Gorilla Symbolism and Meaning – Spirit, Power, Totem Animal

For centuries, gorillas have been a symbol of strength and courage in many cultures worldwide. From their role in literature to spiritual beliefs system, these powerful animals are known for inspiring us all to think deeply about our place in the natural world.

In this blog post, we’ll explore gorilla symbolism, its power within religious and spiritual belief systems, and the meaning behind why it acts as a totem animal or protector. Read on to discover why this gentle giant of the forest is so often held up as a symbol of wisdom, peace, and harmony.

What Does a Gorilla Symbolize?

Gorillas have come to symbolize strength, intelligence, and gentleness. They are highly social animals that live in family groups of one dominant silverback male, several females, and their offspring. They are also known for their remarkable problem-solving capabilities, which makes them incredibly intelligent animals worthy of admiration and respect.

Gorillas are often seen as a symbol of strength and power, with their muscular bodies, strong builds, and protective nature.

In some cultures, they are viewed as guardians or protectors of family or tribal groups, providing safety and security to those who seek it. Gorillas can also be linked to the idea of authority; their strength and confidence can represent a commanding presence that others respect.

These gentle giants are also seen as wisdom, peace, and harmony symbols. In many societies, gorillas are held up as symbols of wisdom due to their ability to think deeply about complex problems or situations.

Gorilla behavior has often been an example of how to act peacefully and harmoniously, even when faced with difficult situations.


Silverback Gorilla Symbolism

The silverback gorilla is a particularly popular symbol of strength and power. Silverback gorillas are their group’s largest and strongest members, with males weighing up to 500 pounds.

This physical prowess, combined with their calm and gentle demeanor, makes them ideal symbols for protection and leadership. In some cultures, the silverback gorilla is seen as a messenger of the gods, delivering messages of wisdom and guidance to those in need.

Golden Gorilla Symbolism

The golden gorilla is associated with strength, intelligence, loyalty, and wisdom. In African culture, gorillas represent the spirit of family and community. They symbolize courage and power, which is why these animals feature prominently in African art and folklore.

Gorilla Facts

  1. The gorilla is the largest living primate in the world
  2. They can be found in tropical forests of central Africa
  3. An adult male gorilla has silver-grey fur on its back, which is why they are sometimes called “silverbacks.”
  4. Mountain gorillas live at high altitudes, while lowland gorillas prefer to stay closer to sea level
  5. Gorilla groups consist of one dominant male and several females with offspring
  6. A baby gorilla weighs about 4 pounds at birth and will nurse from its mother for up to three years
  7. A gorillas mainly eats plants like leaves, stems, roots, and fruit, as well as some small insects or animals such as worms and snails
  8. They can communicate using more than 25 distinct sounds, such as grunts, barks, and hoots
  9. Despite their large size, adult gorillas are surprisingly agile climbers that spend most of their time in trees
  10. The lifespan of a gorilla is typically between 35 – 40 years

What Does It Mean When You See a Gorilla?

Seeing a gorilla in the wild can be an awe-inspiring experience, full of mystery and wonder.

Gorillas are powerful and intelligent animals studied for centuries by scientists.

Seeing one can represent strength, resilience, and connection to nature to many people.

In some spiritual practices, seeing a gorilla in the wild can signify that you should tap into your inner strength or reconnect with nature.

A gorilla can also represent a powerful message of protection and security.

It may suggest that someone is looking out for you to keep you safe during difficult times.

what does it mean when you see a gorilla

What Do Gorillas Symbolize in Arts and Literature?

The gorilla has often been seen as a symbol of strength and protection and as a revered spiritual animal. They frequently appear in literature, art, and beliefs worldwide, especially in African cultures.

giant gorilla climbing on top of empire state building

In African mythology, gorillas are guardians of the rainforest who protect humans from danger and represent power, intelligence, and family values. The Gorillaa also frequently appears in pop culture, such as in folklore tales and signs for books or films about Africa.

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The most famous example of a gorilla in popular culture is the fictional character King Kong, created by Merian C. Cooper in 1933.

