Unlike Elves and Men, the Dwarves are not Children of Ilúvatar; they were created by Aulë the Smith, though Ilúvatar granted them life. Aulë made seven Fathers of the Dwarves, and these slept through many ages until after the Awakening of the Elves. Almost all the Dwarves that appear in Tolkien’s works were descended from the eldest of the Seven Fathers, Durin the Deathless.
Like Aulë their maker, the Dwarves delighted in smithcraft and stoneworking; they mined and worked metals throughout the mountains of Middle-earth. The Dwarves kept themselves apart from the other races; their language, Khuzdul, was a closely guarded secret, and they told their true names to none but themselves (all the Dwarf-names in Tolkien are in the tongues of Elves or Men, not true Dwarf names).