|Body markings in the World of Avatar|
Air Nomads Edit
Airbending master tattoos Edit
Upon reaching master status, 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. This pattern is an emulation of the flying bison's natural markings, as they were the first airbenders. Unlike most master airbenders who gain their status later in life, Avatar Aang received his tattoos when he was only twelve, following his invention of the air scooter. This makes him the youngest known airbending master.
As they run along chi paths, the Air Nomad tattoos of an Avatar will glow when they enter the Avatar State. If the Avatar's body has received a severe injury on a tattooed area, leaving a scar deeper than the tattoo, then that particular spot will not glow.
Water Tribe Edit
Mark of the Brave Edit
The Mark of the Brave is a crescent-shaped mark that resembles the moon, and is given for "inspirational displays of courage." During Sokka's rite of passage, Katara held the position of bravery as she needed to secure the boat's mainsail and thus prevail against the brutal winds. Following her successful completion of the ritual, Bato bestowed the Mark of the Brave upon her.
Mark of the Trusted Edit
The Mark of the Trusted is a horizontal arc given to outsiders who are able to prove themselves worthy of the Water Tribe's trust. For example, while ice dodging, Aang controlled the jib of his group's cutter to successfully navigate the rocky waters; this position related to trust, as without a steady hand, the whole crew would go down.
Mark of the Wise Edit
The Mark of the Wise is a horizontal arc above a dot, and is given for deft decision-making and the ability to maintain leadership under pressure. Hakoda received this mark, and years later, so did his son, Sokka, for steering the boat as well as for leading Aang and Katara wisely through the rough waters by instructing them on what to do.
War markings Edit
Water Warriors, elite non-bending fighters of both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes, bear traditional full-face war paint when going into battle, colored primary black, gray, and white. In the Northern Water Tribe, it is also customary for the chief to ceremonially apply three red markings to the forehead of chosen warriors departing on a dangerous mission.
Earth Kingdom Edit
Earth Rumble VI Edit
Different brawlers in Earth Rumble VI would sometimes possess different tattoos, body paint, or make-up. For example, The Boulder possessed a tattoo a badgermole on his back, a self-proclamation of his earthbending prowess, and Headhunter's face was painted as part of his fighting persona.
Kyoshi Warriors Edit
The warriors of Kyoshi Island have a strict garb they wear for battle and training. This uniform, which included facial paint, was designed to resemble the attire that Avatar Kyoshi wore during her life, and the face paint itself was meant strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
Fire Nation Edit
Combustion Man Edit
Combustion Man was an assassin who had the unique ability to shoot an explosive beam from his forehead. On the spot where the beam was released, he had a tattoo of a third eye. Although this tattoo marked the point from where he could use his unique ability, it also marked his single spot of weakness. If so much as a pebble were to touch the spot, his chi would be blocked.
Sun Warriors Edit
Members of the Sun Warriors bore two red markings on their cheeks, foreheads, noses, and various other spots on their faces, and continued to keep them on throughout several different occasions. All members of the tribe wore paint in this fashion, excluding the Sun Warrior chief. The tribal chief instead bore red war paint from below the eye area, up into his face; this face paint was bordered by a level of white face paint.
Yuyan Archers Edit
The Yuyan Archers bear dark red tattoos that run as a strip across their eyes and narrow over the bridge of their nose. The placement of their tattoos symbolizes the importance of sight in their deadly skill. Similar to those of master airbenders, the tattoos of the Yuyan Archers identify them as part of an elite group.
Four nations Edit
Official Avatar Aang Fan Club Edit
In the Yu Dao chapter of the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club, the girls took mastering a kind of faux airbending very seriously, and even began tattooing themselves similar to the way master airbenders would. However, Avatar Aang saw the tattoos as a disgrace to his culture, so as he began to teach the club members about his culture and renamed the fan club the "Air Acolytes", the practice of tattooing was disallowed.
In the group of pirates that attacked Aang, and later Zuko, several seemed to possess tattoos. Although there did not appear to be a significant meaning to the tattoos, they still seemed to be fairly common.
Many prisoners in multiple nations seemed to bear various tattoos. Like the pirates, the prisoners' tattoos did not appear to have a particular meaning behind them, they were certainly a common practice amongst criminals as a prisoner from Chin Village told Aang that his tattoos would help him "fit in real well". Two known examples are the scary prisoner himself, who possessed a large green serpent tattoo that swirled around his body, and another one from the Boiling Rock who had an elaborate black tattoo.