Totemism refers to a set of beliefs of a religious, social and even political nature, characteristic of primitive populations and tribes, where a fundamental characteristic is the use of a symbolic figure, called a totem, where different types of objects are represented. spirits of either animals or plants but that have some lineage relationship; being the representation of what unites each and every one of the members of said tribes or peoples. The figures represented in the totem can be edible plants or even animals destined for hunting, to which a deep respect is kept; totemism is closely related to the legends about the origin of the world, in addition to this it is common to have avoidance taboos and rituals for contact.

A distinctive feature of totemism is the belief that there is a mystical bond of affinity between objects of natural origin and an individual. There are those who affirm that totemism is a religious current, however the sages on this matter do not see it that way, since they assure that it has the capacity to manifest itself in the veneration of animals among other things. This term was first used in 1870 when a Scotsman named McLenan stated that totemism was the union of fetishism together with exogamy and matrilineal descent. Generally, totemism can be expressed in different forms and types of peculiar contexts, especially among those tribes that used to combine their forms of hunting and cultivation, especially among communities specialized in hunting and raising livestock.

It can be said that if a community is divided into clans and each clan has a predetermined relationship with an animate or inanimate object, which in this case is the totem, then it is said that there is totemism.

Experts consider that totemism is a universal phenomenon of inevitable appearance, a primitive religion that in a very ancient historical period of the earth, worships plants and animals as the case may be.