Native American Symbols and Their Meanings (2023)

Native American Symbols provide people with a fun and interesting story of life, the spirit and of course nature. The Native American people were very close or in harmony with nature, and the spirit was very important to them.

Native Americans liked to express ideas through symbols, sometimes they painted the symbols on their artwork, and sometimes they painted the symbols on themselves, like tattoos.

Native Americans saw the world in a different way than most other peoples, they believed that everything and every person has a spirit, this fact makes Native Americans different from any other tribe or people.

The use of symbols in Native American tribes differs from tribe to tribe. However we will do our best to show you the most important Native American symbols and we will give you their meanings as well.

LEGENDS & Native American Symbols

Totem animals

The word “totem” has long been used to define a number of Native American ceremonial artifacts, including prayer sticks, calumets (peace pipe), medicine bags, etc.
Today, this word is more commonly used to refer to an animal usually carved from stone, which houses the spirit or energies (properties) of that animal.
Across the continent, Native Americans of many tribes have used totem animals to accompany their prayers and ceremonies, as talismans for abundance in hunting and fishing, procreation, agriculture, protection of youth, health and long life, etc.

The use of totems can be personal or community. The carvings may symbolize or commemorate ancestors, cultural beliefs that recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events.

While Native Americans of various nations – from Eskimos to Navajo – sculpt and use totems, Zuni sculptors in western New Mexico are renowned for creating the most beautiful totems. Previously, they exchanged their work with other distant tribes. This art form has enjoyed a remarkable revival and today many artisans master traditional knowledge and techniques, using a wide variety of materials like never before.

Native American Symbols and Their Meanings (1)

Traditional materials for totems are turquoise, lignite, seashell, catlinite, sandstone, alabaster and serpentine. Contemporary sculptors have also learned to use amber, lapis lazuli, sugilite, azurite, and other non-traditional semi-precious stones.
Certain stones have been associated with specific energies or elements of the earth. For example, turquoise can represent the sky or water, lignite can be used to signify eternity.

While it is important to recognize that each individual totems has its own unique power and spirit, certain animal forms have always had special significance. Here are some of the meanings symbolized by animal representations:

The Bear for Medicine; the Serpent for Enlightenment; the Horned Toad for Luck :; the Frog for Eternity; the Coyote for the Hunt, and the West; the Badger for the South; the Mountain Lion or Puma for the North; the Wolf for Speed ​​and East; the Mole for the depths of the Earth.

Dream Catcher

In Native American culture, a dream catcher or dream catcher is an Ojibway handicraft called a subakatchin made up of a ring, usually made of willow, and a loose net. The decorations that compose it are different for each dream catcher. According to a popular belief, the dream catcher, hanging from the bedroom window, is supposed to prevent bad dreams from invading the sleep of its holder by retaining them in the “web”.

Native American Symbols and Their Meanings (2)

They will be burned at the first light of day. Acting as a filter, it retains the pretty dreams that will find their way to the center of the canvas, only to be filtered down to the feathers. Held, they can be dreamed of again another night.

Kokopelli

Kokopelli is a mythical character often represented as a hunchbacked flute player, from the ancient Amerindian beliefs of the Southwestern United States, he is over 3,000 years old. Kokopelli was an image from the mythology of the Anasazi and / or Hohokams Indians, symbol of fertility, joy, celebration, long life. He is also a minstrel, a spirit of music, a storyteller, a traveling salesman, a rainmaker, a healer, a teacher, a prankster magician, a seducer, a fertilizer.

Native American Symbols and Their Meanings (3)

Kokopelli possesses the wisdom of age. This cheerful traveler has a lesson for everyone. His biggest lesson seems to be showing us that we shouldn’t take life too seriously. It is more particularly present in the country of the “Four Corners”, a high plateau straddling four states (New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona) whose intersection is on the Navajo Indian reservation.

The Medicine Wheel

Medicine wheel, is one of the Native American symbols and it’s originally a sacred circle laid out by the Amerindians using stones, and whose iconographic representation has become a symbol of the Amerindian culture which has been assimilated in New Age mysticism. Also called the circle of life, the medicine wheel is the basis of all indigenous traditions in the Americas. This circle can be used as well in the rituals of shamans as in the everyday life of the laity (the people of a religious faith).

