Allegedly, Nini was a resident of the Southern Water Tribe and a friend to Kya, Katara's mother, when she was still young. Along with her entire family, Nini disappeared under mysterious circumstances during a snowstorm and was never seen again. Shortly after the incident, the men of Nini's village formed a search party in an attempt to locate her and her family, leaving behind Kya, who remained in Nini's house. While she waited alone, she heard a tiny voice behind her say, "It's so cold, and I can't get warm." She reportedly came face to face with Nini, who complained about being extremely cold. When she left to retrieve the others, Nini had disappeared. It is common belief in the Southern Water Tribe that her house is haunted, as in the years following that incident, villagers reported seeing smoke rise from Nini's chimney, as if she was still trying to warm herself.