patriarchal, while savanna tribes lean toward matriarchy. The two types are on friendly terms but avoid intermarriage.
The Zenj are below average height, with slender, muscular frames and wiry black hair. Their simple clothing is made from animal hides or plant fibers. Many Zenj follow an ancient tradition of shamanism.
The Bonuwat are seafarers, and as such are often the group most encountered by the outside world. The Mwangi found in ports such as Bloodcove or the Shackles tend to be Bonuwat. They are excellent fishermen and sailors. They worship a janiform version of Gozreh and Desna which they call Shimye-Magalla. Bonuwat are of average height, with wide mouths and swarthy or dusky skin. Their hair is often straight, and they favor colorful, exotic clothing such as vests and baggy pantaloons.
The Mauxi are native to Thuvia and speak Osiriani as well as Polyglot. The ruling caste of Thuvia includes some Mauxi. They are withdrawn and taciturn; most deny any connection to the other Mwangi groups, but some of the younger Mauxi hearken back to their tribal ancestry and copy the dress of other Mwangi groups. Mauxi are tall, with straight hair and ashen skin.
Least known of the four major subgroups, the Bekyar live in southern Garund, from Desolation Cape to Sargava, and are prominent slavers and traders. Bekyar are extremely tall, many reaching seven feet in height. Their skin varies in color from dark brown to black, and they wear their wiry hair long, often in elaborate coifs.
- ↑ Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 28-29. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- ↑ Tim Hitchcock et al. (2010). Heart of the Jungle, p. 12. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-247-0