Native American Totem Animals & Their Meanings

Plains Tribes by George Catlin

Plains Tribes by George Catlin

More than 50% of state names are based on Native American words. Twenty-seven state names have Indian meanings including Utah, named for the Ute tribe; Kentucky, which means planted field in the Iroquois language; Kansas, named for the Kanza (Kaw) tribe; and dozens more. – from our Native American Facts & Trivia

Meerkat

Community, precise vision, good boundaries, lively, courageous, intuition, heart energy.

Mole

Sensitivity, guidance, searching, extended senses, underworld, hidden treasure, digger.

Mongoose

Good boundaries, good defense, courage, cleansing, heart-forward, rebellious, impulsive, authentic.

Monkey

Ability to change the environment, health, success, light and dark, communication, swiftness, energy.

Moose

Headstrong, longevity, steadfastness, wisdom, self-esteem, primal feminine energy, crown chakra.

Mouse

Innocence, scrutiny, order, organizer, eye for details, grounded, super-aware, temerity.

Octopus

Intelligence, camouflage, nocturnal.

Opossum

Smart, clever, sensible, grounded, group-minded, proper use of deception, strategic, surprising.

Ostrich

Grounded, practical, avoidant, spiritual truth, understands denial, truth and justice.

Otter

Playful, friendly, dynamic, joy, helpfulness, sharing, love of young, sensibility without suspicion.

Owl

Wisdom, deception, intuition, insight, messenger, mystery, freedom, secrets, stealth, vision.

Ox

Sacrifice, chastity, faith, humble, self-denial, enduring, strong, magical.

Panther

Protection, hidden emotions, introspection, caution, careful decisions, multi-dimensional, dark and light.

Native American Symbols, Totems

Native American Symbols, Totems & Their Meanings – Digital Download

Parrot

Communication, beauty, guide for wisdom, mockery, language, prophecy, verbosity, promise.

Peacock

Immortality, dignity, self-confidence, self-esteem, knowledge, refinement, beauty, sexuality, pride.

Pelican

Resilient, unselfish, rising above, friendliness, responsible, safety, camaraderie, bounty.

Penguin

Self-discipline, order, purpose, community-minded, grace, self-confidence, spiritual.

Porcupine

Innocence, companionship, trust, curious, imagination, good-natured, non-interference.

Prairie Dog

Swiftness, industrious, constructive, preparedness, common goals, retreat, family, digger.

Puma

Companion on journeys to other worlds, grace, silent power

Native Americans often served as guides in the exploration of America. Many of their trails became emigrant roads, which were later followed by the railroads. – from our Native American Facts & Trivia

Quail

Group-work, team play, creator of harmony and group tolerance, protectiveness (especially toward children)

Rabbit

Fertility, artistic, in motion, hyper vigilant, joyful, lives by own wits, steps through fear.

Raccoon

Curiosity, disguise, explorer, secret, night vision, cleanliness, dexterity, seeker.

Ram

Stoic, sensitive, persevering, curious, imaginative, new beginnings, change, life force.

Rat

Fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury, intelligent, wealth, success, drive.

Raven

Magical, introspective, self-realized, courageous, transformational, messenger, psychic, divination.

Rhinoceros

Wisdom, solitary, insightful, solid, good judgment, paradox, stamina, freedom, longevity.

Roadrunner

Mental agility, speed, opportunistic, multi-tasking, energy, busy, accomplishment.

Rooster

Persistence, honesty, strength, flamboyant, upward reaching, eager, cocky, watchful.

Salmon

Proud, intense, confident, wisdom, inspiration, can swim upstream, rebirth, determined, spiritual desire.

Scorpion

Transforming, strong, inspiring, chaotic, passionate, altered perception, death and rebirth, seduction.

Seagull

Versatility, loud, easy-going nature, creativity, laziness, resourceful, opportunistic, freedom.

Seahorse

Confidence and grace

Seal

Love, longing, dilemma, active imagination, creativity, protection during change, dreamer, good luck.

Shark

Prowess, perpetual motion, hunter, survival, warning signs, workaholic, savior, guardian, superiority.

Skunk

Reputation, presence, strength, demands respect, sensual, steady, pacifism, taking your time.

Snail

Protective, aware, solitary, tender nature, androgyny, healing, sensitivity, time and cycles.

Snake

Impulsive, primal energy, shrewdness, rebirth, transformation, initiation, and wisdom.

Spider

Balance, wisdom, creativity, communication, networker, cyclical, crafty, fate, protection.

Squirrel

Planner, gatherer, preparedness, awareness, sociable, playful, energy, prudence, resourceful.

Stag

Lord of the forest, masculine power of regeneration, signs.

Swan

Grace, balance and innocence, soul, love, beauty, elegance, transformation, dreams.

There are approximately 296 spoken (or formerly spoken) indigenous languages north of Mexico. Hundreds of other have entirely ceased to exist. – from our Native American Facts & Trivia

Tiger

Strength, valor, power, energy, devotion, tactful, royal, illuminated, unpredictable.

Toad

Inner strength, luck, self-examination.

Turkey

Generosity, life-giver, sharer, abundance, blessings, pride, virility, sacrifice.

Turtle

Nurturer, shy, protecting, patience, strength, innocence, endurance, longevity.

Native American Symbols, Totems

Native American Symbols, Totems & Their Meanings – Digital Download

Unicorn

Purity, innocence, dreamer, personal power, gentle, spiritual vision, other realms, faith, healing.

Weasel

Strength, energy, ingenuity, stealth, wild, ferocious, aggressive, commanding.

Whale

Wisdom, provider, intelligence, kindness, deeper awareness, nurturing, navigator, communication.

Wolf

Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, spirit, appetite for freedom, can be a loner.

Woodpecker

Sensitive, protective, devotion, prophecy, progress, determination, balance, communication.

Zebra

Clarity, motion, individuality, balance, illusion, instinct, free, wild, communal, playful, social.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, with expanded meanings and additions, Kevin Kaiser. Updated March 2017.

Native American Totem Pole, 1895

Native American Totem Pole, 1895

Sources:

Hodge, Frederick Webb; Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico; Smithsonian Institution; 1910
Manataka American Indian Council
Mystic Familiar
Shaman Links

Also See:

Healing Crystals and Stones

Indian Proverbs & Wisdom

Legends, Myths & Tales of Native Americans

Medicine Bags or Bundles

Native American Symbols, Pictographs & Petroglyphs

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