Native American Symbolism

More Than Art: Nature and The People Represented

Hopi Shield with feathers painted on a cabinet

Symbolism dominates Native American cultures. Native Americans are a very spiritual people, who traditionally see themselves as connected to the universe through the spirit of nature. They do not own land, but coexist with it, connected to the essence of life through its life. Because of this oneness with the universe, many interesting symbols are used in all aspects of Native American celebrations and ceremonies.

Kachina Dolls at Seven Arrows Art Gallery

Kachina Dolls at Seven Arrows Art Gallery

Kachina dolls are symbolic objects that connect one to the spirit world. Kachina are powerful spirits that visit the physical world and are revered. They are seen as being responsible for healing, rain, and crops. Dolls in the likeness of these powerful spirits symbolize that connection with these forces, and kachina dolls are important in ceremonies for that reason. Pottery is also important for conveying symbolism among Native Americans. Pueblo pottery is famous for its intricate design work that is full of geometric patterns, and various symbols. It is crafted of clay and decorated in a millennia-old way that is an everyday reminder of the human connection to the spirit world.

Whether being used in modern Native American ceremonies, or being displayed on a shelf in a respectful place among home décor, authentic Native American artwork is a reminder of the spirit within everyone who stops to appreciate it.