The Na’vi are a race of sentient blue humanoids and the indigenous inhabitants of the lush jungle moon of Pandora. The endonym Na'vi literally means "The people" in English.
Taller and more slender than humans, though with similar anatomy, the Na'vi are the only known Pandoran species to have human-level consciousness and intelligence. Although the Na’vi are hunter-gatherers with technology reminiscent of Earth’s Paleolithic epoch, they have developed a sophisticated culture based on a profound spiritual connection to other life on their moon, each other, and an encompassing “spirit” they call Eywa.
Anatomy and appearance Edit
The indigenous Na’vi are, on average, approximately 3 meters (≈10 feet) tall, with smooth, striped cyan-colored skin, large amber eyes, and long, sweeping tails. Their bodies are more slender than humans. The Na’vi cell nucleus does not use nucleic acids to encode genetic information. Therefore, their genetic makeup is not considered to be DNA (thus they most likely do not utilize RNA in the synthesis of proteins). The average Na’vi life span is longer than that of a human — approximately 30% longer — though they mature more rapidly.
Na’vi skin is smooth, iridescent, and cyan in color accentuated with slightly darker cyan stripes. Their bodies have feline-like features such as long sweeping tails, pointed ears and triangular faces with flat bifurcated noses, all framed with large, almost hypnotically golden eyes. Bioluminescent markings that seem to follow the path of the circulatory or nervous system aid in identification and mood display. Skin color is due to the presence of the cyanin pigment. It can “tan” to a darker purplish color after prolonged sunlight exposure. Despite their cyan skin color, the Na’vi have red blood, utilizing an iron oxygen-transporting compound similar to hemoglobin.
Na’vi have hair on their heads including the long braid protruding from the base of their skulls protecting their neural queue. They have a highly evolved nervous system that includes a queue which resembles a long, rather ostentatious hair braid. This seemingly conventional braid actually sheathes a remarkably intricate system of neural tendrils that can be connected to similar structures of other life-forms.
The Na’vi appear to have no other body hair, with the exception of eyelashes and a small “bob” of fur on the end of their tails. The waist is narrow and elongated. The shoulders are very wide, creating a V-shaped upper back. The neck is long and body slender. Musculature is sharply defined, giving no sense of emaciation despite thin proportions. The skeleton is reinforced with naturally occurring carbon fiber. The tail can be moved and controlled like any other appendage and is used primarily for balance. It is frequently used to express emotion.
Society and culture Edit
Though their culture is essentially paleolithic, they have an egalitarian social organization, unusual in a society at such a stage in their development. A premium is placed upon young men and women growing up to become exceptional hunters and possibly warriors, as is necessary due to the nature of the Pandoran environment and the level of Na’vi technological advancement. The populations of the Na’vi and other species may be controlled by the sentient intelligence they worship as Eywa. They choose to live in harmony and natural equilibrium with their surroundings. If they become too numerous, Eywa may devise a way to limit their numbers before they cause an ecological imbalance, for she maintains the balance of life.
Over the millennia, the Na’vi have developed a healthy respect and reverence for their surrounding environment. In return, Eywa may have affected the environment to provide them with sufficient food and shelter, creatures to ride for ground and air transportation, and an ambient, comfortable temperature throughout the different biomes of Pandora. Oddly, there do not seem to be many harmful or irritating insects and disease organisms, but whether or not this is intentional will require further research. Small, flying creatures (insects?) are shown in various scenes. The Na’vi have failed to develop tools and weapons for purposes beyond possible primitive warfare with the surrounding clans and hunting/survival, an anomaly stemming perhaps from the fertility of the planet. For a race that is so connected to all other creatures, warfare would seem unlikely, but not unheard of, as indicated by numerous references to the term “warrior.” However, there was no hesitation to go to the many other clans to ask for help, so if there is interclan conflict, it is probably the rare exception to the rule.
They do, however, have a rich handicraft tradition and engage in extensive body decoration signifying both rank, activity, and individual tastes. With the caution that it is perhaps spurious to make cross cultural comparisons across star systems, the Na’vi are comparable to now extinct pre-bronze age hunter-gatherer societies that formed in some pre-colonial African, American aboriginal, and Australian indigenous tribes with trace similarities to the Norse culture of northern Europe. Lacking any tradition of formal science as Earth people know it, they experience Eywa as an all-knowing, all-powerful entity, and have possibly developed a complex animistic religion based upon their interactions with Eywa, and centered around the Tree of Souls and the Tree of Voices, two of many sacred spiritual locations found across Pandora that provide access to the Pandoran neural network.
