From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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The Hoohooligans are an elliptical people that inhabit Hoohoo Village. Their name is a portmanteau of "hoohoo", an onomatopoeia for laughing, and "hooligan", a word for a rowdy person. Their body structure is reminiscent of a cactus and likely designed after upright beans; they also closely resemble the simple ancient Japanese sculptures known as Haniwa.