Native American Symbols and Their Meanings (4)

In American Indian culture, the term medicine is not limited to the physical healing of the body as in the West, but rather denotes the power derived from knowledge of the secrets of the universe, including those concerning spiritual health. In other words, the medicine wheel is the mirror of the union between man and the universe, it is the reflection of the divine, it is the means to understand the cosmic and moral laws.

Symbology

One of the oldest representations of the wheel is found in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming and dates back to 200-500 years ago: built with white stones, it reaches a diameter of 28 meters.

(Video) NATIVE AMERICAN SYMBOLS MEANINGS

The wheel symbolizes movement, the passage of time, life and the seasons. The center is the symbol of the Great Spirit, the cross also symbolizes the cosmic tree which has its roots on the Earth and branches towards the sky. The cross also indicates the four sacred directions.

The South symbolizes summer and is childhood. The associated color is red, that is, blood, vitality. Symbolizes physical strength and health. It is associated with water, an element that has a strong duality in it: a symbol of life and death. The Totem animal is the mouse, smart and quick to learn.

The West is the symbol of the Earth, of the material world, of growth. It is associated with autumn and its color is black which absorbs all colors and protects them. Black is also the color of the Curtains of the Moon where women used to retire during the menstrual period. It is adulthood and the Totem animal is the Grizzly with its strength.

The North is a symbol of old age, winter and wisdom. The color is white that sums all the colors of light and is therefore a symbol of integrity and knowledge. The Totem animal is the Bison who sacrifices himself for the life of man and provides him with what he needs.

East is spring, birth to new life after death, and is associated with yellow, fire, vitality. It symbolizes enlightenment and the totem animal is the eagle which of all creatures is the closest to the sun.

Feather

Feathers among Native American symbols have a sacred meaning, representing the sacred essence. They are a symbol of Peace and Freedom of mind.
They are also used during purification and healing rituals to disperse harmful energies and attract beneficial energies into the body of the sick person.

Eagle feathers lead our thoughts and prayers to the Great Spirit.
With the gift of a feather, we receive part of its essence.

Native American Symbols and Their Meanings (5)

So when a person receives an eagle feather, it is the most honorable gift. The Native American people, as well as other peoples, have long recognized the medicinal and healing properties of bird feathers. They use them, among other things, as tools for directing and bringing healing energy into an injured or sick person, because they are known to capture and redistribute beneficial energies.

Animal totems and their meanings

In Native American culture, animals have a strong meaning. Indeed, they are a true spiritual guide for the young people who, to find their animal totems, set out in search of vision in the forest for several days without eating or drinking. We can relate this to a shamanic journey, that is to say a journey which is made to change his states of consciousness in a controlled manner in order to find his inner world. Adolescents approaching adulthood, for example people born to the Sioux, performed these rituals, in search of their totem pole so that they could later solve the mysteries of life they were going to face. During this trip, the Indians suddenly saw in a very real way an animal appear to them, it is at this moment that this one became the animal totem. Ceremonies were then celebrated to formalize each event.

We will now move on to the most exciting: the meaning of each animal Native American symbols.

BEE

Represents the community, the party. She invites us to celebrate happy events, or just the mysterious and wonderful existence of life. She whispers to us that a harmonious life in community exists.

ANTILOPE

The antelope encourages reasonable behavior. She knows the tricks of life. She can act truthfully and fearlessly. The antelope corresponds to people who work in medicine.

SPIDER

The number of legs of the spider is 8, which refers to infinity. It is the infinite diversity in the creations. 8 is two times 4, which are the 4 winds, the 4 cardinal points. The spider symbolizes responsibility. We ourselves weave our web of destiny.

EAGLE

Represents great wisdom, authority and power, courage. Its feathers are often used in sacred rituals. He is the objectivity and clarity of mind necessary for decision-making and the search for priorities. Represents Spirit, the ability to live in the spirit realm while remaining connected and balanced in the earth realm. The Eagle brings enlightenment and enlightenment. He teaches to look up to the higher realms so that your heart reaches the Sun and that you learn to love the shadow as well as the light. The eagle embodies divine strength. He can go very high in the sky, higher than any living being, and he is equated with the Great Spirit. He dominates with his gaze the whole of life. The eagle teaches that it is necessary to consider both positive and negative events, the faces of shadows and light, which helps to further develop one’s self. Eagle feathers are used by shamans to heal the aura of sick people. Come to the end of your fears, look beyond your horizon, connect with the aerial element and fly! This is what the eagle urges.

