The Native American turtle has a lot of meanings. The turtle, a water animal, is a symbol for strength, fertility and perseverance. It was considered a power fetish animal. It was believed to have the ability to defy death.
The turtle was part of communication between tribes. The Great Plains people regarded the turtle as a symbol of a meaningful and long life. Not all tribes used the same symbols, but they often communicated using languages to portray a central idea.
The Native American turtle was a symbol of truth as well. It is believed that knowing the truth means understanding and staying loyal to all the fundamental laws of the Creator. It is believed that the Grandmother Turtle was present when the Creator gave man the 7 sacred laws. The Grandmother Turtle was there to make sure that the sacred laws would not be forgotten or vanish.
The back of the Turtle consisted of the 13 moons, which portrayed the truth of a single cycle of the Earth’s revolution around the sun. There are also 28 marks on the back, portraying the woman’s body and cycle of the moon. The shell itself portrays the actual happenings of the body and is also there to remind people of the Creator’s plan and teachings.
As one can see, the Native American turtle is very much embedded in age-old folk tales. It was believed that the earth itself was born on the Turtle’s back. Because the turtle carries its home atop its back, it is believed that the turtle could brave through very difficult situations. The turtle was essentially regarded as a symbol of protection.
There was a Cherokee story about a race between a rabbit and turtle. They both wanted to win the race, and they raced through valleys and hills. Atop every hill, a new turtle would show up. The new turtle would then continue the race. Because there was only one rabbit and several turtles that each continued the race along every hill, the rabbit lost and the turtle won!
The Native Americans made symbols out of animals and used them in moral stories. A life of sharing and contributing to nature was very important to them. They had great respect for animals and nature itself.
What made turtles very special in Native American culture was their unique characteristics. They had a very different physical form compared to other animals. They are comparatively very slow when they travel, but are well protected and live a fairly long life.
In Native American tradition, every animal has natural powers and unique characteristics that can assist its owner. The Native American turtle was a symbol of the people’s spirit and often expressed in oral stories and songs. Today, it is present in pecked designs on rocks, basketry and pottery.
Turtle Tanks Tip #1
Remember that turtles are not all alike. Each different species and sub species require different housing, feeding and water needs. Only after you have properly identified your turtle can you create the perfect environment for raising it. Therefore, your first concern should be to clearly identify what species your pet turtle is.
Turtle Tanks Tip #2
Aquatic turtles should be kept in aquariums that have fairly deep water, a basking area, and heat and light sources. Turtles that are mostly terrestrial still need to have some water but should not be kept in aquariums. They will be happier in wide wooden or plastic enclosures that contain the right substrate and a wading dish.
Turtle Tanks Tip #3
Be sure to wash and sterilize anything you pick up from the yard before placing it in the turtle tank. Don’t add any decorations in the tank that are sharp, pointed, or small enough that your turtle could potentially swallow them.