Friday, 3 August 2012

Native American symbols - Animals

Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation through Symbols and Signs such as the Animal Symbols. Native American symbols are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural and supernatural phenomena and animal designs. Native American Animal symbols and totems are believed to represent the physical form of a spirit helper and guide. Animal symbols are very special to the Native Americans. The many animals and reptiles native to North America are featured as reptile and animal symbols, many having different meanings to different tribes. For additional information please refer to Animal Totems and the Meanings of Bird Symbols.  

The Bear, Coyote, Deer & Fox

Animal Symbols has different meanings in many Native American tribes. The meaning of the Bear symbol was important as it represented a protector and symbolized courage, physical strength and leadership. The Coyote symbol is depicted as the trickster who was so mischievous and involved in his own trickery that he would trick himself. The deer was important to many Indian tribes as it provided a good means of sustenance providing food and clothing for the tribe and the Deer Track symbol was to signify that hunting in the area was plentiful. The Fox symbol represented a benign animal in some tribes but as a dangerous trickster in other tribes.

Gila Monster, Raccoon, Snake, Turtle, Wolf & Horse

The meaning of the Gila Monster symbol was to signify preservation and survival and used as a sign of the desert. The meaning of the Horse symbol was to signify mobility, stamina, strength and power. The meaning of the Many Fish symbolwas to signify water and the flow of life from the Earth. The Raccoon symbol symbolized curiosity, adaptability and resourcefulness. The Snake symbol has different meanings in many Native American tribes and the ancient people. The meaning of the Turtle symbol signifies good health and long life. The meaning of the Wolf Symbol was to symbolize direction and leadership and embodied both protection and destruction.

Zuni Bear Fetish

A fetish is an object which is believed to have magic powers. The Zuni Bear symbol was a fetish that symbolized the most powerful of animals and was believed to be the Guardian of the West with the power to heal and to transform passions into true wisdom. The Zuni Native American Indians strongly believed in six cardinal guardian fetishes - the bear, badger, mountain lion, wolf, mole and the eagle.

Butterfly, Dragonfly and spider

The meaning of the Butterfly symbol signifies transformation as the ugly caterpillar changes into the beautiful butterfly. The meaning of the Dragonfly symbol was to signify happiness, speed and purity. The Spider Symbol symbolized creativity and was the weaver of the fabric of life.

Mythology of the Avanyu, serpents and panther

Animal symbols, myths and legends: The Avanyu symbol is one of the many snake-like reptile deities that figure in the mythology of some Native American tribes, notably the Pueblo and represented a storm bringer and was connected with lightning, thunderstorms and the guardian of water.

The Panther symbol was seen as a malevolent being or monster who fights then devours his enemies and was strongly associated with warfare. The Feathered Serpent Symbol, the Serpent Symbol, The Great Serpent and the Horned Serpent all  featured in the myths and legends of the ancient Mississippian culture of North America, the culture of the Mound Builders.

There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common meaning of the Animal Symbols 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 and clothes. Indian Tribes also used their own Colors for Symbols and designs depending on the natural resources available to make Native American Paint. Use symbols as ideas and designs for American Indian TattoosFor additional information refer to the article on theInterpretation of Symbols.

Animal symbols

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 Animal Symbols.

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.


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