What Are Examples of Native American Indian Symbols for Animals?

According to Native American beliefs, the bear symbolizes healing, inner strength, knowledge and the cyclical nature of life, and the turtle represents wisdom, patience, planning and an ability to change. In Native American traditions, animals serve as totems, or spirit guides, and appear regularly throughout a person's life.

A spider signifies creativity, balance and unity. Native Americans believe that the spider is a teacher and a nurturer, and has the ability to connect an individual with his higher creator. Native Americans believe the dragonfly symbolizes dreams and aspirations, along with a carefree spirit.

Native Americans consider the raven a magical creature in Native American culture, usually symbolizing change. A raven is a teacher, and often a trickster, and the bird represents inner knowledge and self-examination. An ant symbolizes hard work and perseverance. Ants are community-oriented and loyal, and are said to guide individuals closer to fulfilling their dreams.

The horse symbolizes freedom in Native American beliefs. It is a strong and powerful animal that can endure difficult situations without tiring. A horse totem may also represent travel and mobility. The beaver represents leadership and determination, and is believed to be a protective spirit and an overseer of resources. The beaver adapts easily and is rarely defeated.