How long did the Omamaticaya live in Hometree? - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:19 AM
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Default How long did the Omamaticaya live in Hometree?

From the glimpses we see of Navi culture, I get the impression that the Navi are a very ancient race. Their customs seem highly developed in the sense that they have been created, expanded upon, and passed down for hundreds or even thousands of generations (maybe more).

But I wonder how long the Omaticaya lived inside hometree before it was destroyed. I believe that a quote by Grace gave a hint but I cannot quite remember what she said exactly. It also raises the question of what is the lifespan of a hometree. As a comparison, a giant Sequoia tree on Earth can live for ten thousand years growing to a height of almost a hundred meters tall. No doubt, a hometree would have an enormous life cycle but during a good portion of that life cycle, the tree would be too small to inhabit as it would still be growing. A few hundred years is most likely but its also not hard to imagine the same clan inhabiting the same tree for a few thousand years.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:38 AM
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Oooh, this is an interesting topic. I remember talking to Ash about this over chat a while ago.

The quote from Grace is "they've been living there since before human history began." It's kind of a frustrating quote, actually, because what does she even mean by that, and how does she know? For simplicity, I usually assume she means "since before written history." Even that would suggest they've lived there on the order of thousands of years, which seems to me like an unbelievably long time. But then again, the Hometrees are described as dwarfing even the ancient redwoods you see on Earth.

Incidentally, Ash suggested (and I rather like the idea) that perhaps Hometrees don't just grow on their own... they're cultivated. Or rather, the species may be natural, but they are encouraged to grow a certain way by the Na'vi who inhabit them. Pandorapedia does say that the Na'vi have horticultural techniques in which they can manipulate and promote the growth of various plants.

If so, that has some pretty interesting implications about the pace of change in Hometree-dwelling societies.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:39 AM
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as for the lifespan, if they are like trees on earth, then they will stay alive as long as there is water, sunlight and some molecule (like CO2) to photosynthesize
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:22 AM
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Most of my thoughts will sadly had to wait until tomorrow - I'm rather post-class (now, repairing books, THAT is what I could babble at you about) - but the implication from Grace's statement is that the Omaticaya have been living at Hometree for at least ten thousand years (...pretty sure that's when the first writing has been discovered so far. But like all things in history, the date can be pushed back if any new evidence is discovered).

And as Sothis mentioned, my own theory is that the Hometrees are cultivated, which could in turn lengthen their lifespan (and given ten thousand years, this really implies that the Na'vi are a very old species. But the average length of time for a species is about 2-3 million, I THINK, so that could still work).

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Originally Posted by tm20 View Post
as for the lifespan, if they are like trees on earth, then they will stay alive as long as there is water, sunlight and some molecule (like CO2) to photosynthesize
Also, room to grow - this is partly how strangler figs kill their host trees, by ensuring that the host tree has no room to grow outwards anymore.

But, more thoughts tomorrow!
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:36 PM
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In the deleted scenes on the CE, Grace points out to Selfridge that Hometree has been the Omaticaya's ancestral home ever since human history began.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunter of the Glade View Post
In the deleted scenes on the CE, Grace points out to Selfridge that Hometree has been the Omaticaya's ancestral home ever since human history began.
This would be where I'm getting the 10,000 years from, yep.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sothis View Post

Incidentally, Ash suggested (and I rather like the idea) that perhaps Hometrees don't just grow on their own... they're cultivated. Or rather, the species may be natural, but they are encouraged to grow a certain way by the Na'vi who inhabit them. Pandorapedia does say that the Na'vi have horticultural techniques in which they can manipulate and promote the growth of various plants.
this would mean that they couldn't look for a new hometree but have to grow one, which takes ages. In the meantime they have to live in a village of tents or huts (perhaps comparable to the ones the Amazon indians have).
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:36 PM
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this would mean that they couldn't look for a new hometree but have to grow one, which takes ages. In the meantime they have to live in a village of tents or huts (perhaps comparable to the ones the Amazon indians have).
or get lucky and find a hometree waiting for them to live in. the insides look like everything grows like that naturally, no modding by the Na'vi. i think all they do is tie their hammocks and other stuff on the inside. we see there are other hometrees and there are most likely many. now the search begins
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:05 AM
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Aha... I found the chat I mentioned. I've edited it down for readability and copied the relevant bits below, with Ash's permission.

