With their quick reflexes and nerve, my brothers and sisters of
the Kekunan Clan are masters of the art of flying the Ikran, known to
the Sky People as the Mountain Banshee. Lightning fast reflexes, cool
composure and a courageous heart help them command the magnificent aerial
Ikran Makto training begins at a very early age. Clan elders use an ikran
toy as an education tool to demonstrate the dynamics and physics of flight.
Clan youth are taught specific manoeuvres that mirror the behaviors of real
Ikran, such as diving, gliding, and turning. This develops concentration and
quick reflexes – two indispensible traits of highly skilled riders.
In order to become hunters with their clan, all Na'vi must
participate in the ceremony known as "Iknimaya"; they must select,
capture and bond with an Ikran. Once the Na'vi make the dangerous
climb up into the Floating Mountains to the Ikran rookery, they must
choose their own Ikran; if the Ikran also choses them, it will try
to kill them. If the Na'vi survives and is able to make the Tsaheylu,
or bond, the first flight seals the connection between the Ikran and
the rider for life.
The visor these riders wear shields their eyes from vicious winds. An
Ikran can reach incredible speeds, particularly while diving towards
a target. The lens is made from a clear yet strong material, naturally created
by a neighbouring clan of chemists, the Tawkami. The material is carefully
cut and shaped by clan elders who custom-fit each rider. No two masks are
alike. Young clan members spend a consistent sixteen hours polishing the
lens to translucent perfection. It is a laborious task and a lesson in patience
and focus. Once finished, the mask is awarded the riders who successfully
complete a rite of passage.
The Kekunan dress in bright, boisterous colors, a symbol of
their unbreakable confidence and a tribute to the creatures that surround
and sustain them, let's meet them, shall we?