Important Animals

Indigenous cultures, such as the Lakota (Sioux), carry precious knowledge about the world around us, including spiritual relationships with animals. They are considered our relatives, among our winged, four-legged and reptile nation.

In an attempt to explain the importance behind sacred animals, we have compiled cultural information about them. The following are five sacred animals to the Lakota.

The Buffalo

The tȟatȟáŋkabuffalo — is held in high regard by the Lakota people. It is respected as a symbol of the divine because, for Native Americans, the buffalo was a “banquet” for the people.

Read more about The Buffalo.

The Eagle

The waŋblíeagle — is an important winged symbol for the Native American people. The eagle is the strongest and bravest of all birds. For this reason, Native Americans have chosen the eagle and its feathers as a symbol of what is highest, bravest, strongest and holiest.

Read more about The Eagle.

The Dog

The šúŋkadog — has long played an important role in Lakota society and culture. Before the Spanish introduced horses in the 1700’s, the Lakota (Sioux) relied heavily on dogs for a variety of tasks.

Read more about The Dog.

The Horse

To the Lakota, a šúŋkawakȟáŋhorse — is a relative. A four-legged friend and companion that provided transportation, friendship and pride. The horse is revered for its grace and bravery.

Read more about The Horse.

The Turtle

The khéyaturtle — is present in a multitude of stories, legends and observations of the Lakota people. The spirit of the turtle represents the guardian of life, longevity and fortitude.

Read more about The Turtle.