''ESTONIA'' (15) "Hindenburg" (2) “Yom Kippur” War (1) 2017 Westminster attack (1) 20th_Century (3) 7/7 London bombings (38) 911 (389) A.H.M. RAMSAY (2) Abu Ghraib (1) ADL (1) ADOLF_HITLER (22) ADVENTURE (1) Affirmative Action (1) Afghanistan (7) AFRICA (45) Agriculture (3) AIDS (23) Al Azhar University (1) Alain de Benoist (15) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (22) AMAZONIA (3) America (4) American Islamization (15) American Universities (1) American_Indian (1) ANCIENT_CIVILISATIONS (2) Animal_Rights (6) ANTEDILUVIAN_CIVILISATION (15) Anthony Blunt (1) Anthony Ludovici (3) Anti-Semitism (1) Antifa (1) AR. LEESE (4) ARCHAEOLOGY (3) Argentina (1) Armenia (4) Armenian Genocide (1) Art (15) Arthur Koestler (1) Astronomy (30) AUSTRALIA (1) AUSTRIA (1) Ayaan Hirsi Ali (3) BALI (1) Balkans (4) Bangladesh (1) banned_weapons (1) BELGIUM (2) Benjamin Freedman (1) BENJAMIN SOLARI PARRAVICINI (11) Beslan (1) Bill Clinton (1) Biological Warfare (2) BLOOD PASSOVER (12) BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION (14) Book purge (1) Brainwashing (1) Brigitte Gabriel (1) British politics (1) Buddhism (5) California (1) Cambodia (8) CANADA (7) CANCER (40) Carolina bays (1) Celebrities-Show Business (3) Cell Phone towers (6) Censorship in Europe (6) CENTRAL_ASIA (1) Central/South America (1) Ch. Bollyn (30) Charles Tart (8) Charlie Hebdo (1) Che Guevara (2) CHEMTRAILS (13) CHINA (6) Christian Zionism (1) CHRISTIANISM (45) Churchill (6) Circumcision (10) CLIMATE (6) Climate Change (1) cluster bombs/mines (2) COLD_FUSION (1) COLONIALISM (1) Colonization of Europe (19) Commerce (1) Communism (48) CONGO (5) Consciousness (9) Conspiracies (8) Consumerism (1) contemporary society (8) COPTS (1) Cosmogony (1) Crime (5) Criminal_Sciense (1) crop circles (5) CUBA (16) DARFUR (3) Dead Sea Scrolls (1) Death penalty in ISLAM (1) Death-Bed Visions (1) DECADANT_ART (1) Deir Yassin (8) DENMARK (2) Depleted uranium (6) DIAMOND CARTELS (1) DIANA (10) DIETRICH ECKART (1) DILUVIUM (5) Disney (2) DOGS (1) Donald TRUMP (3) Dönmeh (1) Doppelgangers (1) Dresden (6) DRUG ADDICTION (1) E.U. (11) Eastern Europe (1) ECHELON (1) ECONOMY (14) EDUCATION (4) Egypt (7) Eisenhower (2) El Inglés (2) Elite_Child_Sex_Rings (16) Elizabeth Taylor (1) ENERGY (8) Enoch Powell (1) environmentalism (3) Ernst Zundel (1) European Parliament (1) EUROPEAN UNION (10) EUROPEAN_IDENTITY (3) Eustace Mullins (10) Evidence for the Afterlife (1) EVOLUTION (5) EXPLORATIONS (1) Ezra Pound (1) FALSE_HISTORY (1) Fascism (3) Female Genital Mutilation (2) FEMINISM (11) FINLAND (1) Fjordman (6) Flight 007 (1) Fluoride (1) Food (8) FRANCE (23) Francis P. Yockey (3) Frankfurt School (1) Franklin D. Roosevelt (5) freedom of speech (1) Fukushima (2) Gaza (1) Geert Wilders (9) genetically modified organisms (GMO) (8) Georges Bensoussan (2) German National Socialism (13) GERMANY (35) Gilad Atzmon (11) Globalism (4) Great Britain (46) Great Pyramid (16) GREECE (2) Guatemala (1) Gulag (3) Gulf War (1) Gulf War Syndrome (1) Guylaine Lanctot (2) HAARP (10) Harry Potter (1) HEALTH (114) HEMP (1) Henry Makow (2) Hidden History (15) HIDDEN HYPNOSIS TECHNIQUES (1) Hiroshima (3) Historical Review (63) History_of_IDEAS (1) HMS Hampshire (3) Hollow Earth (22) Hollywood (9) Holocaust (137) HOLODOMOR_1932-33 (17) Homosexuality (2) Horst Mahler (4) Howard Hughes (1) HUMAN_RIGHTS (1) Humorous (2) HUNGARY (2) HYPERBOREA (7) IAN STEVENSON (13) Immigration (15) IMPORTANT (5) INDIA (24) IndoEuropean (9) Indonesia (2) Infrasound Weapons (1) Intellectual_freedom (1) Intelligence (15) International Criminal Tribunal (3) INTERNET (2) INTERRACIAL_RELATIONS (1) INTIMIDATION (2) INVENTIONS (3) IRAN (9) IRAQ (21) IRAQ_war (10) IRELAND (1) ISLAM (303) Islam in Europe/America (75) ISLAM in RUSSIA (1) ISLAM propagandists (4) ISLAMIST INTIMIDATION (20) ISLAMIST_VIOLENCE (13) ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE (43) Islamophobia (4) ISRAEL (124) ISRAEL-ARAB RELATIONS (8) ISRAEL's_ATOMIC_BOMB (4) ISRAEL/EU RELATIONS (1) ITALY (5) J.Kaminski (4) Japan (2) JEWS (97) JEWS/ISRAEL-USA_relations (47) JFK Assassination (27) JFK/RFK (1) Jihad (2) Jo Cox (6) Joe Sobran (4) John Bryant (17) John Lear (3) Journalists (2) Julius Evola (38) Jyllands-Posten newspaper (1) Kafirs (1) Karl Marx (1) Katie King (1) Katyn (11) Kevin MacDonald (28) KHAZARs (1) Knut Hamsun (1) Kurdistan (1) KURDS (1) Lasha Darkmoon (4) Laurel Canyon (4) Layla Anwar (4) LEBANON (3) LEFT (16) Lord Kitchener (4) Lord Northcliff (1) Lost Civilisations (2) Lost Technology (1) LYDDA (1) MADELEINE McCANN (4) Magic (1) Magnesium (7) Mahathir (1) Mahatma Gandhi (4) Malaysia (2) Manipulation (67) MAPS (1) Mark Weber (10) Mass immigration_Multiculturalism (18) Mass_Media (2) Mass-Psychology (3) Massacres (1) METEMPSYCHOSIS (16) MEXICO (1) MH370 (2) MIDDLE EAST (44) Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (8) MIND CONTROL (23) MONEY-Banking (8) Monsanto (9) Mormonism (1) Mortacracy (6) MUSIC MAFIA (2) Muslim Brotherhood (5) Muslim Persecution of Christians (1) MUSLIMS IN EUROPE (59) Mussolini (2) Mysterious (69) Mysterious_SKY (1) Nathuram Godse (3) Native Americans (1) Neapolis (1) NESSIE (17) Netherlands (10) New World Order (4) NEW_ZEALAND (1) NGOs (2) Nicolai Sennels (1) no-go zones (1) NOAM CHOMSKY (4) Nonie Darwish (10) North Africa (3) NORWAY (1) Norway massacre (5) NUCLEAR (11) Nutrition (20) Obama (2) Occult Symbols (21) Oklahoma City bombing (7) OLYMPIC_GAMES (13) OPINION (9) Orel_Yiftachel (5) P. Buchanan (23) PACIFISM (1) PAEDOPHILIA (15) Paganism (2) PALESTINE 1944-1948 (1) Palestinians (17) PARIS (1) Patrice Lumumba (1) PATRICIA HEARST (2) Patton (2) Paul Craig Roberts (1) Paul Weston (9) PEARL HARBOR (1) Persecuted Christians (7) PERSONALITIES (1) Photographic_Archive (1) Photography (2) Physics (9) POLAND (5) POLAR REGIONS (30) Poliomyelitis (8) Political Thought (50) Pollution (3) Polynesia (25) Pope Benedict (1) PORTUGAL (5) PREHISTORY (28) propaganda (3) Prophecies (12) Psychedelics (64) PSYCHIATRY (10) Psychical Research (122) Psychology (5) QATAR (1) QUEBEC (1) Queen Victoria (1) R.R.Rife (10) Race (119) Racism (2) RED_Alert (4) Religion (23) René Guénon (1) Revilo Oliver (11) Richard Dawkins (1) Rockefellers (1) Roger Garaudy (6) Roman Catholic Church (8) Ron Paul (7) Rudolph Hess (1) Ruling_by_CORRUPTION (14) RUSSIA (8) RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (1) RWANDA (31) S. H. Pearson (1) Sabra-Shatila massacre (10) Sandy Hook (1) Sanskrit (1) SAUDI ARABIA (5) Savitri Devi (27) Scandinavia (1) SCIENCE (42) Secret Military Technology (14) Secret weapons (10) Sedition Trial (1) SERBIA (1) sexual freedom (1) Skepticism (1) Slave trade (1) SOUTH AFRICA (2) Space/Apollo_Hoax (54) SPAIN (2) Spengler (6) Spirituality (1) Srebrenica (1) State_criminality (8) Steganography (16) Steven Yates (7) STRANGE SOUNDS (4) Subterranean_world (10) SUDAN (2) Surveillance (1) SWASTIKA (33) SWEDEN (8) Switzerland (1) SYRIA (8) Taj Mahal (13) Ted Kaczynski (1) Terrorism (24) TESLA (6) The 1001 Club (1) The Celts (1) The Frankfurt School (1) The Great Flood (8) The Nuremberg Trials (2) The plutonium injections (4) Theo van Gogh (1) Thought of the Right (63) TITANIC (72) Tommy Robinson (1) Torture (1) Tradition (5) Transcendent Experience (6) Tunguska (1) Tunisia (2) TURKEY (7) TWA flight 800 (1) U.S.A. (142) U.S.A. ARMY CRIMINALITY (18) U.S.A. Foreign policy (11) U.S.A. Military (2) U.S.A._HISTORY (2) U.S.A._POLITICS (3) U.S.A._SOCIETY (3) U.S.A.-CIA (12) U.S.A.-Power Structure (4) U.S.S. Liberty (7) UFOs (166) Ukraine (15) United Church of Christ (1) United Nations (3) UNKNOWN_EARTH (2) USA (3) USA_Press (2) USA/USSR_relations (2) USS San Francisco (1) USSR (51) Vaccination (1) VATICAN (11) Vatican II (2) VELIKOVSKY (2) Vernon Coleman (14) Voynich_manuscript (15) WAFA SULTAN (1) War Crimes (30) water (2) Wayne MADSEN (2) WEST (9) WEST/ISLAM Relations (16) WESTERN_ELITES (1) White phosphorous (1) WILD_LIFE (1) Wilhelm Reich (4) William Gough (10) wind farms (1) Wm F. Koch (8) Women in Islam (4) World Wildlife Fund (8) WORLD_ORDER (57) WWI (6) WWII (89) WWII Aftermath (34) Younger Dryas Ice Age (4) Yugoslavia (7) ZIONISM (10)

