Baboon Symbolism, Meanings & The Baboon Spirit Animal

Olive baboon portrait
Olive, or Anubis, baboon (Papio anubis). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Digital Library System (WO-5697-031). Photo: Gary M. Stolz.

Baboon symbolism and meanings include curiosity, communication, sociableness, savings, and parenting. Because baboons are native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, they are the subjects of mythology and folklore in these cultures. In addition, the baboon spirit animal appears in the spiritual belief systems in some of the cultures of these regions.

What does the baboon symbolize?

  • Curiosity
  • Communication
  • Sociableness
  • Savings
  • Parenting

Detailed Bamboo Symbols and Meanings

Baboon climbing into car

Baboon Symbolism: Curiosity

Baboons are famous for their intense curiosity. I experienced this first-hand when I spent a semester in Kenya while I was in college. While on safari, there were no animals who more inquisitive and meddling than the baboons. They wanted to see what was in our backpacks and tents, what our cameras, hats, and sunglasses were, and not to mention – what we had to eat.

Because of this very obvious personality trait, baboons are symbols of curiosity. If you already know that the baboon is one of your animal totems, you are likely an intellectually curious and adventurous person who loves to push the boundaries of your knowledge or lifetime experiences.

If you never considered yourself a “baboon person,” but one suddenly captures your attention, it can definitely be a sign. Perhaps you need to explore more, try new things, or plan an adventure to a place you’ve never been, whether it’s a new restaurant or a far-lung place on the map.


Baboons are known for being among the most communicative of animals. In fact, they even share some vocal behaviors with us, including using vowel sounds.1

People for whom the baboon is a totem spirit cannot help but express themselves. You may be a language aficionado or simply an opinionated person who feels the need to be heard.

By the same token, if a baboon suddenly appears in your life in real life, art, of the media, it can besa sign that you need to speak up. The baboon spirit animal reminds you that there are times to keep your mouth shut, but there are also times to speak up and insist that you are heard.


Baboon troop
Troop of Gelada baboons in the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia. Photo: Evan Williams.

Well-known for their boisterousness, baboons don’t just act out by themselves. They love nothing more than to be boisterous together. In fact, baboons are incredibly social animals. Afterall, a group of baboons is not called a “troop” for nothing. Living in groups of 50 to over 200, baboons thrive off each other’s company.2

Thus the baboon animal totem reminds you not to go it alone. Gather a posse around you and you will thrive.

Though baboons can seem fierce and intimidating when they vocalize and bare their canine teeth, they are in fact, very peaceful and don’t like fighting. So, even if you’ve had a falling out of some kind with your family or a group of friends, the baboon power animal reminds you to forgive, make amends, and focus on the positives in the people in your life.


Like squirrels, baboons have big cheeks that stretch easily. This special feature enables them to store food so they can bring it back to their young or to store it in a cache in a tree or other safe place for the future.

Like crows, baboons understand the concept of saving food for a future date. Thus, they are symbols of savings and building financial security for yourself. If you know already that the baboon is one of your spirit guides, you are likely a good saver.

However, if you are a bit of spendthrift and a baboon suddenly make themselves known to you, whether in real life, the media, or elsewhere, it could be sign that you need to focus more on building your nest egg and saving for a rainy day.


Baboon with young

Baboons are very attentive parents. In fact, baby baboons hold on to their mothers continuously for their first few months of life. In addition, male baboon are very protective of the baby baboons in their troops. And like human parents, baboons tend to stick to a regular schedule with their young in terms of sleeping, foraging for food, and eating, which provides stability in their lives.

Here’s a video from BBC Earth about just how attentive baboons are when it comes to raising their young:3

When the baboon is your spirit animal, you are a naturally nurturing person. And this quality isn’t just limited to your own human children. You are most likely an attentive parent with your pets as well as friends’ and family members’ offspring. Or you may be a particularly nurturing manager with subordinates in your work place.

If a baboon makes a surprise visit in your life, it can be a sign to up your parenting skills, whether that takes the form of being more nurturing to those around you, or even practicing some necessary tough love.

Baboon Mythology and Folklore

The Egyptian god Thoth in the form of a baboon, Ptolemaic period, 332 – 30 BC. Photo: André Alliot.