Because Na’vi only have four fingers on each hand, their counting system is based on the number eight. They use this octal arithmetic in their daily life. Early in the history of their language, the Na’vi had no words for numbers higher than mevol (16), the sum of all fingers and toes on their body. Anything more was simply called pxay (many). Octal numbers can easily be confused with decimal numbers unless a numeral 8 or 9 is present or the number is followed by a subscript to indicate the base system used, 8 for the octal system or 10 for a decimal system.
They have no written language. Their history is passed down by oral tradition through stories.
The Na'vi inhabit various biomes of Pandora. Their population is concentrated in the rainforest regions, but outlying clans have been detected on each continent and in subarctic, swampland, and mountainous regions. Some Na’vi clans, including the Omaticaya and parts of the Tipani clan, live in tremendously large ancient trees they call Kelutral, or “Hometree.”
The Anurai clan is a noble Na'vi clan whose totemic animal is the deadliest land predator on Pandora - the thanator. Most members of the Anurai clan were slaughtered by Sean Wallen, who wanted their artifacts so that he could sell them on Earth's black market.
Horse Clans of the PlainEdit
The Horse clans of the Plain are an unknown number of Na'vi clans, who, unlike the Omaticaya clan, live in wide, open plains instead of jungle. The clans live in the shade of the massive trees that number the plain, making homes that are thought to be wicker huts, made from long grasses or wood, with fires in the center. This is assumed to protect them from possible storms and strong wind. They specialized in cavalry, utilizing direhorses.
Ikran People of the Eastern SeaEdit
The Ikran People of the Eastern Sea consist of one or more clans of Na'vi who live at the cliffs of the Eastern Sea and specialize in riding mountain banshees. It is unknown if these particular clans have any uses for direhorses.
The Omaticaya clan (Na'vi name: Omatikaya meaning "Blue Flute clan") is a Na'vi tribe of the forest. They formerly lived in a Hometree in one of Pandora's huge jungles. The Omaticaya people share a deep connection with the forest. When members reach a certain age, they must perform Iknimaya, a rite of passage in which a young Na'vi must climb up into the Hallelujah Mountains to find an Ikran. Through Tsaheylu, the initiate creates a life-long bond with it. Once this act is performed, the initiate is accepted by the tribe as one of the People and is allowed to carve a bow from a branch of the Hometree and may also choose a mate.
While other Na'vi clans on Pandora organize themselves around carving or pottery, the Omaticaya are renowned for their brilliant textiles. Thus, the loom plays a key role in the daily life of the clan. The largest of the Omaticayan looms is more massive than a Terran pipe organ. This 'mother loom' (Na'vi: mas'kit nivi sa'nok) is given a place of honor in the common area of Hometree.
The Tawkami Clan (Sky Seer Clan) lives peacefully deep in the wild Pandoran jungle. They have long watched over Eywa's ecosystem with a careful eye to maintain the balance. They are known for their persistent quest for knowledge and lorekeeping.
The Tipani clan is a tribe of Na'vi in the jungles of Pandora. The Tipani clan was one of the first tribes to have contact with humans on Pandora, and yet less is known of this clan than any other Na'vi clan. Preliminary reports prove to be contradictory to say the least. The Tipani seem to be a very spiritual tribe, yet also cunning and highly dangerous warriors. They are reluctant to engage in diplomacy with humans, and yet they have embraced the study of Earth languages. Difficulties are ongoing, as the Tipani have not welcomed many avatars into their trust, choosing to be unsettlingly standoffish when further integration is suggested. They are the only clan known to live in separate villages and to wear armor and/or masks. Large masks are occasionally used to decorate certain areas.
Relationship with other speciesEdit
When humans began to search Pandora for valuable minerals, the Na’vi were appalled and angered by the destruction of their jungle home for roads, human bases and strip mines. They saw no need for technology and felt that the damage done by humans in the pursuit of underground minerals was nothing more than senseless destruction that violated the basic tenets of their religion. They would look to Eywa for help, but their religion teaches that Eywa cares not for the existence of any one creature, she cares only for the balance of nature. The two opposing ideologies and cultures resulted in thoughts on both sides that the other was inferior: the Na’vi believing that humans were ignorant aliens who only destroy, and the humans thinking that the primitive Na’vi were nothing but simple savages. These fundamental misunderstandings were, in part, responsible for the conflict between the two races.