Also, here's the wikipedia page on strangler figs, which has some great pictures: Strangler fig - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

~Sothis


Sothis: I think I read somewhere that the "great trees" are actually a bunch of trees growing together into one trunk. So they might not grow together in the same way every time.

Ashen Key: There'd be similarities - and the Tipani in the game also have a hometree, so I was figuring there was a relationship between the tree and the clan that lives in it. The Na'vi help care for the tree, and in return, the tree provides them shelter. Like that ant tree - it deliberately grows a nest for the ants that live on it. So, I figured the hometrees were like that - only with Na'vi, not ants.

Sothis: I bet it'll be hard for the Omaticaya to find another hometree that's not already taken. Though I figured that already. In FSTL, I had them colonize a smaller tree, maybe half-size.

Ashen Key: Yes, a half-grown hometree might not have another clan in it already. Although, it'd probably have a lot of quirks, as it hasn't been inhabited since it was planted.

I always saw the hometrees as being similar to strangler-figs, in the way they form together. Although, in this case, they don't kill the 'host' tree. Or maybe they do... hence the curved tower shape.


Sothis: Strangler-figs... I'll have to look those up.

Ashen Key: They. Are. Awesome. And so cool looking. They end up hollow, because they strangle the host tree, which dies because it can't grow. And you get some that strangle three or four trees over their life, and end up ENORMOUS.

Sothis: Yeah, I'm looking at the wikipedia page. Definitely getting a "hometree" vibe. So I guess the host tree rots out?

Ashen Key: Yep. And fairly quickly, given the jungle conditions. I love strangler figs, and I'm guessing because Pandoran trees are so damn big ANYWAY, that helps in the big tower thing that happens. You get a few strangler figs around one of those trees, wait a century -- one hometree!

Sothis: I'm still trying to imagine how the spiral forms, though. It's such a tidy corkscrew.

Ashen Key: Yeah, there my theory falls down. Although, the Na'vi do use growth hormone-y things, according to the blu-ray pandorapedia. So they can always grow the spiral once they move in. The other theory is that it was all grown at once, and the spiral is part of that – which to me probably points to the Na’vi actually growing them. Either that, or the Hometrees and the Na’vi have evolved a symbiotic relationship, like what I said before, with the ants and their tree.
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How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

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Old 03-01-2011, 04:17 AM
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I wonder if the hometree is even a single organism.

I believe I read somewhere a while back that a hometree was really a group of large, thick, tree-like vines wrapped together. It may be a possibility that a Hometree is a collection of plants that grew together akin to a reef colony. It could even have specialized members. For example: the leaves located at the top of the tree may be small plants growing out of a host vine. They perform photosynthesis for the vines and in return, the vines provide nutrients from ground. it would be a very beneficial relationship as heights such as those would receive a lot of sunlight and would also offer protection from a lot of herbivores.

Last edited by Banefull; 03-01-2011 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
I wonder if the hometree is even a single organism.

I believe I read somewhere a while back that a hometree was really a group of large, thick, tree-like vines wrapped together. It may be a possibility that a Hometree is a collection of plants that grew together akin to a reef colony.
That seems to be the general consensus in what I've read, yes. That it's all a group of trees grown together (which in turn the Omaticaya see as an example of the group working together is stronger than the individual, etc.)
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:58 AM
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Written human history makes sense as a relative term. Either way from that remark, hometrees can be at the very least several thousand years old in the inhabitable size (if it is taken as written human history as opposed to the existence of human society), which means that they would likely take least a few hundred years before then in a growth stage.

I'm not really sure how they could be cultivated though - they are a single organism, as the different columns blend into each other, although they may well form symbiotic relationships with other plants, the tree itself certainly appears to be a single organism - this also creates the theory that one may have a lot of connections to other trees - while not as many as somewhere like a/the Tree of voices, they still act as important points in the network. If by cultivated, you mean that the Na'vi plant them in location in order to create one, then this might make a bit more sense, although with their likely growth speed, there wouldn't be much of a cause for this, as it would be hundreds of years at a minimum until it was of an inhabitable size.

A hometree is clearly not made of vines - it has branches and leaves, in addition to being made of wood ("you may make your bow from the wood of Hometree"), and as far as I know, vine species do not live that long, and most do not have the integrity to form a structure in that way. For a tree, there far less of a practical upper limit of size in the same way as with mammals, particularly in the environment of Pandora. A hometree does likely form symbiotic relationships with other smaller plant species, but I would say the core structure would till be a single tree.
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