Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Native Peoples :: Symbolism

The hourglass symbol has signified many things through time. I have found it in Native American culture, Egyptian and even Free Masons. One of my favorites is the Lakota, a Native American tribe from the Black HIlls of South Dakota who believed there was a powerful connection between the sun and the Earth. They saw the design as an inverted triangle on top to symbolize the sky (sun or stars) as it touched the earth ... the bottom triangle being the earth. 

The Lakota followed the path of the sun by the shadows through the seasons (their version of a sun dial). They were nomadic and didn't always camp in the same place, so the shadows marked time and told them when to migrate to another location. 

Buffalo (an integral part of the culture) also had migratory patterns that coincided with the tribe's sacred sites. The Lakota painted star maps on hides, and believed buffalo embodied solar power; thus eating buffalo meat was eating energy from the sun.

While my bracelet here does not use colors that would have been typical to the Lakota (blue, white and brick red - the natural pigments of the time), the pattern embodies their sacred symbol and uses some interesting negative space. It is a pattern that Christine and I worked on using a design she created with a brick stitch, but I reversed the pattern to create the hourglass shape. 

25 comments:

Kashmira said...

I'm loving this pattern! I like the negative space in there..

Marcela Gmd said...

Interesting post!!! very pretty bracelet!!!
Have a good week!! and my g+ for you!!!:)))

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

CREATIVE MIND said...

Awesome :)

Duni said...

How interesting!
I don't normally go for triangular shapes but it looks awesome on your bracelet!

Halinka said...

Hello,Cynthia:
Very interesting blog post.
The design of the bracelet is very simple and elegant.The use of the negative space makes the bracelet light.
-Warm Greetings-
-Halinka-

Jacquelineand.... said...

Beautiful work....I grew up calling this pattern 'the light and the dark mountains' and learned that it also represents the self; just as the twin poles of the sacred lodge do.

Christine Altmiller said...

This piece fascinates me...the mirror image, the negative space, the color choices. The colors give it a royal appearance, and your explanation of the symbolism is Native ~ it is a great world blend!

Linda Y said...

Cynthia, cool piece. Love that button closure embellishment on the end. To know bead stitches well enough to create a pattern. That takes talent! Love all the designs that you have been creating.

Becky Pancake said...

Cynthia your bracelet is great. I saved a pic of it in my inspiration file.

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)

Pepita said...

What a pretty bracelet - love the negative space and the double button clasp!
Alenka

BeadedTail said...

That looks very hard to make but it's beautiful! I like the colors you used and that clasp is awesome!

Patty Woodland said...

It's very regal with the burgundy and gold.

Therese's Treasures said...

Beautiful Cynthia,
I did not know these things about the hour glass shape in Indian Lore.
Therese

Shel said...

I really do like this pattern. The negative space really adds to the bracelet and captures your attention. Plus, I always 'eat-up' the historic information you give on your blog - it's like my 'educational shot' for the day! LOVE it!

Rose Clearfield said...

What a fabulous beaded design! So unique.

Magic Love Crow said...

I love the meaning ;o) This bracelet is stunning!

Lady Lilith said...

Wow. For such a simple elegant design, it sure has a lot of wonderful history.

Lady Lilith said...

Wow. For such a simple elegant design, it sure has a lot of wonderful history.

Lady Lilith said...

Wow. For such a simple elegant design, it sure has a lot of wonderful history.

Lady Lilith said...

Wow. For such a simple elegant design, it sure has a lot of wonderful history.

Claudia Aguilar said...

Nice symbolism that of the Lakotas I imagine we are right in the middle of the hour glass then :)

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

The triangles are cool.

When do you start on squares and rhomboids?

Seriously though, have you ever made a bracelet based on a Moebius strip?

That'd be ultra-cool.

Caron Michelle said...

Oh wow - what a beautiful design! I love the colours and how you did your clasp. Simply fabulous!

Janet Bocciardi said...

I somehow missed this post! The negative space adds a lot to the bracelet's design. It almost looks like ribbon.. really pretty, Cynthia.

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