|"You chose them from among thousands of toys, Aang. The toys you picked were the four Avatar relics. These items belonged to Avatars past. Your own past lives."|
|— Tashi explaining about the Avatar relics to Aang.|
The Avatar relics are four ancient toys utilized in identifying Air Nomad[nb 1] Avatars at a young age. The four toys represent the four nations, and all were once the toys of previous Air Nomad Avatars.
After the death of an Avatar, permitting that the previous one was originally a firebender, newborn Air Nomad infants are presented with thousands of toys, four of which are the relics. If the infant chooses to play with only these four toys, it is a strong sign that he or she might be the reincarnated Avatar, as the real Avatar is believed to choose the four toys most familiar to him or her.
After Avatar Roku's death, Air Nomad children were presented with these four toys among thousands of others. When they were presented to Aang, he correctly chose the four objects that were the Avatar relics.
When the Council of Elders informed Aang that he was the new Avatar, the young airbender doubted his identity, so Monk Tashi showed him the relics. Upon seeing his childhood toys, Aang stated that he had simply chosen them because they seemed fun, and Monk Tashi explained to him that he had chosen them from among thousands of toys because they were familiar to him.
This method of identifying the new Avatar is based on the real-world method of identifying the next reincarnation of Tulku Lama in Tibetan Buddhism.
- ↑ In The Lost Scrolls: Air, on page 232 of The Lost Scrolls Collection, it is stated that the toys used to belong to Air Nomad Avatars, strongly suggesting that this method is only employed by the Air Nomads.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (June 3, 2005). "The Storm". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.