"Air is the element of Freedom.
The Air Nomads detached themselves from worldly concerns
And found peace and freedom."
The Air Nomads are one of Naipan's four nations. Unlike the other nations, the Air Nomads have no distinct territory. Wanderers by nature, the Air Nomads have no true cities nor a capital, but they do have four temples, one at each corner of Naipan.
They also have no single leader, many following the monk's path to enlightenment. The Air Nomads travel throughout the Four Nations, travelling between the four Air Temples.
Air Nomads make regular pilgrimmages between these four temples, and are known for their impartiality in the politics of the Four Nations, choosing instead to remain distant and detached from the worldly concerns so they may remain focused on their spiritual pursuits. The Air Nomads used to make frequent and regular pilgrimmages to the Celestial Mountain, but since the disappearance of the Jade Emperor and the decline of Xianzhou, many nomads have made the effort to avoid the city on their regular travels.
The Air Nomads make up the smallest of the Four Nations, with a population that is small even compared the the Water Tribes. They also have the smallest economy, based entirely on limited agriculture.
The Air Nomads wear yellow, orange, and brown clothing, often with shawls or sashes, favoring loose fitting and light materials. Many also wear simple high, knee-length boots, usually brown. Elders of the Air Nomads tend to wear long robes of yellow or orange, along with necklaces of wooden prayer beads, sometimes with a pendant bearing the Air Nomad emblem. Most Air Nomads have gray or brown eyes, and a light complexion.
Because so many of the air nomads follow the monk's path, young boys have shaven heads, and monk elders will grow long beards and mustaches, often times growing quite long. Female monks are not required to shave their heads, though some do, many wear their air short or in a long braid. Most air nomad monks are born with some skill in bending elemental air, in fact this gift is often seen as a calling to the monk's path by the spirits. These monks are adorned with intricate flowing tattoos that mimic the curving lines of wind, which follow the path of chi through the limbs, back, and forehead.
The Air Nomad eblem is a cluster of four stylized swirling orbs, each representing one of the four AIr Temples of Naipan. These coiling lines are meant to illustrate the wind, and can be seen incorporated in the design or doors and surfaces in the Air Temples.
As a nation who rejects materialism and wordly desire, the Air Nomads also reject the concept of national boundaries. The wind blows where it will, flowing around mountain, across rivers and oceans, and through flames. They do have small areas of land which are considered by those outside of the Air Nomads as their territory where they have built their Four Temples. The reality is, these temples are typically built on high mountains or isolated islands, in places where the winds blow particularly strong, but they exist mostly within the boundaries of the other nations and the Air Nomads do not consider the land theirs or truly anyone's; the land of Naipan belongs to the spirits. The lower slopes and surrounding countryside are often covered with farms and pastures which provide food to the monks and pilgrims who travel between the Four Temples.
Head of Government: Two Councils of Monks (one Northern, one Southern) and two Councils of Sisters (one Eastern and one Western).
Religious authority: Two Councils of Monks (one Northern, one Southern) and two Councils of Sisters (one Eastern and one Western).
To say the Air Nomads are governed would be a bit of a misnomer. There is no central authority over the Air Nomads as a whole, but they do have a system by which they resolve disputes and deal with the other nations. This power falls to the monks of the Air Temples, who govern as councils of the eldest, wisest, and most closely blessed by the spirits of the Air. The common folk of the Air Nomads, have little political power.
While other nations possess aristocracies and are run by monarchies, the Air Nomads are lead by the senior monks and nuns of the four Air Temples.
The Air Nomads, perhaps more than any of the other four nations, are an deeply spiritual people. They are also known throughout the Four Nations as pacifists. The philosophies of the Air Nomad monks, whose council's govern the Air Nomad nation as a whole, teach nonaggression and peace in both thought and action. This is not to say that the Air Nomads do not believe in self defence, and in fact air nomad monks with the gift of bending elemental air can be quite dangerous opponents, just as wind is gentle and calming, so too can it be a force like a typhoon.
Meditation is an important part of an Air Nomad's daily routine, helping them to focus their energies and understand the potency and wisdom within their element. Due to their high spirituality, many Air Nomads often come across as aloof and detached or brash and foolhardy. The reason for this is within their philosophy, which states that the material world is a fleeting distraction, and not a true representation of reality. Because the material is fleeting, many Air Nomad monks care little for wealth or property, and consider concepts such as hope and despair as distracting. This is not to say the Air Nomads are dour or depressing people, in fact many are known quite well for their good senses of humor and light hearted attitude. Most Air Nomads are vegetarian, though they often raise herd animals for other animal products such as milk and wool.
Air Nomads are known throughout Naipan for their use of and bond with a creature originally native to the mountains of the Fire Nation known as Sky or Flying Pandas. Resembling a strange cross of flying squirrel, and red and great panda, these creatures can grow quite large, as young adults are capable of bearing one or two riders or can be laden with supplies. Adult Flying Pandas can be even larger, capable of carrying specialized baskets capable of holding up to six passengers. Air nomads use Flying Panda to travel all over Naipan, and large herds in the sky are a sure sign of a Air Nomad caravan passing by on their journey between the four temples. Though the air nomads use these creatures as beasts of burden and mounts, their bond with them can be quite close, and many air nomads consider the Flying Pandas to be friends and partners rather than simple beasts or tools. Many Air Nomads revere the Flying Pandas as the first true Air Elementalists, utilizing their gifts to allow them to fly rather than simply glide as flying squirrels do. There is often a great deal of speculation surrounding these creatures, along with many others native to the Continent of Spirits in regard to their origin; while some insist they are natural to a land blessed by spirit and element, others wonder if these creatures were perhaps the result of some arcanist's experiments long ago.
Each of the Four Nations is influenced by their own distinct, dominant season. Autumn is the Air Nomad's dominant season. More Air Nomad children are born during autumn than any other season, and almost all that are born in Autumn have some gift with bending elemental air.
Northern Air Temple, or Beifong Temple
Eastern Air Temple, or Donfong Temple
Southern Air Temple, or Nanfong Temple
Western Air Temple, or Xifong Temple