Meaning of the Bear Symbol
Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual
people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation
and Signs such as the Bear 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
The Bear symbol was important as it represented
a protector and symbolized courage, physical
strength and leadership. Bears are strong,
agile, and quick. The black bear and the Grizzly
were native to North America. The meaning of the Bear Symbol
was to signify a good omen and convey authority.
The bear was a very important animal symbol.
Some tribe would also have two warriors known as
the Grizzly Bears. These warriors would be the
first to charge at the enemies in battle. Native American bird and animal symbols and
totems are believed to represent the
physical form of a spirit helper and guide.
For additional information please refer to the
Meanings of Animal
Bear Symbol - Meaning
Some Indians believed that it was possible
to draw power from a bear by dreaming of
one, by killing and eating part of one or by
even touching a bear. These actions made a
warrior invincible. Because of the Indians'
beliefs that the bear had spiritual power,
wearing a bear claw necklace meant
protection and good health to the Indian
wearing it. The Abenaki tribe believe that
the stars of the Big Dipper are the Great
Bear (Kchi-awasos). According to Abenaki
mythology the Great Bear is chased every
night by three hunters. The Great Bear
is killed every fall and his blood drips to
earth turning the leaves brown but he is
reborn every spring. For interesting
information refer to
Bear Symbol -
Many Native American cultures feature
Skinwalkers or a similar concept in which a
may, according to
cultural tradition, take on an animal form such
as a bear. The picture below illustrates a
Medicine Man of the Blackfoot tribe taking on
the animal form of a bear.
Blackfoot Medicine Man as a 'Skin
Symbol - Meaning
There were so many tribes of Native American
Indians it is only possible to generalise
the most common meaning of the Bear Symbol or pattern. Native Indian symbols
are still used as
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
for Symbols and designs depending on the
natural resources available to make
Native American Paint.