This giant gorilla has been portrayed as a menacing yet sympathetic creature who defends humans from danger and ultimately sacrifices himself for their safety. King Kong is often seen as a symbol of strength, courage, and selflessness, which resonates with people worldwide.

Gorilla Spirit Animal

The mighty Gorilla, often invoked as a powerful spirit animal, symbolizes strength and resilience. It is associated with physical strength and emotional courage; it encourages us to stay true to ourselves and fight for our convictions.

Gorilla Spirit Animal

Furthermore, its intelligence serves as an analogy for how we should follow our instincts when faced with difficult situations in life.

The sense of connectedness the Gorilla spirit animal reminds us of how vital it is to cultivate meaningful relationships both within and outside ourselves. Its spirit can help further understand the natural world and its intimate connection to all living things.

When the Gorilla appears to us as a spirit animal, it can mean that we must be more assertive and take charge of our life. It may also signify that now is the time to be courageous and face challenges head-on without fear.

When the Gorilla spirit animal comes into your life, it can remind you to remain loyal to your loved ones and stand in unity with those you care about.

In conclusion, the gorilla symbolizes strength, courage, protection, and loyalty, which has been used in literature, art, and mythology for centuries.

Gorilla Power Animal

The gorilla power animal is associated with restraint, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. Throughout various cultures and belief systems, it has been seen as a symbol of strength and protection from danger.

Gorilla Spirit Animal

The gorilla power animal is associated with restraint, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. Throughout various cultures and belief systems, it has been seen as a symbol of strength and protection from danger.

Gorillas are also seen as an embodiment of nature’s power since they live in harmony with their environment. In some legends, they’ve even been seen as spiritual guides or messengers sent to give mortals guidance on life matters.

For these reasons, it isn’t surprising that gorillas have been used as power animals to represent strength and courage in many cultures.

Gorilla Totem Animal

Harnessing the strength and power of a gorilla totem animal can inspire us to reach our full potential. As a symbol of true physical and emotional strength, this totem animal can help us take charge of our lives and face any challenge head-on.

animal totem gorilla

With its unique insight into primitive and instinctual behavior, the gorilla totem can help us travel to deeper depths within ourselves that are unavailable through normal day-to-day living.

If you find yourself drawn to this totem, embrace its empowering energy for a path that leads toward success.

With its unique insight into primitive and instinctual behavior, the Gorilla totem can help us travel to deeper depths within ourselves that are unavailable through normal day-to-day living.

If you find yourself drawn to this totem, embrace its empowering energy for a path that leads toward success.

Gorilla Dream Meanings

Gorilla dreams can tell us a lot about our innermost desires and fears. Dreaming of a gorilla can often signify aggression or intense emotions bubbling up from within.

sleeping woman dreaming about young gorillas

Gorillas are also widely seen as symbols of power and strength, and dreaming of one could represent feelings of self-confidence or increased energy in life. Alternatively, it could represent a lack of emotional control or even an exploration of repressed memories.

GorillaMeaning in the Bible And Christianity

The Bible does not directly mention gorillas and is not specifically referenced in Christian symbolism or teachings. However, the image of a gorilla can serve as a powerful symbol of strength, power, protection, and resilience – all qualities that Christians should strive to emulate.

The image of a gorilla is often associated with the idea of being a good leader and protector, a concept frequently referred to in the Bible.

Communication with Humans

Gorillas are highly intelligent animals; some have even been taught sign language to communicate with humans. This language, known as Gorilla Sign Language (GSL), is a sign-based communication system developed specifically for gorillas.

It was first introduced in 1974 when scientist Francine Patterson taught GSL to a gorilla named Koko.

Koko learned over 1000 sign words, which she used to converse with her trainers and caretakers. Since then, gorillas learned sign language from their handlers in captivity. Gorillas in the wild have also been observed using it amongst themselves, suggesting an innate capacity for language.

GSL has allowed humans to better understand these animals, and research conducted with Koko has provided insight into how gorillas think and feel.

It also provides an opportunity to bridge the communication gap between humans and gorillas, allowing us to develop closer relationships with them.

