Arrowheads from indigenous people of the past have intrigued men and women for hundreds of years.
What do these stone tools represent? How were they used and why were they made?
In today’s culture, arrowheads are seen everywhere from tribal tattoos and pendants to corporate logos and mainstream media.
In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning and symbolism behind arrowheads, and talk about the archaeological context as well as the spiritual interpretations.
Table of Contents
What Do Arrowheads Represent?
- An Arrowhead’s Meaning From An Archeological Perspective
- What Is The Meaning Of An Indian Arrowhead?
- Are Arrowheads Good Luck?
- Can Arrowheads Be Cursed?
- What Is The Spiritual Meaning Behind Arrowheads?
- Related Posts
What Do Arrowheads Represent?
Arrowheads are often worn as pendants and have multiple meanings, including protection and defense, bravery and strength, life achievements, and warding off evil. To some, they are an archaeological link to the past, and to others, they represent something much deeper and more spiritual.
Early Native American tribes and indigenous peoples constructed stone arrowheads. The primary use of these arrowheads was hunting and fighting. However, as many of us know, the Native American culture was steeped in mysticism and symbolism.
Arrowheads became so critical in ancient Native American life that they were featured in artworks, and many tribe members wore them as pendants.
It is valuable to note that while the native Americans had certain beliefs about what arrowheads symbolized, in modern times, many people have taken up this idea of symbology and ascribed many additional meanings to arrowheads.
An Arrowhead’s Meaning From An Archeological Perspective
Before we move across to the other meanings and symbolisms of arrowheads, it’s worth noting that stone artifact arrowheads have an important tangible and historical meaning.
In the science of archeology, relics and artifacts (like arrowheads) provide scientists with unique insight into the past.
Arrowheads and spearheads teach us about the technology of the time, where different tribes moved, where they hunted and fought, what they ate, and where they harvested their stones to make arrowheads.
Various tribes used different techniques and rocks from their surrounding areas. When these tribes moved, they took some of their arrowheads, distributing them along their routes (trading, hunting, fighting, etc.).
When archaeologists find these arrowheads, they can trace these movements and provide context into the past.
Arrowhead discoveries also pose interesting questions:
- Did they go because of the migration of their food?
- Did a warring tribe oust them?
- Or was there some other reason, like population growth?
Archaeologists begin to ask these questions and more when they discover arrowheads. It is essential to document all of the information when finding arrowheads, as the artifacts could fill in the gaps in the data.
What Is The Meaning Of An Indian Arrowhead?
The tangible archeological evidence aside, stone arrowheads have a wealth of meanings. Much early human culture was linked to mysticism, spirituality, and symbology.
Early indigenous people often used geometric shapes to represent celestial bodies, tribal life, and hunts, and the arrowhead worked its way into their art.
Arrowheads developed symbolism as a powerful tool used to bring food, victory, and defense to the tribe.
Some of the meanings and representations ascribed to arrowheads include:
Strength, Protection, And Defense
The most obvious things an arrowhead represents are those linked directly to its function and purpose.
Arrowheads (and arrows) were used for hunting and defense, a perfect demonstration of the strength of a tribe. So by extension, the arrowhead came to represent these elements.
Bravery, Courage, And Heroism
Similar to strength and protection, arrowheads came to represent bravery, courage, and heroism. Warriors and hunters took prominent roles in tribal life, providing food and defending the tribe. They were celebrated as brave/courageous, and the arrowhead became synonymous with their actions.
Achievements And Significant Life Events
Maybe a bit loosely connected, but arrowheads also came to represent achievements and significant events in life. The arrowhead comes to a point and displays focus, direction, and meeting/achieving a purpose.
Arrowheads are worn as pendants in modern times, and some arrowhead pendants represent strong willpower to achieve your goals.
A Sign Of Good Luck And Good Fortune
From a Native American perspective, arrowheads were often worn as charms to ward off evil.
A slightly more modern interpretation of arrowheads is if you discover an arrowhead on your trails, it is believed to signify good luck/fortune.
Depending on the type, style, and material…some arrowheads are incredibly rare and can be extremely valuable to collectors and institutions.
Arrowheads Represent Alertness
Once again, focusing on the sharp point of an arrowhead, they represent alertness, readiness, and precision.
When Native Americans were out in the wilderness, they needed to be aware of what was going on around them. Other tribes, wild animals, and the elements were some of the dangers around them. Plus, only those who are aware and alert make successful hunters.
Are Arrowheads Good Luck?
While many consider arrowheads to mean good luck, whether they can influence your “luck” is hugely subjective.
If you feel that your arrowhead is “lucky”/brings you good luck, then please carry on believing so.
Something that is “good luck” is finding an arrowhead either accidentally or intentionally. What is “particularly good luck” is when you stumble upon an arrowhead that is worth a lot of money!
Can Arrowheads Be Cursed?
Much the same way that some people believe arrowheads bring good luck, some believe arrowheads to be cursed. Or at least when burial mounds are disturbed to find said arrowheads.
Whether arrowheads are cursed or not, many are protected under law, and for that reason alone, it’s best to leave burial sites and arrowheads on state and federal land alone.
What Is The Spiritual Meaning Behind Arrowheads?
Aside from using arrowheads as protection, Native Americans often ascribed spiritual meanings to arrowheads. Some of the spiritual aspects represented by arrowheads include:
Arrowheads Ward Off Evil And Protect Against Negative Energy
Native Americans believed that arrowheads worn as a talisman would protect them from the “evil eye” and other negative energies that caused sickness, ill fortune, and could even kill you.
The “evil eye” takes prominence in many ancient traditions and cultures. Mostly associated with foul magics from sorcerers, witches, and other craft practitioners, they believed the evil eye to be imbued with magic.
Arrowheads Represent An Out Of Body Traveler
Another spiritual representation of arrowheads was that they were associated with releasing oneself from physical forms and traveling through the cosmos in an out-of-body state.
Specifically connected to dreams and the dream state, individuals would often (and still do) wear arrowheads to assist in this process.
Arrowheads represent an adventurous and free spirit, so those who wear them are more likely to enter these dream states.
Arrowheads Represent Spirit Guides
Arrowheads would act as a spirit guide, directing the individual to an important point in the cosmos during their dream journeys.
For me personally, arrowheads have always represented a link to the past…
There is something so intriguing about a stone tool, that was made thousands of years ago and lay dormant under the soil.
I can’t help but imagine who made this tool, and why? Was it for hunting? Protection? Ceremony or even as a gift? It’s fascinating and no wonder why it’s such a popular pastime.
So If you are lucky enough to find an arrowhead…you are lucky enough!
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