|Type of paper:
|Culture Community American history Symbolism
In the Native American reservation, the Zia pueblo existed in the northwest of Albuquerque a rocky knoll that had a blend with the terrain features where the Zia tribe resided. Pueblo itself had the sacred sun symbol that had circles that had rays pointing in the four cardinal directions. In Mexico most citizens have always used the symbol in religious ceremonies since 1200 C.E. The Zia Sun symbol today appears on the Mexican flag, license plates, letterheads and various commercial products (Harlow, 2019). The logo is also used in portable toilets and motorcycles. The Mexican tribe claims that the logo has always been used without permission because of the sacred disparages and meaning to the Zia people
Review about the Zia Sun Symbol
The Zia Sun Symbol originated from India in ancient times. The symbol which is pronounced as "Tsee-AH" has sacred numbers that symbolize the circles of life such as four directions, four sacred obligations, four seasons and four winds. The purpose of the loop, in this case, is to bind the four elements together. The word Zia also meant a name of an Indian Pueblo located 35 miles of Albuquerque situated in the steep mountain canyons and slopes of the Sierra Nacimiento Mountains (Silver bullet, n.d). The striking scenery of the symbol creates exquisite cinematography whenever it is used. The essay will, therefore, give the meaning of the Zia Sun Symbol, the historical period it relates to, how it compares with other works and the reason why it is chosen and liked by people.
The meaning of Zia Sun Symbol
Zia is an indigenous tribe that initially came from a branch of the Pueblo community. In the 13th century, they went to a rocky ledge that was slightly above the broad Jemez River Valley of the Nacimiento and Jemez mountains in Northern Mexico. In the Zia Sun Symbol, while both the number four and the sun are sacred, they also represent the:
- The four seasons of the year (winter, autumn, summer, and spring)
- The four cardinal directions (west, south, east and north)
- The four season of life (old age, middle years, youth and childhood) and,
- The four periods of the day (night, evening, noon and morning)
The four elements in the symbol are tied together by a circle life that lacks the beginning and the end. Moreover, in the emblem, Zia also believes that humans are obligated to four sacred periods such as a clear mind, a devotion people's welfare, a clear mind, and a pure spirit. For instance, someone that has ever been part of the 4-H there is a significant similarity that is parallel with the sacred Zia obligations of the pledges of the 4-H. The 'Hs' in this case, stands for health, hands, heart and the head (Silver bullet, n.d). The Zia symbol is essential to the Pueblo community as it represents the Stars of David to the Jews, Christians, and the Hindus or Aum. Therefore the logo is used respectfully and with consent.
For many years, the Zia sun symbol has always been associated with the prestige and pride of New Mexico. The sun symbol is also put everywhere across America from commercial planes to tattoos but displayed as badges of honor. Since its creation, its commodification has made it grow in popularity due to its ownership. The Zia symbol also illustrates both the possibilities and shortcomings of using the trademark law for people that wanted to be protected. For instance, in 1990, the indigenous tribes made several attempts to use the symbol as a federal trademark law to stop the commercial entities from misappropriating the symbol (Scott, 2019). Nevertheless, the trademark form the logo was meant to give the indigenous people a sense of control due to cultural appropriation. Zia was used to controlling the formal processes of the trademark law to publicize the gain and cause to political allies which in return assisted the tribe in finding answers to the outside legal arena.
Historical periods of the Zia Sun Symbol which relates to 1583 New Mexico
In 1923, the new chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the nonprofit Women's organization and the New Mexico hosted a contest that challenged people to design a flag that symbolized the heritage of Mexico. A Santa Fe physician (Dr.Harry Mera) and Reba his wife came up with a winning entry after they submitted a flag containing a red stylized version of the Zia sun sign in the middle. Dr. Mera who happened to be an avocational archeologist copied the symbol from a ceremonial pot which was reported to have been stolen because only such vessels contained such marks (Scott, 2019).
