The Order of Dai Bendu (a.k.a. Bendu or Dai Bendu) is an ancient and semi-legendary organization that predates the Jedi Order and has studied the Force for at least 25,000 years. Although the Order of Dai Bendu still exists, its tenets are poorly understood. Some historians have theorized that Bendu monks are the original incarnation of the Jedi, but lack solid proof as information on the Bendu has been lost to the passage of time.
The last known order of Dai Bendu monks of Ando Prime lives within a tribal community, away from the busy cities and under the guidance of the wisest of them all, who bears the title of High Priest. They dwell in a simple tent village nestled in the mountains and pure water, which they pumped from the Andobi Mountain Pipeline, is sacred to their beliefs—although they sometimes sell it to visitors. The monks string rectangular pieces of cloth along mountain ridges, sometimes colorful, sometimes covered with inscriptions. While the practice is observed, its purpose is known only to the monks themselves.
The monks wear long, flowing robes of simple design, and use walking poles to help them move across difficult terrain. High Priests don elaborate orange or red hooded robes. The monks perform different kinds of chanting ranging from haunting ululations to low, deep growls. Those who listen to their voices often sway slowly in time with the chant.
The monks are known for teaching non-confrontational principles, with the notable exception of commercialism. Despite their professed commitment to peace, the monks not only host but also organize competitions. It enables them to sell their crafts including artisanal carpets and other trinkets.
Numerology, the study of the occult significance of numbers, plays a strong part in the Bendu tradition. They believe that the number nine represents the beneficent presence of the Force in a unitary galaxy. Visually, this is represented visually as eight spokes joined to one disc. The eight-spoked sigil is very similar, although not identical, to the “Galactic Roundel.” When the Republic fell, the Galactic Empire adopted this ancient icon, modifying it further by removing two spokes to create the well-known Imperial Crest.