Native american symbols
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Native american symbols
There are many Native
American symbols used in
legends and stories…
Here a few of them.
*also represent a
medicine used in
*represent strength and
*a symbol of abundance (It was the meat of the
buffalo that fed the people, the hides that provided
clothing and shelter, the bones and sinew provided
tools of survival.)
Courage, Spirit, and Bravery
Eagles are the “masters of the skies.”
(Many tribes have identified the eagle as the one closest
to the Creator.)
Teaching, A Guide to the Sacred
Wolves have been long regarded by Native Americans
as teachers or pathfinders. Wolves are fiercely loyal to
their mates, and have a strong sense of family.
Graceful gentleness, and Sensitivity
Deer blend very well with their environment but are
very sensitive to every sound or movement.
Loyalty and Protection
Man's best friend...
The Native American tribes had no written language.
Knowledge had to be passed on by word of mouth - stories,
legends, poems, songs, myths, dramas, rituals, proverbs, and
Why the Buffalo has a Hump
Long ago, the Buffalo didn't have any hump. In the summer he would race
across the prairies for fun, and the Foxes would run in front of him and tell all
the little animals to get out of the way because the Buffalo was coming. They
didn't know that Wenebojo was watching them.
So the Buffalo raced across the prairies. There were little birds nesting on the
ground and the Buffalo raced over them and tramped their nests. The little
birds cried out and told him not to go near their nests, but Buffalo didn't listen
to them and ran right over them.
The birds were sad and kept crying about their spoiled nests. Wenebojo heard
them and he ran ahead of the Buffalo and Foxes and stopped them. With a
stick, he hit the Buffalo on the shoulders, and the Buffalo hung his head and
humped up his shoulders because he was afraid that Wenebojo would hit him
with the stick again. But Wenebojo just said "You should be ashamed. You will
always have a hump on your shoulder, and always carry your head low because
of your shame." The Foxes were also afraid of Wenebojo and ran away and dug
holes in the ground where they hid. And Wenebojo said to them "And you,
Foxes, you will always live in the cold ground for hurting the birds." And that is
why the Buffalo have humps, and why the Foxes have holes in the ground for
Once upon a time a prairie mouse busied herself all fall storing away a cache
of beans. Every morning she was out early with her empty cast-off snake skin,
which she filled with ground beans and dragged home with her teeth.
The little mouse had a cousin who was fond of dancing and talk, but who did
not like to work. She was not careful to get her cache of beans and the season
was already well gone before she thought to bestir herself. When she came to
realize her need, she found she had no packing bag. So she went to her
hardworking cousin and said:
"Cousin, I have no beans stored for winter and the season is nearly gone. But I
have no snake skin to gather the beans in. Will you lend me one?"
"But why have you no packing bag? Where were you in the moon when the
snakes cast off their skins?"
"I was here."
"What were you doing?"
"I was busy talking and dancing."
"And now you are punished," said the other. "It is always so with lazy, careless
people. But I will let you have the snake skin. And now go, and by hard work
and industry, try to recover your wasted time."
Why the Porcupine has Quills
Long, long ago, the Porcupines had no quills. One day, a Porcupine was
out in the woods. A Bear came along and would have eaten Porcupine,
but he managed to get up a tree where the Bear couldn't get him.
The next day Porcupine was out again and he went underneath a
hawthorn tree, and he noticed how the thorns pricked him. He broke
some branches off and put them on his back, then he went into the
woods. Along came Bear and he jumped on Porcupine, who just curled
himself up. The Bear just left him alone because the thorns pricked him
Wenebojo was watching them. He called to Porcupine and asked "How
did you think of that trick?" Porcupine told him that he was in danger
when Bear was around. Then Wenebojo took some thorns and peeled the
bark off of them until they were all white. Then he got some clay and put
it all over Porcupine's back and stuck the thorns in it. Wenebojo used his
magic to make it into a proper skin, and told Porcupine come with him
into the woods. When they got there, Wenebojo hid behind a tree. Wolf
came along and saw Porcupine and jumped on him, but the new quills
pricked at him and Wolf ran away. Bear was also afraid of the quills and
Porcupine was safe. That is why Porcupines have quills.