Native American Animal Rabbit Symbols

Interested in the Native American animal symbol of the rabbit? Read on to find out about the meaning and significance of the Native American rabbit symbols…

The rabbit has found itself being represented as a symbol in many different cultures of the world. It is often considered to be a trickster creature much like the raven and coyote. The Native Americans had their own understanding of the symbol of the rabbit.

Native American Rabbit Symbolism

The general prevailing understanding of the rabbit in most Native American tribes is that of a trickster. The Natives have a special character known as the Manabozho or the Nanabozho. This is the character of the Great Hare and is considered to be a very powerful mythological character with many legendary stories associated with it.

For some Native Indian tribes the Nanabozho is looked upon as a hero. Some tribes even consider the Great Hare to be the creator of the Earth we live on. Nanabozho is also regarded as being a supporter of humans and helps them out in many ways such as bringing fire and light. The Great Hare was also taken as a sacred symbol. In fact it was believed that the Great Hare taught sacred rituals to the holy men amongst the Natives. The character of Nanabozho is not consistent in every tribe. In some tribes he is depicted as a clown, a predator and even a thief. The stories surrounding the Great Hare portray him as positive amongst some tribes and negative amongst others.

Another unique aspect associated with the rabbit is that of fear calling. In fact the rabbit is sometimes referred to as the Fear Caller. This is because it is believed that the rabbit calls upon himself the things he fears the most. The story used to illustrate this aspect is that the rabbit lays his eyes upon a coyote and calls out to him to stay away. When the coyote doesn’t notice the rabbit he calls louder until the coyote notices him and then attacks. This is the kind of personality the rabbit is believed to have amongst the Native Americans.

Native American Observations of the Rabbit

Native Americans were very much in tune with nature. They are regarded as being great observers. This quality of theirs is apparent in the meanings they attach to various elements in nature. In this case they would study the lifestyle and habitat of the rabbit and derive a meaning accordingly.

The rabbit is a unique creature that is found almost everywhere on earth except for the continent of Antarctica. Both rabbits and hares belong to the same family known as Leporidae. However Hares are generally larger in size as compared to rabbits and have much longer and tipped back ears as well. In rabbits the females are generally larger than the males. These little herbivorous creatures are known to be intelligent and can be quite conniving at times and thus the symbolism.