August 4, 2021
The Rainbow Man – A Zuni Guardian Spirit
The Rainbow Man
Excerpts from a post by Claudia at Southwestersilvergallery.com on Nov. 19th, 2015:
The Rainbow Man, also sometimes referred to as the Rainbow Dancer, is a sacred Zuni Indian guardian spirit identified with the life-giving summer rains and the colors of the rainbow after the summer’s rain.
Although the Rainbow figure is not a Kachina, he is very important in Zuni traditions, culture, and society. The Rainbow Man is a symbol of protection often seen on the Zuni’s war shields and is a symbol of the rainbow which represents the life-sustaining rains for their agricultural importance in the arid American Southwest.
The Rainbow Man was one of the first figures used in traditional Zuni mosaic inlay jewelry. Various Zuni Indian artists started creating mosaic inlay jewelry featuring the Rainbow Man in the 1920s to the 1940s and becoming popular by the 1950s. It is believed that the first creator of the Rainbow Man in Zuni inlay jewelry to be Alonozo Hustito (1903-1987).
A Mother/Son Eighty-Year-Old Synchronicity
My parents were married in Sonoyta, Mexico on December 7, 1940. (Just a six-hour drive from their home in Los Angeles.)
My mother’s wedding ring was unique. It was a large Zuni Rainbow Man which she wore until her death at age 77 in 1983.
Dorothy can be seen wearing the ring in the below Man Ray photographs circa 1944. (As a boy growing up, I loved to look at her beautiful and very unique ring and I cannot recall a time when she was ever not wearing it up and until her death in 1983.)
Our father had given it to her as a wedding present. He purchased it during his several years of doctoring to the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni reservations in AZ and New Mexico.
As young boys, brothers Mike and Kelvin and I loved to hear mother’s stories about the wonderful times she and father had together attending the secret Native American ceremonies and dances during the late Thirties. (Our father was a close friend with Tom Dodge, son of Navajo chief Henry Chee Dodge, and mother spoke of their racing father’s 12cyl touring car up and down the Arizona highways after heaving drinking parties.)
Above are some Man Ray photos of my mother, Dorothy Huston Hodel, showing her wearing the Zuni Rainbow Man ring circa 1944. Despite their formal divorce in 1944, mother never removed this ring during the next forty years. I cannot recall a time that I ever saw it off her finger.
At her death in 1983, I do not know what became of her wedding ring? Lost? Stolen?
I have always had a fondness for the Native American culture and, even as a small boy, felt “connected.”
Fast forward to a few days ago.
I was browsing online looking at jewelry and chanced upon the below Bolo tie advertised for sale.
Much to my amazement, the Bolo Rainbow Man is an exact replication of my mother’s ring! Identical in every respect. Size, Color, and even the standing position bent at the arms, curved as a rainbow is seen, is exactly how I remember the figure in mother’s ring.
I knew I had to have it, so I bought it on the spot and now I plan to wear it to remind me of what a beautiful soul she was and how she protected her three sons and took her tragic dark secrets to her grave.
Did the Zuni Rainbow Man ring protect Dorothy?
Well, despite her horrific life, which connected her to nearly thirty-years in close association with one of the world’s worst serial killers, SHE SURVIVED and saw to it that her three sons did also.
So, I’d say YES!
The mojo worked for her, and I plan to keep it going with my new birthday present to myself.
Three months early, but what the hell.
You have to strike when the synchronicity is HOT!
August 4, 2021, Arrived in the mail today- LOVE IT!