Symbol of Man


The Symbol of Man

Native American Symbols, like the Symbol of Man, 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 Man symbol.

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Native American Symbols
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Meaning of the Symbol of Man
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 Symbol of Man.
Native American symbols are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. The Symbol of Man was used in many different forms to illustrate the life of man.


The Man Symbol - Man in the Maze
The Man Symbol is depicted in the Man in the Maze Symbol of Life. This symbol depicts a human figure at the entrance of a maze that is the path of life and the encounters experienced by man during his lifetime. The man symbol of the man at the entrance to the maze represents his birth. The dark center of the symbol represents death and eternal life. 

The white path followed by the man in the maze represents his journey and lessons through life. The life lessons of man go through various stages and include:

  • Childhood of Man
  • Acquiring knowledge and skills
  • Man's youth and innocence
  • Directions chosen
  • Friendship and Integrity
  • Observations made by the man
  • Independence
  • Building
  • Creativity
  • Gentleness and Beauty
  • Love, Harmony and Happiness
  • Truth, Strength and Understanding
  • Power of creation
  • Leadership, Power and Ambition
  • The Knowledge and understanding gained by man from experience
  • Enlightenment and Wisdom
  • Acceptance of change
  • Growth and foresight
  • Reflection and repentance
  • Introspection, to look inside the man
  • Acceptance of man's past life and death
  • Eternal life

The Man Symbol - Death
The death of a man was represented by the following symbol. Any Native American symbols that were portrayed upside down signified that they had been killed - for additional information refer to the Symbol of Death.

The Man Symbol - Pictograms
The man symbol is featured in most pictograms. 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 man symbol, is a therefore a form of writing which uses drawings to tell a story. The picture below is a pictogram that depicts the migration of man due to the movement of various animals. Animals, such as the buffalo, migrated with the seasonal change. They travelled north of the Black Hills during the summer and south of the Black Hills during the winter. The movement of Native American man coincided with the buffalo migration.


Native American Symbols depicting migration

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

Arapahoe Ledger Painting

Arapahoe Ledger Painting

Apache Hide Painting

Native American Indians - Symbol of Man
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 Symbol of Man. 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.

The Symbol of Man


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

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

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