The squash blossom has played an important role in indigenous culture, especially within the Navajo community. Ironically enough, the symbol was something that did not originate from Native American but Spanish conquistador. Whether you own jewelry with the squash blossom or not, understanding this symbol is to understand the Native American culture.
The Squash Blossom Origin
The origins of the symbol started between the late 1500s and early 1600s. The symbol was seen as an iron ornament on horse bridles. Eventually, as the indigenous people were captures, the symbol became an ornament within their community.
The Moorish Influence
Although the symbol was first seen on Spanish conquistadors, the Moorish influence played a great role. The squash blossom reflected the Moorish conquest of Spain.
The reason the Spaniards were seen with the symbol on their horse bridles had to do with the same ideology of the Moors.
When the Moors conquered Spain, the use of an inverted crescent would protect them and their horses from ‘the evil eye’. Therefore, when the Spanish went to the Americas, they used the same symbol to protect themselves.
The Squash Blossom Significance
Throughout the generations, the pendant was known as Naja or najache. It became associated with different ceremonies, especially agricultural. Eventually, it became a symbol of crop fertility.
Also, the squash blossom is a reminder of the closeness between the Navajo and Pueblo communities.
Beads that Spread Out
In the Navajo language, “the squash blossom” is read as yo ne maze disya gi, which translates to “beads that spread out”. Strange enough, the translation has nothing to do with a squash and here’s no trace as to how the translation came to be.