Hummingbird, detail, 1998, Chris Johnson, ET513.43
Photo: Kirstin Roper, © NHMU

Hummingbird Symbolism

Dahiitį́hí (hummingbirds) are a symbol of beauty and wisdom for the Diné (Navajo). When things of beauty come to the Diné, it is said that it is thanks to the hummingbird. Stories tell how the hummingbird taught the Diné how to gather pollen. If a hummingbird appears at your home, it brings messages from the bird and animal people that they need offerings of pollen or sacred stones. Hummingbirds, like all birds, are sacred and should not be harmed or mistreated in any way.Two species of hummingbirds live in Dinétah (the Diné homeland): broad-tailed hummingbirds and black-chinned hummingbirds. They occur wherever there are plenty of flowers to provide nectar. In late September, as blooms fade, they migrate to southern Arizona and Mexico for the winter.