WHALE

Considered to be the master of the ocean which represents the Archivist, the library of the Earth. It brings us back to the original language, sound, which carries within it the whole of destiny. Who knows his origin, knows his future. The dolphins are his warriors and the sea otters are his messengers. This mammal knows how to deserve a lot of respect and symbolizes long life and power. The whale is the keeper of the secrets and history of the Earth.

Aries / Sheep

It means breakthrough, success. It also represents rooting, connection, balance. He knows how to stay hooked to the ground and remind us of everyday realities.

(Video) Native American Symbols

BISON: He is the undisputed symbol of abundance. In Indian beliefs, if a white bison appeared, it meant that prayers were heard and there was going to be abundance in the harvest. The bison brought everything, food, clothing and leather.

BADGER (otters, wolverines, martens, minks, polecats, weasels and ferrets)

Most animals avoid meeting him. He is a totem animal of powerful healers and female doctors in Native American symbols of animal.

FEMALE RED DEER

It represents gentleness. It teaches us to see beyond the material and superficial elements of life. The doe represents gentleness and unconditional love.

SWAN: The swan teaches us to accept the grace of change.

MALE COLIBRI (hummingbird)

The hummingbird is attached to beauty, to aesthetics. He loves flowers filled with perfume, and life. Hummingbird feathers were used in magic as a love spell.

MALE RED DEER

It signifies pride and independence. He shows us how to develop our confidence and strengthen our sense of dignity.

HORSE

means the earth, the journey. It symbolizes energy and speed. The horse is highly respected and is linked with shamanic magic. It is the first animal mascot of civilization. The teaching about the horse says that one cannot obtain power by force but that this power is attributed to one who is able to use it with respect.

BAT

The bat symbolizes rebirth. A bat is hanging upside down. Bats were idolized by the Mayan, Aztec, and Toltec civilizations.

DOG

considered as Loyalty. He conveys a sense of service to others, a deep and compassionate understanding. He represents volunteers, philanthropists, nurses, counselors, priests or soldiers. It is about loyalty to others, but also, and above all, to oneself. The dog, of course, is the loyal and devoted companion. He serves his master, so that he is always proud of him. The dog is considered, in some traditions, as the guardian of secret domains, the protector of ancient knowledge. He can defend his owner until death.

OWL

The owl symbolizes magic, clairvoyance. It is the eagle of the night.

COYOTE

The coyote is a sneaky and deceptive animal. He likes to deceive himself and others. He falls into his own traps and this does not not used as a lesson. The coyote shows us our crazy side.

RAVEN / CROW

Native legends say that the raven created light, fire and water. This cultural hero can be easily recognized by his straight beak. The crow symbolizes intelligence. Holds Magic.

CORNEILLE: She is the keeper of the great mysteries. In the crow mixes the past, the present and the future.

DOLPHIN

The dolphin teaches us everything to do with the breath that binds us with life and the life force. The dolphin teaches us that we must control our breathing in order to overtake, free us from the burdens that weigh on us.

TURKEY: The turkey is the symbol of generosity, sharing, and giving. The turkey teaches us that there is no point in being a materialist, you have to know how to share with others.

SQUIRREL

The squirrel is a small animal which stores its reserves, which is a collector. There are stocks in different places to be able to spend the winter without worrying about food.

(Video) Native American Symbols

Moose (big deer or alces)

Symbolizes Endurance. He teaches us that acting in moderation increases our endurance. It is linked, too, to brotherhood, the friendship that rises above competition and jealousy. Momentum is the symbol of self-respect.

ANT

It symbolizes Patience. She never worries about “having to do without it” because she has confidence in providence. She reminds us that we need to demonstrate patience and confidence in certain life situations.

FROG

The frog has the power to call rain with different sounds. It symbolizes water, it has a relationship with the Iniatic rites that have to do with water.

DRAGONFLY (odonata insect)

The dragonfly symbolizes deception of the senses and transformation. Its sparkling wings are reminiscent of magical times and make it possible to realize that this world is made of only an apparent reality.

