Animal Symbols

The Indigenous People of the United States

Discover interesting facts and information about the history and culture of Native American Indians and their tribes

                              Turtle Symbol

     

Animal Symbols


Native American Symbols, like the Animal Symbols, can vary in meaning from one tribe to another and across the culture groups of North America. 

Discover facts and information about the meanings of secret and mysterious symbols used by Native American Indians in our List of Symbols including the the Snake symbol.

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Native American Symbols
Native Indian Tribes Index
 

Meaning of the Animal Symbols

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.   

  Turtle Symbol

Animal Symbols - The Coyote, the Butterfly, the Snake and the Fish symbols
Power Animals

Native American Indians - Animal Symbols Chart
The following chart provides details of each of the animals that feature in beliefs of Native American Indians together with its meanings and symbolism.
 

Animal Symbols Chart


Names of Animals

Native American Animal Symbolism
 

Animal Symbols:

Bear
 
The bear symbolizes courage, physical strength and leadership

Animal Symbols:

Beaver
 
The beaver symbolizes determination and strong-will

Animal Symbols:

Buffalo
 
The buffalo symbolizes the sacred, life, great strength, abundance and gratitude

Animal Symbols:

Butterfly
 
The butterfly symbolizes transformation

Animal Symbols:

Coyote
 
The coyote symbolizes a cunning trickster

Animal Symbols:

Deer
 
The deer symbolizes gentleness, grace and survival

Animal Symbols:

Dog
 
The dog symbolizes loyalty

Animal Symbols:

Dragonfly
 
The dragonfly symbolizes happiness, speed and purity

Animal Symbols:

Eagle
 
The eagle symbolizes the divine spirit, creation and freedom
 

Animal Symbols:

Frog
 
The frog symbolizes cleansing, sensitivity adaptability
and transformation

Animal Symbols:

Fox
 
The fox symbolizes anticipation, observation and stealth

Animal Symbols:

Gila Monster
 
The gila monster symbolizes preservation and survival

Animal Symbols:

Horse
 
The horse symbolizes mobility, stamina, strength and power

Animal Symbols:

Lizard
 
The lizard symbolizes conservation and self-protection

Animal Symbols:

Opossum
 
The opossum symbolizes diversion, strategy and deception

Animal Symbols:

Raccoon
 
The raccoon symbolizes curiosity, adaptability and resourcefulness.

Animal Symbols:

Porcupine
 
The porcupine symbolizes innocence, companionship, and trust

Animal Symbols:

Prairie Dog
 
The prairie dog symbolizes swiftness and preparedness
 

Animal Symbols:

Scorpion
 
The scorpion symbolizes transformation, strength and chaos

Animal Symbols:

Serpent
 
The serpent symbolizes chaos, corruption and darkness.

Animal Symbols:

Squirrel
 
The squirrel symbolizes planning and the home

Animal Symbols:

Snake
 
The snake symbolizes healing and re-birth

Animal Symbols:

Spider
 
The spider symbolizes creativity and is the weaver
of the fabric of life

Animal Symbols:

Turtle
 
The turtle symbolizes good health and long life

Animal Symbols:

Wolf
 
The wolf symbolizes direction and leadership and embodies both protection and destruction

Names of Animals

Native American Animal Symbolism
 

Animal Symbols Chart

 

 

Native American Meaning of the Animal 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.

Meaning of Animal Symbols - 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 symbol was 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.

Meaning of the Animal Symbols - 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.

Meaning of the Animal Symbols - The Insect Symbols: Butterfly, Dragonfly & 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.

The Animal Symbols - 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.

 

Serpent Symbols - the Feathered Serpent, the Horned Serpent, Coiled Serpent and the Great Serpent

Animal Symbols - Meanings
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 Tattoos. For additional information refer to the article on the Interpretation of Symbols.

 

Snake

  • The Animal Symbols of Native Americans
  • Meaning, symbolism and interpretation of the Animal Symbols
  • Interesting facts and info for kids and schools
  • Pictures, meanings, patterns and designs of symbols
  • Native American Animal Symbols meaning

 

Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Animal symbol. Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to the History of Native Americans and illustrate many symbols used by American Indians. The pictures show the clothing, war paint, weapons and decorations of various Native Indian tribes that can be used as a really useful educational history resource for kids and children of all ages. We have included pictures and videos to accompany the main topic of this section - Animal symbol. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with information and many historical facts. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Native Indian Tribes Index - a great educational resource for kids.

 

Animal Symbols - Animal Symbolism - Teaching resource - Teachers - Kids - Animal Symbolism - Native Indian - Animal Symbolism - Animal - Symbolize - Interpretation - Animal Symbolism - Indian - Meaning - Symbolism - Animal Symbolism - Interpretation - Animal Meanings - Animal Tattoos - Info - Animal Symbols - Information - Kids - Pictures - Signs - EAnimal Symbolism - Children - Animal Symbolism - Homework - Animal Symbolism - Reference - Animal Symbolism - Guide - Tattoos - Animal Symbolism - Indigenous - Ancient - Pictures - Animal Symbols - Pictures of American Symbols - Animal Symbolism - Animal Symbols - Written By Linda Alchin