Terracotta Angel, c.1896
Watts Chapel, England

 Photo : Jeff Saward/Labyrinthos

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The occurrence of the labyrinth symbol in the American Southwest is both widespread and shrouded in mystery. How, and more importantly when, the symbol first reached this region is unclear. However, it forms an important theme in the traditional stories of the Hopi, Akimel O’odham, Tohono O'odham and Yaqui peoples. Labyrinth petroglyphs found throughout Arizona, New Mexico and the northern states of Mexico are difficult to date, but provide the earliest evidence for labyrinths in the Southwest. Today the labyrinth remains popular and is found as the familiar "Man in the Maze" motif on hand woven baskets, silverwork and pottery produced by the native peoples of Arizona, especially the Tohono O’odham and Navajo.

Native American Labyrinths

Tohono O’odham basket

Photo : Jeff Saward/Labyrinthos

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All of the images on this page (and many more besides!) are available in high resolution digital formats for licensed reproduction. For details of reproduction fees and permission procedures, send us an e-mail with details of your planned usage and format requirements. Labyrinthos also has a number of images of Native American labyrinth petroglyphs and artefacts available for research purposes. If you have specific requirements, please ask.