Native American Pictographs

Published on May 7, 2013 by Casey

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

Ojibwa (Chippewa) rock painting - Lake Superior
Ojibwa (Chippewa) rock painting – Lake Superior


What are Pictographs? Definition: Pictographs are rock paintings, that were often found in caves and on rock faces and created by ancient civilisations. Pictographs are ancient rock art figures and symbols that are drawn or painted onto a rock face, normally without any pecking or abrasive methods of creating the picture. Paint made from powdered minerals, blood, charcoal, or other substances were used to make pictographs. Pictography means the application of pigments.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

Origin of the word Pictographs

The word Pictograph comes from the Latin word ‘pictus’ meaning painted and the French word ‘graphie’ meaning to carve, “a writing, recording, or description” and was first used in reference to Native American art in 1851.

Purpose of Pictographs

The purpose of Pictographs was to express artistic or religious meanings, acknowledge special events or were created as a form of magic or to illustrate mysterious Mythical creatures and monsters.

Materials used for Pictographs

Various materials are used in the art of creating pictographs. A suitable surface was first located to create the pictographs. The materials used consisted of different colored paints and tools or utensils to apply the paint. The tools for creating pictographs included the following:

    Stone Tools to smooth the rock surface
    Bone and stone tools to crush the pigments
    Receptacles to mix and contain the paints and pigments
    Brushes to apply the paint made of materials
    Brushes were made of animal hair, plant fibers such as the yucca and hollow bird bones filled with pigment

Source: warpaths2peacepipes Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
Cite This Source | Link To Native American Pictographs
Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

American Psychological Association (APA):

Native American Pictographs Unabridged. Retrieved May 28, 2015, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Pictographs Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia (accessed: May 28, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Pictographs" Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 28 May. 2015. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "Native American Pictographs" in Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia Available: Accessed: May 28, 2015.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2015,
    title = { Unabridged},
    month = May,
    day = 28,
    year = 2015,
    url = {},
You might also like:

Tags:  , ,

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Latest Articles
Did You Know?

With the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 20th Century Scholars estimate the pre Columbian population of Native Americans to be between 50 and 100 Million peoples.

In the Spotlight
Most Favourited Posts
Photo Galleries
Native American Tribe ChinookNative American Tribe SelawikNative American Tribe CreeNative American Tribe Pima