- "Armor once favored by an ancient warlike tribe from the Faron region. The war paint bolsters your fighting spirit and raises your attack power."
- — Barbarian Armor description mentioning the tribe
Little is known about the Ancient Barbarian Tribe, though what is known is that the Barbarian Helm, Barbarian Armor, and Barbarian Leg Wraps is an Armor set created and worn by the tribe and the only confirmed relics of the tribe's existence. The descriptions of the "Barbarian" armor set reveal that the tribe lived in the Faron region, implying they are responsible for the ancient ruins found in the forest and jungles of Faron such as the Zonai Ruins and Sarjon Bridge. The tribe apparently no longer exists in Hyrule and its absence is left unexplained.
At some point the Barbarian Helm, Barbarian Armor, and Barbarian Leg Wraps created by the tribe came into the possession of the Sheikah Monk. The Barbarian Helm fell into the possession of Tu Ka'loh and was placed within the Tu Ka'loh Shrine. Dila Maag came into possession of the Barbarian Armor and was placed with the Dila Maag Shrine. Qaza Tokki came into possession of the Barbarian Leg Wraps and they were placed in the Qaza Tokki Shrine. Another surviving pair of Barbarian Leg Wraps came into the possession of Granté who sells them at his Rare Armor Shop in Tarrey Town.
The Barbarian Armor set has a strong tribal theme as it is apparently made from animal hides, bones, and adds tribal tattoos and war paint to Link's skin when worn. The pieces of the armor set are designed to boost the wearer's fighting spirit, battle prowess, and awaken their inner animal to increase attack power, which fits the tribe's apparent warlike nature. When upgraded to Level 2 or higher the set grants Charge Attack Stamina Up which reduces the amount of stamina used by Charged Attacks.
According to a rumor mentioned in the "Ruins from Times Unknown: Mysteries of Hyrule" section of the game's official source book The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Creating a Champion, it is implied that the Ancient Barbiarian Tribe where actually the mysterious Zonai people, a lost civilization of powerful magic users believed to have created the Zonai Ruins and similar structures such as the Thyphlo Ruins, the three Lomei Labyrinths, and other animal themed ruins found throughout Hyrule. However the source book presents the information as an unconfirmed in-universe rumor related to the mysterious civilization which suddenly disappeared several thousand years before Breath of the Wild which is among Hyrule's greatest archeological mysteries. The Zonai Ruins is believed to be the home of the lost civilization which is believed to have worshipped a water dragon given the number of dragon statues found there as well as within Dracozu Lake and Dracozu River which is shaped like a serpentine dragon. However according to the developer's dragons symbolize courage in Zonai culture thus it may be related to the Spring of Courage which along with the other springs, Forgotten Temple, and Ancient Columns are apparently ancient Hylian cultural relics that predates the Zonai civilization and where presumably created during the period of Hylian resettlement of The Surface following Demise's defeat in Skyward Sword. Additionally Owls represent wisdom while boars represent power within Zonai culture. Zonai structures are primarily animal themed based upon Dragons, owls, and Boars which all symbolize aspects of the Triforce implying it held cultural significance to the Zonai people. Presumably the Ancient Barbiarian Tribe idolized dragons and boars as power and courage would be valued by a tribe of warriors while owls may have symbolized wisdom in relation to military leadership, as well as mystical and martial knowledge utilized in warfare.
The source book doesn't actually confirm if the Zonai are the Ancient Barbiarian Tribe one and the same only that it is rumored to be. Its possible that the Ancient Barbiarian Tribe was a precursor of the Zonai civilization that originated from Faron that eventually evolved into the Zonai and expanded into the rest of Hyrule as shown by similar animal themed structures found throughout Hyrule. The book also suggests the spiral pattern found on said structures is a unique mark and symbol of the Zonai culture. The Barbiarian Armor's attributes may be due to have been due to it having been constructed using magic. If the Barbiarian Tribe are the Zonai people's predecessors than presumably their knowledge of magic may developed further into the powerful magical abilities the Zonai became known for. Alternatively the Zonai where an aggressive civilization that left Faron and invaded other territories within ancient Hyrule as many civilizations and empires in the real world where often founded through military conquest and expansion which would fit the war-like nature of the Ancient Barbiarian Tribe and signs of the Zonai civilization growing beyond the Faron province into Greater Hyrule.
One possibility is that the Ancient Barbarian Tribe are actually the Ancient Ones spoken by the Happy Mask Salesman in Majora's Mask who were supposedly responsible for the creation of Majora's Mask which were used by the ancient ones in its hexing rituals before they were forced to seal it away due to the mask's destructive nature. Given the tribe's warlike nature and Majora's Mask resembling the type of mask that would be worn by a tribal witch doctor or shaman, had used the mask to hex the tribes enemies in times of war. It should be noted that the Barbarian Armor set is designed to empower its wearer to increase their attack power and fighting spirit, similar to how Majora's Mask grants its wearer powerful magical abilities. It is possible that the tribe's war-like nature and potentially barbaric the rituals it was used in transformed Majora's Mask, thus explaining the mask's destructive personality. Another possibility is the mask was the cause of their warlike behavior. Presumably the tribe was mostly destroyed by Majora's Mask before the survivors managed to seal it away. It is also possible that after sealing it away, the Ancient Ones experience with the mask's evil caused them to give up their warlike ways and eventually became integrated with the rest of Hyrule.
