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. Once he revived, he began a quest to restore balance and peace to the warring nations, a goal achieved when he defeated the Fire Lord Ozai at the end of the series.
Please note that much of the information here is derived from the Avatar Wiki.
The Air Nomads was the only nation comprised entirely of benders, due to the highly spiritual nature of their lives. Meditation is an important part of the airbenders' daily routines, as it helped them to focus their energies and understand the potency of their element.Young airbenders are raised in one of the four Air Temples, at each corner of the globe, hidden away atop mountain ranges on remote islands. The Northern and Southern Air Temples are exclusively male, and staffed by Airbender monks, who instruct young Benders in their art. The Eastern and Western Air Temples are exclusively female. However in "The Storm," it was decided that Aang would finish his training at the Eastern Air Temple, and it was at the same temple where he, along with several other young boys, was first introduced to his animal companion, Appa.
The Air Nomads wear yellow, orange, and brown clothing. Aang and other young airbenders wear orange shawls over long-sleeved yellow shirts, an orange belt, yellow pants with brown on the back, and long boots that reach the knees. Older monks wear long robes in shades of yellow and orange. Most Air Nomads have gray or brown eyes and a light complexion. Young boys to be trained as monks have shaven heads, while monk elders grow beards and mustaches. Female airbenders do not fully shave their heads. It has been shown that when not shaven, Air Nomads have dark hair. Airbenders who have attained a level of mastery in the art will be marked with arrow tattoos, based on the arrows of the Sky Bison, the first airbenders.
Air Nomads are also vegetarians, as are the modern monks of Tibet.
GeographyEditThough the Air Nomads as a race would seem to be almost totally erased from the world, remnants of their legacy still hold a place within it. The largest, most predominant, permanent features of their past are the four Air Temples. Although airbenders are primarily a nomadic culture, there are four Air Temples in various remote locations where councils were held and novices were raised. The temples were divided by gender, with the Southern and Northern temples for males and the Eastern and Western ones for females. Air Nomads not situated to a temple had no permanent home and tranversed across the world individually or in small groups.
Sections reserved for learning, quiet meditation, and the study and practice of their element were common features of the temples. Their outer grounds also featured grassy knolls for outdoor play, reflecting pools, historical murals and monuments. In each temple there is a large cylindrical room known as an Air Sanctuary locked behind a door which can only be opened via airbending. At least one of these rooms has been shown to contain thousands of statues iterating in a spiral formation the previous incarnations of the Avatar.
Southern Air TempleEdit
Located in the remote Patola mountain range, the Southern, Jongmu Air Temple, supposedly only accessible via flying bison, was the boyhood home of Aang and his father-like mentor, Monk Gyatso. It was raided early in the war during Fire Lord Sozin's genocide on the Air Nomads.
The temple is large and peaceful, has an Air Ball arena, and is also where the "Air Scooter" was first invented by Aang. A statue of Monk Gyatso stands at the entrance to the temple. Unlike the other two temples, the Southern Temple's spires are blue, instead of green.
This is where Aang used to reside in Hou Tian, along with his students. However, in a devastating turn of events, two members of The Jade Shark took it upon themselves to use war-era Fire Nation explosives to obliterate the Temple Complex in an act of terror.
Northern Air TempleEdit
High in the upper reaches of the Earth Kingdom resides the Northern Air Temple. It was home to the Flying Bison polo championships in the days when the monks lived in it. After the extermination of the monks, the temple was rediscovered by the Mechanist and his group of refugees. It was modified by the Mechanist to house more people than before, and many of the original structures were destroyed or expanded to help accommodate the new residents. The temple also underwent many technological "upgrades", as the Mechanist added new inventions to help make the lives of the residents easier.
Eastern Air TempleEditUnlike the Northern and Southern Air temples, the Eastern Air temple is housed on three mountains. Along with the Western Air Temple, it exclusively housed female airbenders. This was where Aang chose Appa as a Sky Bison partner and is probably where Appa was born. Guru Pathik was the only resident after the Fire Nation destroyed it, and he waited there to help the Avatar in his future, teaching Aang to master the Avatar State.
Western Air TempleEditThis temple is located in the mountains north of the Fire Nation and housed exclusively female airbenders. It is unique in that, unlike the other temples, it was built underneath the edge of a cliff instead of atop a mountain. The spires seem as though they were built upside-down, and because of that, the temple is hidden to the passerby. Its design allows wind to flow into even the deepest chambers. The temple features some interesting recreational spots, such as a giant Pai Sho table, an all-day echo chamber, and an air bison obstacle course and racetrack. There's also mention of a hall of statues similar to the one at the Southern Air Temple, and another interesting feature is a series of metal doors used as shields that are found within the fountain area.
The Ukemanem PlainsEdit
The strange surviving faction of airbenders that exist within the desert plains of the Si Wong.