The Native American Symbols

Published on January 11, 2012 by Amy

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The Native American Symbols
The Native American Symbols

There are many Native American symbols that are frequently in use today, especially in a lot of southwestern style art. There are many places in the southwest where you still find many Native American symbols carved in stone, these are called petroglyphs. These Native tribes told many stories through the use of these symbols that are still prevalent today but they are very hard to interpret to modern man since they could have many meanings. There have been many different interpretations of these petroglyphs but there are still some that cannot be deciphered.

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Most southwestern pottery and art you will see different symbols such as the thunderhead which is a symbol that resembles a bird, and another one that is very common is the arrowhead. Many Native symbols are different kinds of animals, and to Native Americans these all had special meanings which sometimes varied from tribe to tribe. The Native American culture used many different symbols and to them these were like words are to us in our modern day and age. Many Indian tribes used to also adorn themselves with different Indian symbols to celebrate something or whe they were off to battle.

Many people believe that many of these Native American symbols were merely spiritual in nature but many were not. Some Native American tribes used symbols as ways of marking trails or they would make petroglyphs on walls and trees to record a significant event such as a big battle or a great hunt. Other Native American symbols also identified different tribes and clans of Native Americans.

There are also many Native symbols that had no meaning at all except to be a decorative symbol on such things as baskets and pottery. Of course there were a lot of symbols that were used for spiritual purposes but these were different for all tribes and also they varied for different religions and regions, so most were impossible to properly decipher. The great mysteries surrounding the many different Native American symbols are what make them such an interesting topic for people that are into learning more about these indigenous people of the times.

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