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The Zia Symbol. & New Mexico. Zia Symbol. The Zia Symbol.

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the zia symbol

The Zia Symbol

& New Mexico

zia symbol
Zia Symbol

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • New Mexico's distinctive insignia is the Zia Sun Symbol, which originated with the Indians of Zia Pueblo in ancient times. Its design reflects their tribal philosophy, with its wealth of pantheistic spiritualism teaching the basic harmony of all things in the universe.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • Four is the sacred number of Zia, and the figure is composed of a circle from which four points radiate. These points made up of four straight lines of varying length personify the number most often used by the Giver of all good gifts.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • To the Zia Indian, the sacred number (4) is embodied in the earth, with its four directions North, South, East and West; in the year, with its four seasons; in the day, with the sunrise, noon, evening, and night; in life, with its four divisions--childhood, youth, manhood, and old age. Everything is bound together in a circle of life and love, without beginning, without end.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • The Zia believe, too, that in this great brotherhood of all things, man has four sacred obligations: he must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of his people

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • Like other Native American Pueblos, the Zia believed in spirit beings known as Kachinas, which could inhabit and / or control just about anything tangible or intangible. The Sun has a Kachina, as does water, fire, wind, crops, health... plus several hundred other entities.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • In the 16th century, Spanish settlers tried to force Christianity onto the Zia. Pulling the Native Americans away from their beliefs required strong action by the conquistadors and Zia's ancient religious festivals and ceremonies were outlawed.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • Whilst Kachinas are not considered deities to be worshipped, it makes sense to treat such powerful beings with respect and not upset them. So unsurprisingly the Zia resisted the conquistadors' demands and fought (literally) to keep their old customs, festivals and ceremonies.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • In the uprising of 1689, for both the European settlers and the indigenous population, issues other than religion were also at stake. Fertile land and control of water were two precious resources that both sides fought over. Despite their firepower and modern military tactics, the Spanish were defeated and fled south.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • Nine years later, however, the soldiers returned in greater strength and took control of the territory, almost wiping out the Indian population. By 1892, only about 120 ethnic Zia remained.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014

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The Zia Symbol
  • Today, it is recognized that the Zia are no threat and their belief system is tolerated, even respected, to the point that a Zia symbol is incorporated in the flags of New Mexico State and its largest city, Albuquerque.

The Zia Symbol. New Mexico History-Collins-2013-2014