Hitler Stole the Swastika Symbol

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<ul><li><p>8/8/2019 Hitler Stole the Swastika Symbol</p><p> 1/3</p><p>THE HISTORY OF ANANCIENT HUMAN SYMBOL</p><p>VISITORS TO NEWMEXICO in the late19th century would have been pleased topurchase a souvenir rug, pot or piece ofsilver jewelry decorated with a swastika.</p><p>The tourists loved the motif, wrote Margery</p><p>Bedinger in her popular 1973 book IndianSilver: Navajo and Pueblo Jewelers.</p><p>Between July,1905 and 1906, 60,000swastikas in various forms, some by Indians</p><p>and others not, sold to tourists in NewMexico as genuine</p><p>Indian articles.Todays tourists,</p><p>particularly thosefrom the Western</p><p>hemisphere, would beappalled. Our</p><p>association of the</p><p>swastika withAdolf Hitler and his</p><p>National SocialistParty is so</p><p>encompassing wewould immediately</p><p>assume any object soimprinted had a direct</p><p>link with Nazism.</p><p>Yet anyone who</p><p>looks at art or</p><p>architecture, no</p><p>matter how casually,</p><p>will eventually see the</p><p>symbol. The Navajos,</p><p>Tibetans and Turks</p><p>incorporated the</p><p>swastika into their</p><p>rugs. Arizonas</p><p>indigenous Pima and</p><p>Maricopa people</p><p>wove them into their</p><p>baskets and painted</p><p>them onto their pots.</p><p>In Asia the emblem is</p><p>found on everythingfrom clothing to</p><p>political ballots to the</p><p>thresholds of houses.</p><p>Swastikas are carved into the Capitol</p><p>Building in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia</p><p>Museum of Art and many ancient Buddhist</p><p>and Mayan temples. At Albuquerques KiMo</p><p>Theater, built in 1927 and recently restored,</p><p>swastikas adorn the proscenium, entryway</p><p>and the buildings exterior. Elsewhere in New</p><p>Mexico, they are evident in the architecture</p><p>of the Shafer Hotel in Mountainair and the</p><p>Swastika Hotel in Raton (now the</p><p>International Bank).</p><p>One of the oldest symbols made byhumans, the swastika dates back some</p><p>6,000 years to rock and cave paintings.Scholars generally agree it originated in</p><p>India. With the emergence of the Sanskrit</p><p>language came the term swastika, a</p><p>combination of su, or good, and asti,</p><p>to be; in other</p><p>words, well-being.</p><p>Theres no clear</p><p>answer on how the</p><p>figure migrated toother parts of Asia,</p><p>Europe, Africa andthe New World.</p><p>Early examples ofswastikas on pottery</p><p>and householdobjects in China</p><p>indicate that theswastika traveled</p><p>with traders and withthe spread of</p><p>Buddhism</p><p>throughout Asia.According to Jim</p><p>Clarke, an ancientAsian art expert and</p><p>owner ofClarke &amp;Clarke Asian</p><p>Antiques and Tribal</p><p>Art in Santa Fe, earlyChristian inhabitantsof India and Iran</p><p>used the swastika asan amulet or</p><p>protective device.</p><p>In the 17th century,India and Iran were</p><p>exotic places toEuropeans, Clarke</p><p>remarks. Thingsbrought back from</p><p>these countries wereviewed as exotic. To incorporate these</p><p>symbols was considered very avant.</p><p>Clarke is intrigued by the notion that the</p><p>swastika might have made its way from</p><p>China to the New World with Chinese traders</p><p>lost on the seas. Remains of Chinese vessels</p><p>have been excavated in coastal communitiesin South America, he says, and along with</p><p>LOW-FIRED POTTERY BOWL FROM THE</p><p>BANSHAN CULTURE MAJIAWANVILLAGE, CHINA</p><p>NEOLITHIC PERIOD (21651965 BCE)</p><p>LARCE CENTRAL SWASTIKA PROBABLY INTENDED TO</p><p>SYMBOLIZE A SUN WHEEL. COURTESY CLARKE &amp; CLARKE</p><p>DETAIL FROM LARGE GERMANTOWN PICTORIAL NAVAJO RUG</p><p>C1890 COURTESY SHERWOODS SPIRIT OFAMERICA</p>http://www.cabq.gov/kimohttp://www.cabq.gov/kimohttp://www.ethnoarts.com/http://www.ethnoarts.com/http://www.ethnoarts.com/http://www.ethnoarts.com/http://www.ethnoarts.com/http://www.ethnoarts.com/http://www.cabq.gov/kimohttp://www.cabq.gov/kimo</li><li><p>8/8/2019 Hitler Stole the Swastika Symbol</p><p> 2/3</p></li><li><p>8/8/2019 Hitler Stole the Swastika Symbol</p><p> 3/3</p><p>THE HISTORY OF ANANCIENT HUMAN SYMBOL</p><p>Pueblo people. The two most popular motifs,according to author and antique Indian</p><p>jewelry dealer Cindra Kline, were Indianheads and swastikas.