Native American Symbols
Apaches were among the first Native Americans to ride horses into battle. In preparation, a warrior would decorate his horse to reflect his personal honors.
A left hand drawn on the horse's right hip was one of the highest honors for a horse, earned by returning its rider from battle unharmed. Other symbols such as arrowheads and thunder stripes would increase the horse's natural ability and maximize its effectiveness against the enemy.
Did you know...
...that the following animals were just some of the animals used in Indian Symbolism and that they all had meanings?
Alligator = survival, strength, and aggression
Antelope = partnership, grace and speed
Badger = fierce hunters and honorable healers; also have spiritual powers
Bear = steadiness, patience, pragmatism, balance, big hearted and secure
Beaver = busy, in charge, efficient, strategic, wit and endurance
Birds = Their feathers represented creative ideas, honor, and prayer.
Buffalo = Symbolically and realistically prized and equated with medicine and honor. The buffalo signified all good things such as sacred prayer, goodness, reverence and honor.
S1C1- Create own artwork - PO202,PO203
Materials & Techniques- PO201,PO202
Elements and Principles - S1C3- PO201; S2C3-PO1
Symbols and themes - S1C4 purpose
Art Communicates ideas- PO202, PO206
History- Learning of Native American Culture, customs, symbols, influence, etc. - S1C1 PO, PO4
The most sacred of all symbols in all Native American cultures is the circle, which for the Apache, is most potently embodied in its chief symbol, the sacred hoop.
Called 'Dee' or 'Ndee', the Apache hoop contains special powers that make it useful in a variety of ceremonies, although it is generally associated with healing and protection. The hoop is divided into four sections, traditionally by the tying of an eagle feather, symbolizing the four directions and the four seasons. Like most traditional Apache symbols, the hoop is usually one of the four sacred colors: black, green, yellow or white.
The symbols were used to evoke assistance from the spirits. The Native Americans had a great awareness of everything around them and they strived to live in harmony with their world and their universe.
The Indians used symbols for many purposes, including decorating their horses. They cherished their horses and used symbolism for protection, courage, strength and honor. The symbols were painted on the horse's body and head.
Our students drew their painted ponies on circular paper, drew symbols and colored them with markers. Their backgrounds were accomplished with mediums of their choice, such as oil pastels, colored pencil or markers.
Up to date as of:
August 16, 2011
Created on: July 16, 2009
Report problems to: Jenna Claver