JB Moore Crystal Navajo Weaving : Historic : GHT 2309

JB Moore Crystal with Whirling logs.  Circa 1910-1920. 

Whirling Log - Navajo Sacred Symbol

The swastika motif goes back thousands of years in human culture.  One of the oldest symbols made by humans, the swastika dates back some 6,000 years to rock and cave paintings. Scholars generally agree it originated in India. 

In the Navajo culture the swastika represents the tale of the whirling log. The story goes a man leaves home because his family is upset with him.  He traveled down a river in a hollowed-out log. It was a dangerous journey and he was pulled to the bottom of the river by a monster.  He was rescued by the Gods and eventually returned home. He shared his experience and the lessons he learned with his family which brought health, happiness and prosperity to the tribe. 

Until the late 1800s, when J. Lorenzo Hubbell and J.B. Moore opened their trading posts in Arizona and New Mexico, Navajos portrayed the swastika solely in their religious ceremonies in the form of sand paintings. But by 1896, with prodding by Hubbell and Moore, the symbol proliferated on Navajo rugs.  

In 1940, in response to Hitler's regime, the Navajo, Papago, Apache and Hopi people signed a whirling log proclamation. It read, "Because the above ornament, which has been a symbol of friendship among our forefathers for many centuries, has been desecrated recently by another nation of peoples, therefore it is resolved that henceforth from this date on and forever more our tribes renounce the use of the emblem commonly known today as the swastika . . . on our blankets, baskets, art objects, sand paintings and clothing."


Style Crystal
Weaver Unknown Navajo
Date circa 1910-1920
Size 53" x 103"
Item # GHT 2309
Learn more about Crystal Style weavings

Contact us for more information, pricing or to order – steve@navajorug.com or 520-455-5020 -- We will be glad to help you!

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Type: Crystal

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