HARE (jackrabbits)

Symbolizes rebirth, balance. It represents intuition, and brings the exaltation that accompanies rebirth and great fruitfulness. The hare signifies fear, its fear of being killed, eaten by humans or animals. He teaches that in fact, you attract what you dread the most.

WOLF

Often associated with the spiritual power that a man had to acquire in order to become a good hunter. The wolf symbolizes family, endurance, Intuition, Learning.

LYNX (wild cat)

The Lynx is the animal that holds the secrets among totem animals. It preserves old forgotten secrets.

OTTER

Calls for joy, helpfulness. It invites us to become children again, to have fun and to accept the flow of life and experiences.

GOOSE

Calls for vigilance, creative power.

BIRD-FLY or Female hummingbird

Represents elegance and flexibility.

BEAR

The great hunter represents strength and wisdom. The bear is still considered a dignitary. The bear symbolizes protection.

BUTTERFLY

The butterfly is the symbol of metamorphosis, of change. There are 4 steps to be taken to become a butterfly; the 1 st is the egg, the birth of the idea, then, the state of larva which is to know if one carries out his project. Then there is the cocoon where we have to bring this project to oneself, to link it to our person. And comes the blossoming, the birth of the long-hatched project. These stages are repeated throughout our life, because of ideas, projects we have several in a single life.

PORCUPINE

In the medicine wheel, the porcupine represents the innocent child. He is of a kind and loving nature. No aggressiveness ever emanates from this animal.

PUMA

The puma embodies the energy of power in its purest form. It can be used positively among the wise or negatively for those who abuse.

SEAL

It represents love, the dilemma. It is the call of the sea, of the depths, of the unconscious.

SKUNK

The skunk or polecat is very confident in himself. It is a serene animal, which is aware of its strength and power.

(Video) Native American Symbols for Spirituality

FOX

The fox is a very smart animal, which knows how to be very discreet. He is very quick and attentive to his family.

SALMON

Symbol of abundance and prosperity. Two salmon symbolize good luck. Develops wisdom, rejuvenation.

SNAKE

It represents transformation, vital energy. It symbolizes our successive deaths and rebirths, as well as sexual energy. The serpent shows the movement of birth, life and death well, as it changes its skin. The forces he holds are transformation, immortality, creation.

MOUSE

The mouse observes what is going on around it very carefully. The strength of the mouse invites us to see things in great detail.

ARMADILLO

The armadillo has a breastplate that effectively protects it from its attackers. He teaches us to set limits and see what experiences we are willing to have in life.

TAURUS or BULL

Represents fertility, power, abundance and prosperity.

TURTLE

In the indigenous imagination, the turtle is associated with great myths of the creation of the world. Slow and tenacious, this animal symbolizes wisdom and perseverance. Noble qualities that have allowed the indigenous nations to survive, for millennia, in the land of America. It is also the symbol of health. The oldest symbol of planet Earth; she personifies the goddess of energy and the Eternal Mother.

The turtle represents Mother Earth in Indian belief. Its shell is its protective shield. The fact that she makes her eggs hatch in the sun teaches that you have to think carefully about your ideas before unveiling them. Its slowness tells us that we should not rush things, that it will come in due time. She teaches us to protect our feelings and withdraw into oneself.

SOW or female pig

It develops generosity, discovery. The many litters of the Sow symbolize abundance and fertility. It reminds us that life is generous, giving to all and constantly regenerating things and beings.

COW

Relates to food, to the mother. It reveals to us the generosity, the nourishing and regenerating force that surrounds us. It is found everywhere: in our friends, our children, in our meals, in our dreams and in nature.

ELK (wapiti or deer family)

The elk is an animal which has great endurance, and which knows its limits.

Sources: PinterPandai, American Indian COC, My Mondo Trading, West Coast Art Gallery Inc

FAQs

What do the Native American symbols mean? ›

Native American symbols are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. The arrow was very important to the Native Indians. The Bow and Arrow enabled the Indians to hunt the animals which would provide their food, clothing, weapons and tools.

What is the Native American symbol for good luck? ›

Woodpecker. Woodpeckers are considered a lucky charm in many Native American societies and are associated with happiness and prosperity. Some other communities prize them for their medicinal properties. For this reason, woodpecker feathers adorn ceremonial objects, headdresses, and dance regalia.

