|"So who's the lucky boy? Your betrothal necklace. You're getting married, right?"|
|— Yagoda to Katara.|
A betrothal necklace is a hand-carved piece of jewelry given by young men of the Northern Water Tribe to the women they intend to marry. According to the tribe's customs, when a young woman turns sixteen her marriage is arranged and her future husband is to carve a unique design from stone and fasten it to a choker, thus creating a necklace. The engagement becomes official once the necklace is worn, and thus the jewelry signifies to other prospective suitors that the woman is spoken for.
Katara wore a betrothal necklace which previously belonged to her grandmother, Kanna, and that had been worn by her mother instead of one Hakoda would have made for her. She seemed unaware of the necklace's significance when Yagoda asked her about it.
Princess Yue also wore a betrothal necklace, given to her by Hahn. She revealed her necklace to Sokka after the two shared a kiss on a bridge. Although she was wearing the necklace, Yue did not seem thrilled about marrying Hahn as it was an arranged marriage, only benefiting the political well-being of the Northern Water Tribe.
In 171 AG, Bolin was given a betrothal necklace by Eska, even though the cultural norm was for the boy to fashion a necklace for his future wife. He did not get a chance to protest, as Eska stated that marriage was the only thing that could bridge the gap of their separation, and promptly tied the gift around his neck herself.
List of known necklaces
- Katara's necklace has been a family heirloom, originally being a betrothal necklace carved by Pakku for Kanna.
- Yue was given a betrothal necklace by Hahn, who became Sokka's enemy once he learned that it was an arranged marriage.
- Kanna was given a new betrothal necklace by Pakku when he visited the South Pole to rebuild it; she accepted this time.
- Ummi was given a betrothal necklace by Kuruk.
- Bolin was given a betrothal necklace by Eska, which was purple in color, had a carved skull fastened in the center, and spikes running along the middle.