Guide to Dream Interpretation for Native Americans

Native Americans were also called other names like American Indians, or North American Indians. They have been interviewed for research studies, non-fiction biographies, as well as fiction books. One of the research topics was on dreams. What are the dreams which Native Americans see in their sleep?

Here is a list of common dreams experienced by Native Americans.

  1. Dead people
  2. Dying
  3. Everyday life
  4. Sexual desires
  5. Eating food
  6. Fighting
  7. Encounters with animals in hunting or other incidents
  8. Traveling
  9. Falling down
  10. Walking through rough terrain
  11. Sleeping
  12. Being temporary paralyzed
  13. Being physically disabled
  14. Personal waste removal.
  15. Childbirth
  16. Nursing baby
  17. Bathing
  18. Flying through air
  19. Tribal ceremonies and dances

Numbers 1 through 18 are usually dreams experienced as spontaneous, unsought, individual dreams.

Native Americans who live close to nature spend a lot of time on hunting, walking through rough terrain to hunt or lay traps. They need to be physically fit and have fears of being physically injured and unable to move. Their concerns surface as dreams, to remind them of their vulnerabilities and take care of themselves.

Living in the wild, they need to find suitable spots to do their personal waste disposal and bathing. Actions which are taken for granted by people living with modern amenities, do not merit much thoughts and are not worthy to become dreams.

Number 19 is usually sought through desire to get knowledge/ healing, and are stimulated through culture patterns. As Native Americans become more stimulated by white culture, external substances and etc, live experiences with culture patterns decrease and subsequently, so do these dreams.

The reader may wish to compare a general list of 55 Common Dreams in general society.

Here are some basic assumptions to understand and interpret common dreams of Native Americans.

  1. The people believe dreaming means the soul travels out of the body to visit others/ places.
  2. Dreams affect the dreamer’s mood for the following day. The people believe whatever content in the dream actually happened and the dreamer must act accordingly to take responsibility for the dreamed incident.
  3. Native American male youths usually fast during puberty, to seek dreams for guidance. During these attempts for sought dreams, the first animal the youth dreams of, becomes his individual totem icon. If the youth is a descendant of the clan’s leader, then his totem can become the clan’s totem too.
  4. Dreaming of ancestors with an animal near by means that animal is requested for sacrifice.
  5. Sought or unsought dreams may guide the dreamer to become a shaman or doctor.
  6. Dreams may offer advice to seek specific careers.
  7. Dreams can show religious or ethnic ceremonies, dances and songs.
  8. Dreams may inspire or instigate acts like – killing and cannibalisation, tribal war, secret societies, naming of individuals, myths, drama, and religious conversions.
  9. Reference – Dr. Jackson Steward Lincoln. (2003) The Dream In Native American And Other Primitive Cultures. Dover Publications: NY.

Tips for action after dreaming of adultery, as according to the beliefs of Native Americans:

The Native Americans believe that you have to accept your dreams as reality. You take responsibility for the acts in your dreams. Consequently, you must make the necessary actions to deal with the events in your dream. For example, after dreaming of adultery, the dreamer takes steps to sever ties with the partner in the alleged adultery. If the dreamer wants to apologise for his ardent thoughts of committing fornication with the other party, he may do so and also offer amends. It is in the culture of Native Americans to treat dreams as real events which happened, and that they must make amends for anti-social acts in dreams.

Freud said that dreams are secret desires. By the dictate of Native Americans, they reason that preventive measures, admission of guilt and other reparations are required to manage this secret desire which stimulated the dream.


Introducing another dream – Dream of making banana bread!

This means you like banana bread, or this type of bread holds special memories for you.

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