The Bhanti consists of a group of sages who live in a village located on Bhanti Island in the southern Fire Nation. The tribe, which predates the first Avatar, Wan, has strong spiritual connections and serves as the origin of spiritual sages in the four nations. Although the tribe is isolated from the rest of the world, its members are aware of many current events with which they choose not to involve themselves.
Around 9,832 BG, during the era of Raava, the Bhanti developed and settled on an island located in the Spirit Wilds, which would eventually become part of the southern portion of the Fire Nation archipelago. After some time, several members of the tribe ventured from the island and into the other nations, where they became sages, most notably the Fire Sages, the Earth Kingdom sages, and the Northern Water Tribe sages.
In the late 4th century BG, the elders of the Bhanti sent the young Fire Sage Nyahitha to aid Avatar Kuruk after he received a premonition. Nyahitha met Kuruk in the caverns beneath Ma'inka Island after the waterbender battled the dark phoenix-eel spirits. He partially repaired the damage done to Kuruk's soul from battling the dark spirits, but warned him about the toll on his lifespan. In their quest to hunt down the most vicious of the dark spirits, Kuruk and Nyahitha made use of the extensive Bhanti libraries. They deduced that another spirit had created passageways between the human and spirit worlds, but could not determine why, and could not find a more effective method to slay the spirits. The tribe remained unaware of Kuruk and Nyahitha's true actions, and the world believed that Nyahitha had encouraged Kuruk's infamous hedonism.
Nyahitha distanced himself from his tribe after Kuruk's death. He was respected in the Fire Nation's High Temple and was considered next in line to be High Sage, but was passed over for Lady Huazo's uncle. He fell into obscurity and became a charlatan fortuneteller in the gambling den of North Chung-Ling. Nevertheless, Nyahitha helped Avatar Kyoshi contact her past life when she arrived in the city in 295 BG.
In 171 AG, sages from the island came upon Korra washed up on shore, with no recollection of who she was. Alarmed by this discovery, the tribe members rushed the young Avatar to the village temple in order to be examined by the elderly shaman. Attributing Korra's amnesia to a dark spirit feeding on the Avatar Spirit, the shaman ordered the sages to lower Korra into a pool of spirit water in an attempt to purge her body of the possession.
After cleansing her body and reconnecting with her past lives, Korra awoke with most of her memories intact and proceeded to walk through the temple grounds with the shaman, who presented Korra with a flying bison from a herd that the tribe had been maintaining since the Hundred Year War. Though the elder did not know how long Korra had been away from Republic City, she warned the Avatar that there was little time to waste, as Harmonic Convergence was only weeks away.
Bhanti Village Temple
The Bhanti Village Temple is a sanctuary where the shaman and other members of the Bhanti take residence.
The temple is comprised of a number of stone pagodas, one of which enshrines a seated golden statue flanked by two guardian figures, with a number of smaller outbuildings surrounding the grounds. Located directly underneath the temple is a cavern with a subterranean pool filled with spirit water. A pulley system is used to lower individuals into the waters for spiritual healing.
A small yard located within the temple grounds also houses a small herd of flying bison that the Bhanti have been caring for ever since the Hundred Year War.
The Legend of Korra
Book Two: Spirits (神靈)
- The tribe's hidden library is considered one of the greatest repositories of spiritual knowledge in the physical world.
- The temple's architecture is comparable to that of Pagan Kingdom hollow temples in the Mandalay region of Burma. The golden statue is based on southeast Asian figures of the Buddha in the "earth-witness" posture, though the right hand is in the wrong position.
- In the original draft, the shaman used the waters from a subterranean volcanic hot spring instead of a pool of spirit water in order to allow Korra to recall the origin of the Avatar.
- Bhanti Island was the only location in the Fire Nation to be shown in The Legend of Korra.
- Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 11, 2013). "The Sting". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
- K207 "Beginnings: part 1", Premise (PDF) (2014-05-21). Retrieved on May 24, 2014.
- The Lost Scrolls: Fire, page 177 of The Lost Scrolls Collection.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Nine, "Desperate Measures". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Fourteen, "The Message". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Four, "Lost Friends". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twelve, "The Fire Sage". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 18, 2013). "Beginnings, Part 1". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
- Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 18, 2013). "Beginnings, Part 2". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
- Korranation (2013-10-23). Retrieved on October 23, 2013.