There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Circle and Dot

           The circle and dot motif is a symbol of physical and spiritual movement between two worlds. The circle and dot are also known as "an eye and a hole." The eye is a symbol for the joints in animals. The elbows, knees, shoulders, hips, feet, fins, tails and so on, are always symbolized by the eyes. According to the shaman's, every joint has a little soul.
         After puberty, women would tattoo the circle and dot motif on their wrists. She is also advised to circle a salmon berry blossom with a hair of her own. It was believed that this would help both her future of gathering goods and that the salmon berries would feed everyone for a year.
        Then, these circular tattoos were placed on a young man's wrists and elbows after his first kill of certain animal species. This design is to improve the vision through the spiritual and physical transformation. Then, in the oral traditions, if transformation occurs, black circles are placed around the eyes.

Ann Fienun-Riordan says that the circle and dot design symbolizes the movement between different worlds, either "spiritual cycling, supernatural vision, or social transformation" (Fienun-Riordan, 1990).


  1. Hi, I wanted to comment on your post--it's so informative and rich.I just recently learned about storyknifing--your blog seems to be the place to go to learn all about it. Thank you for sharing.
    I wanted to ask permission to use one or two of your photos. Can you please contact me? Thanks so much, Wendi

  2. Where did you go anyway? These posts are pretty cool.