The meaning of the above single arrow indicated protection and defence. Arrows also signified direction, force, movement, power and direction of travel. When an arrow pointed to the left it meant warding off evil, pointing to the right meant protection and an arrow pointing down meant peace. Two arrows depicted together were the symbol for war.
Two Arrows in different directions symbolised War
A bundle of five arrows represented one of the five founding tribes of the Iroquois League. One arrow could easily be broken, while a bundle of five arrows would remain strong. Crossed arrows were symbols of friendship. A broken arrow was a symbol of peace.
A Broken Arrow symbolised Peace
Crossed Arrows were the Symbol of Friendship
There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common meaning of the Arrow symbol or pattern. Native Indian symbols are still used as Tattoos and were used for a variety of reasons and depicted on numerous objects such as tepees, totem poles, musical instruments, clothes and War Paint. Indian Tribes also used their own Colors for Symbols and designs depending on the natural resources available to make Native American paint.
The arrow symbol
Native American Indians had a highly complex culture, especially those who lived on the Great Plains.
Their religion was dominated by rituals and belief in a spiritual connection with nature and these beliefs were reflected in the various symbols they used such as the Arrow symbol.
The clothes, tepees and all of his belongings was decorated with art and included symbols depicting his achievements, acts of heroism, his various spirit guides or the most important events in his life. Every symbol used by an American Native Indian had meaning which can be accessed from Symbols and Meanings.