Southern Water Tribe

Brief History

The Southern Water Tribe is an independent state governing the South Pole and its surrounding waters. During Avatar Aang’s time, the Southern Water Tribe had been pushed to the edge of extinction by Fire Nation raids. With the aid of their sister tribe to the North, the Southern Water Tribe was able to rebuild and fully recover after the war. However, diverging identities and cultures eventually led to the Water Tribe Civil War, the result of which was the Southern Water Tribe declaring its independence. Now ruled by a chief chosen by the Council of Elders, the South Pole is flourishing. Its citizens mostly live in its coastal capital, Harbor City, and several nearby towns.

The people of the Southern Water Tribe are proud, progressive, and focused on commerce and trade. Recent years have seen a steady growth in industry and entrepreneurship. Notably, the Southern Water Tribe has abandoned many of the strict spiritual traditions its sister tribe still practices. In the South Pole, spiritual practice is largely up to the individual, not the community or government. However, the Southern Spirit Portal is still strictly guarded by the White Lotus to prevent human-spirit conflict.

Economy & Education

The Southern Water Tribe is a minor economic power when compared to the United Republic or Fire Nation, but it dominates the fishing and shipping markets in the Southern hemisphere. Like the North, the Southern Water Tribe cultivates a successful fishing and textile industry, and international businesses are highly interested in the development of the South Pole. After years of strict control by outsiders, however, the South is skeptical of foreign investment. The South Pole’s petroleum drilling operations are strictly guarded and regulated.

The Southern Water Tribe only maintains public schools in Harbor City. Elsewhere, families are expected to homeschool their children or commute daily to Harbor City. Social groups unaffiliated with the government provide supplies, books, and tutoring to families unable to do so. While waterbending is a respected skill, being a waterbender does not hold the same social esteem as it does in the North.

In Genji’s Time

Unlike their northern counterpart, the Southern Water Tribe is quite progressive on social issues, including same-sex marriage. Avatar Korra’s high-profile marriage to Asami Sato inspired the tribe’s people to strive for more dialogue and open-mindedness. Over the last decade, staunch environmental beliefs have helped prevent the overexploitation of the South Pole’s resources.

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The Southern Water Tribe is a young nation, and its leaders are eager to prove themselves on the international stage. Because their economy is less influential, however, the other nations tend to disregard their voice. The South Pole struggles to effectively participate in international relations. Still bitter over the Water Tribe Civil War, the Northern Water Tribe is loathe to compromise with its sister tribe. The South Pole’s newest Chief hopes to revamp his nation’s foreign policy by strengthening its economy and military.

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