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Navajo Animal Symbols

navajocodetalkersadmin on February 11, 2015 - 10:00 am in Navajo History

Petroglyphs hold within them more meaning than is obvious to the eye. This type of artwork holds within them lots of meanings and symbols. For instance their animal symbols. They are brought out due to the way that the animal lived. Almost every Native American believes that they are guided by a spirit that is guided by an animal.

Buffalo Symbolism

Their most popular and well known symbol is the buffalo. To them, it represents the bounties of the mother earth as they use the buffalo in a lot of ways. Native American uses the buffalo for their food “meat” and also for their milk. They also make their clothing out of the buffalo’s hides and use it to help them plough their lands. The buffalo also symbolizes wisdom, renewal, and personal power. The buffalo alone brings forth a lot of meaning and as well as usefulness to the Navajo.

Owl Symbolism

Another less known animal symbol is the owl .Although many would think of owls as a sign of being wise, some tribes of Native Americans such as the Navajo consider them as messengers of bad news. When someone has an encounter with an owl, it inevitably means that they are going to receive bad news or could be worse, someone is going to die. It is one of the animals that they avoid at all cost as it is always associated with death. The Navajo’s perspective towards owls may seem negative but according to those who have, indeed encountered an owl, this holds true.

Hummingbird Symbolism

The hummingbird, on the other hand, symbolizes devotion, permanence and eternity. The Native Americans observed that although hummingbirds are small, they are known to be good at protecting their territory. This holds true even today and can be seen as the little yet powerful humming bird will ferociously fight to defend its territory.

The Importance of Animals Symbols

All the animal symbols of the Navajo tribe represent what they see. In a sense they do not judge solely on the appearance, but on the actions. After fully understanding the animal’s instincts and habitats they could safely determine what the meaning behind it is. The Navajo look within when figuring out what an animal has to give to the people.

The importance of the animals to the Navajo tribe is high. Do not be misguided into thinking they worship the animals. Instead they learn from them and use the animals as a guide for them to live by. Without a doubt the Navajo tribe understands the animals as a whole and their knowledge leads them to the places they were meant to be.

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