What is the Native American symbol for healing? ›

The Medicine Wheel, also known as “the sacred hoop,” is used by many Native American tribes as a symbol of healing and health.

What is the most important symbols in indigenous peoples? ›

The Eagle is accorded the highest respect by all First Nations. The Eagle is considered the messenger of the Creator, therefore its feathers are held in high regard. Thus, the eagle feather is the link between the People and the Creator. Eagle feathers are gathered in ritual.

What is the Navajo symbol? ›

But, as it turns out, they weren't swastikas at all. They're sacred Navajo emblems that pre-date World War II known as the “whirling log,” “falling log,” or “swirling log.” It looks like a cross with shorter 90-degree-notches at the end of each line, creating a swirling shape.

What is the Cherokee symbol? ›

The seal of the Cherokee Nation was created by an executive Act under Chief Lewis Downing in 1869. The Act calls for the seal to contain a seven-pointed star inside of a wreath of oak leaves, symbolizing the eternal flame of the Cherokee people.

What animal is sacred to Native Americans? ›

The Buffalo, through giving its life and sharing every part of its being, showed the deep respect it had for the people. No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than this animal, and its gift provided shelter, clothing and utensils for daily living.

What is the Native American symbol for friendship? ›

For the Native Americans, two arrows that cross at the center are used as a symbol of bringing together two tribes or two people. In essence, these two arrows represent friendship.

What is the Native American symbol for family? ›

The Native American symbol for family is a circle with four people drawn inside it. The circle represents close family ties and protection. There is no starting or ending point on a circle, symbolizing the unbreakable bonds of a family.

What are the 4 native colors? ›

The four colors (black, white, yellow, and red) embody concepts such as the Four Directions, four seasons, and sacred path of both the sun and human beings. Arrangement of colors vary among the different customs of the Tribes.

What does a hand with a spiral in it mean? ›

Description of Healing Hand

The healing hand symbol depicts a hand with a spiral in the place of the palm. It represents healing and protection. The spiral represents the universe, or eternity and, when combined with the shape of a hand, the symbol is said to have therapeutic energy.

What is the Native American circle of life? ›

Circle of Life presents, in written form, traditional oral Native American sacred teachings involving spirituality, ceremonies, visions, healings, everyday life, and the warrior's way from the Iroquois, Lakota and other traditions.

What does a broken arrow mean in Native American? ›

Within Native American cultures, the sign of two crossed arrows is used to represent an alliance, while an arrow broken in two is a sign of peace.”

What does the triangle mean to Native Americans? ›

The largest triangle represents the teepee, or home of the family. Inside this "home," you see many smaller triangles, which symbolize the feeling of family as it includes extended family members, other tribe members, or the many children of a set of parents.

What do bears mean to Native Americans? ›

Most Native American tribes revere the bear. Like the turtle, each tribe's cultural view of the bear varies; however, at the core, the bear represents authority, good medicine, courage, and strength. The bear is said to be a healer and protector.

What does the Thunderbird symbolize? ›

The Native Thunderbird Symbol represents power, protection, and strength. He is often seen as the most powerful of all spirits and can also transform into human form by opening his head up like a mask and taking his feathers off as if they were a mere blanket.

What does a arrowhead symbolize? ›

It symbolizes bravery, achievements, heroism, spirit guides, and significant event in their life. These days, the arrowhead is also used as a pendant. Arrowhead is more than just a weapon. The pointed part of the arrowhead can easily penetrate the skin.

What does Kokopelli mean? ›

Kokopelli (/ˌkoʊkoʊˈpɛliː/) is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head), who is venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States.

What are the 7 tribes of the Cherokee? ›

There are seven clans: A-ni-gi-lo-hi (Long Hair), A-ni-sa-ho-ni (Blue), A-ni-wa-ya (Wolf), A-ni-go-te-ge-wi (Wild Potato), A-ni-a-wi (Deer), A-ni-tsi-s-qua (Bird), A-ni-wo-di (Paint). The knowledge of a person's clan is important.

What did the Cherokee call their god? ›

Unetlanvhi (oo-net-la-nuh-hee): the Cherokee word for God or “Great Spirit,” is Unetlanvhi is considered to be a divine spirit with no human form. The name is pronounced similar to oo-net-la-nuh-hee.