Friday, May 6, 2011

SWASTIKA-What Does this Indian Symbol Mean?

What Does this Indian Symbol Mean?

Decorative and symbolic, these designs are seen frequently

Visitors to the Southwest are often intrigued by the variety and aesthetic appeal of the design elements used in Native American arts and crafts. The designs on Indian pottery, weavings, baskets and silver and stone jewelry are so intricate and carefully constructed, it is inconceivable they are not configurations holding some deeper meaning, shaped from a forgotten age, relics of an arcane language, or symbols of some old and secret religion.
In all cultures, symbols borrow from experience, vision, and religion and become individualized through the creative process of the artist/symbol-maker. The designs used in the Southwest are from varied sources and they have been adapted and used by divergent tribes. Some have sifted in slowly as different groups arrived bringing their own inventory of designs; others have arrived with new technologies; still others have origins and, therefore, meanings, that will never be deciphered. The designs may be decorative, symbolic or combinations of both. Meanings may change from tribe to tribe. In one location a symbol may have meaning and in an adjacent tribe be used entirely as a decorative element. In short, every variation is possible.
If a symbol is produced by one culture and interpreted by another, its meaning is far more often obscured than clarified. So it is with the symbols and designs of the Indian people of the Southwest. Over the years, both Native American designs (merely decorative forms) and symbols (a sign representing an idea, a quality or an association) have been subject to "interpretation" by non-Indian dealers and traders. Often, these interpretations are explained in terms of Anglo-European concepts that were nonexistent to the Native American. The result frequently bears little or no relationship to the true meaning of the symbols.
Designs and symbols used in the Southwest actually have come from many places. Some design elements emerge out of the nature of the craft. The warp and weft of baskets or blankets produce a preponderance of geometrics, stars, swastikas and whirlwind designs. One of the most controversial of Native American designs is the swastika.
Whirling Log
While the swastika immediately brings to mind Nazi Germany, it is not only a native Southwestern design, it can be called a native design almost anywhere in the world. It is the result of basket weaving where the ends of a simple cross design are turned either to the right or left, depending on the direction of the weaving, to form a swastika. Its meanings are as diverse as its worldwide origins.
Other designs also have been introduced with the technology of a craft. For example, a host of designs appear in metal dies which were derived from much older stamps used to decorate leather.
These designs have been called by such fanciful names as rattlesnake jaws, Thunderbird tracks or a medicine man's eye. Others bear more prosaic names such as fence, tipi, mountain range, hogan, sun's rays, headdress or running water. However, in most instances they are purely decorative and their presence may be noted far back in history as elements of cultures other than that of the Native American.
Leather Stamps
In the craft of silversmithing, the Thunderbird is used lavishly on stamped jewelry. The Thunderbird came to the Southwest via industrial dies furnished to Indian artists.
While it is a symbol of importance among the Plains Indians, this immense bird is neither characterized by the Southwestern Indians, nor do their myths offer explanations. Rather, the bird symbols of importance in the Southwest are the giant Knife-wing of the Zuni or the vulture, Kwatoko, of the Hopi. Nonetheless, the unknown individuals who supplied the dies for the silver felt that the Thunderbird was a "good Indian design" and so it appears on Southwestern jewelry and even on the beams of the Great Hall in the Albuquerque International Airport.
The form of the silver naja, or pendant, at the end of the squash blossom necklace is traceable to Moorish Spain and even farther back in time to a device used to ward off the evil eye.
Earlier still, it was found as boar's tusks hanging point-to-point decorating a Roman legionnaire's staff. In the same way, the squash blossom bead emerges from the pomegranate blossoms of Spain.
Squash Blossom
Despite the multiple origins and mistaken interpretations of designs and symbols used in the Southwest, it is possible to recognize the meanings of many representations used in Native American works. The simplest of all representations is that which characterizes some element of the environment (bird, man, flower, horse, etc.) and is clearly distinguishable. Almost always it is used as a decorative device and nothing more, although its form may vary from tribe to tribe.
These symbols are frequently seen on the pottery, weavings and jewelry made by Native Americans of the Southwest and generally can be interpreted as indicated. Several other symbols that arise from Native American cultures have become unrecognizable in their new "interpretations" including the butterfly.
Group of Symbols
Snake and Birds
The snake and lightning or lightning arrow are considered by the native Southwesterner to be a single element as they are the same visual form. The snake does not symbolize "defiance" except possibly in New England, nor is its meaning "wisdom." Lightning is used by Anglo-Europeans indoctrinated in Greek mythology to denote swiftness, but among the Pueblo Indians snakes and lightning are equated with and symbolize rain, hence, fertility. These bird signs are often listed by traders as meaning "carefree or light-hearted," but the symbol is the macaw, a Zuni symbol for summer.
This is but a glimpse of the rich inventory of Native American designs and symbols which are an integral part of antique and contemporary arts and crafts of this area and, in the form of petroglyphs throughout the Southwest, on the ancient rocks of this ancient land.

The swastika in New Mexico

The History of an Ancient Human Symbol
The swastika design goes back thousands of years in human culture.

Scroll down to see a resource list of related galleries and artist studios with links.
Print this page using your web browser for a copy of the resource list.

