The Gerudo People are a race of humans who live in the desert. They have dark red skin, fiery red hair, yellow eyes and typically pointy noses. Almost all of them keep a jewel on their forehead, women usually wear large light pants, short sleeveless jackets or simply bands of cloth and often use white make up. Guards also wear chadors. While being experts in the use of scimitars and glaives, the Gerudo People really have great pride in being masterful archers, training even on horseback. It appears that the most skilled of their warriors, those who could make it to the end of the training grounds, would be prized with the magical Ice Arrows. No outsiders could take either of these tests, except those who, by gaining their respect, were made honorary members of the tribe. As far as we know, the only male to ever accomplish this was Link, the Hero of Time.
It would seem that long before Ganondorf's reign, the Gerudo People had a great civilization which apparently made use of magic artefacts such as the IronKnuckles, the Mirror Shield and the strengthening Silver Gauntlets; as well as capable of building truly gigantic structures, such as the so called Desert Colossus (which is said to represent an evil Goddess), though in architecture they appear to have relied on their neighbouring tribe, the Zuna, who built their sacred pyramids.
But by that time Ganondorf was born, the Gerudo People had reduced themselves to a tribe of thieves. In the transition there supposedly was a time in which thieves of the Gerudo People retained noble traditions and ideals, and would not harm others unless necessary; but as their decline continued, many lost their respect for such things. For these reasons, the Gerudo People came to be feared by commoners of other races but they were also admired for their beauty as women of the Gerudo People would frequently amuse themselves with Hylians. At that time they inhabited a relatively small stone fort built on the side of a hill near the desert's edge.
To understand the Gerudo People it is necessary to know a peculiarity of theirs: only every one hundred years one male would be born among them, whom traditionally would then become their king. Unfortunately one of these kings, Ganondorf, was raised by the witches Koume and Kotake with the desire to conquer the green and prosperous Hyrule. To do this, he sought to obtain the wish granting Triforce, the relic of the Gods.
After Ganondorf's defeat, the Gerudo left Hyrule's border and became nomads of the desert. Over time (perhaps in the interregnum caused by Ganondorf's untimely disappearence) the Gerudo changed their laws so that their lone male wouldn't be king and almost worshipped as a god, but the guardian of their tribe and the desert (seemingly giving him a strictly military position) while government likely remained in the hands of the elders. In time, the Gerudo found their noble ways again, and eventually their nomadic lifestyle brought the reformed Gerudo back to Hyrule where they regained great respect.
Left without their lone male once more, as the reborn Ganondorf once again had his ambitions crushed (and this time, certainly without a heir), the Gerudo People probably begun to mingle with the Hylians (more than in the past anyway). In fact, a gang of light-brown skinned Hyrulian thieves from the forest, seems to have carried on their blood for some time. As perhaps did some of the outcasts in the Dark World; in fact, one of those thieves that originally lurked in Kakariko village, Blind, became the master of the dungeon in the Village of Outcasts. Aside from these, it is not known if after losing their only male twice, any Gerudo still exist in the world of Hyrule (both timelines).
The Gerudo People exist also in the parallel world of Termina, but there they left the desert for the sea and became pirates. The whereabouts of their only male in that dimension are unknown, as is their fate.