Anybody who has watched Avatar: The Last Airbender is familiar with the arrow-shaped tattoo on the body of Avatar Aang. Even if anybody hasn’t watched the entire series and is only familiar with the show. They still might have noticed the unique arrow-shaped tattoo that Aang had all over his body. With the most noticeable arrow ending on his forehead. These unique blue-colored arrow-shaped tattoos were all over Aang’s body and were a part of his personality, symbolizing his mastery over the art of Airbending.
This unique Avatar tattoo is a part of the Air Nomad civilization. And not only does the Nomads have this tattoo. But their Flying Bisons also had these unique arrow-shaped tattoos on their bodies as well. This shows the significance of these tattoos to the Air Nomads and their entire civilization. Not only does Aang possess these tattoos. But Yangchen, the Air Nomad Avatar before Aang also had this arrow-shaped tattoo.
History Of Aang
Aang was born in 12 AG and selected the toys associated with the Avatar to play. By selecting these toys he confirmed his identity as the Avatar and was therefore taken by the monks to their air Temple. He received his training at the Southern Air Temple. And also visited the Eastern Air Temple to choose his animal companion. Each Air Nomad was paired with a Flying Bison that would be the Nomad’s partner for his life. And Flying Bisons were the only way to reach the secluded Air temples.
Aang’s Early Life
Aang chose his beloved Bison named Appa, who assisted Aang throughout his life. And was also thought to be the only surviving Flying Bison in all of the four kingdoms after Aang woke up after a hundred years. The traditional age to reveal the identity of The Avatar was 16 at the time of Aang.
But due to the impending threat of the Fire Nation waging war on the rest of the Kingdoms. The identity of Aang was revealed at the age of 12. This made him burdened because his friends would not play with him anymore. They stated that because Aang was the Avatar, he had an unfair advantage over the rest of the students.
The only person that treated Aang with love was Monk Gyatso, but due to his soft attitude towards Aang. The rest of the monks decided to send Aang to the Eastern Air Temple to complete his training. After learning this Aang left the temple on himself and was trapped in a storm during which he was nearly killed. But the Avatar state of Aang protected him and Appa by hibernating themselves inside a frozen bubble.
He is discovered by Katara and Sokka after a hundred years and the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender (TV Series) takes place. And we see in the series that Aang masters the remaining elements. And goes on to defeat the Fire Lord Max Ozai and fulfills his destiny to restore the balance to the four nations.
Significance of Aang’s Avatar Tattoo
The Avatar tattoo on Aang’s body is associated with the mastery of Airbending. Every Air Nomad who masters Airbending receives this signature arrow-shaped tattoo. This tattoo is the symbol of a Master Airbender. Aang received this tattoo when he was just twelve years old. Because he mastered Airbending at such a young age and became the youngest Master Airbender in the history of Nomads till that time.
When he was just six years old he was far better at Airbending than children twice his age. And he even emulated his teachers by the age of 10. He was given these tattoos by the monks at the age of 12 only because of his invention of the Air Scooter.
Master Airbenders are tattooed with five light blue arrows: one extending from the base of the spine to the forehead, one for each arm pointing to the hands, and likewise for the legs and feet. And when he was discovered by Katara and Sokka, his tattoos revealed his mastery of Airbending.
History Of This Tattoo
The earliest known ancestors of the Air Nomads used to live in turtle cities and were given the power to control Air by the Lion turtle when they left the cities. These ancestors were not masters but had similar tattoos but these tattoos did not end on the arrow shape that we now see. When these people evolved they learned the Airbending techniques from the Sky Bisons. The Bisons were the first Airbenders and the Air Nomads used to respect them highly because they taught the Nomads the art of Airbending.
These arrow-shaped markings were naturally found on the bodies of the Flying Bisons. So the Nomads modified their tattoos to match the natural markings of the Sky Bisons as a sign of respect. Afterward, every Master Airbender was awarded these tattoos that we see on Avatar Yangchen and Avatar Aang.
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