Rooted in tradition, family, and pride, the Navajo are people who lead dedicated lifestyles. These Native American tribes are tethered to their beliefs, which is why they regard Navajo symbols with paramount importance.These Navajo symbols are visible in Navajo Etched Pottery, Navajo Kachina Dolls, Ceramic Jewelry and Keepsake Boxes, and other Navajo art. To get a feel for how rich Navajo customs are, below are meanings behind 10 symbols you’ll find in Navajo culture.

Navajo Symbols and Meanings

Indicative of inner peace and tranquility, the bird represents calm and contentment. When the Navajo bird is present, anxiety dwindles, making way for quietude and wise passivity.

One of the oldest Navajo symbols is the horse. When the Navajo settled in North America, they traveled on horseback. With that said, a horse is symbolic of family as well as the ease with which the Navajo could now travel for hunting and migration.

Deer Tracks
Deer tracks symbolize an abundance of food. If wild game is plentiful, the Navajo use deer tracks to denote an increase in their food supply.

A human is one of the more straightforward Navajo symbols. Simply put, the Navajo use human symbols to illustrate the essence of life.

Lightning is a representation of speed and agility. It’s also associated with forbidden practices. For instance, if you use firewood that’s been burned by lightning, misfortune might ensue.

When a thunderbird is displayed, an outpouring of happiness awaits. In other words, when blessings are bountiful, the thunderbird makes an appearance. The thunderbird can also stand for serenity.

In the Navajo culture, sunshine is synonymous with good cheer. The sun symbol embodies universal harmony. At its core, this symbol exemplifies high spirits and good fortune.

According to the Navajo, water is closely related to life. More specifically, it epitomizes the ever-changing ways of our existence. Without water, there is no balance, so when this symbol is used, someone is looking to recalibrate their life.

Kokopelli presides over childbirth and agriculture. Often depicted as a flute player, Kokopelli has an affinity for tricks. This god is also affiliated with music.

The Navajo believe that bears personify strength. When you see this symbol, it either means you need to build your resilience, accept your past, or acknowledge your ability to overcome.