What are the two sacred numbers of the Cherokee people? ›

Numbers. Cherokee myths, traditions, and political arrangements commonly use two numbers: 4 and 7. The number four refers to the four directions: east, west, north, and south.

How do I find out my Native American spirit animal? ›

A few techniques for discovering your spirit animal:
  1. Learn about the animal connections in your own lineage. ...
  2. Pay attention to your dreams. ...
  3. Think about your past connections to certain animals. ...
  4. Journal about the animals that you feel drawn to. ...
  5. Take a quiz. ...
  6. Bear. ...
  7. Butterfly. ...
  8. Cat.
23 Nov 2021

How do you find your totem animal? ›

Ask to Discover Your Animal Totem

If you have an animal on your mind regularly, then you probably have already discovered that it is your animal guide. Asking during meditation or when recalling your dreams can show you how to find your animal totem. Keep an open mind when in nature and ask the earth to show you.

What are spirit animals? ›

What does spirit animal mean? In certain spiritual traditions or cultures, spirit animal refers to a spirit which helps guide or protect a person on a journey and whose characteristics that person shares or embodies. It is also metaphor, often humorous, for someone or something a person relates to or admires.

What is a love symbol? ›

The Heart: The most popular symbol of love, a heart is used to represent the center of emotion, including affection and love, especially romantic love. A heart pierced with an arrow is meant to symbolize romantic love.

What animals symbolize in Native American culture? ›

Examples of Native American totem animals and their meaning:

Bear—power, physical strength, leadership, motherhood. Raccoon—curiosity, disguise, explorer, dexterity. Turtle—fertility, protecting, self-reliance, long life. Butterfly—transformation, grace, ability to accept change, vulnerability.

What does the spiral mean in Native American? ›

The spiral was derived from Native American solar hieroglyphics and is known as the symbol for eternity or for the path of our existence on earth. The Healer's Hand was said to have the curative powers of the tribe's Shaman, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Shaman's Hand.

What is the Cherokee motto? ›

The heart in the center, of course, represents the Cherokee motto: Matters of the heart. The Cherokee concept of “the right way” is closely related.

What does an eye mean in Native American culture? ›

In many Native American cultures, the eyes are believed to be the window to the soul. If you look someone directly in the eye, you could steal their soul. Or they could steal yours. In order to avoid inadvertent soul loss/theft, eye contact may be avoided.

What does a bear claw symbolize? ›

While the claws represent the bear's strength and courage, the otter hide signifies power over both land and water. Both animals' qualities guided the wearer during warfare, treaty negotiations, and other important events. Good Chief, Chahiksichahiks (Pawnee), ca.

What color hair do Native Americans have? ›

In general, ancient and contemporary Native Americans were predicted to have intermediate/brown eyes, black hair, and intermediate/darker skin pigmentation.

Why do natives wear red? ›

It has been said that red is a color that transcends the physical world and calls to the ancestors in the spirit world. For ceremony and pow-wow, Native Americans dressed their children in red as an introduction to the ancestors – calling upon them as guardians to the young.

What are the seven sacred animals? ›

The Seven Sacred Teachings: What we can learn from the species we protect
  • Wisdom: beaver. ...
  • Love: eagle. ...
  • Respect: buffalo. ...
  • Bravery: bear. ...
  • Honesty: raven. ...
  • Humility: wolf. ...
  • Truth: turtle.
21 Jun 2021

What is healer hand? ›

The Healer's Hand, also known as the Shaman's Hand, is an ancient symbol of healing and protection. The image consists of a hand with a spiral palm and it is believed to have come from the Native American solar hieroglyphs that have been found in a number of places in the south-western part of the U.

What is the hand and eye symbol? ›

What is the Hamsa Symbol? The Hamsa symbol is an open hand, often featuring an eye through the middle of the palm. This ancient symbol is popularly used in jewelry and art to represent protection.

What are shamans hands? ›

The Shaman's hand is also called the Healing Hand because it is said to keep an individual healthy, both mentally and physically. The symbol is believed to have healing powers that restores and renews the mind, body, and spirit. The Healing Hand is bound to give protection to the one who wears it.

Why is the number 4 sacred to Native Americans? ›

The most important number is four, the symbol of the horizontal picture of the world, which is most clearly represented among North American Indians: “In its essence, this symbolism stays for a cycle associated with fertility.

