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The Zia Lifestyle

I’ve always been fascinated by New Mexico’s distinctive Zia Sun Symbol, a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions.  Once I discovered the meaning from the Zia Indians, I really connected with the symbol and the philosophy it represents.

The Zia Sun Symbol originated with the Indians of Zia Pueblo in ancient times.  It was adopted by New Mexico and now appears on the state flag and in artwork, names and signage throughout the state.

The red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions reflects the Zia Indians’ tribal philosophy teaching the basic harmony of all things in the universe.  Four, the sacred number of Zia, is represented in the four points radiating from the circle.  Each of these points, made up of four straight lines of varying length, personify the number most often used by the Giver of all good gifts.

The sacred number Four is embodied in:

  • The Earth, with its four directions, north, south, east and west;
  • The Year, with its four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter;
  • The Day, with the sunrise, noon, evening and night; and
  • Life, with its four divisions – childhood, youth, womanhood* and old age.


Everything is bound together in a circle of life and love, without beginning, without end.  The Zia believe that in this great sisterhood of all things, woman has four sacred obligations: she must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit and a devotion to the welfare of her people.

** I take liberties in using the feminine gender as I personalize the symbol for me.

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