Meaning of the Strength 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 Strength symbol. Native American symbols were geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. Animals were drawn as symbols which were taken as spiritual guides and stood for the qualities and traits of the animal that the symbol represented. Native American bird and animal symbols and totems are believed to represent the physical form of a spirit helper and guide. The Bear symbol was important as it represented a protector and symbolized physical strength and leadership. Bears are strong, agile, and quick. The black bear and the Grizzly were native to North America and strongly associated with strength.
The Meaning of the Strength Symbol and the Bear Symbol
Some Indians believed that it was possible to draw strength and power from a bear by dreaming of one, by killing and eating part of one or by even just touching a bear. These actions made a warrior strong and invincible. The meaning of the Bear symbol was to signify strength and was viewed as a good omen.
Picture of an Iowa Indian wearing a Grizzly Bear Necklace
Many paintings on this website show Native American Indians wearing necklaces made from the claws of the grizzly bear. Because of the Indians' beliefs that the bear had spiritual power, wearing a bear claw necklace meant strength, protection and good health to the Indian wearing it. The necklace was not just an adornment it conveyed the strength of a man who had killed such a strong animal.
Additional Symbols of Strength
There were other images that were recognised a strength symbol. In Color Symbolism, the color of red used in War Paint symbolised strength, violence, war, blood, wounds, energy, power and success. The Hand symbol represents strength, spiritual power, domination and protection.
The meaning of the Eagle symbol was to signify strength, courage and wisdom and its purpose was as the messenger to the Creator.
The Zuni Bear symbol is believed to protect your home whilst you were away, its inherent powers providing help to the owner. Its strength are therefore passed on to the owner.
The Strength Symbol - Meaning
There were so many tribes of Native American Indians it is only possible to generalise the most common meaning of the Strength 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 and clothes. Indian Tribes also used their own Colors for Symbols and designs depending on the natural resources available to make Native American Paint.