Symbols of Native America

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Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 1999 - History - 320 pages
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Over 1000 illustrations show the fascinating origins and meanings of 300 symbols and signs used by North American tribes. The magnificent variety of symbols are shown as they were used in pottery, clothing, masks, shields, totems, and other settings, carved, sewn, and painted. The collection starts with the simplest symbols--from lines, circles, and curves, to crosses, triangles, and squares--then traces their combinations into ever-more complex designs. Many symbols depict bonds with nature--particularly animals and landscape features--which appear in clan identifications, picture-writing, rituals, legends, and stories that convey heroism and wisdom. A special section explains how more than 80 different animals may have different meanings among cultures of the Southwest, Plains, Northwest Coast, Sub-Arctic North, and the Northeast. 320 pages, 150 b/w illus., 5 5/8 x 7 1/2.

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In my opinion, this book is a great way to begin researching the meaning behind some of the Symbols used by people of the First Nations, on Turtle Island (North America).
The reading is quite
straight-forward, detailed yet easily understood. The Symbols explained are also shown as drawings, which I found very helpful. Even though the book is fairly small, it is very rich in the knowledge it contains.
The last part of the book includes details on animal totems. About a page is dedicated to describing the spiritual connection between humans and their guiding animal spirit.
Great book, I recommend it to anyone who is interested in First Nations knowledge regarding some of their Symbols.


Symbols Common to Different Tribes
The Plain
The Northwest Coast
The Subarctic Region
The Totem Animals

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information