The 1909 Chilocco basketball team and the Whirling Log (Swastika)

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Someone posted this gorgeous image of the 1909 Chilocco basketball team on Tumblr and it really upset some people. I knew the Swastika was originally a Hindu symbol for “well-being” before it became a terrifying image for the Nazi party and used for hate. But I seriously had no idea how many cultures have used this symbol as well. I learned something today!

WIKIPEDIA: The swastika motif is found in some traditional Native American art and iconography. Historically, the design has been found in excavations of Mississippian-era sites in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, and on objects associated with the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (S.E.C.C.). It is also widely used by a number of southwestern tribes, most notably the Navajo, and plains nations such as the Dakota. Among various tribes, the swastika carries different meanings. To the Hopi it represents the wandering Hopi clan; to the Navajo it is one symbol for the whirling log (tsil no’oli), a sacred image representing a legend that is used in healing rituals. A brightly colored First Nations saddle featuring swastika designs is on display at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada.

READ MORE ABOUT OTHER CULTURES and the origin of the Swastika HERE.
READ MORE on the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School HERE.

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Below images and info via INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY MEDIA NETWORK

swastika-quilt

A swastika quilt from 1880-90, presumed Native American origin (no tribe given), from the Marjorie Russell Clothing and Textile Research Center, in Carson City, Nevada

navajo-rug-whirling-log A rug identified as Navajo in origin, using the “whirling log” symbol, as the swastika is sometimes called in the context of Indian crafts, from whirlinglog.com

 

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And from the same blog, a postcard from 1943 captioned “Navajos renounce their swastika design after U.S. declares war”

 

Good Luck Swastika The illustration on this postcard is dated 1907; the text identifies the swastika as a “lucky cross” used by Navajo, Pima and Apache Indians (from collectibles website CardCow)

INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY MEDIA NETWORK

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