Visitors to New Mexico in the late 19th century would have been pleased to purchase a souvenir rug, pot or piece of silver jewelry decorated with a swastika. "The tourists loved    the motif," wrote Margery Bedinger in her popular 1973 book Indian Silver: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers. "Between July, 1905 and 1906, 60,000 swastikas in various forms, some by Indians and others not, sold to tourists in New Mexico as genuine Indian articles."
Today's tourists, particularly those from the Western hemisphere, would be appalled. Our association of the swastika with Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party is so encompassing we would immediately assume any object so imprinted had a direct link with Nazism.
Low-fired pottery bowl from the Banshan Culture Majiawan Village, China Neolithic Period (2165-1965 BCE) Large central swastika probably intended to symbolize a sun wheel.
Courtesy of Clarke & Clarke

Yet anyone who looks at art or architecture, no matter how casually, will eventually see the symbol. The Navajos, Tibetans and Turks incorporated the swastika into their rugs. Arizona's indigenous Pima and Maricopa people wove them into their baskets and painted them onto their pots. In Asia the emblem is found on everything from clothing to political ballots to the thresholds of houses. Swastikas are carved into the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia Museum of Art and many ancient Buddhist and Mayan temples. At Albuquerque's KiMo Theater, built in 1927 and recently restored, swastikas adorn the proscenium, entryway and the building's exterior. Elsewhere in New Mexico, they are evident in the architecture of the Shafer Hotel in Mountainair and the Swastika Hotel in Raton (now the International Bank).

One of the oldest symbols made by humans, the swastika dates back some 6,000 years to rock and cave paintings. Scholars generally    agree it originated in India. With the emergence of the Sanskrit    language came the term "swastika", a combination of "su", or good,    and "asti", to be; in other words, well-being.
There's no clear answer on how the figure migrated to other parts of Asia, Europe, Africa and the New World. Early examples of swastikas on pottery and household objects in China indicate that the swastika traveled with traders and with the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. According to Jim Clarke, an ancient Asian art expert and owner of Clarke & Clarke Asian Antiques and Tribal Art in Santa Fe, early Christian inhabitants of India    and Iran used the swastika as an amulet or protective device. "In the 17th century, India and Iran were exotic places to Europeans," Clarke remarks. "Things brought back from these countries were viewed as exotic. To incorporate these symbols was considered very avant."
Detail from large Germantown pictorial Navajo rug c1890 Courtesy of Sherwoods Spirit of America

Clarke is intrigued by the notion that the swastika might have made its way from China to the New World with Chinese traders lost on the seas. Remains of Chinese vessels have been excavated in coastal communities in South America, he says, and along with them the goods they carried. Another theory goes that the swastika traveled with Asians who crossed the land bridge to Alaska and migrated southward to become the indigenous people of North and South America, bringing with them the magic symbols they considered crucial to    their health and well-being.
Rendering of rock paintings dating to the fourth millenium BCE found at Chibbar-Nala, IndiaCourtesy of Clarke & Clarke

In his book, The Swastika Symbol in Navajo Textiles, Dennis J. Aigner cites Thomas Wilson's research in the 1890s that the earliest evidence of the swastika in America was found in excavations    in Tennessee and Ohio. "That the swastika found its way to the Western Hemisphere in prehistoric times cannot be doubted . . . ." Aigner quotes    Wilson's writing. One of the specimens "shows its antiquity and its    manufacture by the aborigines untainted by contact with the whites."
It's also very possible that this simple variation of a cross—which was often used by early humans to represent a star—sprung up out of the "collective unconscious" among cultures all over the world. "Potters and weavers are basically the first artists," comments Josh Baer, a Santa Fe dealer of Navajo rugs and other Native American artifacts. "They probably didn't influence each other as much as resorting to patterns. In weaving if the image is not pictorial, the alternative is to use geometric forms in such a way that they represent celestial and terrestrial forms."
The swastika's meaning does seem to be similar across cultures, generally denoting abundance and prosperity and referring to the four cardinal directions. To Hindus, it is a symbol of the sun and its rotation. Buddhists consider it a diagram of the footprints of Buddha. Among the Jainas of India, the emblem is a reminder of the four possible places of rebirth: in the animal or plant world, in hell, on Earth or in the spirit world. In 1963, the well-respected Southwest author Frank Waters described the swastika's meaning to the Hopi people as a depiction of the migration routes Hopi clans took through North and South America.
In Navajo myth the swastika represents the legend of the whirling log. As told by Aigner, the tale is of a man, outcast from his tribe, who rolls down river in a hollowed-out log. With the help of sacred deities he finds a place of friendship and abundance. Until the late 1800s, when J. Lorenzo Hubbell and J.B. Moore opened their trading posts in Arizona and New Mexico, Navajos portrayed the swastika solely in their religious ceremonies in the form of sand paintings. But by 1896, with prodding by Hubbell and Moore, the symbol proliferated on Navajo rugs, sometimes lifted directly from the images in sand and depicted as a central cross with a male-female pair of standing figures ("yei" or "dreaming twins") at the end of each of the four arms of the cross.
19th Century Chinese candle-surround textilevdetail showing blue swastikavwhich by this time probably symbolized either the Four Winds or The Wheel of Life Courtesy of Clarke & Clarke

