Camp Fire Symbol

Camp Fire Symbol

The Camp Fire Symbol

Native American Symbols, like the Camp Fire 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 Camp Fire symbol.

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Native American Symbols
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Meaning of the Camp Fire 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 Camp Fire symbol.
Native American symbols are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs, for additional information refer to the Fire Symbol.

The Camp Fire symbol is a Pictogram
The Camp Fire symbol is in a fact a pictogram. A pictogram, also called a pictograph, conveys a story and meaning through pictures that signify and resemble the shapes of physical objects or people. An Ideagram is another form of pictogram which conveys complex ideas, feelings and emotions. A pictogram, such as the one recognised as a Camp Fire symbol, is a therefore a form of writing which uses representational, pictorial drawings to tell a story.

The Meaning of the Camp Fire symbol
The meaning of the Camp Fire symbol was to signify an over night stop had been made requiring the need to set up a camp fire. The following picture shows a drawing made in 1875 by two Indian guides on a piece of birch bark which clearly shows the camp fire symbol. The drawing was placed upon an upright pole, for the purpose of informing their comrades that a party of 14 white men and 2 Indians had encamped at that place. The slant of the Birch-bark pole showed the direction of the proposed march, and three notches in the wood of the pole showed that it was to be a three-day expedition. 

Camp Fire Symbol
Native American Indian Birch Bark drawing showing the camp fire symbol

The meanings of the other symbols are as follows:

  • The eight men in the upper row, with hats on, and with muskets beside them, represent the eight white soldiers

  • Number 1 (end of second row) represents the officer in command, with a sword

  • Number 2, with a book, the secretary

  • Number 3, with a hammer, the geologist

  • Numbers 4, 5 and 6 are attendants, one of these being the interpreter

  • Numbers 7 and 8 represent the two Indian guides, who are distinguished as Indians by being without hats

  • Number  11 represents a prairie-hen which had been eaten by the party

  • Number 12 represents a tortoise, which might also have been eaten or might represent a totem, or armorial badge

  • Numbers  13, 14, 15, mean that there were three separate camp fires. A camp fire for the solders, a camp fire for the officers and a camp fire for the Indians

For additional interesting facts and information about Native Americans refer to Making Fire.

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

Native American Indians - Camp Fire 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 Camp Fire 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.

Camp Fire Symbol

The Camp Fire Symbol

Camp Fire

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

Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Camp Fire. 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 - Camp Fire. 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 - Camp Fire - 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 - Camp Fire - Written By Linda Alchin

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