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WOOCS 2.2.6

The Frog Symbol – Native Art Symbols And Meanings

The frog is a very important symbol in Northwest coast Native art and culture. We can find him on totem poles, house posts, as well as many house hold items.

The frog is a supernatural being which inhabits the human, as well as the spirit world. He adapts easily to his environment and communicates between the two realms.

In the natural world, frogs can easily switch between water and land and they are associated with springtime, renewal, and the changing of the seasons. When spring comes, and they 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 this creature as a healer. Some old European traditions also recognize their ability to heal, and many believe that their songs are magical and contain divine power. Frogs are seen as cleansers of bad spirits, and Shamans use them as spirit helpers.

In Northwest coast art, frogs are usually depicted with a wide mouth and protruding tongue – Wak’es, Tree Frog. If a frog’s tongue touches another creature, this represents the sharing of knowledge and power – Sharing Knowledge.

On totem poles frogs occupy the bottom with its legs stretched out to symbolize stability. On Haida house posts, they are used to lend structural stability.

Frogs also represent wealth, abundance, ancient wisdom, rebirth, and good luck.

Native Canadian art print titled Sharing Knowledge by Alvin Child
Sharing Knowledge
by Alvin Child