Native American Symbols
An description of popular Native American symbols and their meanings.
Native American symbols are like words. Words have one or more definitions, and also contain different connotations as well. Symbols can also contain different meanings to different people and different tribes. It is sometimes hard to decipher some symbols, while others seem to have clear meanings. Below is a list of some of the more popular Native American symbols and their meanings.
Most people think about Hitler's regime when they see a swastika. However, a swastika is actually one of the Native American symbols. The swastika came about as a result of basket weaving. The ends of the cross design on the baskets would veer off to the left and create a swastika design. This design was then reproduced in Native American artwork.
The thunderbird is another one of the famous Native American symbols. However, the thunderbird wasn't actually created by a Native American. The design was reproduced from medal dies. Although it was not an Indian that originally created the thunderbird, this symbol is commonly used on Native American jewelry.
Many of the Native American symbols depict something in nature. These are the easiest symbols to identify. Many times the plant or animal itself is a symbol of some idea or charachteristic.
The lightening snake is one of the Native American symbols that carries more than one meaning. To the Pueblo Indians, this symbolizes rain which is also a symbol for fertility. However, other possible meanings include wisdom and defiance. The lightening snake is a snake that is shaped like a bolt of lightening.
Native American symbols are used on jewelry, artwork, pottery and many other items. They are interesting design elements. However, they also carry a meaning to all who want to spend the time to understand what the artist was thinking when he made a rug, a basket, a bowl, or another piece of art.