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Native American Proverbs & Wisdom - Page 2

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Sioux IndiansEverything the power does, it does in a circle. - Lakota

A brave man dies but once, a coward many times. - Tribe Unknown.

A man or woman with many children has many homes. - Lakota Sioux

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. - Lumbee

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. - Minquass

A good chief gives, he does not take. - Mohawk

Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. - Navajo

Listening to a liar is like drinking warm water. - Tribe Unknown

Every animal knows more than you do. - Nez Perce

To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. - Oglala Sioux

When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps. - Oklahoma

A starving man will eat with the wolf. - Oklahoma

A danger foreseen is half-avoided. - Cheyenne

The coward shoots with shut eyes. - Oklahoma

It is easy to be brave from a distance. - Omaha

The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird that is hungry. - Omaha

Ask questions from you heart and you will be answered from the heart. - Omaha

A hungry stomach makes a short prayer. - Paiute

Do not wrong or hate your neighbor for it is not he that you wrong but yourself. - Pima

Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed. - Plains

Cherish youth, but trust old age. - Pueblo

Sharing and giving are the ways of God. - Sauk

We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky. - Shawnee

Each person is his own judge. - Shawnee

We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth. - Shenandoah

It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. - Shenandoah

There are many good moccasin tracks along the trail of a straight arrow. - Sioux

A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax. - Navajo

With all things and in all things, we are relatives. - Sioux

The one who tells the stories rules the world. - Hopi

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. - Sioux

A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. - Sioux

The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs. - Southwest

Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters.  - Tribe Unknown

Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand. - Tribe Unknown

White men have too many chiefs. - Nez Perce

If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers. - Tribe Unknown

The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears. - Tribe Unknown

Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you. - Hopi

Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass. - Tribe Unknown

Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. - Arapaho

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. - Tribe Unknown

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. - Cherokee

No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning. - Tribe Unknown

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf. - Tribe Unknown

Man has responsibility, not power. - Tuscarora

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. - Hopi

Each bird loves to hear himself sing. - Arapaho

The way of the troublemaker is thorny. - Umpqua

God gives us each a song. - Ute

A man must make his own arrows. - Winnebago

After dark all cats are leopards. - Zuni

When you die, you will be spoken of as those in the sky, like the stars. - Yurok





James Lone Elk - Sioux

James Lone Elk - Sioux



Pueblo Indian Girl

Pueblo Indian Girl



Arapaho Indian



Lakota Instructions for Living

Friend do it this way - that is,
whatever you do in life,
do the very best you can
with both your heart and mind.

And if you do it that way,
the Power Of The Universe
will come to your assistance,
if your heart and mind are in Unity.

When one sits in the Hoop Of The People,
one must be responsible because
All of Creation is related.
And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
And the honor of one is the honor of all.
And whatever we do effects everything in the universe.

If you do it that way - that is,
if you truly join your heart and mind
as One - whatever you ask for,
that's the Way It's Going To Be.

Passed down from White Buffalo Calf Woman



Native American Ten Commandments

  1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell therein with respect

  2. Remain close to the Great Spirit

  3. Show great respect for your fellow beings

  4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind

  5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed

  6. Do what you know to be right

  7. Look after the well-being of Mind and Body

  8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater Good

  9. Be truthful and honest at all times

  10. Take full responsibility for your actions


Updated June, 2011.


Also See:


Native American Facts & Trivia

Native American Quotes - Great Words From Great Americans

Legends, Myths & Tales of Native Americans

Native American Photographs

Totems & Their Meanings


Do you know a great Native American proverb, story, or legend?  Send it on!  We would love to feature it here at Legends of America.


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