Water Tribe emblem

The buffalo yak is a large creature utilized by the Northern Water Tribe as one of their main forms of transportation.[1]


In 100 AG, a citizen of the Northern Water Tribe riding a buffalo yak watched intently at the arrival of Team Avatar to the capital city.[1] During their stay there, Appa rested in a stable that was home to a multitude of buffalo yaks, all of which were in individual, neighbouring pens.[2]

Charging buffalo yaks

The military of the Northern Water Tribe used buffalo yaks as cavalry units.

In 151 AG, buffalo yaks were used extensively by the armies of the Northern Water Tribe during the barbarian invasion. The availability of the animals as a form of transportation enabled Unalaq to warn his brother Tonraq of an impending attack, and during the ensuing battle, the buffalo yaks' speed and height coupled with the warrior's waterbending effectively squashed the invasion and drove the barbarians out of the city. The force subsequently employed the buffalo yaks in chasing the barbarians in the sacred spiritual forest, where they captured all remaining invaders.[3]


The buffalo yak is a large, gray and white animal which has four muscular legs that end in hooves. Its head is crowned with a pair of horns that emerge sideways from the forehead and curve backward. The creature's body ends in a small, furry tail. Its shaggy fur is gray on its back while white in a patch around its eyes, on its neck, and on its underbelly.


The buffalo yak is native to the North Pole and is an extremely useful animal to the people living there. Bred for many years as a domestic animal, this docile creature can be used for transportation and to carry supplies. Because it can survive even in the coldest temperatures, the buffalo yak is the perfect animal to take on long hunting trips into the frozen tundra.[4]


The horns of this creature suggest a link to the real life water buffalo or perhaps the yak, a type of mountain bovine. The most striking feature of the males of this species is the large pair of horns that emerge sideways from its forehead and curve backward. The buffalo yak's "bell bottomed" feet suggest a connection to the Clydesdale horse. This animal is distinguished not only for its size, but for the bell bottoms of hair, called feathers, around its feet.


  1. 1.0 1.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  2. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 1". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  3. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 13, 2013). "The Southern Lights". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  4. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.

See also

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