Friday, October 2, 2009
The idea of looking at the double-bar cross as a representation of the dragonfly certainly must have begun when the Indians first saw examples of the Spaniards' pendant crosses of this type... It is not hard to see how a cross with two cross-bars can be seen to look like a dragonfly as it hovers in the air with outstretched wings. And when the cross is made of silver, light hitting the metal has reflective qualities not unlike the iridescence of a dragonfly's wings.
The relationships that Pueblo, Navajo and Hopi people have seen between the double-bar cross and the dragonfly might also give a native, rather than Christian, meaning to the heart that forms the bottom portion of many crosses made by Indian smiths. This heart, which is often referred to as the Sacred Heart when used in the beliefs of the Catholic Church, is found on the bottom of many crosses of Spanish and Mexican origin, and certainly provided the influence for native silversmiths.
From Heart of the Dragonfly by Allison Bird.