The frog is one of the most important symbols in Northwest coast Native art and culture. It is depicted on totem poles, house posts, as well as many house hold items.
Frog is a supernatural being which inhabits the human, as well as the spirit world. It is revered for its adaptability and its ability to communicate between the two realms.
In the natural world, Frog can easily switch between water and land and is associated with springtime and renewal. When spring comes, and frogs start to croak loudly, it is the signal for tribes of the Northwest coast to end their winter ceremonies and prepare for the next hunting and fishing season.
Many Native customs all over North and South America recognize Frog as a healer. Some old European traditions also recognize its ability to heal, and some believe that its songs are magical and contain divine power. Frogs are seen as cleansers of bad spirits, and as such are used by Shamans as Spirit Helpers.
In Northwest coast art, Frog is usually depicted with a wide mouth and protruding tongue – Wak’es, Northern Frog, Tree Frog. If Frog’s tongue touches another creature, this represents the sharing of knowledge and power.
On totem poles it occupies the bottom with its legs stretched out to symbolize stability. On Haida house posts, Frog is depicted to lend structural stability.
Frogs also represent wealth, abundance, ancient wisdom, rebirth, and good luck. As such, the Frog symbol plays an important part in Northwest coast cultures.