Gorilla Mythology, Folklore, and Symbolism in Different Cultures


In African cultures, gorilla symbolism often revolves around strength and protection. The animal was sometimes seen as a supernatural creature that could help aid individuals or communities in need.

african style gorilla spirit animal

It was believed that gorillas had the power to bring good luck and fortune, especially regarding hunting success. Additionally, it was commonly thought that gorillas could bring healing to people and animals.

In some African cultures, gorillas were even seen as a symbol of wisdom. People believed that animals had an innate connection with nature and could teach humans how to live in harmony with their surroundings.

This was especially true among the indigenous Bantu people, who believed that gorillas were special beings capable of imparting important lessons about life.

Many African cultures also associated gorillas with spiritual protection and guidance. It was believed that when a human encountered the animal, it would provide a source of strength and courage to continue in difficult times.

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The gorilla’s physical characteristics also played a role in its symbolism within African cultures. The animal’s strong build was thought to represent resilience and determination, while its size could convey feelings of awe and respect.

Ancient Egypt

Egypt also had its interpretation of gorilla symbolism. In this culture, primates were commonly seen as symbols of wisdom and the god Thoth, patron of the art of writing.

The animal was considered a symbol of protection, strength, and affinity for knowledge and truth.

Ancient Egypt style gorilla spirit animal

The various representations of gorillas throughout African cultures offer a unique insight into the spiritual connections between humanity and the natural world.

From a physical representation of strength to a metaphor for wisdom, gorillas have provided rich symbolism throughout history. They remain an important part of African heritage, representing protection, courage, resilience, knowledge, and more.


The giant gorilla statue in Fukuoka is a beloved symbol of strength and resilience. It stands over 32 meters tall, making it one of the largest sculptures of its kind in all of Asia. But more than just an impressive feat of engineering.

Gorillas have long held a special place in Japanese mythology, folklore, and symbolism. In the Buddhist tradition, gorillas symbolize strength and protection, representing courage, determination, and the power of will.

As such, they are often used to represent bravery and resilience in times of hardship or struggle.

Meaning of a Gorilla Tattoo

A gorilla tattoo is a unique body art representing strength and dominance. It is also seen as a symbol of loyalty, protection, and intelligence.

Gorillas are wild animals that live in the jungles and forests of Africa, so having this tattoo may be a reminder to stay connected with nature.

gorilla tattoo

Additionally, gorillas have amazing facial features that many people find attractive and inspiring. This has made them a popular choice among tattoo fans.

Gorilla tattoos can be designed in various sizes and styles, from realistic to cartoonish. Depending on the style of the tattoo, it can represent different meanings, such as power, courage, determination, intelligence, or protection.


What does it mean if a gorilla smiles at you?

In the wild, a gorilla may smile when feeling relaxed and comfortable. This can signify that the animal trusts you and wants to interact with you peacefully. However, in some cases, this behavior could also indicate aggression or fear. It is important always to be cautious when encountering wild animals like gorillas.

Why shouldn’t you look a gorilla in the eyes?

Staring directly into the eyes of a gorilla can be interpreted as an aggressive act. To avoid provoking the animal, it is best to avert your gaze and not make direct eye contact. This will help ensure that the gorilla remains calm and relaxed in its environment.

Final Words – Gorilla Symbolism

From the spiritual protection and guidance of African cultures to the wisdom, strength, and resilience found in Ancient Egypt and Japan, gorillas have been seen as symbols of power throughout history.

Also read: Monkey Symbolism and Meaning

While a gorilla tattoo can be seen as an expression of loyalty or intelligence, it’s important to remember that these animals are wild creatures who should always be treated with respect.

By understanding these creatures’ deep-rooted symbolism, we can better appreciate the animal kingdom and our place in it.

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Christina Johnson

About the Author

My name is Christina, and I am the founder of centerspirited. Being a physiotherapist for several years I have found that many people, including myself, don’t achieve well-being only from a physical point of you. I’ve always viewed a person’s body, soul, and emotions as a whole construct of beauty. Always being a yoga enthusiast, I finally became an instructor myself. On a secret mission to capture spirituality in all of her beautiful shapes, I found myself being guided on a way through ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle. Through this platform, I will hopefully be able to help other beautiful souls out there find their inner peace and bond with their spiritual selves.

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