Thursday, 2 August 2012

Native American Symbols - Spirits

Navajo Yeii Spirit. A spirit considered by the Navajo to be a mediator between man and his creator. Yeiis control natural forces, such as day and night, rain, wind, sun & others. A very exceptional kind of yeii is the Yei'bi'chai, grandparent spirit or "talking God" who can speak to man, teaching him how to live in harmony with all living things by following some simple rules of behavior to conserve and use well only the things he needs to survive. A symbol of the harmony achieved is the "Rainbow Man", a yeii commanding the rainbow, giving beauty to all those in harmony.


Kokopelli. Probably the most popular & well known Indian symbol. Known as the seed bringer and water sprinkler. A common fertility symbol throughout the Southwest. His image is found many times in petrography art. He is a personage who is honored as a kachina by most Pueblo cultures. He is associated with fertility, the male principal, biology, and the significance of guarding seeds. Usually depicted as old, bent under his heavy load with his flute. He travels to many communities, impregnating young women who are mesmerised from the notes played on his flute. Related to the cricket or locust whose natural music is associated with the state of humidity and seasonal weather. Many bawdy stories of his various exploits have been told. As a kachina doll, he is made with a staff, not a flute and is carved as a hunchbacked. His likeness also featured exaggerated male sexual organs until the missionaries came in the 1930's, who frowned on this practice. Today he is considered the ambassador of the Southwest.

The Twins. Portrayed in most emergence or creation stories. The twins are usually shown as boys or short men who overcame great odds to defend the people from all enemies, drought, attack from other beings, animals, or many other problems. They illustrate the concept of duality in life. In the natural world everything exists in balance: male & female, large & small, light & dark & good & evil. Here they are depicted as Father Sky & Mother Earth from a Navajo sand painting

The Hand. Representing the presence of man. His work, his acheivements & his history.


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