The Zhang is an Earth Kingdom tribe that previously feuded with another tribe, the Gan Jin. The members of the Zhang tribe were refugees due to the Hundred Year War, who traveled to Ba Sing Se in order to escape the advancing Fire Nation military.
The Zhang tribe had a long-standing conflict with the Gan Jin tribe, with their disputes tracing back to 0 AG. Tribe lore held that the clan's founder, Wei Jin, found the Gan Jin leader, Jin Wei, collapsed from exhaustion, and offered his assistance. Jin Wei told him to take the sacred crystal orb back to his tribe. However, when he arrived, Wei Jin was accused of stealing the orb and imprisoned for twenty years as punishment for the alleged crime.
During the Hundred Year War, the Fire Nation attacked the tribe, forcing them to flee their homeland. The Zhang became refugees fleeing to the capital city of Ba Sing Se. Aang escorted the Zhang and the Gan Jin tribes across the Great Divide and was able to bring peace between the two clans through a rather elaborate lie. Taking advantage of being from the same time frame as when the feud started, Aang claimed that Wei Jin and Jin Wei were twins, and Wei Jin had not been imprisoned for twenty years, but was instead placed in the penalty box for two minutes for stepping out of bounds in a game called Redemption. In addition, he stated that the sacred orb was simply a ball, and the great eastern and western gates involved in the ritual were just the goal posts in the game.
The Zhang adorned themselves in brown rags and fur pelts, and dismissed cleanliness. They were generally uncivilized, and were extremely messy and unkempt, yet relatively more practical, pragmatic and flexible about their way of living. This was due in part to their history as a society of hunters and outdoorsmen.
- Zhang is phonetically similar to zāng (髒), the Mandarin word for dirt.
- The leader of the Zhang wore a hog monkey pelt.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 20, 2005). "The Great Divide". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Nick.com archive. Nickelodeon. Retrieved on January 2, 2013. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006.
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.