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For a hairstyle used by male members of the Water Tribes, see warrior's wolf tail.

Katara often styled her hair to include hair loopies.

Hair loopies are a type of hairstyle worn in the Northern and Southern Water Tribes. The term refers to the trend among Water Tribe women to wear two loops in their hair. These loops can be formed by pulling back strands of hair on either side of the head and fasten them at the back; Katara typically wore her hair as such. A variant to this style is to braid the pulled back strands, like Yagoda did. Another way to form the loops was demonstrated by Yue, who wore her hair in a high ponytail and let two large loops fall out.[1]

Sokka first used the term when he asked Katara how she would feel if she lost something meaningful to her, such as "her hair loopies".[2]

After the end of the Hundred Year War, hair loopies were still a big trend among the women in the Water Tribes, as Yakone's wife donned the hairstyle three decades later.[3]

History

Southern and Northern Water Tribe hair loopies typically varied greatly in style.

The pirate queen and leader of the Fifth Nation, Tagaka, sported hair loopies, although she was only of partial Water Tribe descent, and the Southern Water Tribe had disowned her entire family.[4]

Katara considered hair loopies an important part of her identity, having sported the hairstyle since she was a little girl,[5] though there were times when she lost her trademark look. During her fight with Pakku for her right to learn waterbending, her hair fell out of place,[1] and later, when she and Aang battled Azula and Zuko in the Crystal Catacombs, her hair once again came out of place during the struggle.[6] While her hair loopies returned for a short time after that fight,[7] Katara altered her appearance while traveling in the Fire Nation in order to blend in with the locals. She removed her hair loopies and wore her hair down, although she still tied two strands of hair behind her ears, though the loops no longer framed her face.[8]

During the invasion of the Fire Nation, Katara began incorporating her Water Tribe hairstyle once again.[9] It was reminiscent of her Fire Nation style, with her hair unbraided at the back, but saw the return of her hair loopies, albeit slightly thicker than before.

Kanna, Katara and Sokka's Gran Gran, also wore hair loopies.[10] In a hallucination, Katara remembered Kya, her mother, with them,[11] but during the final raid on the Southern Water Tribe, Kya did not bear the hairstyle.[5]

After the defeat of Fire Lord Ozai, Sokka attempted to do a painting of the heroes in the Jasmine Dragon. When Katara looked at Sokka's rendition of her, she accused him of giving her Momo's ears. He reassured her that they were her hair loopies. Katara had misinterpreted the hair loopies because of their round, hanging shape that resembled the winged lemur's ears.[12]

Katara retained her hair loopies throughout adulthood[13] and continued to sport the style as an elderly woman.[14]

Trivia

  • Hair loopies resemble a real world Inuit hairstyle.[15]
  • Initially, Katara's design had her strands of hair loosely hanging down. The idea for her tied-back hair loopies came from Tin House animation director Yoon Young Ki, making it so that her hair was easier to animate.[16]

References

  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. O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (June 23, 2012). "Skeletons in the Closet". The Legend of Korra. Book One: Air. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  4. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Seven, "The Iceberg". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 17, 2008). "The Southern Raiders". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  6. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  7. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 21, 2007). "The Awakening". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  8. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (September 28, 2007). "The Headband". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  9. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  10. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Boy in the Iceberg". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  11. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  12. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (July 19, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  13. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 27, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 2". The Legend of Korra. Book Two: Spirits. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  14. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "Welcome to Republic City". The Legend of Korra. Book One: Air. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  15. How Avatar: The Last Airbender took Inuit culture to create the Southern and Northern Water Tribes: A thread. Twitter (2018-09-24). Retrieved on June 18, 2020.
  16. DiMartino, Michael Dante & Konietzko, Bryan (September 19, 2006). Unaired pilot commentary. Book 1: Water, Volume 5 DVD.

See also

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