Butterfly Symbolism | Indigenous Art & Jewellery

Butterfly Symbolism | Indigenous Art & Jewellery

Butterfly is often depicted with double wings and a short, segmented body. Often associated with femininity and feminine beauty, Butterfly may even have a human face that’s reflective of this. Butterfly is a minor symbol and figure in Northwest Indigenous cultures and is often only used as a decorative companion in Indigenous art. She’s both captivating and understated- usually depicted with outstretched wings, antennae, and surrounded by plants and flowers. 

Also Read: Honoring Artists Honica and Hollie Bartlett For International Women's Day

Butterfly jewellery made with sterling silver

Sterling silver Butterfly Cuff made by Victoria Harper.

Butterfly cuff bracelet made by Indigenous artist Victoria Harper

As a minor crest figure, Butterfly isn’t seen as frequently in Indigenous art or stories. There are some Kwakwaka’wakw clans that use Butterfly as their family symbol. To Haida, Butterfly is Raven’s companion and spokesperson, leading him to food and hiding places. 

Butterfly spirit bead made by Travis Henry

Butterfly spirit bead made by Travis Henry.

Also Read: Travis Henry | Artistic Style and Kwakwaka’wakw Carvings

Butterfly spirit bead on a sterling silver chain. Spirit beads can be used for necklaces or charm bracelets.

Shop our butterfly collection here

Butterfly is a messenger- bringing signs of transformation and grace. She holds a unique ability to bring beauty and balance to the world. In our modern world, butterflies are essential pollinators. Indigenous land activists teach us we must protect this creature from the effects of climate change. Butterfly teaches us to embrace beauty and grace and to implement change when needed. 

Also Read: Sun Symbolism | Indigenous Art & Jewellery 


Artina’s Jewellery recognizes that colonization, policies, and institutions have significantly changed Indigenous Peoples’ relationships with galleries. For many years, colonial ideologies upheld by museums were used to exclude Indigenous artists, their work, and their voices.

Today we acknowledge that in order to break the colonial lens that’s restricted Indigenous artists throughout history, we must represent Indigenous art mindfully. Artina’s wishes to act as a gallery featuring various artists from all across Canada. Our mission is to share, respect, and better appreciate Indigenous art.  

We promise to respect and uphold our relationship with Indigenous artists by continually supporting their art and challenging colonial biases.

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