The ancients Egyptians loved animals, and the concept of spirit animals played an important role in Egyptians’ view of the afterlife.

Baboon Symbolism and the God Thoth

Needless to say, baboons were highly regarded in ancient Egyptian society. The Egyptians associated baboons with the god Thoth, who was a guardian of the dead in the underworld as well as scribes, or communicators. Thoth oversaw subjects such as writing, science, and knowledge. Thus, the clever, communicative baboon was an apt symbol.

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, baboons guarded the Lake of Fire where the dead could find redemption. Thus, like Thoth, baboons were symbols of judgement.4


In addition to Thoth, baboons were associated with the deity Hapi, who was one of four sons of the god Horus. The Egyptians often depicted Hapi as having the head of a baboon. Hapi protected the lungs as people transitioned to the afterlife. (Horus’ other three sons were depicted as a human, a falcon, and a jackal.)5


Another ancient Egyptian deity whom the Egyptians associated with baboon was the god Babi. A protector of the underworld, Babi looked like a baboon, but he was also considered to be bloodthirsty. He was known to devour the souls of those who were deemed unrighteous after their souls were weighed by the goddess of judgement and wisdom, Maat.6

Baboon Spirit Animal

Hamadryas Baboon
Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas). Photo: Nick Fox.

If a baboon makes themselves known to you in real life, art, literature, or the media, pay attention. There are no coincidences. Your spirit animal serves as a guide, bringing you messages from the Universe to help guide you on your soul’s journey.

Learning more about your spirit animal, both their modern-day, real-life existence and what they symbolized in ancient traditions will expand your level of consciousness. Expanding your awareness is the key to living a more conscious, enlightened life.

If a baboon crosses your path or makes themselves know to you, it could be sign that you:

  • Need to get out of a knowledge rut, explore more, learn a new skill, or otherwise live a life with more curiosity and wonder.
  • Should express yourself more, speak out, and make your opinions heard.
  • May need to be a more engaged parent or manager.
  • Should put away more savings for a rainy day or your future next egg.

If you’re curious about other animals who might be your spirit guides, you can take UniGuide’s spirit animal test in my overview post about spirit animals.

Baboon Power Animal

baboon power animal

The baboon power animal can be a helpful symbol when you need more support in your life to achieve your goals. Baboons never go it alone. They know there is strength in numbers and they thrive off the stimulation of their troops.

When to summon your baboon totem animal:

  • When you want to improve your communication skills, whether it’s in personal relationships or helping others to understand your ideas.
  • If you feel that you want to fortify your nest egg.
  • When you want to be a better role model.
  • If you want to expand your knowledge of a topic or learn a new skill.

Baboon Dream Meaning

What does it mean when you dream of a baboon or troop of baboons? Dreams and dream interpretations are personal, so there is never one answer for everyone. The key to understand what your baboon dream might mean is to first assess the emotions you felt in the dream. This can show you what the dream is trying to tell you.

For example, if you dreamt of baboons being loud and boisterous, yet you felt intimidated, if can mean that you need to build your self-confidence in a situation. If you felt anxious, it could mean that you are concerned about your children, pets, or other vulnerable loved ones you take care of.

Delving into how you felt in your dream, and understanding commonly shared beliefs about what baboons symbolize can help you to understand what your sub-conscious mind is trying to tell you.

Our dreams are our subconscious or our super-conscious sending us messages that we might override or ignore while in our conscious state. Yet, our emotions are a common thread that our conscious and subconscious states share. Hopefully, insights into baboon symbols and meanings can shed light on what your dream meant.

Baboon Tattoo Meanings

Baboon tattoo

A baboon tattoo can be a positive sign that tells the world your sociable, inquisitive, and expressive! Of course, tattoos are personal to each individual, and what matters is what the baboon means to you. However, what is clear is that baboons are animals who are curious, make their presence known, and who thrive in group settings.

Organizations that Protect Baboons

Two baboons with baby

Baboons face threats on a few different fronts. People will poison them because they view them as pests, and they are also hunted for their skin. In addition, they are used in medical research. Furthermore, like many wild animals, baboons are losing their natural habitats due to livestock grazing, agricultural growth, and other forms of human development. If you care about baboons, please do what you can to protect them. Here are a couple of organization that are doing so:

Leave a Comment