</p><p>Kline, who has written a book on Navajo</p><p>spoons to be published by the Museum ofNew Mexico Press in</p><p>September, 2001,</p><p>notes that the first</p><p>spoon shes located</p><p>with both a swastika</p><p>and an engraved date</p><p>coincides with the</p><p>opening of the</p><p>St. Louis Exposition in1904, though the</p><p>item was certainly</p><p>made years earlier.</p><p>The Charles M.</p><p>Robbins Co., a</p><p>commercial spoon</p><p>company, was</p><p>manufacturing so-</p><p>called Navajo spoons</p><p>as mementos of the fair. In 1906, Moore</p><p>was the first to offer swastika spoons in its</p><p>catalog. By the time the spoon craze died</p><p>out around 1915, Kline says, you had so</p><p>many stamps and dyes with swastikas that</p><p>the symbol appears on bracelets, sides of</p><p>rings, ash trays, salt cellars. Any silver-</p><p>stamped item was fair game for a swastika</p><p>stamp.</p><p>In the year 2001 in Santa Fe, swastikascan be found in myriad museums and</p><p>galleries. At the Museum of Indian Arts and</p><p>Culture, a ceramic rain god made at Tesuque</p><p>Pueblo circa 1900, proudly displays one.</p><p>At Clarke &amp; Clarke, swastikas adorn 19th</p><p>century Thai garments and pre-historic</p><p>Chinese bowls. Navajo spoons can be pur-</p><p>chased at Kania Ferrin, Medicine Man and</p><p>Rainbow Man galleries and Navajo rugs atCristofs, Dewey, Packards and Sherwoods.</p><p>And there are many other venues displaying</p><p>Himalayan, Islamic, Asian and Native</p><p>American art in which swastikas connote the</p><p>natural world, good fortune or simply serve</p><p>as attractive decorative elements.</p><p>Often, however, these pieces will not be</p><p>on public view. Its a horrible symbol to</p><p>overcome, Kline remarks. But the swastika</p><p>can be such a beautiful design. Its a shame</p><p>to see all these beautiful pieces hidden</p><p>away. Given the difficulty of dating silver,</p><p>Kline says, If the viewer can look beyond</p><p>Hitlerization, if you have a swastika spoon its</p><p>an assurance of age. You know it pre-dates</p><p>WW II probably by a good number of years</p><p>and it has a fascinating history.How Hitler came</p><p>to adopt the swastika</p><p>is unclear. VariousGerman citizens are</p><p>said to havesuggested it as a</p><p>symbol of racialpurity. Hitler was</p><p>supposedly obsessedwith numerology and</p><p>Eastern religion and</p><p>may have seen theimage in Tibetan</p><p>manuscripts orpaintings.</p><p>Regardless, theswastikas original</p><p>meaning, which had</p><p>endured formillennia, was diametrically altered.</p><p>In 1940, in response to Hitlers regime,</p><p>the Navajo, Papago, Apache and Hopipeople signed a whirling log proclamation. It</p><p>read, Because the above ornament, which</p><p>has been a symbol of friendship among ourforefathers for many centuries, has been</p><p>desecrated recently by another nation ofpeoples, therefore it is resolved that</p><p>henceforth from this date on and forevermore our tribes renounce the use of the</p><p>emblem commonly known today as theswastika . . . on our blankets, baskets,</p><p>art objects, sand paintings and clothing.</p><p>References and suggested reading</p><p>The Swastika Symbol in Navajo Textiles</p><p>by Dennis J. Aigner. DAI Press, Laguna</p><p>Beach, California, 2000.</p><p>Navajo Spoons by Cindra Kline. Museumof New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico,2001.</p><p>Indian Silver: Navajo and Pueblo</p><p>Jewelers by Margery Bedinger. UNM Press,1973.</p><p>DOTTIE INDYKE LIVES IN SANTA FE AND WRITES REGULARLY</p><p> ABOUT THE ART AND CULTURE OF THIS REGION.2001 WINGSPREAD GUIDES OF NEW MEXICO, INC.</p><p>READ MORE ON THE WEB AT www.collectorsguide.com</p><p>SWASTIKA SHIELD KIMO THEATRE (1927) RESTORED 2000</p><p>423 CENTRALA VENUE NW IN DOWNTOWNALBUQUERQUE</p><p>PHOTO BY KIRK GITTINGS</p>http://www.collectorsguide.com/miachttp://www.collectorsguide.com/miachttp://www.collectorsguide.com/miachttp://www.collectorsguide.com/miac</li></ul>


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