Turkey Symbolism: Unraveling the Mysteries of this Majestic Bird

Photo of author
turkey Symbolism2 Turkey Symbolism: Unraveling the Mysteries of this Majestic Bird

Have you ever wondered why turkey, a bird often associated with Thanksgiving feasts, holds such a profound place in various cultures? The symbolism of turkey is rich and diverse, spanning from Native American traditions to modern-day interpretations.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of turkey symbolism, revealing insights that might just change the way you look at this bird. From its role as a symbol of abundance and fertility to its significance as a spirit animal, turkey’s symbolism is as intriguing as it is diverse.

Stay with us as we unravel the hidden meanings behind this seemingly ordinary bird.

“The turkey’s eyes are such that he can see a bumblebee turn a somersault on the verge of the horizon.”

~ Archibald Rutledge

Key Takeaways

  • Turkey symbolism represents generosity, adaptability, prosperity, family, and friendship.
  • Dreaming about turkeys often symbolizes abundance, prosperity, or gratitude.
  • In various cultures, turkeys hold significant spiritual and symbolic meanings.
What does a turkey symbolize Turkey Symbolism: Unraveling the Mysteries of this Majestic Bird

Turkey Symbolism: A Deep Dive

Turkey is a bird that holds profound spiritual significance across many cultures. Its history dates back to 500 B.C., when it was first domesticated in Mesoamerica.

Known for their natural generosity, turkeys have long served as a source of meat and feathers, used for clothing, personal adornment, and in religious ceremonies. They are symbols of gratitude, abundance, and generosity.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Turkeys are adaptable birds, capable of thriving in a variety of habitats. This adaptability inspires us to weather life’s storms and thrive under any conditions. Turkeys are also flexible, particularly in their direction, a quality we can emulate in our life paths.

Prosperity and Abundance

Turkeys have been a food source for centuries, symbolizing abundance where there is food. Serving turkey represents hospitality and gratitude for the sustenance provided by a higher being. It represents the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that all creatures experience.

Family and Friendship

A turkey on the table symbolizes the coming together of friends and family. Like turkeys, we need a flock to survive, to find people who understand us on a deeper level. If you’ve been feeling alone, it may be time to open up to the significant people in your life.


Turkeys, with their large size and protective feathers, symbolize protection. Many cultures, including the Navajo, see turkeys as guardians of the home and family. This symbolizes that you are protected by your ancestors and should have confidence in achieving your goals.

Fatherhood and Fertility

Turkeys are seen as a good omen in many cultures, symbolizing fertility due to their year-round egg-laying and the male turkey’s mating ritual. In some cultures, turkey feathers are worn as symbols of fertility.

Turkey Totem Turkey Symbolism: Unraveling the Mysteries of this Majestic Bird

Turkey totem

The color of a turkey’s head changes boldly while expressing its emotions. As totems, they are a gentle nudge that we should not suppress our feelings to conform to the standards of society.

Be different and bold with your emotions and express them without fear of being judged. Staying on the ground in spite of their ability to fly reminds us to be humble and stay grounded no matter how far we reach in life.

Their wings are agile and huge, to show a message that flexibility should be embodied as life continuously redirects us to a path that would serve us. 

For more information on Turkey symbolism, check out this video!

The History of Turkey Symbolism

Turkey holds a significant place in the annals of history, particularly in Native American culture and Mesoamerican history.

Turkey in Native American Culture

In Native American culture, turkey was revered as a symbol of abundance and fertility. The bird was seen as a gift from the Earth, providing food and feathers for ceremonies and clothing.

Turkey’s generous nature was a lesson for the tribes, teaching them the importance of sharing and giving.

Turkey in Mesoamerican History

Moving further south to Mesoamerica, turkey continued to hold symbolic importance. The ancient Maya, Aztec, and other Mesoamerican civilizations domesticated turkeys for their meat and feathers.

They were considered sacred animals, often appearing in religious rituals and artwork.

Turkey and the Pilgrims’ First Harvest

Fast forward to the arrival of the Pilgrims in the New World, turkey again took center stage. The bird was a crucial part of the Pilgrims’ first harvest, which we now celebrate as Thanksgiving.