What is a healing circle? ›

Healing circles are often called hocokah in the Lakota language, which means a sacred circle and is also the word for altar. The hocokah consists of people who sit together in a talking circle, in prayer, in ceremony, and are committed to helping one another and to each other's healing.

What do colors mean in Native American culture? ›

In general, red symbolized war, earth, success, blood, energy, and power. Black was an aggressive color that symbolized victory, triumph, and strength, but also death. White stood for peace, mourning, and also for heaven. Blue represented wisdom and confidence. Green represented harmony, healing, and endurance.

What do colors mean in Native American culture? ›

In general, red symbolized war, earth, success, blood, energy, and power. Black was an aggressive color that symbolized victory, triumph, and strength, but also death. White stood for peace, mourning, and also for heaven. Blue represented wisdom and confidence. Green represented harmony, healing, and endurance.

What is the meaning of the Kokopelli symbol? ›

Symbol of Music

Kokopelli became associated with the idea of fun and appreciating all the life had to offer, as the flute that Kokopelli carries symbolizes joy and music. It carries the idea of merriment and laughter during feasts. The image of Kokopelli could be seen as a reminder to enjoy ourselves.

What does a broken arrow mean in Native American? ›

Within Native American cultures, the sign of two crossed arrows is used to represent an alliance, while an arrow broken in two is a sign of peace.”

What do petroglyph symbols mean? ›

Petroglyphs were used to convey messages and ideas. They aren't read like words, or even like ancient hieroglyphics. They are symbols that can represent anything from a simple object to a complex idea. Our modern cultures also use symbols in similar ways.

What are the four sacred colors? ›

The Navajos define their homeland as the area between four sacred mountains in each direction, so each color represents a sacred mountain as well. Thus, among their myriad other meanings, the colors black, white, blue, and yellow link the Navajos to their ancestral homeland and the story of its creation.

What are the 4 native colors? ›

The four colors (black, white, yellow, and red) embody concepts such as the Four Directions, four seasons, and sacred path of both the sun and human beings. Arrangement of colors vary among the different customs of the Tribes.

What color hair do Native Americans have? ›

In general, ancient and contemporary Native Americans were predicted to have intermediate/brown eyes, black hair, and intermediate/darker skin pigmentation.

What does Kokopelli mean in Navajo? ›

According to Navajo legend, Kokopelli was the God of Harvest and Plenty - a benign minor god who brought abundant rain and food to people. The Zuni also regarded him as a Rain Priest, able to make it rain at will.

Is Kokopelli male or female? ›

"Kokopoli is male and kokopelmana is female." These two figures represent deities whose purpose is teaching how not to behave. They may be seen at Pueblo dances and celebrations pantomiming lewd acts to the derisive laughter of onlookers. These kachinas never are seen playing a flute and are not depicted in rock art.

What is the fertility symbol? ›

Lotus – The lotus flower is regarded as a symbol of fertility by Egyptians because it was associated with the goddess Isis who holds a lotus staff as a symbol of life, maidenhood, and fertility.

What animal is sacred to Native Americans? ›

The Buffalo, through giving its life and sharing every part of its being, showed the deep respect it had for the people. No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than this animal, and its gift provided shelter, clothing and utensils for daily living.

What is the Native American symbol for friendship? ›

For the Native Americans, two arrows that cross at the center are used as a symbol of bringing together two tribes or two people. In essence, these two arrows represent friendship.

What is the Native American symbol for family? ›

The Native American symbol for family is a circle with four people drawn inside it. The circle represents close family ties and protection. There is no starting or ending point on a circle, symbolizing the unbreakable bonds of a family.

What does a spiral of rocks mean? ›

The symbol can also have other meanings — including water, physical migration or spiritual migration — such as moving between the physical world and a mythical or spiritual world, he said. Photos: Rock Art May Depict One of First Volcanic Eruptions.

What does the triangle mean to Native Americans? ›

The largest triangle represents the teepee, or home of the family. Inside this "home," you see many smaller triangles, which symbolize the feeling of family as it includes extended family members, other tribe members, or the many children of a set of parents.

What does the spiral mean in Native American? ›

The spiral was derived from Native American solar hieroglyphics and is known as the symbol for eternity or for the path of our existence on earth. The Healer's Hand was said to have the curative powers of the tribe's Shaman, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the Shaman's Hand.

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