Proverbs

69 Native American Proverbs & Sayings (INSPIRING)

Top 10 Most Famous Native American Proverbs (BEST)

Treat the earth well it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.
Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.
No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.
No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.
The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears.
The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears.
Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future.
Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future.
Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters.
Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters.
We always return to our first loves.
We always return to our first loves.
It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.
It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.
A brave man dies but once, a coward many times.
A brave man dies but once, a coward many times.

4 Native American Proverbs (ARAPAHO)

When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. – Arapaho
When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. – Arapaho
Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. - Arapaho
Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. – Arapaho
Before eating, always take time to thank the food. – Arapaho
Before eating, always take time to thank the food. – Arapaho
If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. – Arapaho
If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. – Arapaho

6 Native American Proverbs (HOPI)

The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. - Hopi
The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. – Hopi
Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. – Hopi
Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. – Hopi
All dreams spin out from the same web. - Hopi
All dreams spin out from the same web. – Hopi
The one who tells the stories rules the world. – Hopi
The one who tells the stories rules the world. – Hopi
The rain falls on the just and the unjust. – Hopi
The rain falls on the just and the unjust. – Hopi
In age, talk; in childhood, tears. - Hopi
In age, talk; in childhood, tears. – Hopi

3 Native American Proverbs (CHEROKEE)

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. – Cherokee
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. – Cherokee
The weakness of the enemy makes our strength. – Cherokee
The weakness of the enemy makes our strength. – Cherokee
Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. – Cherokee
Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. – Cherokee

5 Native American Proverbs (CHEYENNE)

Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark. – Cheyenne
Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark. – Cheyenne
Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. – Cheyenne
Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. – Cheyenne
Our first teacher is our own heart. – Cheyenne
Our first teacher is our own heart. – Cheyenne
If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove. – Cheyenne
If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove. – Cheyenne
A danger foreseen is half-avoided. – Cheyenne
A danger foreseen is half-avoided. – Cheyenne

4 Native American Proverbs (SIOUX)

Poverty is a noose that strangles humility and breeds disrespect for God and man. - Sioux
Poverty is a noose that strangles humility and breeds disrespect for God and man. – Sioux
A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. – Sioux
A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. – Sioux
The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. – Sioux
The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. – Sioux
With all things and in all things, we are relatives. – Sioux
With all things and in all things, we are relatives. – Sioux

3 Native American Proverbs (NIITSITAPI)

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

Niitsitapi
Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. - Niitsitapi
Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. – Niitsitapi
Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way. - Niitsitapi
Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way. – Niitsitapi

3 Native American Proverbs (NAVAJO)

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. – Navajo
You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. – Navajo
There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnakes tail. – Navajo
There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnakes tail. – Navajo
A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax. – Navajo
A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax. – Navajo

4 Native American Proverbs (LAKOTA)

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. – Lakota
When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. – Lakota
Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. – Lakota
Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. – Lakota
Many have fallen with the bottle in their hand. – Lakota
Many have fallen with the bottle in their hand. – Lakota
Everything the power does, it does in a circle. – Lakota
Everything the power does, it does in a circle. – Lakota

2 Native American Proverbs (ABSAROKA aka CROW)

You already possess everything necessary to become great. – Absaroka
You already possess everything necessary to become great. – Absaroka
Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same. – Absaroka
Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same. – Absaroka

2 Native American Proverbs (MOHAWK)

Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.  – Mohawk
Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.  – Mohawk
A good chief gives, he does not take. – Mohawk
A good chief gives, he does not take. – Mohawk

3 Native American Proverbs (OMAHA)

It is easy to be brave from a distance. – Omaha
It is easy to be brave from a distance. – Omaha
Ask questions from your heart and you will be answered from the heart. – Omaha
Ask questions from your heart and you will be answered from the heart. – Omaha
The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird that is hungry. – Omaha
The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird that is hungry. – Omaha

2 Native American Proverbs (SHENANDOAH)

We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth. – Shenandoah
We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth. – Shenandoah
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. – Shenandoah
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. – Shenandoah

2 Native American Proverbs (DUWAMISH)

Day and night cannot dwell together. – Duwamish
Day and night cannot dwell together. – Duwamish
There is no death, only a change of worlds. – Duwamish
There is no death, only a change of worlds. – Duwamish

16 Other Native American Proverbs Worth Mentioning

Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. – Maricopa
Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. – Maricopa
Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed. – Plains
Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed. – Plains
Man belongs to earth, earth does not belong to man. - Chief Seattle
Man belongs to earth, earth does not belong to man. – Chief Seattle
To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. – Oglala Sioux
To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. – Oglala Sioux
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. – Dakota
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. – Dakota
Take only memories. Leave only footprints.
Take only memories. Leave only footprints.
Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass.
Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.
Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves.
Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves.
It is less of a problem to be poor than to be dishonest. – Anishinabe
It is less of a problem to be poor than to be dishonest. – Anishinabe
All who have died are equal. – Comanche
All who have died are equal. – Comanche
One rain does not make a crop. – Creole
One rain does not make a crop. – Creole
Cherish youth, but trust old age. – Pueblo
Cherish youth, but trust old age. – Pueblo
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. – Minquass
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. – Minquass
Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant. – Kiowa
Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant. – Kiowa
Sharing and giving are the ways of God. – Sauk
Sharing and giving are the ways of God. – Sauk

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