Mother Symbol

Published on May 4, 2013 by Casey

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Mother Symbol
Mother and Child Symbol

Meaning of the Mother Symbol

Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual people and they communicated their history, thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation through symbols. Native American symbols are generally geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. They were not often used to convey a strong emotional feelings or ideas. The concept of the Mother was often conveyed via a pictogram or using a number of symbols which when put together convey a different meaning and tell a story. There are a number of mother symbols including the circle symbol, the turtle and the Tapuat. In Lakota Sioux mythology, Chapa is the beaver spirit and and symbolizes domesticity, labor and preparation.

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The Mother Symbol – the Tapuat

The Tapuat is the Hopi symbol for mother earth which depicts a maze. The Hopi name for Mother Earth is ‘Tapuat’ meaning mother and child. Like the Man in the Maze Symbol of Life this icon is depicted by a series of a form of concentric circles and symbolizes the cycle of life and the path followed on the journey of life experienced by a child under the watchful eye of the mother. The lines symbolize the umbilical cord and birth, the cycle of life on its earthly path, the spiritual domain and rebirth. The lines and passages within the “maze” represent the universal plan of the Creator and the path that man must follow to seek enlightenment, which is often guided by the mother.

The Mother Symbol – Anog Ite a Sioux Legend

Anog Ite was a Sioux deity and said to be the mother of the Four Winds and the whirlwind. She causes pains to pregnant woman and makes babies cry. She was also said to have taught the Lakota how to separate porcupine quills and dye them.

The Mother Symbol – the Circle

The symbol of the mother can be depicted as a woman surrounded by a circle. A circle around other Native American symbols signifies family ties, closeness & protection. The circle has no break and holds that which cannot be broken. The circle is used as a basis for many symbols including the cycle of life from birth to death to rebirth.

The Mother Symbol – Cactus and Maternal Love

The Mother Symbol might also be conveyed via a combination of the Native American symbol for a woman and the cactus. The woman symbol is self explanatory but the cactus symbol needs and explanation. The cactus plant symbolizes warmth, endurance and protection. The yellow cactus flower is a symbol of maternal love because it can endure and thrive in harsh conditions and therefore symbolic of the unconditional and enduring love and protection of a mother. The protective qualities of the mother are conveyed by the cactus flower due to its medicine. The pulp and juice was used to treat numerous wounds and sickness such as inflammations of the digestive and urinary tracts.

The Mother Symbol is a Pictogram

The Mother symbol is in a fact a cross between a pictogram and a symbol. 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 Mother symbol, is a therefore a form of writing which uses representational, pictorial drawings to tell a story.

Source: warpaths2peacepipes Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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