The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol & its Migrations
Forms Allied to the Swastika
Aboriginal American Engravings and Paintings.
These allied forms of Swastika appear on prehistoric objects from mounds and Indian graves in different parts of the country an din times of high antiquity as well as among modern tribes. This paper contains the results of the investigations in this direction.
Designs On Shell.
The Department of Prehistoric Anthropology in the U. S. National Museum, contains a considerable number of large shells of aboriginal workmanship. The shell most employed was that of the genus Fulgur, a marine shell found on the coast from Florida to the capes. The Unio was employed, as well as others. These marine shells were transported long distances inland. They have been found in mounds and Indian graves a thousand miles from their original habitat. They served as utensils as well as ornaments. In many specimens the whorl was cut out, the shells otherwise left entire, and they served as vessels for holding or carrying liquids. When intended for ornaments, they were cut into the desired form and engraved with the design; if to be used as gorgets, holes were drilled for suspension. Frequently they were smoothed on the outside and the design engraved thereon. The preference of the aborigines for the Fulgur shell may have been by reason of its larger size. Among the patterns employed for the decoration of these shells, the Swastika, in the form of spirals, volutes, or otherwise, appeared, although many others, such as the rattlesnake, birds, spiders, and human masks were employed. No detailed description of the patterns of this shellwork will be attempted, because figures will be required to give the needed information for the interpretation of the Swastika. Many of the cuts and some of the descriptions are taken from the annual reports of the Bureau of Ethnology and, so far as relates to shell, mostly form Mr. Holmes's paper on "Art in Shell of the Ancient Americans." I desire to express my thanks for all cuts obtained from the Bureau publications.
Ivory-billed woodpecker. --- A series of gorgets in shell have been found ornamented with designs resembling the Swastika, which should be noticed. They combine