The Indalo Man symbol of protection, health and prosperity has been given as a gift to wish good luck for many years. And recently, it has come into its own as a health protector gift. Why?
The Indalo figure is a symbol that has existed, in a broad sense, for centuries – although nowadays it is more commonly associated with southern Spain (and in particular, Los Vélez, Almería, and Mojácar) where it is a renowned lucky charm symbol promising protection, luck, prosperity . . and good health. But because of the global health situation, its popularity as a so-called health protector gift has increased.
See examples of INDALO GIFTS in our online SHOP
What exactly is Indalo Man and why is it considered a good luck charm for protection and good health?
The concept of lucky charms, and symbols of health and fitness / wellness, touch on spirituality in an inspirational and mystical way, and symbols for protection and healing can be seen in many parts of the world and in many communities – often based around people’s personal beliefs. In the Christian faith for example, mystical spirituality centres around the relationship between God and the soul, with saints being said to have received the Holy Spirit: And symbols of saints (and other Christian icons such as the cross), are relied upon for salvation from illness and poor health on a daily basis.
Symbols for good health: What symbolises good health?
The most renowned symbol of good health (and of the medical profession in general) is the Staff of Life or Asclepius Wand as often seen in hospitals, on ambulances and in medical centres. This is a modern day symbol of healing but, as with many health and wellness symbols, it has a long history – dating back to Ancient Greece. In North America we see the Spiral Sun of the Native American Indians which has been venerated as a healing symbol for centuries. Equally important to many North American Indian tribes, is the so-called Sand Painting . . used by the Navajos, but also by Aborigines in the Antipodes and monks in Tibet. In the Far East we find the Yin-Yang symbol of equilibrium to resolve health problems related to imbalances in someone’s lifestyle. And in central Asia it is common to find the Hamsa Hand of Healing – to ward off the so-called Evil Eye. Equally, Europe has many good health symbols for healing that date back centuries.
So, from Native American tribes to the Ancient Greeks; from Middle Eastern and Egyptian priests to the folk healers of Europe; from the Christians believers of the past to those of the present, we see symbols of protection being used to proffer good health and wellness, and potentially to help heal sick people.
This is where the Indalo Man symbol comes in.
People often ask: What symbols represent health? Can protection symbols be suitable to pass on wishes of good health and healing?
The answer to this question is undoubtedly yes, and leads us to the issue of faith and belief – and the inter-relationship between spiritualism and religion: Whereas religion relates to a specific set of organised beliefs and practices (usually shared by a community or group), spirituality is more personal. However, being ‘religious’ does not prevent someone from also being ‘spiritual’ . . that is, having so-called ‘mystical’ beliefs that are often undefined. Spirituality and mysticism commonly go hand in hand, and many people have a combination of religious and spiritual beliefs: Countless people put their trust in a symbol of faith at times of crisis and to help give themselves a feeling of wellbeing. Indalo Man can be viewed as just such a symbol.
What precisely is Indalo Man, and why is it being gifted as a protection symbol and to wish good luck?
The figure of the Indalo – believed to be that of a man with arms outstretched holding a rainbow, is ancient indeed, and can be found in many places around the world . . in different centuries and in different civilisations: In particular, it is common amongst the Native Indians of North America where there was (and still is) a strong belief that the rainbow is a representation of the Great Spirit – the Creator. They use the expression ‘Rainbow Warrior’ to describe this mystical being that will protect them by protecting their environment. The Rainbow Man or Rainbow Warrior of North America very closely resembles the Indalo shape and it got its Rainbow epithet from ancient American Indian culture – especially that of the Cree, Hopi and Sioux tribes. It also features in sacred drawings of the Zuni and Navajo. For the Indians of the Mojave desert of Arizona too, the rainbow is one of the most powerful qualities of the Great Spirit, the creator of all existence. This so-called Rainbow Man shape also occurs (in roughly similar forms) in various spots in Central and South America including Couscous in Chile, Incamacha in Bolivia, Sardinata in northern Colombia, at Nazca, Peru and in Patagonia, Argentina. There are likewise ancient rock carvings with a similar basic shape in Hawaii, Egypt, and in Zambia, Africa.
In many cultures, the rainbow is said to be the bridge between the physical and the spiritual worlds, and in all these locations, this ‘Indalo’ symbol is said to impart a sense of protection and safekeeping to the local people.
