The Symbolism behind Eighth Generation's Native-Designed Enamel Pins

Eighth Generation’s enamel pins are a great way to complete your look, spread good vibes, or Indigenize your wardrobe while celebrating traditional Native symbolism. Our enamel pins are beautifully designed by Native artists and are full of color and meaning. 

Native Symbolism, Enamel Pins, and Eighth Generation Artists

Symbolism is at the heart of a lot of Native art, sharing stories, events, and values across generations.. Native symbolism can inspire emotions, bring joy, share a teaching, and more. One way to share symbols and values you hold dear with others is by adding Native-designed traditional enamel pins to your outfit or bag.

Eighth Generation is proud to highlight a full range of enamel pins by our Inspired Natives™  artists and collaborators. Each enamel pin shares a message, story, or tradition unique to each artist, which you can read more about in the product’s description.. From hummingbirds to buffalo, orcas to wolves, Eighth Generation’sNative-designed enamel pins sure to bring a smile, start a conversation, or give you the added inspiration you need to get through your day.


Next Generation Enamel Pin

A photo of a woman in profile. She wears a black hat and her long dark hair streams over her shoulder.

For Anishinaabe people, a baby carrier or cradleboard is a highly prized, symbolic family possession passed down to each new generation. Inspired Native™  artist Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe) pays homage to the cradleboard—or dikinaagen in Ojibwemowin—with her Next Generation Enamel Pin to show the future is safe and sound.


Hummingbird Enamel Pins

A hummingbird and elderberry enamel pin designed in the Coast Salish style

For Nooksack people, hummingbirds are thought to be the bringers of good news, messengers that can deliver happy tidings from the beyond or signal the arrival of unexpected joy. Eighth Generation founder Louie Gong’s (Nooksack) Hummingbird Enamel Pin celebrates these beautiful creatures with the colorful Coastal Salish design for which Louie is so well known. In his Hummingbird and Elderberry Enamel Pin, Louie paired a happy hummingbird with the healing properties of elderberries in a symbolic way to spread positivity wherever you go.

Good Medicine Enamel Pin

An enamel pin with a stylized bundle of sage; the sage smoke says Good Medicine

Sage is highly prized for its healing and purifying qualities across many Native tribes. In addition, it is also said to keep bad luck and evil tidings at bay. Thanks to Louie’s stylized Good Medicine Enamel Pin, you can enjoy sage’s good vibes at all times.


Bee Supportive Enamel Pin

A bumblebee enamel pin designed in the Acoma Pueblo style

Bees make a garden come alive. They pollinate the plants that bring food to all creatures and the crops we need to survive. People  must give bees our full support and protection for both them and us to thrive. Acoma Pueblo artist Michelle Lowden, the first artist to join the Eighth Generation Inspired Natives Project in 2014, shows us the way with her colorful Bee Supportive Enamel Pin.


Buffalo Enamel Pin

An enamel pin with a black buffalo designed by a Blackfeet artist

Renowned ledger artist John Isiah Pepion (Blackfeet/Piikani) pays tribute to the sacred buffalo’s sacrifice, courage, and majesty with the Buffalo Enamel Pin. The pin’s black buffalo with red and green lifeline is a striking image sure to give you the fearless confidence to charge through your day.


Wolf Trail Enamel Pin

A man with dark hair and a dark mustache wears a jacket that has a wolf and buffalo enamel pin on it.

Let the stars be your guide day or night with ourWolf Trail Enamel Pin, also by John. The blue lifeline stretching across the white wolf symbolizes the Milky Way stretching across the sky or, as John notes, what the Blackfeet people know as the Wolf Trail. 


Orca Enamel Pin

Orcas or killer whales are powerful symbols of strength, family, and protection, which inspire us to live well every day. With Louie’s Orca Enamel Pin you can wear a symbol of protection and strength all day long, or gift one to an important family member.

Rainbow Corn Enamel Pin

A rainbow corn enamel pin

Award-winning master basket maker Geo Neptune (Passamaquoddy) adds a modern Two-Spirit twist to corn’s sacred symbolism as a source of sustenance with the Rainbow Corn Enamel Pin. The rainbow pattern serves as an enthusiastic expression of Two-Spirit pride and support and is a powerful reminder of the importance of inclusion for all.

Stronger Together Enamel Pin

Louie’s  Stronger Together Enamel Pin delivers powerful symbolism with its defiant, multi-colored fist design. The pin represents the spirit of unity that transcends heritage, community, and culture to show we are indeed stronger when we stand together. 

Shop Native-Made Enamel Pins at Eighth Generation

Shopping for traditional enamel pins at Eighth Generation is easy, whether online or at our flagship store at Pike Place Market. Each pin’s product page shares the artist’s intent and symbolism behind their design, so be sure to check our website for details. 

For  a more hands-on experience, join us at our Pike Place Market flagship store in downtown Seattle to get a closer look at all of our enamel pins. While you visit, you can chat with our friendly and knowledgeable store staff to learn more about  Eighth Generation blankets, art prints, accessories, and the rest of our collections designed by Native artists.