Means 'wise men' (Sindarin, noun) and is the plural of Drúadan.

A short squat branch of the race of Men, the Drúedain have been present in Middle-earth since the First Age, having taken part in the wars against Morgoth.

Men and Elves thought they were unlovely to look at, as they had wide faces with deep-set dark eyes and heavy brows, flat noses and wide mouths. The Drúedain were about 4 feet high and were broad, with heavy buttocks and short thick legs. The voices of the Drúedain were deep and gutteral, but their laughter was rich and rolling, and set all who heard it laughing too for its pure merriment. They could be relentless enemies and they fought in silence, though once aroused their wrath was slow to cool.

The Drúedain in the First Age were much sought after, as they had great skill as trackers. Their knowledge of growing things was equal to that of the Elves, and it is said that if removed to a new country they knew within a short time all things that grew there and what was poisonous and what could be used as food.

The Drúedain had great skills in carving wood and stone. They delighted in carving figures of men and beasts to which the most skilled could give vivid semblance of life.

In the Second Age they were granted land in Númenor, but by the time of the War of the Ring their numbers had diminished such that all that remained of them were the carved stones known as the Pukel-men of Dunharrow, and the Wildmen of the Drúadan Forest, also known as the woses.

Their chief at the time of the War of the Ring was Ghan-buri-ghan.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by PotbellyHairyfoot