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The Mandalorians are a human culture that attempted to control the galaxy early in the history of the Galactic Republic. They waged a war against the Republic that was initially very successful, but a Jedi Knight named Revan and his apprentice Malak took charge of the Republic's forces and defeated the Mandalorians.
The Mandalorian armies were notable for their strict warrior ethic and the use of full body armor. Their armor designs survived into the waning days of the Republic, when the bounty hunter Jango Fett was known to wear armor of Mandalorian design. This armor, in turn, was the basis for the armor used by the Republic's clone troopers during the Clone Wars.
- This information is part of the back-story for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic