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Meaning of TOTEM

Pronunciation:  'towtum

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant; serves as the symbol of a family or clan (especially among American Indians)
  2. [n]  a clan identified by their kinship to a common totemic object

TOTEM is a 5 letter word that starts with T.


 See Also: clan, emblem, kin, kin group, kindred, kinship group, tribe



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\To"tem\, n. [Massachusetts Indian wutohtimoin that to
which a person or place belongs.]
A rude picture, as of a bird, beast, or the like, used by the
North American Indians as a symbolic designation, as of a
family or a clan.

      And they painted on the grave posts Of the graves, yet
      unforgotten, Each his own ancestral totem Each the
      symbol of his household; Figures of the bear and
      reindeer, Of the turtle, crane, and beaver.

      The totem,the clan deity, the beast or bird who in some
      supernatural way attends to the clan and watches over
      it.                                      --Bagehot.

 Definition: a plant or animal whose name is adopted by a clan and that holds a special significance for its members, usually related to their mythical ancestry.