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Tawa : The Sun God


At a glance

Origin Hopi Mythology
Classification Gods
Family Members N/A
Region United States of America
Associated With Sun, Fourth World



Tawa is the Sun god according to Hopi mythology and most Hopi creation stories are centred around him. He is the creator of the First World, and it is believed that he created it out of the endless space known as Tokpella.

Hopi mythology also says that the current earth where we all live is the Fourth World which was created by Tawa. Legends told in the Orabi tongue also state that the Third World was destroyed by Tawa in a great flood as the inhabitants started to live in ways that were contrary to his plans. The building of the new world was assisted by Kokyangwuti.

Physical Traits

Tawa is commonly depicted with a round headdress that resembles the sun. The headdress is usually made with high quality eagle feathers to symbolise the strength and virility.

A blue or different coloured disk in the centre of the mask is said to symbolise the face and the expression is usually of bliss or joy.


This is where there are two distinct stories of the sun and creator god that also has a direct effect on the creation stories of the Hopi.

It is believed that he first created Sotuknang whom he called his nephew and sent Sotuknang to create the nine universes. He also created Spider Woman, who was a messenger for the creator to his creations. In some Hopi creation myth, Spider Woman would create all of life, while in other versions, the Hard Being Woman of the East and West did all the creation with Tawa as an observer.

Other Names

He is also referred to as Taiowa or Taawa depending on the area which worships him.

Powers and Abilities

Tawa was the supreme being in Hopi mythology and everything living and non living in the Fourth World was under his control.

Modern Day Influence

Being the most important God for the Hopi’s, he still exerts a considerable influence over the worship and traditions of the tribe. No ritual is complete without a tribute or offering made to Tawa. Even today Hopi mothers seeks his blessings and that of the sun for their new born children.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tawa in Hopi?

Most Hopi creation stories center around Tawa, the sun spirit. Tawa is the creator, and it was he who formed the “First World” out of Tokpella, or endless space, as well as its original inhabitants. It is still traditional for Hopi mothers to seek a blessing from the sun for their newborn children.

Who is the god of the sun in Hopi?

The sun god of the Hopi is known as Tawa and is one of the primary gods in the pantheon and the mythology of the native American tribe of the Hopi.

What does the Hopi sun symbol mean?

A symbol of creative and natural energy. The supreme god due to the Hopi’s dependence upon it for the growth of corn, and other sustaining crops. The sun symbol represents the heart of the cosmos and deals with vitality, growth, and passion.

What is the myth of Tawa?

Tawa, in the Hopi mythology, is the Sun spirit. Tawa created the world from nothingness, as well as all of the original gods.

What is tawa known for?

Tawa is known for being responsible for the life force of the world according to the Hopi people. New mothers even today offer their children to Tawa to ask for blessings.


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