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Phone: 866-426-6901

www.rivertradingpost.com

314 N. River Street

East Dundee, IL 60118

A

BOUT

T

HE

M

AN

I

N

T

HE

M

AZE

Se:he

(Elder Brother). The term

I'ithi

is a dialectal variant used

by the Hia C-ed O'Odham, or

Sand Pima.

He is most often referred to as

the

Man in the Maze

, a refer-

ence to a design appearing on

native basketry and petroglyphs

which positions him at the en-

try to a labyrinth. This laby-

rinth is believed by the Pima to

be a floor plan to his house, and

by the Tohono O'odham to be a

map giving directions

to

his

house.

The Man in the Maze motif is

used liberally in the American

Southwest, most prominently

by Hopi silversmiths in rings

and jewelry to showcase the

quality of their technique and

I'itoi

or

I'thi

is, in the tradition

of the O'odham peoples, the

mischievous diety who resides

in a cave just below the peak of

Baboquivari Mountain, part of

the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Visitors to the cave are asked to

bring a gift to ensure their safe

return from the depths. I'itoi is

said to have brought the Hoho-

kam people to this earth from

the underworld, and said to be

ancestors of both the Tohono

O'odham and the Pima. He is

also responsible for the gift of

the Himdag, a series of com-

mandments guiding people to

remain in balance with the

world and to interact with it as

intended.

The Pima also refer to I'itoi as

by Pima basket weavers, with

whom it has been a very popu-

lar pattern since the 1900s.

Every basket pattern has a

"mistake" (also known as a

"dau", or door) integrated into

it so that the spirit of the basket

can be released.

According to O'odham oral

history, the labyrinth design

depicts experiences and choices

we make in our journey

through life. In the middle of

the "maze", a person finds their

dreams and goals. When one

reaches the center, we have one

final opportunity (the last turn

in the design) to look back upon

our choices and path, before the

Sun God greets us, blesses us

and passes us into the next

world.

Arts of Native America

Classic basket at River Trading

Post with the Man In The Maze