Turkey became a symbol of a successful harvest and the beginning of a New Year. Discover more about this in Turkey Feathers History – The Wandering Bull, LLC.

From the tribal societies of North America to the advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica, and finally to the early settlers of the New World, turkey has been a constant symbol of abundance, fertility, and new beginnings.

Turkey and Jewish Tradition

Turkey wasn’t covered in the Bible, but it’s still a well-known bird. The Jews didn’t know about this native American animal until they were brought back from Europe during exploration times and even later on when Turkey was introduced to them by other countries like Portugal or Spain.

In modern Jewish culture, turkey is often served during festive meals, symbolizing abundance and celebration.

Turkey Cultural Symbolism Comparison

CultureSymbolism of TurkeyAdditional Information
Native AmericanAbundance, FertilityAssociated with Mother Earth and changing seasons
MexicanGood LuckOften given as a gift during holidays
ChineseHonesty, Integrity, Good News, LuckConsidered a bringer of good news and luck
ChristianGluttony, Greed, Thanksgiving, HarvestAssociated with Thanksgiving and the harvest
Dream InterpretationAbundance, Prosperity, GratitudeSpecific meaning can vary depending on the context of the dream
MesoamericanSacred AnimalUsed in religious rituals and artwork
Pilgrims’ First HarvestSuccessful Harvest, New YearSymbol of a successful harvest and the beginning of a New Year

Dreaming of Turkeys: What Does It Mean?

Dreams are a fascinating realm where our subconscious communicates with us using symbols and scenarios. One such symbol that might appear in your dreams is turkey.

Symbolism of Dreaming About a Turkey

Dreaming about a turkey often carries positive connotations. It could symbolize abundance, prosperity, or gratitude. If a turkey appears in your dream, it might be a sign that you are about to experience a period of growth and abundance in your life.

turkey food

Killing a Turkey in a Dream

On the other hand, if you dream of killing a turkey, it might signify that you are trying to gain something at the expense of others. It could also mean that you are trying to force your ideas on others. This dream could be a wake-up call to reassess your actions and attitudes.

Seeing a Dead Turkey in a Dream

Seeing a dead turkey in a dream might symbolize the end of a prosperous period or a warning of potential loss. It could also represent feelings of guilt or regret.

It’s important to remember that dream interpretation is subjective and depends on your personal circumstances.

dream of turkeys


The symbolism surrounding this remarkable bird is a captivating tapestry intertwined with time and diverse cultures, portraying it as a representation of abundance, fertility, generosity, and protection. From its revered role in Native American culture and Mesoamerican history to its symbolic connection to the first Thanksgiving, this creature embodies themes of prosperity, family, and new beginnings.

Across various cultures and dream interpretations, it continues to hold positive connotations, signifying growth, gratitude, and adaptability. As we unravel the concealed meanings behind this seemingly ordinary avian, we gain a deeper appreciation for its profound and varied symbolism in our world.

Whether serving as a spirit animal, a symbol of good fortune, or a representation of cherished family gatherings, this creature’s significance serves as a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness between nature and humanity.

The next time we encounter this bird, let us pause and reflect on the rich symbolism it carries, allowing us to discover a newfound admiration for this exceptional winged creature.


What is Turkey Symbolism?

Turkey symbolism is the interpretation of turkeys’ characteristics and behaviors across various cultures. It often represents generosity, adaptability, prosperity, family, and friendship.

What does a turkey symbolize in Native American culture?

In Native American culture, turkey symbolizes abundance and fertility. It’s associated with Mother Earth and the changing of the seasons.

What does it mean to dream about a turkey?

Dreaming about a turkey often symbolizes abundance, prosperity, or gratitude. However, the specific meaning can vary depending on the context of the dream.

What does turkey symbolize in Christian culture?

In Christian culture, turkey is often seen as a symbol of gluttony and greed. It’s also associated with Thanksgiving and the harvest.

Photo of author
Author: Richard Alois
Richard, a London-based spiritual explorer and daytime marketer, invites fellow seekers to join him on a journey of discovery through his website, richardalois.com. With engaging articles and thought-provoking discussions, Richard's inclusive approach transcends borders, uniting people in the quest for wisdom, inner peace, and self-understanding.

Leave a Reply