Q:

What are the symbolic meanings of a brown butterfly?

A:

The brown butterfly is a Native American symbol for important news. This symbol does not indicate if the news is positive or negative. It is closely related to the black butterfly symbol, which indicates important bad news. Black butterflies also symbolize serious illness.

Other butterfly symbols also appear in Native American cultures. For example, a yellow butterfly symbolizes hope, and a white butterfly represents good fortune. Red butterfly symbols stand for important events. Like their brown counterparts, red butterflies do not communicate value judgements.

Butterfly symbols have additional meanings in many Native American tribes. In the Blackfoot culture, butterflies represent dreams and deep sleep. These symbols often appear as embroidered talismans that are believed to promote restful slumber, especially for infants and small children.

Butterfly symbols are also important references to the creation myths of various Native American cultures. Among the Pueblo and other tribes in the American Southwest, the Great Spirit created butterflies by filling a sacred sack with other beautifully colored creatures. According to this tradition, the butterflies emerged from the bag singing glorious songs, but the Great Spirit removed their voices to quell songbirds' jealousy.

Southwestern tribes accordingly associate butterflies with change, transformation and the beauty of renewal. Many tribes also believe that butterflies are spiritual messengers.


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