The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol & its Migrations
IV. The Cross Among The American Indians.
The foregoing specimens are sufficient evidence of the existence of the Swastika among the aboriginal North Americans during the mound-building period. And although there may be other specimens of the Swastika to be
reported, yet we might properly continue this investigation for the purpose of determining if there be any related forms of the cross among the same peoples. This is done without any argument as to the use of these designs beyond that attributed to them. The illustrations and descriptions are mainly collected from objects in and reports of the U. S. National Museum and the Bureau of Ethnology.
The Cross On Objects Of Shell and Copper.
The shell gorget presented in fig. 300 belongs to the collection of Mr. F. M. Perrine, and was obtained form a mound in Union County, Ill. It is a little more than three inches in diameter and has been ground to a uniform thickness of about one-twelfth of an inch. The surfaces are smooth and the margin carefully rounded and polished. Near the upper edge are two perforations, both well worn with cord-marks indicating suspension. The cross in the center of the concave face of the disk is quite simple and is made by four triangular perforations which separate the arms. The face of the cross is ornamented with six carelessly drawn incised lines interlacing in the center as shown in the figure, three extending along the arm to the right and three passing down the lower arm to the enclosing line. Nothing has been learned of the character of the interments with which this specimen was associated. (1) The incised lines of he specimen indicate the possible intention of the artist to make the Swastika. The design is evidently a cross and apparently unfinished.
The National Museum possesses a large shell cross (fig. 301) which, while quite plain as a cross, has been much damaged, the rim that formerly encircled it, as in the foregoing figure, having been broken away and lost. The perforations are still in evidence. The specimen
1. Second Ann. Rep. bureau of Ethnology, 1880-81, p. 271, pl. 51, fig. 1. [Back]