But despite this Indalo ‘Rainbow Warrior’ shape being found internationally, it is best known in southern Spain where it is called Indalo Guerrero del Arco Iris (Indalo Rainbow Warrior), or Indalo Hombre (Indalo Man).
Five thousand years ago, Neolithic man decorated the walls of a cave in Almería, Spain with drawings of goats, deer and birds, as well as rudimentary sketches of men and women in various poses, alongside other shapes: Some of these shapes look remarkably like the Rainbow Man symbol.
These ancient cave paintings were discovered in La Sierra de Maria – Los Vélez, in the north of Almería province, in the late 19th Century: The paintings show figures of what is believed to be men holding a rainbow in outstretched arms. Some archaeologists and anthropologists think that such figures (which are not dissimilar to the other sketches and rock carvings found around the world), could represent the search by primitive man for wisdom and truth in the universe – reaching up to the heavens for inspiration.
Although initially discovered by archeologist Antonio Gongorra Martinez in 1868, it wasn’t until the 20th Century that the cave drawings were recognised as significant, and the site was granted UNESCO World Heritage status: A certain archaeologist, Juan Cuadrado Ruiz (1856-1952) of this Levante (eastern) part of Almería province, suggested that this symbol he’d seen in the caves be used (in a modified and stylised form) as the logo for a group of philosophers and artists to which he belonged – and which included the painter Jesús de Perceval.
Sr. Cuadrado proposed that the group be named after the symbol which he himself had christened ‘Indalo’ as an adaptation of the local (and common) Almeriense name Indalecio, which itself has its origins in Saint Indalecio, the missionary sent by Rome to evangelise the southern part of the Iberian Peninsular in the 1st Century AD.
Perceval, the leader of the group, concurred, thinking that the Indalo would help them communicate their ideas to a wider audience . . and that it would protect them, as he put it, from the ‘one-eyed spirit’ (thought to be the ‘evil eye’ of envy or some say, of bad luck). He wrote: “We found the Indalo, both ancient and living, to be the symbol we were looking for. And it extended its protective arc over us”. They subsequently called themselves Los Indalianos. In this way, the Indalo became a symbol of communication, protection and good luck for the group just as it had been over the centuries in different civilisations across the world as the Rainbow Warrior.
Perceval said it would guard them against those who did not appreciate things beyond their own reality: Throughout his life, he championed the Indalo concept.
Furthermore, after the ancient “Indalo” drawings had been unearthed in the caves at Vélez Blanco, the local inhabitants of Vélez started daubing the symbol on their houses, thinking perhaps that it would ward off evil and bring them good fortune. And so, coincidentally, it did! Because, a few years later, there were a series of earthquakes in the region and the coastal towns of Vera and Mojácar suffered quite badly and many people were killed. But miraculously (or so it seemed at the time), the people of Veléz were un-affected. This fact did not go un-noticed . . especially to the people on the coast, and in particular in a small town called Mojácar, and they subsequently began painting the little Indalo symbol on their walls too, thinking that, indeed, it had protected their neighbours in Vélez to the north, and so could protect them too.
Even today, in the small village pueblos that lie hidden behind the giant sierras that roll down to the Mediterranean shores in this part of eastern Andalucía, the Indalo is known for its good luck properties and as a symbol of protection.
Over time, Mojácar became renowned for faith-healing and the casting of magic spells, as well as other quirky goings-on, and little Indalo was often present in these rituals, said to offer its powers of protection and to help people (and businesses) to avoid bad luck. Since the advent of mass tourism to the region, it is now actually Mojácar, with its winding streets and the warm waters of the Mediterranean lapping at its beach-front resort, that has become the de-facto centre of the Indalo culture and even today, it is vehemently believed that a lucky Indalo will bring good luck, health and prosperity – especially when given as a gift.
Overall however, it is unclear whether the origin of the actual word Indalo, is Juan Cuadrado himself and the San Indalecio association, or the phrase ‘Indal Eccius’ which means ‘Messenger of the Gods’ in old Iberian. Alternatively. it could be related to the phrase ‘In Deus’ which means ‘According to God’ in Latin. Either way, the little lucky charm is considered a guardian angel (a bit like St. Raphael) . . not only being a symbol of good luck but also representing Man’s ethereal connection with the universe. It is now an integral part of the culture of this part of Spain and represents to some, the Mediterranean lifestyle typical in Almería in Andalucía. Nowadays, you can see the symbol wherever you go – like a little guardian angel, promising good luck, health protection and prosperity, and it is used extensively as a lucky charm, amulet or talisman.