Even though there was evidence that the tribal elders never allowed the pot to leave the Pueblo the sign was still used. However, by 1925, Arthur T. Hannett governor signed late legislation and made the Mera's design to be officially to be the logo of the flag. Finally, the Zia sun symbol was embedded into the New Mexico identity and appropriated the cultural expression of the indigenous people. For years the Zia sun symbol has always been used. A good example was in 2006 Bill Richardson the governor of Mexico held another competition to challenge the citizens of to design a state quarter (Scott, 2019). Even though one thousand designed were created the New Mexico coin narrowed the entries to only four that were sent to the U.S Mint.
The four entries also had the Zia sun symbol. Finally, the design chosen was the one that would symbolize Mexico's culture and history while it also recognized the people of the state inside and outside. The symbol also depicted the topographic map. Moreover, the sign also had logos that were featured into the New Mexico's plates, letterhead and various government documents (Scott, 2019). The state also used the logo to bring memories of the Zia people and show how they belonged to the cultures of New Mexico.
How Zia Sun Symbol compares with work from other periods
The Zia is a Native American tribe who much like other Pueblos, believed in supernatural beings known as Kachinas. These beings could inhabit and control other entities both tangible and intangible. Heavenly bodies such as the sun have a Kachina, so does matter of any form be it water, fire, wind and even health to say the least. As the Spanish settled in America in the 16th century, they forcibly introduced Christianity to the Zia which required strong action as harsh as the outlaw of indigenous ancient festivals and ceremonies. The Zia felt the Kachina, who they revered as powerful beings, were to be respected with high regard and not looked down on. Subsequently, to keep their old customs, festivals, and ceremonies, they rebelled against the conquistador's rules and declared war.
On the other hand, the indigenous people contested with the European settler in regards to main resources such as fertile land and water control. In the 1689 uprising, the indigenous tribe managed to defeat the Spanish regardless of European firepower and modern tactics who then fled south. The Spanish, however, learned from this and returned in 1698 to redeem their control of the territory with so much strength almost eradicating the Zia who by 1892 had a population of 120 people.
One reason why I chose the piece of art is the poetry in it, beauty in it as well as what it means to the Zia Pueblo people. To elaborate this further, besides it looks, I was also fascinated with the meaning it portrays. This symbol touches on everything we go through and acts like a piece that makes everything to be smooth. I also chose the Zia sun symbol because of the striking scenery of the logo creates exquisite cinematography whenever it is used. The Zia symbol also illustrates both the possibilities and shortcomings of using the trademark law for people that wanted to be protected. Another reason behind my choice was that the Zia symbol was used to manage the formal processes of the trademark law to publicize the gain and cause to political allies which in return assisted the tribe in finding answers to the outside legal arena.
The Zia sun symbol was an image that symbolizes the circles of life such as four directions, four sacred obligations, four seasons and four winds. Humans were also obligated to four holy periods such as a clear mind, a devotion people's welfare, a clear mind, and a pure spirit. Nevertheless, the trademark form the symbol was meant to give the indigenous people a sense of control due to cultural appropriation. The Zia symbol also illustrates both the possibilities and shortcomings of using the trademark law for people that wanted to be protected
Harlow, O. (2019, February 23). Albuquerque exhibit tells the story of status symbol and its appropriation. Retrieved from http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/albuquerque-exhibit-tells-story-of-state-s-symbol-and-its/article_18eb737e-c2ce-5ca2-a5d3-a28922eda90c.html
The Zia Sun - Indian Pueblo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.indianpueblo.org/ourzia/
Scott, S. (2019, February 24). The Fascinating Story Behind the Zia Sun Symbol on New Mexico's State Flag. Retrieved from https://everydaywanderer.com/zia-sun-symbol
Silverbullet. (n.d.). "The Pueblo of Zia: Home of the Sun Symbol." Retrieved from http://silverbulletproductions.com/documentary-films/zia-pueblo-home-sun-symbol/
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