Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Swastika on Arizona and Peruvian Pottery

Someone sent in a comment about an ancient Moche vase he had seen in a picture on display at a Peruvian museum. I thought it not only interesting, but yet another example of someone drawing a conclusion based on modern knowledge without looking into the ancient meaning of his view. His comment was:  “How do you explain the Nazi swastika showing up on pottery in Peru, as well as in Arizona? This hardly seems like a connection between the ancient Jews and your Book of Mormon people. Looks like another proof of the hoax Joseph Smith laid on you!”
The answer is simpler than it might seem. First of all, the two pottery vessels he mentioned, interestingly enough, are actually another proof of the Jewish-South American connection, not the opposite as he supposes.
The first vessel was found in a pyramid along the north coast of Peru and dates to the early Moche-Sican-Lambayeque period, beginning around 100 B.C., and currently on display in the Huaca Rajada Site Museum.
Left: The remains of the Moche-Sican mud-brick pyramid in Lambayeque; Right: The swastika-adorned pottery vessel found in the pyramid
The second, a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam village ruins dating to about 400 A.D. The Hohokam once inhabited a large area from southern Utah-Colorado far into northwestern Mexico to the Durango border.
Left: 1500 year-old Hohokam village ruins near Phoenix, Arizona; Right: The Hohokam vessel found in the ruins with a swastika. Note the outside lines are angled
The Swastika, contrary to his inference and most people’s opinion, did not originate with the Nazi movement in Germany. The so-called “swastika” is actually an adaptation from the early Hebrew symbol meaning “eternity in motion.” It was also found on American plains Indians of the U.S., specifically drawn on teepees, etc. In fact, the word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit words su, meaning "well," and asti, meaning “to be.”
An ancient symbol, the swastika was used in various forms by many civilizations all over the world. It was the sign of Thor's hammer for Scandinavians, used by early Christians as an alternative cross to avoid persecution, and by later Christians as a decorative emblem. It was used extensively by the Hittites, Celts and Greeks, and was a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It was widespread among Native American peoples, and appeared in ancient Oriental, Egyptian, and Irish cultures. India associates the swastika with good luck and protection from wrath, and mark it on doors, walls, shrines, and their own bodies. It can represent the sun, the god Vishnu, or the 'world-wheel.' It is one of the 24 auspicious marks in Jainism.
Top: Left: An Iranian necklace excavated from Kalunaz, Guilan, first millennium B.C.; Center: Ancient Roman tile design; Right: Pre-Christian Polish symbol of Slavic diety Svarog; Bottom: Left: Children light lamps in the shape of a swastika on the Diwali, eve of Hindu new year; Center: Ancient Buddhist temple in Korea; Right: 1920 Arizona highway marker
The swastika was the Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and the Sanskrit word meaning “fortunate” or “well-being,” and to the Romans it meant “peace,” while to the Hindus it meant “good fortune,” and to the plains Indians it meant “good luck.” To the Windsor, Nova Scotia, team in the early days of hockey, it meant both “power and good fortune,” and to the fans it meant a high-scoring top-notch hockey team whose players proudly displayed the symbol on their jerseys and who were almost impossible to beat by other teams in the area.
Left: The 1912 Windsor, Nova Scotia, hockey team in their uniforms with the swastika on their jerseys; Right: The women’s 1916 Edmonton Swastikas Hockey Team
Since the early Middle Ages the sign of the swastika was well-established among all Slavic lands, where it was known as swarzyca, and primarily associated with one of their gods named Swarog. With time the significance of the symbol faded, but it was preserved in numerous cases as a personal symbol of various personalities, as was the case of the Boreyko Coat of Arms. It was also preserved in the folk culture of the region of Podhale, where it was used as a talisman well into the 20th century. As a solar symbol, it was painted or carved on various parts of houses in the Tatra Mountains and was thought to save the household from evil.
In America, the 45th Infantry Division of the United States Army used a yellow swastika on a red background as a unit symbol until the 1930s, when it was switched to a thunderbird, and the U.S. Navy base at Coronado, California, has a swastika-shaped building, which predates World War II. In 1925, Coca-Cola made a lucky watch formed in the shape of a swastika with the slogan, "Drink Coca Cola five cents in bottles." The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building at Indiana University, which was built in the 1920s before the Nazis came to power in Germany, contains decorative Native American-inspired reverse swastika tilework on the walls of the foyer and stairwells on the southeast side of the building, which now creates enormous controversy.
Left: 45thInfantry Division Patch; Center: Coronado U.S. Navy Building; Right: Coca-Cola lucky watch charm
Shortly after the beginning of World War II, the Native American tribes Navajo, Apache, Tohono O’odham, and Hopi, published a decree stating that they would no longer use the swastika in their artwork, because it had come to symbolize evil to them. The decree states: ”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 or fylfot on our blankets, baskets, art objects, sandpainting, and clothing.”
In the late nineteenth century, the swastika symbolized a movement celebrating Germanic culture, heritage, and nationalism, however, by 1920 this movement began to take on anti-Semitic undertones. Later, Adolph Hitler chose the swastika to be the symbol of the Nazi Party.
There are many other historically documented uses of the swastika as a totem, a decoration, or a good luck "charm" in ancient civilizations including the Mesopotamians, Hindu, Native Americans (both North and South) and Scandinavians. To the Hopi’s, the swastika symbol represents the path of the migrations of the clans. The center of the cross represents Tuwanasavi or the Center of the Universe, which lay in what is now the Hopi country in the southwestern part of the US. Tuwanasavi was not the geographic center of North America, but the magnetic or spiritual center formed by the junction of the North-South and the East-West axes along which the Twins sent their vibratory messages and controlled the rotation of the planet. Three directions (pasos) for most of the clans were the same: the ice locked back door to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Only 7 clans—the Bear, Eagle, Sun, Kachina, Parrot, Flute and Coyote clans—migrated to South America to the southern paso at it's tip. The rest of some 40 clans, having started from somewhere in South America, regarded this as their southern paso, their migration thus forming a balanced symbol. Upon arriving at each paso all the leading clans turned right before retracing their routes.
The symbol itself, probably originating anciently in the Hebrew geometric symbols, where a vertical line represented the spiritual realm, a horizontal line represented man and his existence or the temporal sphere, and the circle represented eternity with no beginning and no end. When you put those together you have a circle with a cross inside. By removing parts of the circle, you have eternity in motion, which looks somewhat like a swastika.
This is just another example and proof of how the ancient Hebrew or Jewish culture of Lehi’s time can be seen in many ways within the Western Hemisphere.