Native Americans depicted crosses on their shell moons, personal tattoos, pottery and garments long before contact with Europeans. Acceptance of adornment in the form of a cross had more to do with belief in spirits and forces of nature wrather than with the European concept of Christianity.

Becasue of the way logs were fed into a fire, laid in the shape of a cross and then fed in from each direction as they burned, crosses were symbolic for the center of a council fire, the fire in the center of a sacred dance circle or a family fire. They also represented the four directions, a chief leader, strength or power, a meeting or council, or the center of a nation or political entity.

A cross with one arm shorter than the other (a typical Christian cross) was thought to be out of balance with the spiritual world. If an Indian wore such a cross, they would have to wear some other item for balance.