Native American symbols, pictograms and petroglyphs

For the land he drew a straight line, 
For the sky, a bow is above her; 
White space between the day 
filled with asterisks for the night; 
On the left is the sunrise point, 
on the right is the sunset point, 
at the top is the noon point, 
as well as rain and cloudy weather 
Wavy lines descending from her.
Of  "Songs of Hiawatha"  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

When European explorers arrived in America, Native Americans did not communicate through written language as we know it. Instead, they told stories (oral stories) and created pictures and symbols. This type of communication is not unique to  native americans since long before the advent of writing, people all over the world recorded events, ideas, plans, maps and feelings by drawing pictures and symbols on stones, skins and other surfaces.

Historical graphic symbols for a word or phrase were discovered prior to 3000 BC. These symbols, called pictograms, are created by painting on stone surfaces with natural pigments. These natural pigments included iron oxides found in hematite or limonite, white or yellow clays, as well as soft rocks, charcoal, and copper minerals. These natural pigments have been blended to create a palette of yellow, white, red, green, black and blue. Historic pictograms are usually found under protective ledges or in caves where they were sheltered from the elements.

Paviotso Payute making petroglyphs by Edward S. Curtis, 1924.

Paviotso Payute creates petroglyphs by Edward S. Curtis, 1924.

Another similar form of communication, called petroglyphs, has been carved, carved, or worn into stone surfaces. This thread may have formed a visible dent in the rock, or it may have cut deep enough to expose unweathered material of a different color underneath.

Native American symbols were word-like and often had one or more definitions and / or contained different connotations. Varying from tribe to tribe, it is sometimes difficult to understand their meaning, while other symbols are very clear. Due to the fact that Indian tribes speak multiple languages, symbols or "drawing pictures" were often used to convey words and ideas. Symbols were also used to decorate houses, were painted on buffalo skins and recorded important events of the tribe.

Petroglyphs in the Petrified Forest of Arizona, created by the National Park Service.

Petroglyphs in the Petrified Forest of Arizona, created by the National Park Service.

These images are valuable testimonies of cultural expression and have deep spiritual significance to modern Native Americans and the descendants of the first Spanish settlers.

The arrival of the Spaniards to the southwest in 1540 had a dramatic effect on the way of life of the Pueblo people. In 1680, the Pueblo tribes revolted against Spanish rule and drove the settlers from the area back to El Paso.  Texas ... In 1692 the Spaniards moved to the area  Albuquerque ,  state of new mexico  ... As a result of their return, there was a renewed influence of the Catholic religion, which discouraged participation  Puebloans in many of their traditional ceremonies. As a consequence, many of these practices went underground and much of the Puebloan image declined.

There were many reasons for the creation of petroglyphs, most of which are not entirely clear to modern society. Petroglyphs are more than just "rock art", drawing pictures or imitating the natural world. They should not be confused with hieroglyphs, which are symbols used to represent words, and should not be thought of as ancient Indian graffiti. Petroglyphs are powerful cultural symbols that reflect the complex societies and religions of the surrounding tribes.

Indian symbols, totems

Native American Symbols, Totems And Their Meanings - Digitally Download

The context of each image is extremely important and is an integral part of its meaning. Today's indigenous people state that the placement of each petroglyph image was not a random or accidental decision. Some petroglyphs have meanings known only to those who created them. Others represent markers of a tribe, clan, kiwa, or society. Some of them are religious organizations, while others show who came to the area and where they went. Petroglyphs still have a modern meaning, while the meaning of others is no longer known, but they are respected for belonging to "those who were before."

There are thousands of pictograms and petroglyphs throughout the United States, with the greatest concentration in the American Southwest. More than anything else is the Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico. Archaeologists estimate the site may have over 25000 petroglyphs on the 17-mile escarpment. A small percentage of petroglyphs found in the park date from the Puebloan period, possibly as early as 2000 BC. Other images date from historical periods starting in the 1700s, with petroglyphs carved by early Spanish settlers. It is estimated that 90% of the monument's petroglyphs were created by the ancestors of today's Pueblo people. The Puebloans had lived in the Rio Grande Valley even before AD 500, but population growth around AD 1300 resulted in many new settlements.

Arrow Protection
Arrow Vigilance
After the badger Summer
Bear Force
Bear paw Good omen
Big mountain Great abundance
Bird Carefree, carefree
Broken arrow World
Broken cross circle Four seasons that revolve
Brothers Unity, equality, loyalty
Roga Buivola Success
The roof is buffalo Sacredness, reverence for life
Butterfly Immortal life
Cactus Desert sign
Coyote and coyote footprints Deceiver
Crossed arrows friendship
Days-Nights Time is passing
After the deer Play in abundance
Drawn bow and arrow Hunting
Dryer A lot of meat
Eagle Freedom
Eagle feather This is the main
Investment Ceremonial dances
End of the trail Peace, end of war
Evil eye This symbol protects against the curse of the evil eye.
Face the arrows Reflection of evil spirits
Four ages Infancy, Youth, Middle, Old Age
Gecko Desert sign
Poisontooth monster Time to dream
The Great Spirit The Great Spirit is the concept of a universal spiritual force or supreme being that prevails among most Native American tribes.
Head dress Ceremonial
Hogan Permanent home
Horse Journey
Kokopelli Flutist, Fertility
Lighting Power, Speed
Bolt of lightning Swiftness
Man Life
Witch doctor's eye Wisdom
Morning stars Мanagement
Mountain range Destination
Track Crossed
Peace pipe Ceremonial, sacred
Rain Bountiful harvest
Rain clouds Good perspective
Rattlesnake jaws Force
Saddle bag Journey
skyband Leading to happiness
Snake Disobedience
Pumpkin flower Fertility
the sun Happiness
Sunny flower Fertility
Sun god mask The Sun God is a powerful spirit among many Indian tribes.
Sun rays Constant
Swastika Four corners of the world, prosperity
Teepee Temporary home
Thunderbird Unlimited Happiness, Raincaller
Thunderbird track Bright avenue
Water works Permanent life
Wolf's paw Freedom, success
Zuni Bear Good health

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