Feathered Serpent Symbol

Feathered Serpent Symbol

Feathered Serpent Symbol - Snake-like creature with a horn
Attribution: Herb Roe

Native American Symbols, like the Feathered Serpent symbol, can vary in meaning from one tribe to another and across the culture groups of North America. The Feathered Serpent symbol was used by the ancient Native Americans of the Mississippian culture.

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

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The Feathered Serpent 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 Feathered Serpent symbol. The origin of the Feathered Serpent symbol originates from the Mesoamerican cultures, notably the Aztecs and in particular the Aztec feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl. However there is evidence that the feathered Serpent also featured in the ancient Mississippian culture of North America, the culture of the Mound Builders. The Mound Builders associated great mystical value to the serpent. The sacred rites, myths and symbols of the Mississippians play a role in the beliefs of many Native American tribes. The Feathered Serpent symbol was usually viewed as a benign or benevolent although fearful creature whereas the Great Serpent was usually represented as a malevolent creature. For additional information refer to Mythical Creatures.

Horned Serpent Rock Picture

Horned Serpent Rock Picture

Snake Symbol

The Meaning of the Feathered Serpent Symbol
The Feathered Serpent symbol is one of the many serpent or snake-like deities depicted with feathers that figure in the mythology of many Native American tribes and is closely associated with the Horned serpent. The Feathered serpent is also known as the 'Skysnake'. The Feathered serpent is associated with rain, thunder storms and waterways. The zigzag and meandering lines of the serpent or snake are symbolic of water and the feathers represent the ability of the feathered serpent to fly to the sky. The Feathered serpent symbol meaning represented life and the renewal of life, just like water. The Feathered serpent was the feared guardian of life and the forces of life. Pueblo villages held ceremonies relating to the feathered serpent.

Feathered Serpent Symbol

Feathered Serpent Symbol

The Algonquin believed that crossing a bridge in the shape of an enormous serpent would lead to the road of the afterlife. All those who had led and honest life would cross the bridge but others would fall into the waters below and turn into snakes. In Apache mythology a deity called Gucumatz was a Feathered Serpent.

The Feathered Serpent Symbol - Mississippian culture
The most ancient Native American Indian symbols, like the Feathered Serpent symbol, came from the Mississippian culture which was established in 1000AD and continued to 1550AD onward. The Mississippian Native Americans were the last of the mound-building cultures of North America in the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States. The Mississippian culture was based on warfare, which was represented by an array of emblems, motifs and symbols. The Mississippian culture warrior icons like the Feathered Serpent symbol provides interesting history and ideas for tattoos that include cosmic imagery depicting animals, humans and mythical beasts. The Mississippian Native Americans practiced body painting, tattooing and piercing.

Shaman ritually vomiting Black drink

Shaman ritually vomiting Black drink
Attribution: Herb Roe

Feathered Serpent Symbol
Native American Indians of the Mississippian culture were sun worshipers and had a highly complex warfare culture. Their symbols, such as the Feathered Serpent symbol, reflect the warfare culture and the religious beliefs and cosmologies of the different historic tribes who existed at the time of the first European contact.

The Mississippians believed that the universe consisted of three parts with good and bad spiritual forces. These three worlds were linked together and their connection was usually portrayed as a cedar tree or a striped pole. The Underworld was inhabited by spirit snakes, the Upper world was inhabited by spirit birds and the people of the earth who were ruled by these powerful spirits like the Feathered Serpent.

Items displaying symbols, like the Feathered Serpent symbol, from the Mississippian culture have been found in burial sites that contained war axes, knives and other weapons. This type of symbol was embossed in valuable materials such as rare shells, copper and lead and depicted on pottery and stone tools and weapons.

Feathered Serpent Symbol


Feathered Serpent

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

Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Feathered Serpent. 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 - Feathered Serpent. 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 Feathered educational resource for kids.


Teaching resource - Teachers - Kids - Feathered Serpent - 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 - Feathered Serpent - Written By Linda Alchin

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