Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Man in the Maze

Man in the Maze coiled plaque by Lorraine Lopez
(Tohono O'odham)
The Man in the Maze is an honored symbol for Tohono O'odham, Gila and Salt River tribes of the American southwest. The image has a long history in the southwest and dates at least to the late Hohokam period, approximately 14th C. An example can be seen at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument near Coolidge, AZ.

There is no definitive meaning assigned to the image and it has been interpreted as alternately representing: the emergence story of the Tohono O'odham people, the home of the creator of the Tohono O'odham, I'itoi, and the journey of life and pursuit of one's goals. Tohono O'odham basket makers began using the image as early as 1900 and it has come to serve as an icon for the Tohono O'odham people today.

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