The ethnic Gallente are one of the primary races of the Gallente Federation. They are the descendants of both the original ethnicities of Gallente Prime and the various other bloodlines that they have mingled with over the past several centuries. As founding hosts of the only true democracy of New Eden, they have created an ethnically diverse, culturally rich and progressive society that encourages enterprise and initiative in its citizens, valuing freedom and individual liberty above all else. Even though estimates put the ethnic Gallente numbering at slightly over a third of the Federation's total population (just about making them the largest group), their cultures and traditions nonetheless dominate large parts of the union. They are the driving force within the Federation as far as interstellar society is concerned, having directly and indirectly influenced other empires to varying degrees.
The ethnic Gallente bear very little resemblance to their historical predecessors who came before the days of modern spaceflight. They are a mixed race, their appearance varying moreso than any other major bloodline in New Eden, having intermingled with the vast amount of immigrants that flock to the Federation, diluting their racial makeup further (even someone who identifies as an ethnic Gallente may actually have a True Amarr parent).
Even the self-titled original descendants (those who are able to trace the genetic contributions of both of their parents to the Luminaire homeworld) among the ethnic Gallente are still a mixed race. Unlike the Deteis and Civire, True Amarr and Khanid, and the Minmatar races, the different ethnicities of Gallente Prime did not retain their racial distinctiveness into the spacefaring era. This extreme genetic diversity allowed the ethnic Gallente to not be limited by a world's climate or ecology in colonization, permitting them to expand relatively rapidly compared to other races. A strong immune system and resistance to disease also helped this.
However, there has been a distinct appearance of the ethnic Gallente that has become somewhat identifiable amongst the spacefaring populations of New Eden. Both male and female ethnic Gallente both trend toward innocuous appearances, relatively average height, and sleek builds. Outliers among them can be as pale as some Deteis, dark as some , short as some , curvaceous as some Ni-Kunni, waifish as some , or as broad-shouldered as some Civire.
Sociopolitical anthropologists have explored how the "harmoniously blended" appearance of the ethnic Gallente has contributed to their trading and diplomatic ability with other races, and promoted their prevalence in New Eden's sex industry. Not possessing any extreme traits such as potentially intimidating height or easily ridiculed diminutiveness has made them appear less threatening and more amiable to other races, without coming across as pushovers.
The history of the ethnic Gallente is split into five distinct epochs, each covering at least one of the standard historical ages used in other documents. The Age of the Ancients is characterized by having poor historical records and no cohesive societal or technological developments, running up to the Iron Age at most. The Age of Rouvenor is named after the king of the Garoun Empire, a large multinational kingdom that had its height during the Seafaring Age, and would ultimately have an unrivalled influence on the planet's future. The Age of Industrialization is self-explanatory, while the Age of Globalization started during the ethnic Gallente's Information Age. The current epoch, the Age of Federation, began during Luminaire's Space Age, and continues to this day.
The ethnic Gallente's history is unique in the sense it is not characterized by a single dominant ethnic group or nation assimilating all its rivals by direct or indirect means. Instead, the world went under a relatively peaceful process called globalization, where individual races (each represented by one or more nation-states) would trade with one another on diplomatic and non-violent terms. This process would begin as early as the Seafaring Age, but it wasn't until the creation of a global telecommunications network in the Information Age that nurtured a planetary identity, linking individuals with individuals, not states with states. The term 'Gallente' only emerged after encountering the Caldari for the first time, where both races would have identified themselves as simply human otherwise.
Since records began in the Age of Rouvenor, the history of the ethnic Gallente covers over one and a half thousand years.
The culture of the ethnic Gallente is noted for its heavy focus on individual self-expression. The arts cover a wide array of practices that tend to have strong and often unclear philosophical undertones, while fashion and music is very much oriented to individual happiness rather than enforcing a social order.
A unique tenet of ethnic Gallente culture is that they do not see their own cultures as an exclusive ethnic or national product, because they do not generally divide humanity into races and bloodlines as other cultures do. While this has resulted in certain Gallente having a habit of lifting elements of other cultures for their own, the habit of seeing culture as a universal human product means that the ethnic Gallente have been more than happy to export their practices to other empires for them to make use of. Typically, practices such as musical composition or tailoring techniques would be exported to other empires, and subsequently left for that culture to adapt according to their own particular aesthetic or style. For example, very few would go out of their way to point out that a Caldari businessperson is actually wearing an outfit that has Gallente origins.
Instead, the freeflow and exchange of culture across the stars is seen by the ethnic Gallente as something that promotes interstellar and cross-cultural harmony. On a few occassions, the ethnic Gallente's failure to realize that this ideology must be shared by both parties for it to be successful has had the consequence of these good intentions sparking off tensions or, in the worst case, war. For the most part, the ethnic Gallente using culture as a vehicle of peace has proven very attractive to down-on-their-luck members of other races, and it is for this reason that they have shaped the Federation to be an entity that unites worlds via non-violent means.
Attempting to categorize the society of the ethnic Gallente is often considered a crime by many, being quick to accurately point out that there is no single ethnic Gallente society. Even though FTL communications and GalNet have spawned so-called 'readily identifiable' traits that are perceived as mainstream Federation society (mostly stereotypes by outsiders), the truth of the matter is that the only unifying element of the ethnic Gallente is individualism. What individualism means varies from person to person, resulting in patterns and practices that cannot be so strictly defined as they are with other cultures in New Eden. Many ethnic Gallente continue to disagree as to whether or not the definition of individualism is a non-exhaustive list, and these same individuals are locked in a never-ending debate as to who and what exactly constitutes a Gallente.
Nonetheless, as much as traditionalists would disagree, there are still a few habits of the ethnic Gallente societies that are persistent. The most notable element is that the ethnic Gallente, despite the name, generally do not care for an individual's ethnic or social background. Being a race of multiple ethnicities themselves, these ethnic Gallente care more for individual character than anything else. Of course, what is considered a virtue of personal character varies from place to place. Those who can take care of themselves without any outside help might be welcome in Solitude, while those more interested in the social high culture may prefer Caille.
The pursuit of the arts and sciences is considered a common element across many ethnic Gallente societies. Indeed, travelling the Federation, one can see how each community has implemented various technologies for the purposes of social harmony and ease-of-living. In places with high levels of automation (and thus relatively lower working weeks), leisure activities are commonplace. Religions are a common pursuit too, as the lack of any societal instillment of purpose has led to many ethnic Gallente pursuing the meaning of life on their own.
The outward nature of the ethnic Gallente (as well as the very loose and open definition of the term) means that their practices often apply to non-ethnic Gallente, even those who may identify as Intaki, Mannar, or Jin-Mei. This even applies to cultural and societal tenets that have been explicitly identified as having origins within Luminaire.