Not all the elves chose to live under human rule.
For a long time, these elves were hunted by the humans which culminated in a number of large scale conflicts.
They learnt how to live off the land and survive on the move.
Morath taught them how to survive in the wilds as part of a Pride. To each Pride he gave a purpose, and a code to live by. By binding the stranglers of the wandering elves together in this way, he leveraged a home where they could live within the protection of the Kingdom of Elland; Caerlyn.
Prides move around, though, and can be found in other nations, providing mercenaries, and traders to all corners of the Northern Alliance.
Minimum Phys Rep
Elf ears and tattoo marks on the face.
All elves believe that the tattoos on their face will convey their life to their gods when they move on. As such, a young elf may have little in the way of tattoos, but as they grow in talent and gain reputation these can become highly complex covering much more than their face alone.
Dalish from the Dragon Age games and books.
Glamdhrel from the Midkemia books by Raymond E Fiest
Forest Elves from Dungeons & Dragons