A totem is an object representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past).

Totems support larger groups than the individual person. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem. Normally this belief is accompanied by a totemic myth.

Although the term is of Ojibwe origin in North America, totemistic beliefs are not limited to Native Americans. Similar totem-like beliefs have been historically present in societies throughout much of the world, including Africa, Arabia, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Arctic polar region.

In modern times, some single individuals, not otherwise involved in the practice of a tribal religion, have chosen to adopt a personal spirit animal helper, which has special meaning to them, and may refer to this as a totem. This non-traditional usage of the term is prevalent in the New Age movement and the mythopoetic men's movement.

Read more about Totem:  Totemism, Native North American Totems, North American Totem Poles, Possibly Totemic Culture in Ancient China, Korean Jangseung, Totem Beads in The Himalayan Region, The Ancient Polish rodnidze

Other articles related to "totem, totems":

Totem - The Ancient Polish rodnidze
... ancestors of the Poles is considered to have been roughly similar to the totem as mentioned above ... clans may have been remnants of such totems (see ƚlepowron coat of arms, Korwin coat of arms, possible remnants of a raven-rodnidze) ...
Totomi Game - Collecting Totems
... your time is running out, you can cash in your totem by placing a non-matching animal on top of the totem you have built, for example by placing a bird on top of a totem made up of zebras ...
Totem (film)
... Totem is a 1999 direct-to-video released by Full Moon Features ... It features the Totem monsters, that were introduced in Puppet Master 4 ...
Shava Totem
... Shava is a totem name variant of the Mhofu/Mpofu which is the name of the animal Eland in the Shona language of Zimbabwe.In itself Shava can mean a number of things, they fairness ... Shava is more synonymous with a major totem (identity animal) of the VaHera tribe, who are descendants of Mbiru, who lived at Gombe Hill in present day Buhera, South of Zimbabwe ... The ancestor of the Va Hera was called Mbiru who was identified by his totem Shava, (the Eland) and which is also known as Nhuka or Mhofuyemukono and Mhukahuru ...
List Of Magic: The Gathering Keywords - Keywords From Expert-Level Expansions (mechanics) - Totem Armor
... Totem armor is an ability which appears on Auras ... enchanted creature would be destroyed, an attached Aura with totem armor is destroyed instead ... Totem armor appears in Rise of the Eldrazi ...

Famous quotes containing the word totem:

    Now defined as art, the totem has lost cult, taboo, and custom.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)

    Averageness is a quality we must put up with. Men march toward civilization in column formation, and by the time the van has learned to admire the masters the rear is drawing reluctantly away from the totem pole.
    Frank Moore Colby (1865–1925)