What is the Meaning & Definition of Totem

The term totem is normally used to designate a symbol (which may be real or abstract) representative of a culture or belief system. The notion of totem is originally from different native cultures of Africa as well as America (and other spaces, although in lesser presence) cultures that believed in divine characters who allegedly were intended to protect and take care of the members of the society. Normally, these totems were mythological figures that could be human or animal or combine features of both.
The totem is a mythological and almost fantastic representation of an animal or a rather than an actual character, it can be represented in different ways in practice. In this sense, it is common that the native cultures of North America built important sculptures from wood or stone that is characterized for being angosts, very high and very colorful at the same time. They are represented by all the different features of the totem character and were added to wings to symbolize the divine and supernatural origin of the same. These sculptures are now important tourist attractions, especially in some regions of North America where the native Indians left many traces.
Totems are the equivalent to the patterns of a society since the main purpose of his presence is the ensure that all individuals are protected against potential problems or threats. In addition, the totem is what represents the values and traditions of that culture, reason by which cannot never speak of two totems equal each other.
It is usual to find that the totems of each culture are figuratively represented by wild animals or animals that have some unique feature. This has to do with the importance that the cultures of other times granted to nature, as well as with the special bond of respect and admiration that established it.
Article contributed by the team of collaborators.