The different designs of the lucky Indalo symbol on different objects on our website (and in our SHOP ), engender many sentiments including good fortune, prosperity, protection, and good health – characteristics that are very apt in today’s world.
It has been proved scientifically that having faith in a symbol, religion or superstition can have a considerable influence over someone as an individual – whether that faith relates to some of the ‘traditional’ religions or beliefs, or to some of the more mystical or spiritual beliefs . . including so-called “lucky charms” like the Indalo Man.
On occasion, we have all “touched-wood” or crossed our fingers to ward off misfortune and the truth is, that behind many of these actions, there is a long history of mystical belief and superstition to which many people continue to adhere. Even today, there are few people who will openly tempt fate: Indeed, so many people avoid the number 13 that it is often absent from the floor of a hotel or the seat number on a plane. Many politicians, actors and sports people carry a lucky charm or amulet, or have one in their house, car, office or bag. The British Museum has a whole collection of good luck charms dating back centuries; President Roosevelt carried one in his jacket, as did Napoleon.
At some point in our lives, we have all probably possessed a so-called good luck charm . . and the Indalo is just another one of these – said to offer protection from bad things and so, by default, promise good luck, prosperity and . . good health.
Modern lifestyles makes us more conscious of the world in which we live and many people believe in sustainable living, ethical / green, ecological initiatives, and an essence of spirituality that, although sometimes atheist in practice, is nonetheless meaningful: According to a BBC survey, most of us still crave a sense of spirituality in terms of love, protection and meaning and, although many of us have let go of ‘religion’, per se, we still hold on to the notion of spirituality as a way of feeling ‘connected’ to a dimension that is beyond our complete understanding.
The lucky Indalo makes the perfect spiritually-related gift to wish good health, or good luck in a new home, or wellbeing to a friend or relative who is about to start something new – new beginnings, or for some event or occasion, because it is reputed to offer protection and good fortune.
When we talk about health, most people think about its physical nature such as diet, exercise and fitness, as well as the environment, pollution, getting sufficient rest, avoiding infectious diseases, bacteria, viruses and so on. But with an Indalo we are able to consider the spiritual aspect of good health . . one of faith and belief. It is not situated within the confines of any ‘religion’ but rather has a mystical nature related to spirituality and inspiration.
Inspirational Indalo jewellery for luck, protection and health
Some of the most popular gifts in our SHOP are actually items of INSPIRATIONAL JEWELLERY and many of our health and wellness gifts are based on ancient beliefs (some religious, others not) as well as lucky charms and talismans like the Indalo – even for people who are not very superstitious or religious. Whatever someone’s beliefs, little gifts to friends and loved ones (like INDALO JEWELLERY for example) can actually encourage people to stay fit and well. The power of the mind to heal the body is well-known, and what better way to express your love and concern for the wellbeing of a friend or loved-one than with a small gift of a spiritual nature signifying health, protection and good luck.
If you want to give someone a lasting gift for good health, try appealing to their emotions: Try giving them an Indalo gift – something that could strike a chord in their consciousness and remind them to live healthily every day.
At one time, it was thought that if someone had some sort of illness, they could be cured by placing them on the beach when the tide was coming in. When the water receded, it was thought that the waves would carry away their sickness. This might sound strange, but lots of the old cures had some sort of logic behind them – even if that logic was simply a strong BELIEF that the designated cure would work. How many people these days say “Bless You” when someone sneezes – an automatic reaction to an age-old belief in ‘other powers’. A lot of people put faith in their religion: Religious-based gifts, wishes and prayers are as strong today as they’ve ever been. And much of the inspirational jewellery in our shop to say Get Well Soon, Stay Safe, or to wish luck in Hospital or with an Operation, or for general wishes of good health and wellness, are based on ancient religious symbols and beliefs.
So, why not give a gift of health to a friend or loved-one with a little Indalo charm: The best gift you can give to a friend or family member who is trying to be healthier, is encouragement, and the little Indalo Man figurine (whether on an item of jewellery or as an accessory) is an ideal way to wish prosperity and good health. Remember that flowers (one of the most common gifts to wish people good health) have no physical benefits whatsoever but they do make people feel good. The same could be said of chocolates, biscuits and other eats and treats: But they are not always recommended from a pure health point of view . . and they don’t last. An Indalo charm, on the other hand, works from the psychological and spiritual point of view and functions to lift the spirits and give faith . . a little treasure, symbolic of luck and protection to offer good fortune, health and prosperity – for eternity!