Hand Symbol

Hand Symbol

The Hand Symbol

Native American Symbols, like the Hand 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 Hand symbol.

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Native American Symbols
Native Indian Tribes Index

The Hand Symbol - Meaning
Native American symbols, like the hand symbol,  are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. Native Indian symbols were used for a variety of reasons and depicted on numerous objects such as tepees and clothing. The hand was a common symbol seen on the face or the body of Indians, which we have illustrated in the pictures on this page - refer to further examples in War Paint and Horse War Paint. The meaning of the Hand symbol represented success in hand to hand combat. For additional information refer to the Eye-in-the-Hand symbol.

Hand Symbol Meaning
The Hand symbolized human life and this sign was believed to channel energy to the wearer. War paint in the form of various symbols, such as the hand symbol, were applied to intimidate their enemies when going into battle or during warfare - this where the term "War Paint" was originally derived. The following picture of the Mandan Chief succeeded - he scares the life out of me! The hand symbol also represents spiritual power, strength, domination and protection. The process of applying war paint provided strong mental preparation for the forthcoming battle. Medicine Men sometimes chose certain markings for warriors, like the hand symbol, and powerful magic was passed on during the application of the war paint, such as the hand symbol, helping the warrior to believe himself to be invincible.

Mandan Indian Chief with Hand symbol on his chest

Hand Symbol Meaning
The next picture illustrates the use of the black hand symbol on the white horse. Black was used to symbolize victory and might be applied to the horse before returning home to the camp. Black Paint was made using ground charcoal, mixed with spit or animal fat, so it was readily available. The hand symbol was also easy to fast and apply, requiring no artistic skill, just a print of the hand that had been dipped in a colored dye or pigment. A woman who saw the hand symbol on the horse of a warrior was filled with pride and safe in the knowledge that he had shown strength and domination in battle. She knew that she would be able to look to such a man for protection.

Hand Symbol on horse

Horse with black Hand Symbol

Iowa Warrior Hand Symbol warpaint

Native American Indians - Hand 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 Hand symbol. The clothes, tepees and all of his belongings was decorated with the 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.

Hand Symbol on Kiowa Beaded Bag

Hand Symbol on Kiowa Beaded Bag

Hand Symbol

  • The Hand symbol of Native Americans
  • Meaning, symbolism and interpretation of the Hand symbol
  • Interesting facts and info for kids and schools about the hand symbol
  • Pictures, meanings, patterns and design and meaning of the hand symbol
  • Native Americans pictures and videos for kids

Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
The Hand symbol. 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 - Hand. 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.


Hand Symbol - Teaching resource - Teachers - Kids - Hand Symbol - 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 - Hand Symbol - Paintings - Images - Photographs - Hand Symbol - Written By Linda Alchin

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