Friendship Symbol

The Friendship Symbol


Native American Symbols, like the Friendship symbol, 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 Friendship symbol.

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Meaning of the Friendship Symbol

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 Friendship symbol which are represented by crossed arrows. Native American symbols are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. In Sioux mythology, Wohpe is a goddess of peace and represents harmony and meditation. She gave the Sioux a pipe as a symbol of peace. The Sacred stone of Wohpe is turquoise which is given as a gift as a symbol for friendship.

The Friendship Symbol - The Arrow
The meaning of the Friendship symbol uses the arrow to signal the end of hostilities and friendship. The meaning of the Arrow symbols changed according to the way they were depicted.

Two arrows depicted together flying in opposite directions were the symbol for war. 

Arrow Symbol

 A Broken Arrow symbolised Peace.

   

   Crossed Arrows were the Symbol of Friendship

 

Crossed Arrows were the Symbol of Friendship and, in 1866, the army were authorised by Congress to establish a Corps of Indian Scouts. In 1890 they were provided with a uniform with regulation silver colored crossed arrows on the Dress uniform's uniform's hat and were later worn on the left collar. For more interesting facts and information refer to Bows and Arrows and How to make a Bow.

The Peace Pipe - Symbol of Friendship
A ceremonial smoking pipe, called a Calumet, was often used to seal a peace treaty and friendship between warring factions, hence the term 'Peace Pipe'. This name was given to the Calumet by the settlers who only saw the pipe being smoked on this occasion. However, the Calumet was also used to offer prayers in religious ceremonies and in war councils.

Picture of a Peace Pipe

Picture of a Calumet - Peace Pipe, symbol of friendship

The Friendship Symbol - "Burying the Hatchet"
It is interesting to note that the deadly Tomahawk or the Hatchet Axe weapon was a Native American symbol of both war and peace. To bury a tomahawk meant peace and friendship - to dig it up, meant to declare the most deadly warfare, hence the phrase "to bury the hatchet" when making peace.

The Iroquois Confederacy - The Tree of Peace
Dekanawida, the Great Peacemaker  and Hiawatha united five nations to create the Iroquois Confederacy. The Great Peacemaker used a white pine, called the Tree of Peace, to symbolize the peace and friendship that had been established. The branches of the Tree of Peace represented protection. A far seeing eagle sat upon the top of the tree to symbolize a warning system if the tribes were in danger. Beneath the roots of the Tree of Peace a weapon was buried which symbolized that there would be no fighting between the Iroquois tribes.

Tree of Peace

Tree of Peace and Friendship

The Friendship Symbol - Meaning
There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common meaning of the Friendship 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.

 

 

Native American Indians - Friendship 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 Friendship 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.

Friendship Symbol - Crossed Arrows

Apache Hide Painting

 

Friendship

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

 

Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Friendship. 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 - Friendship. 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.

 

Teaching resource - Teachers - Kids - Friendship - Native American Symbols - Indian Symbols - Symbolism - Symbolize - Interpretation - American Symbols and Designs - Indian - Meaning - Symbolism - Symbolize - Interpretation - Meanings - Tattoos - Tattoo - Info - Information - Kids - Pictures - Signs - Emblem - Icon - Pictogram - Pictograms - Children - Spirit - Patterns - Designs - Homework - Picture Writing - Traditions - American Symbols - Reference - Tribes - Tribe - Guide - Tattoos - History - Writing - Signs - Pictographs - Indigenous - Ancient - Pictures - Pictures of American Symbols - Paintings - Images - Photographs - Friendship - Written By Linda Alchin