Campaign of the Month: November 2011
Avatar: Conquest of the Imperial Order
Southern Water Tribe
outhern Water Tribe
The Southern Water Tribe is the southern division of the Water Tribes. Its people are scattered in tiny villages and settlements located across the South Pole, making it the smallest nation in the Avatar World.
Originally, the Water Tribe existed as one, solely in the North Poles Northern Water Tribe. However, following civil unrest, a group of warriors, Waterbenders and healers journeyed to the South Pole to engender a brand new tribe. Due to the division, the two sects evolved differently. The Southern Water Tribe is filled with Waterbenders of both men and women, unlike the Northern Water Tribe which allows only men.
The tribe has a unique rite of passage called Ice Dodging. This is a coming-of-age ritual that serves as a young boy’s first step towards being realized as a true warrior. When a boy reaches the age of fourteen, his father takes him out to sea and challenges him to guide the boat through iceberg-studded waters. The father watches but does not interfere. If and when the boy succeeds, his father places a ceremonial mark on his forehead symbolizing the virtue he demonstrated most prominently during the test. The Mark of the Wise is awarded to those who show leadership and decisiveness. The Mark of the Brave is given for inspirational displays of courage. Finally, the Mark of the Trusted is bestowed upon those who prove themselves to be exceptionally steady and dependable.
Children of the Tribe play a game called penguin sledding, which consists of catching a penguin and riding its back as a makeshift sled.
While the Northern Water Tribe is an exceptionally patriarchal culture, gender roles in the Southern Water Tribe are far less rigid. Woman in the Northern Tribe are not permitted to use their bending abilities for fighting while in the South they are. Furthermore, girls are never forced into arranged marriages, but are instead free to marry whomever they see fit.
The inside of a typical Southern Water Tribe’s hut contains a number of animal pelts that are placed on bamboo floors. At one end of the hut a sealskin tent is set up. This is used as a sleeping chamber. Ceremonial animal headdresses, spears, and animal skins are ussualy displayed on the walls of the hut. In the center of the hut a square fire pit, surrounded by a single line of bricks. The fire provides heat for the hut and is also used to prepare food. There are mats for sitting on all four sides of the fire pit. A stew post, used for cooking, hangs suspended from the ceiling, hovering above the fire.
Warriors of the Southern Water Tribe wield Weaponry that includes clubs, scimitars, spears made of bone (also used in spear fishing), bladed boomerangs, machetes with whale teeth on the dull side of the blade and shields. They typically wear black and white warpaint on their face before going into battle. During the Invasion of the Fire Nation, all the warriors wore wolf-headed helmets and suits of armor.