Friday, September 2, 2011

Labyrinth V

Here is another Native American design--this time from the Hopi tribe.  At their Oraibi pueblo, which may have been settled as early as 1100 or 1200, there are five small square labyrinths carved into stone.  There is also a sixth one that is more rounded.  They are only five to seven inches in diameter.  The native name for this labyrinth is tapu'at, or "mother and child."  It is actually two labyrinths, with the child in the womb surrounded by the mother. No one knows for sure, but it is possible a newborn baby would immediately be placed on this symbol.  Some southwestern tribes used to make a sandpainting while a woman was in labor and placed the new baby on it.   This may have been a more permanent version.  To emphasize the design, I simplified the steps along the "paths", using round positive shapes for the child and square negative shapes for the mother.   I got the information about this labyrinth from a book called The Unending Mystery by David Willis McCollough.  With the Plum Gallery, sometimes you get a little history as well as an interesting image.

The Plum Gallery is planning a labyrinth show!  More details later.


  1. I'm impressed with your series. It is engrossing to see and fun to imagine interpretations. As art images it is a successful expressive effort. Well done.

  2. agree with Kitty....REALLY GOOD WORK. It will be nice to see it all together

  3. It will be great to see these all in one spot. I'm always impressed by your ability to work in a series and tying into a consistent theme.