Man in the Maze

The Man is the Maze or I’itoi (pronounced EE-toy) is a sacred symbol of the Tohono O'odham people. I’itoi is a creator who emerged from the swirling edges of the earth that brush against the sky. I’itoi fought with Yellow Buzzard and Coyote for supremacy of the earth. After an epic struggle, that I’itoi won, he retired to a winding twisting cave at the top of Baboquivari Peak and now only emerges at times when his help is needed. I’itoi’s cave is sacred; many Tohono O’odham walk up Baboquivari Peak once a year to leave a small gift for I’itoi at the mouth of his cave.

Details of the I’itoi legend can vary from family to family but the central theme is the same.

Read more about the history of the Tohono O'odham people in The Tohono O'odham and Pimeria Alta by Allan J. McIntyre.


The Papago Indian Reservation and the Papago People. [Washington, D.C.] : Bureau of Indian Affairs, Papago Agency, U.S. Public Health Service. 1975. Page 2.

“Symbol hold deep meaning for tribal members.” Arizona Daily Star. March 15, 1986. Page B1.

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