Native Navajo Symbols & What They Stand For

Posted by jasminmaclean on October 29th, 2019

Navajo, one of the timeless Native-American tribes to flourish, had a spectacular cultural backstory to tell with their priceless fine arts mirroring the zeal the Navajo culture believed thriving in. A medley of tribal tones formed the foundation to every Navajo fine art piece accentuating the Native American feel to the item. In fact, everyday items depicting the vibrant Navajo culture are still a big hit amongst fashion fusion lovers with Navajo pattern trifold wallets, lively rugs, and turquoise jewelry still making jaws drop.
However, behind each brushstroke and painted motifs is a message that the timeless Navajo fine art believed in and a part of their culture and legacy still continues with the same symbols. If tribal signs with hidden symbols intrigue you, here’s a list of some of the most used Navajo symbols along with their meaning-

Often accompanied by elegant turquoise stones, a lot of Navajo art can be found with fluttering butterflies forming the primary or background of the piece. In Navajo, butterflies stand for new beginnings, representing a transformation.

The king of the sky, Eagle is a bold bird with majestic tones oozing out of it. Stemming down from that thought, the Eagle primarily represents power, personal conquest, and victory.

The Navajo expressed their love for fine arts in several ways, for instance, through sand-painting, pottery, or silversmithing. The use of thunderbirds was most common for silversmithing with the underlying meaning representing a form of caution or warning. The thunderbird itself was a sign of thunder and wind.

Rain for the tribals sustaining on natural sustenance was nothing less than a boon, promising bountiful harvests and lush green forests. Rain in Navajo art and culture, hence, signifies a prosperous change, renewal, and fertility.

Buffalos, being a primary food source for the Navajo tribe represents prosperity in terms of abundance of food and is also a strong symbol signifying core strength.

To us, a snake comes with a negative connotation, but not for the Navajos. Snakes painted in Navajo fine arts represent healing or rebirth, and a positive ray of light above all.

A bear in the Navajo tribe was a sign of spiritual power with the bear claws often associating itself with those in the prime authoritative positions in the tribe. In fact, a bear symbol is supposed to signify not just power but courage too.
The Tribal artform has always been a sight for sore eyes with modern fashion now spotlighting tribal tones as some of the chart-topping fashion trends. From Native American beaded wallets to purses, coffee mugs, and even trinkets- you can now relive the Navajo extravagance by styling in your Navajo collection in your day to day life.
 Author Bio: The author is an online blogger and the article talks about Native Navajo symbols and what they stand for.


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Joined: September 27th, 2019
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