November 04, 2007

(Mis)using the Zia symbol

Pueblo seeks respect for zia symbol

Tribe educates public on sacred image after abandoning trademark attemptPueblo members think of the zia symbol similarly to the way Catholics think of pictures of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lucero said at a lecture at The University of New Mexico on Tuesday. About 30 people attended, and it included a showing of The Pueblo of Zia: Home of the Sun Symbol, a short educational movie about the symbol.

Catholics would likely be up in arms if, for example, a portable toilet company used an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in an advertisement on the side of a portable toilet, Lucero said. "That's what we're trying to get at—that it's the equivalent," he said.

The pueblo recognizes that attempting to obtain a trademark for the symbol is futile since it has been in fair use for so long, Lucero said.

But the pueblo does appreciate people calling the pueblo for permission before using the symbol, Lucero said. The pueblo wants people to use the symbol in a respectful manner, he said. "Generally we are open and accepting about use of the symbol," Lucero said. "We are proud of it."

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