Isleta Pueblo is a stand-alone Tanoan pueblo out in New Mexico in the United States, originally established around the fourteenth century. In New Mexico the Isleta Pueblo cross, otherwise known as the ‘Dragon Fly Cross’, is commonly believed to be a mixture of both the ancient Pueblo symbol of the dragon fly and the symbol of Christianity. However, even though this New Mexico folklore maybe by and large true, there is other historical details that make the history of the Isleta Cross much more interesting. It is very possible that the unique double-barred cross that we know today has descended from the original Cross of Caravaca.
Caravaca del Cruz in Spain is the site of a miracle that happened in the thirteenth century during a struggle between the Moors and Christians for the control of Spain. During this struggle it is said that an angel appeared to a Spanish priest who the Moors were holding as a prisoner. The priest was without a cross to celebrate a mass that the Muslim general who conquered the town ordered him to perform after the Moors had burnt all the crucifixes.. As the priest began the mass a double-barred cross with twin angels praying either side of the crucified Christ miraculously appeared from the heavens, carried by an angel who handed the cross to the priest so he could conduct the mass.
The cross of Caravaca is reported to have been carried into Mexico by the Conquistadors who arrived from Spain and then carried into what is now known as New Mexico by the 1539 expedition known as Coranado that set out from the Holy City of Santiago de Campostela. The Majorcan Franciscan, friar and missionary, Junipero Serra who arrived later in the 18th century and set up the mission church in California was also known to carry this unique type of cross.
And so it is very likely that the cross of Caravaca was the first symbol of Christianity that the Pueblo Indians ever came across and recognized it as a sacred icon due to it resembling their sacred dragonfly, rather than as a symbol of oppression by religious dictators. Along with the certain Spanish renditions of saints carved in wood and painted such as the retablos and butos, the double-barred cross was a Catholic symbol that was easy to accept by the Pueblos as they resembled sacred icons of the Pueblo Indians.
We at the Silver Plume Gallery are proud to offer you the chance to buy one of the most exquisite examples of an Isleta cross necklace that we have ever had chance to come across. Hanging 45 cm from the back of the neck with an exceptionally well executed dragonfly motif, the necklace shows signs of wear. Coming from the private collection of such a recognized collector as Teal McKibben this is definitely a piece to add to your collection.