is a collective term for a nation
of people in the fictional universe
of the Nickelodeon animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender.
One of the series' "Four Nations
," the Air Nomads
were wanderers by definition, but had four Air Temples
, one at each corner of the globe, hidden away atop mountain ranges
in the northern Earth Kingdom
and on three remote islands
. The Air Nomads were home to a monastic
order of men
who practiced Airbending
, the mystical art of aerokinesis
A century before the time of the series, the Air Nomads were the victims of genocide at the hands of the Fire Nation. The sole known survivor of the massacre ironically was the very person the Fire Nation sought to kill in its quest for supremacy: the twelve-year-old Airbender and Avatar, Aang, who had run away from the Southern Air Temple shortly before the war began and became trapped in suspended animation. He has since been revived and begun a quest to restore balance and peace to the warring nations.
The Air Nomads could be seen wearing orange, saffron yellow, and brown clothing. Aang and other young Airbenders wear orange shawls over long-sleeved yellow shirts, a brown belt, yellow pants with brown on the back, and brown boots that reach the knees. Senior monks wear longer robes in shades of yellow, orange, and brown. Air Nomads who completed their training and became Masters of the art of airbending were given blue arrow tattoos on their head, back, arms and legs. Many of the monks wore various types of long facial hair.
The Air Nomads were a peaceful society that dwelled at high altitudes in temples, and traveled the world atop their cherished flying bison. Unlike the other nations; all air nomads were airbenders. Pious and forthright, Airbenders preferred to use the power they harnessed strictly for defensive purposes. The Air monks were the most spiritual of all cultures and strived to live in harmony with nature. It is said that meditation was an important part of the Airbenders' daily routines, as it helped them to focus their energies and understand the potency of their element. The arrow on an Airbender's head signifies that he or she has mastered airbending. This is an emulation of the natural arrows on the heads of Flying Bison, animals revered by the Air Nomads, who can naturally Airbend and are believed to be the inspiration for the first Airbenders. In order to receive the tattoos as well as the title of a master, an Airbender must pass the thirty-six levels of airbending along with engineering a new technique. In actuality, Aang had only reached the thirty-fifth level before he left the Jongmu Temple, his invention of the Air Scooter
earned him the tattoos prematurely, making him the youngest airbending master in history.
Natural resources and foods
The Air Nomads were a tranquil and environmentally friendly race of people and did their best not to leave a mark on the land. Any industry that they engendered, such as farming and gardening, were powered naturally. Storage rooms sealed off and filled with collected natural gas can be found within their temples. They also produced their own food, with their diet mainly consisting of fruits and vegetables due to their vegetarian
Southern Air Temple
The Southern Air Temple is the Temple where Aang
used to live. This temple was inhabited only by Male Monks. The temple's location is near the Southern Water Tribe
. According to Aang, Monk Gyatso, one of the best airbenders, lived here. It has an Air Ball court and a room where monks would play Pai Sho
. There was a multitude of trees and plants
before the Fire Nation
assault (now it is covered entirely in snow
). There is a santuary where the statues of past avatars lay.
Northern Air Temple
The Northern Air Temple is a temple that has close resemblance to the Southern Air Temple. The temple's location is near the Northern Water Tribe
. Bison Polo tournaments were held there according to Aang. This temple is currently inhabited by refugees, which is led by The Mechanist
and his son. The refugees live a life that is kind of like the monks
(i.e. they use gliders). The temple is also the most altered temple due to the use of technology (pipes that hold hot air stick out of painting of the monks, a fountain has been polluted
, living quarters for the monks were destroyed to make a "stupid bathhouse
" and the sanctuary has been converted into a room for making weapons). Despite the changes, the temple is still like the other ones. This temple was also home to only Male Monks.
Eastern Air Temple
The Eastern Air Temple is a temple where Aang first met Appa
. The temple has a strange design (Normally, Air temples were built on only one mountain
, but this one is built on three
mountains. It has a wheel-like feeding table in the middle of the temple for young Sky Bison. It has the most natural fauna (it has a waterfall
, connecting ponds, flowers and vines
that still grow around the temple). Guru Pathik currently lives at the temple. This temple was inhabited only by Female Airbenders.
Western Air Temple
The Western Air Temple is the most bizarre temple in the Avatar world. The design is very different than the other Air temples (The structure is upside-down, like it was made for bats). This temple has the most features (it has a fountain
, the world's largest Pai Sho table, an all-day echo
chamber, and a hall of statues
). The temple served as a temporary home for the youngest people that fought in the Invasion. It came under attack from Combustion Man, and then Azula
and the fleet of airships that followed her. The temple's location is underneath a canyon
wall. This temple was populated solely by Female Airbenders.
before the time of the series, the Airbenders were the victims of genocide at the hands of the Fire Nation
. All the Airbender monks/sisters were slaughtered in an effort to break the Avatar's cycle of reincarnation and ensure the Fire Nation's victory in their imperialist
war. They were unable to stop the attack of the Fire Nation who were empowered by Sozin's Comet
. Ironically, the only known survivor of the massacre is the very person the Fire Nation sought to kill in its quest for supremacy; the twelve-year-old Airbender and Avatar
. He had run away from home shortly before the war began in earnest and became trapped in suspended animation
. The last known vestiges of Airbender culture include one surviving Flying Bison, Appa
, and one winged lemur, Momo, both of whom are Aang's pets.
Being the last Airbender, it is unknown what will happen when the Avatar cycle returns to air, although it would appear most likely that Aang has a duty to reconstitute the Nomads as the Avatar, restoring "balance" to the "four nations".