Native American Totem Animals & Their Meanings


Totems are a significant part of Native American culture and one of the few prominent things that the tribes are remembered for today. Totem animals are considered spirit beings and sacred objects that guide a person at different points in their lives. Even though people can associate with varying totem animals coming in and out of their lives, one single animal acts as the leading guarding spirit. 

Originally, Native American culture had nine main totem animals. However, with time, a lot more animals were added to the list to accommodate the diversity of community members. Totem animals are so popular today that they influence even the slot gambling industry to see the production of sets like the Turning Totems slot. Here is a look at some popular Native American totem animals and what they are believed to mean.


Buffalo in Native American culture actually refers to bison, with the real buffalo being found in Asia and Africa. However, due to the similarities between both animals, the names are often interchangeable. The bison is one of the most sacred symbols of Native American culture, and the animals can still be seen in significant numbers in parts of the United States. During the 1800s, the bison were hunted to near extinction in an attempt to suppress the Native American tribes. Also, the species faced an unsuccessful attempt at being domesticated like their buffalo brothers. The animal has proven itself to be incredibly strong and resilient with a passion for remaining wild and free. The same resonates with people who have the animal as their totem symbol as well as their ability to be abundant, gratuitous, stable, and consistent in their ventures.

The buffalo totem animal is one of the native American totem symbols that have become a consistent theme in slot games. Some of the popular slot machines that are constructed around the animal include:

  • Great Buffalo
  • Buffalo Blitz
  • Buffalo King
  • Buffalo Rising
  • Big Buffalo
  • Buffalo Lightning
  • Buffalo Respin
  • White Buffalo
  • Buffalo Charge


Like the buffalo, the wolf is highly associated with Native American culture as a spirit animal. People, with the wolf as their spirit animal, are often described as loyal, successful, intuitive, persevering, and have an appetite for freedom and alone time. This totem animal is mostly tied to people that are misunderstood due to the complexities brought about by these traits and the duality of their nature. Like the animals, the wolf totem animal inspires one to be as cute as they can be cunning or as fierce as they can be funny. The totem animal mostly reveals itself to people who need to focus on communicating with the people around them just as a wolf has to interact with its pack to have a place among them and thrive.

The wolf popularly features as a theme in slot games, and it is often depicted in its Native American light. A couple of these slot machines include:

  • Wolf Gold
  • Wolf Riches
  • Wolf Legend Megaways
  • Wolf Run
  • Wolf Queen
  • Wolf Run
  • Untamed Wolf Pack
  • Winning Wolf
  • Wolf Moon
  • Wolf Rising

Brown Bear

The brown bear is one of nature’s apex predators and bears a lot of industrious traits that keep it at the top of the food chain. The animal’s resilience and size command respect and power, which makes it an ideal totem symbol to show in moments of weakness and helplessness. The bear totem animal is referred to as the guardian of the world to help through trying times by lending its instinctiveness, power, sovereignty, watchfulness, will power, healing strength, and introspection. This totem animal can be explored in numerous slots, such as:

  • Bonus Bear
  • Bear Mountain
  • Bears Corner
  • Roaring Bears
  • Fear the Bear
  • Wolf and Bear


The badger may be a small animal, but it is known to hold its ground and fight predators that are much bigger and more powerful. This totem animal pushes people to be courageous and stand their ground with aggression, determination, confidence, and great focus. The badger is also seen as a healer, especially when it comes to problems relating to others, and it is also an energy conduit that helps people stand their ground for as long as they need to.


The horse has been man’s domesticated companion for more than ten centuries despite having some of the wildest traits. The fact that the horse can fall under the command of humankind is taken as an indication that even the wildest of attributes can be tamed. However, as a totem animal, the horse is a symbol of freedom, and most people that are touched by it seek the element with great stamina and power. Even so, they maintain a lot of grace and nobility in their travels, which keeps them grounded to their values and beliefs.


The snake is often considered as a deceitful and cunning animal in numerous cultures, including the popular Christian religion. In Native American culture, as a totem animal, it represents primal energy, rebirth, transformation, and initiation. These elements are drawn from the snake’s habit to shed its skin seasonally and start anew. Nonetheless, the totem animal also inspires people to be impulsive at times, especially when threatened. Native Americans believed that the appearance of a snake on a dream was a spiritual lesson that one needed to acquire patience through trust and timing.


The raven is considered the trickster of the totem animal world since it delivers magical and secret messages. However, these messages always come in the right place, at the right time, and when one is in the right mind frame to receive them. The totem animal is often a guide when one is taking life too seriously, and serves as a reminder to have fun and take time to enjoy the pleasures in life. People with the raven as their birth totem are believed to see others for what they truly are with cultivated passion. They are also introspective, divine, courageous, and self-realized. Also, the raven inspires a lot of time management since, and every moment matters. Even though the totem animal encourages seeing life as fun and for the living, it helps one keep track of time to ensure that they are out there doing just that.


The deer’s representation of tenderness mixed with strength goes beyond Native American cultures and is depicted in numerous parts of the world. When calm, most people with the deer as their totem animal express compassion, gentleness, care, subtlety, innocence, femininity, peace, and gracefulness. The deer inspires the inner child in us, which can inspire joy and happiness at the smallest of beautiful encounters. Nevertheless, the totem is a seller of adventure and will gear on even when obstacles block the followed path. The blend of these elements helps one to handle challenging times with grace and determination.


Beavers are considered one of the smartest creatures in fur, which is why it is depicted as a native American totem animal. The totem animal is said to inspire the power to work, considering its hardworking characteristics. The beaver is linked with determination and strong will, which comes from its ability to be an overseer, dreamer, builder, and protector. It also helps one to be connected with their subconscious so that they can better take control of their lives.


Fish, especially the salmon, is often linked as a totem animal to people who prefer to take control of their lives, even if it means changing the natural direction. Salmon are known to swim against the water current, which identifies them to be confident, proud, determined, and wise. Even though these are great traits, it makes it hard for people with the salmon as their totem animal to stay in harmony with nature’s rhythms and go with the tide when they are not working against them.


When the hawk totem comes into people’s lives, it brings a whole new level of awareness that redefines the mind and spirit. The hawk has some of the best observational skills in nature that are traced with its mind and wings. For this reason, it’s viewed as a messenger for the gods and other divine beings. As a companion, the totem animal prepares one for challenges ahead, and it is often useful when using new approaches to working or simply living life. The hawk inspires one to trust their fundamental physic and the guidance it provides.


The phrase as cunning as a fox is coined around the world for good reasons. The animal is known to sneak around with stealthy, near-silent movements, especially in spaces where they are well-acclimated. In Native American, the fox was seen as a fire bringer with the ability to heal. The totem animal reveals itself when one takes on ill-conceived projects. Being a trickster itself, the fox knows when there is something malice in wait. The totem animal shows intelligent solutions that require persistence and forethought to implement.

Final Comments

Native American culture explores these animal totems and many others deeply to help people find their ideal companion. One can have multiple companions in their life journey or stick to the one that they link with at birth.

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