Meaning of the Rabbit Totem to Native Americans

There are nine totem animals, also referred to as spiritual symbols or power animals, which are said to guide tribal members during their spiritual realities encompassed by the physical world. These animals can appear to members in a dream, through their interests, or through the act of sharing.

With Easter plans afoot and spring on its way, we thought it appropriate to share with you a story behind the sacred rabbit totem.

Rabbit and Eye Walker Folklore Meaning of the Rabbit Totem to Native Americans

The origin of the rabbit totem in Native American cultures is often told through the story of the Rabbit and Eye Walker. Eye Walker was a witch who befriended the rabbit. Eye Walker showed unrequited loyalty to her dear rabbit friend in the legend, but the acts of kindness were never acknowledged by rabbit. Rabbit abandons Eye Walker because he fears her magical powers. Eye Walker is saddened and feels betrayed so she sets a curse on Rabbit.

The rabbit for evermore will be called “Fear Caller,” for when he calls out to the eagle in flight or any of the predators he states he is afraid of them; in turn they take him as a meal. This story teaches people about the power and value of friendship and about expressing gratitude for that friendship, all while demonstrating to us that our actions and in-actions have consequences.

The Ultimate Lesson

Above all, Rabbit and Eye Walker teach people how to confront fear by acknowledging it first, then letting go of it. If one lives in fear of an imagined tragedy, the perceived “what-ifs,” then misfortune will find you. If you instead focus on the “what is,” you will find happiness. The rabbit reminds us not to focus on the bad in our lives and in the world, but on the good.

Call your inner rabbit totem to life and display it proudly through one of our small hand-painted Rabbits or our hand-crafted Rabbit Nativity Scenes by Debi Flanigan from Mata Ortiz! We also have Zuni carved rabbit fetishes for purchase. The Zuni believe the rabbit represents gentleness, charm, and the importance of family.

The rabbit is the special guardian of pregnant women, bringing safe childbirth and a long life for the children. All of the items at Kachina House are crafted in the tradition of Native American legends of past and present, and stay true to the morals they teach.