Hubbell and Moore not only encouraged Navajo weavers to use swastikas but also spread the idea among Native American artisans working in other genres. Beginning around 1889, engraved silver spoons became coveted souvenirs. Navajos were best known for their silversmithing abilities and thus the spoons came to be known as "Navajo" though they were also crafted by Pueblo people. The two most popular motifs, according to author and antique Indian jewelry dealer Cindra Kline, were Indian heads and swastikas.
Swastika Shield Kimo Theatre (1927 - restored 2000) 423 Central Avenue NW in downtown Albuquerque Photo by Kirk Gittings

Kline, who has written a book on Navajo spoons to be published by the Museum of New Mexico Press in September, 2001, notes that the first spoon she's located with both a swastika and an engraved date coincides with the opening of the St. Louis Exposition in 1904,    though the item was certainly made years earlier.
The Charles M. Robbins Co., a commercial spoon company, was manufacturing so-called Navajo spoons as mementos of the fair. In 1906, Moore was the first to offer swastika spoons in its catalog. By the time the spoon craze died out around 1915, Kline says, "you had so many stamps and dyes with swastikas that the symbol appears on bracelets, sides of rings, ash trays, salt cellars. Any silver-stamped item was fair game for a swastika stamp."
In Santa Fe, swastikas can be found in myriad museums and galleries. At the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, a ceramic rain god made at Tesuque Pueblo circa 1900, proudly displays one.  At Clarke & Clarke, swastikas adorn 19th century Thai garments and pre-historic Chinese bowls. Navajo spoons can be purchased at Kania Ferrin, Medicine Man and Rainbow Man galleries and Navajo rugs at Cristof's, Dewey, Packards and Sherwoods. And there are many other venues displaying Himalayan, Islamic, Asian and Native American art in which swastikas connote the natural world, good fortune or simply serve as attractive decorative elements.
Often, however, these pieces will not be on public view. "It's a horrible symbol to overcome," Kline remarks. "But the swastika can be such a beautiful design. It's a shame to see all these beautiful pieces hidden away." Given the difficulty of dating silver, Kline says, "If the viewer can look beyond Hitlerization, if you have a swastika spoon it's an assurance of age. You know it pre-dates WW II probably by a good number of years and it has a fascinating history."
How Hitler came to adopt the swastika is unclear. Various German citizens are said to have suggested it as a symbol of racial purity. Hitler was supposedly obsessed with numerology and Eastern religion and may have seen the image in Tibetan manuscripts or paintings. Regardless, the swastika's original meaning, which had endured for    millennia, was diametrically altered.
In 1940, in response to Hitler's regime, the Navajo, Papago, Apache and Hopi people signed a whirling log proclamation. It read, "Because the above ornament, which has been a symbol of friendship among our forefathers for many centuries, has been desecrated recently by another nation of peoples, therefore it is resolved that henceforth from this date on and forever more our tribes renounce the use of the emblem commonly known today as the swastika . . . on our blankets,    baskets, art objects, sand paintings and clothing."
References and Suggested Reading

The Swastika Symbol in Navajo Textiles by Dennis J. Aigner. DAI Press, Laguna Beach, California, 2000.
Navajo Spoons by Cindra Kline. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2001.
Indian Silver: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers by Margery Bedinger.    UNM Press, 1973.