In the Native American tradition, man communicated with the Creator through interaction with nature; the birds, the forest, the animals…. Many chose or were given symbolic “power animals” whose strength or character reflected the human character traits of the individuals claiming the “power” of that specific animal. Much of this attitude has carried over into modern society as advertisements picture tigers with gas tanks (speed and power) or the U.S Government and the bald eagle (power from a lofty position).
“What does the symbol of a bear, a whale, a wolf, ….. mean?” Each picture or listing provides a starting place in understanding the possible symbolism of each of nature’s creations. Tribal legends or stories have been added to many of the animals
It is my intent to spur your interest into further examination of possible symbolism of each listing and how it may relate to you personally. By no means do I intend that this list represents a totality of information as individual tribes have adopted specific symbolic meanings based on their own cultural folklore.
Click on this link to read more about animals and their meaning based on Native American teachings: Animal Totems and their Meanings
I felt that this would be a good addition for those who have not found their animal totem. An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward. In the Native American culture this is the reason people wear fur, feathers or heads of animals on their body, because they were taking on the energy of the animal.