Swastika Hector

Haley says about his foto:

"... At the time this horse was carved, the swastika still had the positive symbolism that it has had for over 3,000 years. Long before the Nazi's distorted it, the swastika was used by cultures around the world to symbolize prosperity, power, strength and good luck. It has been found in ancient Greece, especially at Troy, and was widely used in China, Persia, Japan, India, Europe and North and South America.

The word 'swastika' comes from ancient Sanskrit - 'su', meaning 'well', and 'asti', meaning 'being'. Not until the mid-1930s, well after this carousel horse was carved, did the swastika take on a negative connotation. (Until 1933, the American 45th Infantry Division used the swastika on its shoulder patches.) The Nazi part adopted the swastika in 1919 as the symbol of their organization and only with the rise of Hitler's power did the symbol take on a negative meaning. The Allies banned the symbol from Germany in 1945 after Germany's defeat in World War II.

Shortly after the end of the war this design on Hector was removed and forgotten. It wasn't until 1995 during the carousel restoration project that the symbol was rediscovered and restored to its original design. Although the designs on Hector find their inspiration in Native American art, the swastika caused a negative public reaction and the decision was made to remove Hector from the carousel permanently. Ironically, the reason that keeps Hector from riding the magnificent carousel he once called home is also the reason that makes him so speical - he is definitely one of a kind. Some suggest that Hector may one day find a place within the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C..." [Jantzen Beach SuperStore, 2006]

No comments:

Post a Comment