Basketry Tray depicting I'itoi (Man in the Maze), Tohono O'odham
Basketry Tray depicting I'itoi (Man in the Maze)
grass, soap tree yucca, devil’s clay (black/brown)
7" diameter x 1" deep
The I'itoi (Man in the Maze) symbol is an ancient design originally found on Tohono O'odham basketry. This prehistoric pattern, symbolizing one’s journey through life, helps children understand the meaning of life.
According to the legend, the man at the top of the maze depicts birth. By following the white pattern as it winds toward the center, the figure goes through the maze encountering many turns and changes, symbolic of life’s choices.
As the journey continues, one acquires knowledge, strength and understanding. The labyrinth illustrates the search for balance in the physical, social, mental and spiritual realms while working toward our dreams and goals.
Nearing the end of the maze, one retreats to a small corner of the pattern where he reflects back on all the wisdom he has gained, and cleanses himself before reaching the dark center of the maze. Legend says that the Sun God is there to greet us, bless us, and pass us into eternal life in the next world.