Native American Swastika Symbol Meaning (Hopi)

Written by avenefica on August 14th, 2007

The Hopi tribe is among the most prolific in offering Native American symbols. One of the more common of these is the “swastika” or ”four angle cross.”

We can delve into the Native American swastika symbol meaning by investigating several Hopi legends.

In one Hopi legened, the first portion is the cross (without the right-angle bends).  This symbol represents spiritual migration.

These people understand that they first journey is a spiritual one.  We start from the center and move out in four directions in a spiritual sense – extending our senses and spirit out into the etheral realm.  This makes up the cross (without the right-angled bends).

The right angle is representative of the physical migration of the Hopi. According to legend after the spiritual journey is made, the physical migrations of the clans began along the North/South axle of Earth and along the East/West axle of Earth.

There is also another Hopi legend that the first portion of the symbol meaning was part of a sun walk ritual where the first of the individual clans walked out into the Sun migrating out as far as the Sun’s rays extended.

After walking the length of the Sun’s rays, they then turned left and walked as far as the Earth would allow.

This form of the legend makes the four-angled cross a sacred symbol of Sun & Earth.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Thank you for a very interesting insight into the legends and symbols of the Hopi people. I wonder if there are significant differences of belief between the Hopi people and other native American peoples, in the Mississippi basin and elsewhere, and if these beliefs and legends relate to the Mayas of Mexico.

  2. After finding and keeping a while, a very old quilt top, I decided to quilt it for my daughter since she likes old quilts. It needed pressing because it was all bunched up. I started to press it and was shocked to see it was made up with 6 swastikas by 7 swastikas. It is an extremely old quilt top. I started looking up swastikas on the internet because I was absolutely certain that the reason it had never been quilted was because it had this “dreaded” symbol on it. I have found that way back in the 1920s, the Nazi’s. for some reason decided to adopt that symbol and literally ruined its meaning of well-being. I found your site very interesting as well as all the other sites I visited for information. I read about the Whirling Log tale as well as information on the use by US military of this symbol for their units. Sounds like it is all over everywhere, except where prejudice, for a thing that had nothing to do with the history handed down by a fanatic, has decreed that the presence of the symbol be removed. Such a sad thing for something so beautiful to the American Native. I was positive that the meaning for this symbol was good and beautiful and had come from the Indian ancestry. I am thrilled that we have this now and am not so sure I want to give it to my daughter. Thanks again.

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