Swastika Kodak Stories

Kodak Album Cover

Kodak leather photo album - Note the 'swastika' on headband.
The swastika was employed by various American Indian tribes, notably the Navajo, for whom it was a sort of good luck sign. I recall once seeing a picture of the young Jackie Kennedy (then Bouvier) wearing a costume decorated with swastikas for a Native American pageant. Or maybe she was going to become a professional wrestler; my memory is somewhat vague. At any rate, swastikas were a common motif in American building decoration up until around 1930.

The swastika didn't originate with Native Americans. The symbol was widespread throughout the ancient world, particularly in India, where it remains in common use by Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. Originally it probably symbolized the sun circling through the sky, although many other explanations have also been offered. Up until the 20th century its significance was generally benign. By Frank Story

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