totem

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to·tem

(tō'tĕm),
An object (usually an animal or plant) serving as the emblem of a family or clan and often as a reminder of its ancestry; something that serves as a revered symbol.
[Amer. Indian]

totem

[tō′təm]
an animal, plant, force of nature, or inanimate object that represents the tribal ancestor of a clan. It also serves as a tutelary spirit and protector and may communicate through oracles.
References in periodicals archive ?
Manambu totemic exchanges have to be taken seriously, he argued, for 'what is cosmology in one society can be structurally cognate with economy in another.
There is a pleasant postmodern irony in projecting this sort of totemic reading, which suggests of an anthropological way so thinking to the detritus of 20th-century industrialism.
Not only do they get a lucrative cut of the district's drugs revenues, but the area is totemic for the number of Nato casualties there - 133 dead, and counting.
And there were rumbles of discontent that coalition government has meant giving up too much ground to Lib Dems on totemic issues such as Europe, law and order and immigration.
THE totemic figures of Victoria Pendleton and Sir Chris Hoy will carry Great Britain's hopes on day four of the Track Cycling World Championships in Copenhagen today.
The musician, described by Jazzwise magazine as "one of the totemic figures of British jazz," died in a London hospital on Saturday after a short but undisclosed illness.
In the trial by media firing squad, you can face accusations of either failing to back a totemic national industry, or accelerating the epidemic of binge drinking that's supposedly sluicing over our streets like so much warm vomit.
Former leader Charles Kennedy has warned of the dangers of ditching a totemic commitment so closely associated with the party.
Neither quality is notably present in his wife, but if Bill is permitted to play an effective advisory role in Hillary's term of office, Obama will have written himself a stronger foreign policy ticket, in which his totemic "change" from a failed past, is still just conceivably possible.
It had a sacramental and totemic significance for the Jews and was eventually housed in the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.
No one knows who decided that the totemic colors of the two major political parties would be red for the Republicans and blue for the Democrats, but it seems to have stuck for now.
Arvel Bird's winning ways continue in this totemic masterpiece