The examples below are but a small sample of the total number of symbols used by the Great Plains people. Not every tribe used these same examples, however, as with sign languages, they were often used as a common means of communication to convey a central idea.

 

Tribes used their own colors for designs and symbols depending on their location and availability of various plants and minerals used to make paints. Symbols were constructed from materials close at hand, including clay, animal hides and wood that were either carved, painted or sculpted to achieve the desired effect.



Each of the symbols below are important, but in an effort not to lessen the importance of some of the more sacred symbols, they have been omitted out of respect.

ARROW - Protection
ARROWS CROSSED - Friendship
ARROWHEAD - Alertness
BEAR TRACK - Good Omen
BIRD - Carefree, Lighthearted
BUTTERFLY - Everlasting Life
CACTUS - Sign of the Desert
CACTUS FLOWER - Courtship

CEREMONY DANCE ENCLOSURE

COYOTE TRACKS
DAYS AND NIGHTS - Time
EAGLE FEATHERS - Chief
FENCE - Guarding Good Luck
FOUR AGES - Infancy, Youth,
Middle & Old Age
GILA MONSTER - Sign of the Desert
HOGAN - Permanent Home
HORSE - Journey
HOUSE
OF WATER
LIGHTNING - Swiftness
LIGHTING SNAKE
MAN - Human Life
MEDICINE MAN'S EYE - Wise,
Watchful, Knowing
MORNING STARS - Guidance
MOUNTAIN RANGE
PATHS CROSSING
PEACE
PLENTIFUL CROPS
RAIN - Plentiful Crops
RAIN DROP - Plentiful Crops
RATTLE SNAKE JAW - Strength
RUNNING WATER - Constant Life
size=3> SKY BAND - Defiance, Wisdom
SNAKE - Defiance, Wisdom
SUN RAYS - Constancy
TEPEE - Temporary Home
THUNDERBIRD - Sacred Barer of
Happiness

THUNDERBIRD TRACK - Bright Prospects


WARDING OFF EVIL SPIRITS