Native American Symbols Lakota

Interested in Native American symbols of Lakota? Read our guide for facts and information on Lakota Native American symbols…

The Lakota are on of the most prominent group of Native Americans. They are renowned for their strong ideals, cooperation, strength and generosity. Like other tribes the Lakota people made extensive use of symbolism.

The word Lakota actually translates as an alliance of people. They are referred to as the Sioux people which is a title given to them by the foreign missionaries. They are one amongst the many other tribes in the Sioux nation. Sioux actually translates as enemies.

Lakota Animal Symbols

Animal symbols were particularly popular amongst this tribe. They had their own distinct interpretations of various animals. The turtle for example was one of the most important animal symbols for the Lakota tribe. The symbol of the turtle was closely related to their astronomical studies. The Native Indians divided the year into thirteen months with 28 days each. The Keya turtle had thirteen large scales on its shell with 28 smaller ones around it. This made it a perfect symbol for astronomical occurrences as according to Native American studies.

The turtle symbol played another important role in the lives of the Lakota people. Mothers would stitch up a pouch with the symbol of the turtle on it when her newborn’s umbilical cord was cut off. This pouch would serve as an amulet and would be tied to the baby crib. As such it would be his first toy. This was something that was kept with the child throughout his life.

The buffalo, known as Tatonka in their local language was yet another prominent symbol for the Lakota people. It was a symbolic representation of mother earth and all that it has to offer. This is because the buffalo would provide the natives with many bounties such as milk, meat and raw material for clothing.

There is a certain legend surrounding the mythical character of the white buffalo. The image of the buffalo is a common feature on many Native American works of art. The symbol was also used to depict a girl’s transition into womanhood.

Lakota Spiritual Symbols

The circle was perhaps the most important spiritual symbol for the Lakota tribe. They used to view the circle as an ideal depiction of the journey of life. Their social structure was also based on circular interaction rather than a struggle for gaining power. Circle symbolism is quite evident in their architecture. Their houses were also known to have circular foundations.

The number four was another prominent symbol of the Lakota people. The number was applied to symbolically represent the elements of the earth which are earth, air, fire and water. Similarly the number was also used to depict the four changing seasons and the four directions.

There are a host of other symbols that are common amongst the Lokota people and other tribes such as the eagle, thunderbird, bear tracks, spinning lizard, arrows and the like.