Just like Waldo - the hide and seek world traveling cartoon man in red and white stripes - the Zia in New Mexico hides in plain view until you open your eyes and look a little closer. And then it's everywhere.
Originating with New Mexico's Zia Indians, the sacred sun symbol sports four rays around a circle to represent the four obligations of man: to develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others. Though it looks as if the modern interpretation of sacred means to plaster the symbol onto anything from gas stations to breweries, you could perhaps argue that something like a brewery falls in line with the ancient, tribal philosophy: strong body, clear mind, pure spirit, welfare of others...drink up.
On the hunt for the Zia, I made the rounds in Santa Fe (see below), then drove down to north Albuquerque - to the source of it all - the Zia Pueblo. I was welcomed at the entrance first by a sun-baked historic marker, then by a flashy LED display. Both of course with a namesake Zia. Score!
Next time you're on a long haul through the Southwest, and everyone including the dog is at the point of brain dead, drooling, or farting, just remember that as soon as you hit New Mexico, you get to play the riveting, invigorating, family fun game of 'Where's Zia?' (way more fun than an iPad). Happy hunting.