Interestingly the set shares its bonuses with the Fierce Deity armor set though this may not be a coincidence as the Majora Lunar Child was in possession of the Fierce Deity's Mask indicating the tribe may have been connected to the Fierce Deity who may have been worshipped by the warlike tribe given the Fierce Deity's warlike appearance and may have even aided them in sealing Majora's Mask away or the Fierce Deity's Mask was created to allow the Ancient Ones stop and seal Majora's Mask presumably through wearing it as Link did in Majora's Mask though Link was apparently able to destroy Majora (though Link's Fierce Deity form may have been further strengthened by the Hero of Time's combat experience and heroic status as he had previously saved Hyrule thus was already a seasoned warrior by the time he fought Majora and may have further been augmented by the Triforce of Courage if it remained in his possession following Ocarina of Time) while the tribe only managed to seal it. However it is unclear if the Ancient Ones had any connection to the Fierce Deity or its mask as the Fierce Deity may be Terminan in origin.
Another possibility is the tribe was or later became the Interlopers mentioned in Twilight Princess. Given the tribe's warlike nature, it is possible that the tribe or their descendants may have become involved in the Hyrulean Civil War and after learning of the existence of the Triforce planned to conquer the Sacred Realm with the magic of the Fused Shadow, but were defeated and imprisoned in the Twilight Realm eventually evolving into the Twili, which would explain why the tribe has apparently disappeared from Hyrule. Its also possible that the Interlopers where the Zonai
As the tribe's barbarian armor is found in the possession of several Sheikah (the Monks and Granté), it is possible that the tribe were the early ancestors of or a ancient Sheikah clan/sect (like the modern Yiga Clan) that lived in the Faron region. This would explain why the Sheikah possess artifacts of the ancient tribe which they may have preserved to serve as a reminder of the Sheikah's barbaric past. Another possibly is that the armor set are heirlooms and/or cultural relics. Of course, it should be noted that the tribe is never referred to as Sheikah which is odd considering the Sheikah's prevalence and important role in the story of Breath of the Wild. Another possibly is that Sheikah may have simply preserved the armor as relics of this lost tribe whom the Monks may have known as they may have existed 10,000 years prior to Breath of the Wild or acquired from surviving members of the tribe. Alternatively the Sheikah Monks acquired the armor while burying their tribe's technology in the Faron region and decided to bestow it to the hero due to its being designed for war and combat thus could prove useful in combating Ganon and his forces as well as a way of honoring the lost ancient tribe of warriors by having their armor be used by the Hero in Hyrule's defense. Additionally Granté is implied to have acquired the armor he sells through his research into rare armor.
As the Barbarian Armor fits Link perfectly, another possibility is that the tribe were Hylian settlers who left The Sky to resettle on The Surface and/or early descendants of the Link and Zelda from Skyward Sword who may have settled in Faron Woods near the Sealed Temple after the defeat of Demise and Ghirahim. The tribe's warlike nature may have been a result of living in Faron Woods which was home to bands of Bokoblins and Moblins as well as other dangerous monsters who the Hylian settlers likely came in conflict with causing the Hylians to develop a warlike culture and may have caused them to become more barbaric as time went on (or they simply seem that way to the modern day Hyruleans who may fail to understand that it was a reaction to the times in which they lived and their new environment). Presumably as conditions got better and the settlers ventured further into Hyrule, the tribe either simply died out and/or those that clung on the their traditions eventually became integrated with the rest of Hyrule at some point, leaving behind only scant evidence of their existence.
Another possibility is they may have been Humans as Ordona Province was located near Faron Province in Twilight Princess and it fitting Link may simply be due to Humans and Hylians being physically similar as the Hero of Twilight and Mayor Bo could both wear the same pair of Iron Boots. Given no humans appear in Breath of the Wild its possible over the centuries humans living in the forest became barbaric or developed a tribal culture that seemed barbaric to modern Hyruleans as the human's warrior culture may have been focused around fighting local monsters such as Liizalfos which have waged war with the Zora in the past. As Faron became more jungle like the Human may have been forced to adapt or began living in more primitive conditions. Presumably the tribe and race died out through war and/or interbreeding with Hylians, Gerudo, and/or Sheikah. Its possible the Sheikah inherited their armor from their human ancestors as Paya implies even her family despite their strong heritage are not pure blood Sheikah. This could also explain why few Sheikah have red eyes and the large Sheikah population in Breath of the Wild.