- This article is about the Earth Kingdom tribe founded by Wei Jin. For other similar uses, see Tribe (disambiguation).
The Zhang is an Earth Kingdom tribe that feuded for centuries with another tribe, the Gan Jin. The members of the Zhang tribe became refugees due to the Hundred Year War, who traveled to Ba Sing Se in order to escape the advancing Fire Nation military.
The Zhang tribe had a long-standing conflict with the Gan Jin tribe, with their disputes tracing back at least to the 4th century BG. By 296 BG, tribal member Zhang Dakou served as an esteemed Earth Kingdom sage. Exploiting a chance to hurt the Gan Jin, Zhang Dakou joined the plot of Chamberlain Hui to disempower Jianzhu, a Ganjinese who effectively controlled the Earth Kingdom at the time. The plot failed, and Zhang Dakou was murdered alongside his co-conspirators.
Later tribe lore held that the Gan Jin-Zhang conflict began around 0 AG, when Zhang hero Wei Jin allegedly found the Gan Jin leader, Jin Wei, collapsed from exhaustion, and offered his assistance. Jin Wei told him to take the sacred crystal orb back to his tribe. However, when he arrived, Wei Jin was accused of stealing the orb and imprisoned for twenty years as punishment for the alleged crime.
During the Hundred Year War, the Fire Nation attacked the tribe, forcing them to flee their homeland. The Zhang became refugees fleeing to the capital city of Ba Sing Se. Aang escorted the Zhang and the Gan Jin tribes across the Great Divide and was able to bring peace between the two clans through a rather elaborate lie. Taking advantage of being from the same time frame as when the feud started, Aang claimed that Wei Jin and Jin Wei were twins, and Wei Jin had not been imprisoned for twenty years, but was instead placed in the penalty box for two minutes for stepping out of bounds in a game called Redemption. In addition, he stated that the sacred orb was simply a ball, and the great eastern and western gates involved in the ritual were just the goal posts in the game. However, Aang later revealed that he made the whole thing up to have the two tribes to stop fighting.
The Zhang adorned themselves in brown rags and fur pelts, and dismissed cleanliness. They were generally uncivilized, and were extremely messy and unkempt, yet relatively more practical, pragmatic and flexible about their way of living. This was due in part to their history as a society of hunters and outdoorsmen.
- Zhang is phonetically similar to zāng (髒), the Mandarin word for dirt.
- The leader of the Zhang wore a hog monkey pelt.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (May 20, 2005). "The Great Divide". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Nine, "The Ambush". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Character: The Zhang Tribe.