The Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center is a building in Republic City owned by Varrick. It hosts activities related to the culture of the Southern Water Tribe, and features several exhibits related to its tribe and its place in Republic City's history.
The Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center had been newly completed in the early 170s AG. It was owned by Varrick, and was also made possible thanks to the generous contributions of Wakkanai, an ally of Varrick who held the rights to Republic City's water treatment facilities, and Southern Water Tribe architects.
During the Water Tribe Civil War in 171 AG, Southern Water Tribe citizens organized a peace march in support of Southern independence toward the cultural center, with a counter-protest organized by Northerners in support of Chief Unalaq. Despite heavy police presence, two members of the Agni Kai Triad orchestrated a bombing of the center at the climax of the march, successfully detonating several bombs and lighting the center ablaze. Mako, on duty as a police officer, attempted to capture the perpetrators, albeit without success, only retrieving the detonating device.
Korra was present the moment the building caught fire and immediately tried to subdue the flames with water from the basin at the foot of Sokka's statue, located on the square in front of the building. Her efforts were swiftly joined by the arriving fire department.
Mako later discovered that Varrick had masterminded the bombing as part of his plan to escalate the civil war between the North and South by drawing in the United Republic of Nations and profit from the increased sales of war machinery. When confronted about his actions by Asami Sato, he justified the bombing by virtue of being the owner of the building and thus having the right to detonate his own property.
The center continued to grow and expand with the support of Varrick, Wakkanai, and Avatar Korra. Roughly four years later, the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center was holding an exhibit on the "Water Women of Republic City", prominently featuring Wakkanai. Many posters advertising the exhibit in the Dragon Flats borough were vandalized by the Terra Triad, who had been hired by San Ho, an old rival of Wakkanai and Varrick. A dedication was held for the exhibit at the center, where several reporters and city officials were present, including Kiaanii, Wakkanai's daughter. Wáahlaal from the Republic News was also looking at the exhibit, as she was researching Wakkanai and her history with Varrick and San Ho.
The Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center is an architectural gem, designed by Southern Water Tribe architects. It bears a distinctive, beautiful architectural style combining modern materials with glass shaped like traditional glass structures.
Inside the center, visitors can learn all about the Southern Water Tribe, its culture, and its important legacy in the development of Republic City. A massive plaque could be found at the center, honoring Wakkanai for her generous donations to help found the centerr, including quotes of praise from Varrick. Part of the center honors Varrick himself, as well as his contributions in developing the water treatment facility.
During the time that it hosted the "Water Women of Republic City" exhibit, there was a section devoted to Wakkanai, explaining her role in the city's water treatment plants and how vital they were for all of Republic City. There were subtle, but quiet mentions of her business partner from the 150s, carefully censoring references to Yinuo's contribution.
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