The Drúedain (also known as Drûgs) were a strange and ancient group of the race of Men, the first to migrate from the site where Men awoke. They were secretive and lived apart from other Men. They had strange wisdom and uncanny powers; during the First Age, they played some part in the wars against Morgoth. Those in the Forest of Brethil (a band which lived among the Second House of Men, the Haladin) formed a loose alliance with the Folk of Haleth, and were granted the name Drúedain in recognition for their efforts against the Dark Lord. Some were even granted homes in Númenor in reward for their part in the Wars of Beleriand.
Short-lived, only a few of the Drúedain remained in Middle-earth by the end of the Third Age. Some remained in the coastlands above Andrast, in the region known as Drúwaith Iaur (“Old Drûg Land”), and some were also found in the far east in the Drúadan Forest in Anórien (these Drúedain, of Ghân-buri-Ghân’s clan, aided King Théoden in his ride to the relief of Minas Tirith by holding off the Orcs with poisoned arrows while guiding the Rohirrim through the forest via secret paths). After the War of the Ring, King Elessar (Aragorn) gave the Forest to the Drúedain who lived there in reward for their services.
The Drúedain were very Dwarf-like in stature and endurance; they were stumpy, with short, thick legs and fat arms, broad chests, and fat bellies. They had “unlovely faces” which were wide, flat, and expressionless, with deep-set black eyes which glowed red when angered; their noses were flat, their mouths wide, and their hair sparse and lank. Most of them had no facial hair, save for a few men who had a tail of black hair on their chin.
Because of their ugly appearance and the frightening representation of them in statues, the Drúedain were feared and loathed by other Men, who considered them little better than Orcs.
(Based on the description of their physical appearance, it is often believed that they resembled early Neanderthals or Aboriginals.)
The Drúedain called themselves Drughu .
The Sindarin Elves called them Drû (pl. Drúin, Drúath) and later added –adan (“man”), resulting in Drúadan (pl. Drúedain).
In Quenya Elvish, Drughu became Rú, suffixed to Rúatan (pl. Rúatani).
The Orcs called them Oghor-hai.
The Rohirrm referred to them as Púkel-men.