Hopi Symbols And Meanings
Hopi Symbol Meanings And Cultural Understanding
Hopitu-shinumu (Hopi) means Peaceful People; this serves as a background to understanding their use of symbols.
The Hopi are expert craftspeople, and possess uncommon agricultural skills.
Their connection with the land, cultivating, and harvesting is truly superior. Specifically, their ability to skillfully coax yielding corn from the desert sands is to be commended.
Art is a way of life for the Hopi; it expresses their visions, beliefs and dreams to themselves and others. As artisans, they incorporated their Hopi symbols into an array of dazzlingly beautiful baskets, weavings, and pottery.
Hopi are also the crafters of kachina dolls and costumes. For more information on this are of Hopi tradition, click on: Kachina Properties.
A few Hopi symbols and their meanings are provided here with an aim to bring about understanding and respect to these diverse and skillful people.
“All dreams fall from the same sky.”
Common Hopi Symbols
This is a common symbol among many Native American tribes, including the Hopi. One of its representations is that of mother and child (see Mother Symbolism. page) In a broader sense, the connection of earth mother to us as her children. The beginning, straight center-line represents the child – or our philosophical beginnings – the surrounding maze represents the enfolding energies of mother earth. Note the maze does not enclose the center –line representing the child. The symbolism then is strong when we realize the support of the mother is constantly around yet our ability to venture out on our own is always available. Also reference my page on Earth Symbols here.
This symbol signifies world to the Hopi The “cosmic cross” or four bars represent north, south, east and west correspond to the outermost points on the horizon where the sun passes through the year; the solstice and equinox points. The four circles inside the outer outline represent the four nations (the first four tribes of mankind), which came to the world to keep balance. See also my blogpost on Cosmic Direction and Compass Symbolism.
A symbol of creative and natural energy. The supreme god due to the Hopi’s dependence upon it for the growth of corn, and other sustaining crops. The sun symbol represents the heart of the cosmos and deals with vitality, growth, and passion.
This rendition of the Hopi spiral is also common among North, South and Central Native American Indian tribes. The spiral represents the number of journeys or treks a tribe or nation has made to the four corners of the earth. Engraved on stones, the spiral suggests an intricate journey made to the Otherworlds on back. Generally, the spiral represents a broadening of consciousness, which is the destination arrived after a long journey.
Also known as a Tawa kachina, it is a spirit symbolizing of life, growth, strength of spirit, and abundance. The likeness of this spirit is donned during the solstice ceremony to beckon the sun’s return, and begin the growing season. See Kachina Properties for more information on Hopi kachinas and their meanings.
Other Articles Of Interest On This Site
Understanding Hopi Kachina Meanings
To understand kachina properties, we must first have a foundation of the endlessly creative and strongly spiritual Hopi people. Find out more about Kachina properties here.
Native American Sun Symbol Meanings
Sun symbols are seen in some shape or fashion in every Native American tribe. This should be a clear indication of how much the sun was revered for its power. Views and beliefs surrounding the sun symbols vary according to region. Find out more about Native American sun symbols here.