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Learn Native American Indian Art, History and the God's Eye Craft

Honor of the Feather

Native American traditions and culture are full of enlightening examples of integrity, spirit and creativity. In this article we shall examine certain Native American traditions and show you how to build your own God's Eye.


All civilizations eventually separate into groups, tribes and nations. The Native Americans are no different yet many of the tribes developed a deep coexisting relationship with the Earth. This reverence gave way to many symbols and traditions that have literally defined the culture of the Native Americans. Today in the United States we have many Native American tribes represented namely the Potawatomi, Sioux, Oglala, Apache, Ute, Winnebago, Lakota, Kickapoo, Sac and Fox (Mesquakie-Sauk), Oto and Pawnee just to name a few.


Many identify this segment of society with the buffalo that once roamed the prairie in vast numbers. It has been documented in pioneer journals that the buffalo literally “blackened” the hills and grasslands. Fur trading and various other items worth a token or two have caused the near extinction of this once great resource of the land and vital necessity of the once free prairie Native Americans. Buffalo are a sacred symbol to this people. Once, they used the buffalo for many of their life needs. They used the meats and furs for winter survival and shelter. Bones were used for tools, weapons and to create crafts and religious symbols. Virtually, the entire buffalo was utilized unlike their European counterparts who often left the carcasses intact without their furs. It is the sad legacy of a once proud and truly free people of the plains.


Prairie Band Potawatomi 2011

Native American Music

Pawnee Nation

The White Buffalo

The white buffalo is a sacred symbol. However, historically the significance of the white buffalo varies from tribe to tribe with their own lore and meaning. However, for the future the white buffalo is a sign from the Great Spirit to heal the people. This would include putting aside petty differences and striving toward a mutually perfect character. Especially within the past eighty years there have been several white buffalo born. Miracle, Medicine Wheel and Rainbow are among them. Many have come forth to dispute their authenticity and yet many still remain firm that they are signs for all of us to get our act together. Perhaps we could all take note and advantage of this “fulfilled” prophecy and take it upon ourselves to bring down the walls of pride and heal the deep divisions in the world that we have nurtured over decades, centuries and even thousands of years.


Among many tribes is the symbol of the God's Eye. Ojo de Dios is what this object became known as among the Huichol tribe in northwest Mexico in the Sierra Madre Mountains. In addition to being a reverenced symbol they held it as almost magical and possessing great spiritual power. According to tradition it was weaved by a father. A new “eye” is weaved around the previous one for every year of the child through his or her fifth year. In basic terms the four points of the God's Eye represents the four elements – Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. This particular tribe is often credited with first producing the God's Eye, however, most tribes have had similar symbols. Every one of them were sacred and represented that which is unknown but still exists, nonetheless. It was a direct symbol of the ability, authority and power of seeing and comprehending that which is unseen. In many circles – faith.


The Simple God's Eye

Creating a God's Eye of your own is simple and makes a great gift or learning tool into Native American culture. This simple process is as follows:

  1. Upon choosing the intersection of your dowels begin securing them together by wrapping the string around the intersection in a crossed fashion remembering to wrap tightly.
  2. When secured begin at one limb circling from under, over and back over looping only once. Do this tightly.
  3. Proceed to the next limb in the exact same pattern as your first limb. Again, tightly for every limb each and every time.
  4. You may even create a “new” eye with a different color. Tie off the finished color in at least a double knot on it's respective limb. All knot can even be a square knot with the new color. Tie on the new color on top of the knot just tied with at least a double knot. Now you may proceed in the same fashion and pattern as before.
  5. With each revolution around the limbs pull the string tight and bumping it up against the previous loop on the same limb.
  6. When your desired creation has been realized simply tie off the finished string on it's final limb and observe your own work.

This author encourages all to experiment with the God's Eye and other creative artwork of the Native American culture. Through this endeavor you will gain a furthered knowledge, understanding and appreciation of this great people. This people loved life and all the bounty enjoyed to support it. They took care of the elderly, respected them and held them to a high status. They cherished and nurtured the young and reared them in footsteps trod over hundreds of years. There horses they made “one” with the tribe and were a necessity for travel, warfare and hunting.


Sac and Fox Nation

Inspired from the Four Winds

For the dead they danced and feasted as well as mourned. Even in modern times the accepted custom at a Native American funeral is to view the body without any glasses on. The point being that one should look upon the dead with the natural eyes. This is respect. This is reverence. This is a tradition of a culture from which we all can learn from and gain great wisdom and understanding.

A good opportunity to view a Native American tradition is to attend one of the many Pow Wows held around the North American continent. Full of dance, color, costume, song and artwork this tradition is a wonderful experience for anyone venturing to understand this people better. This author encourages all to reacquire a “fast becoming lost” understanding of life and spirit, and experience a Native American Pow Wow. Sit and talk with an elder, learn and see history in his or her eyes. Appreciate them and cherish their heritage.

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The horse culture that once flourished among this people is gone and in the past. Yet this people are strong and will continue to get stronger in knowledge and spirit. They will, one day, fully acquire the knowledge of their ancestors. Even now the Native Americans are beginning to blossom as the rose.


Thank You for Your Comment!

lpanfil from Cleveland, Ohio on December 09, 2011:

I’ve made these with my daughter with sticks found in the woods and yarn remnants. They adorn the walls of our little rustic log cabin but I never knew the history behind our little creations. Thanks!

Micheal from United Kingdom on November 15, 2011:

Great hub and may I say you have comprehensively covered the topic.

Thanks for a great read. voted up

Fayme Zelena Harper from Lucerne Valley, CA on March 29, 2011:

I'm glad you explained this. We made these as kids and I didn't know much else about them.

savannahbree10 from Maniwaki, Quebec, Canada on March 25, 2011:

great hub !

goldenpath (author) from Shenandoah, Iowa, USA on February 20, 2010:

Thank you all for your kind words. The Native American history and culture is vital to understanding the magnitude of the importance of this great land that we live in - both in South America as well as North America.

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on February 16, 2010:

Thank you for this spiritual and historic look into this American Indian art form. I have seen these often, but never put the energy into learning the symbolism behind them. It seems to me that the God's Eye grows with the child, or perhaps the child grows into the eye of God. What a powerful thought.

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on February 16, 2010:

I just cannot thank you enough for this hub. A friend and I have such a hard time getting together and to classes at the Native American museum here in NYC - so many great craft workshops are offered. Like me, she will be thrilled with this step by step guide and the information.

I'll bookmark it and share it!

Thanks so much!

Timothy Donnelly from Ontario, Canada on February 15, 2010:

Great Hub Goldenpath! You know the Native American Indian has got to have an heritage and history that is much more than common knowledge, unfortunately. Slowly but surely, answers to many questions about their origins and past will continue to unfold. Personally, I respect their virtues and spiritual reverence as a telling example of an enlightened past. I believe they shall be enlightened again, and bear us a great testimony of our common ancestry.

P.S. About God’s Eye … could their be any reference here to King Solomon’s Temple and the All Seeing Eye? In any case, I can see that it is a SYMBOL of God’s omniscience and a call for [and a reminder of) His protection. Very nice.

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