The Kokopelli in Art and Legend
Kokopellis in Southwestern Art and Myth
Traditional art and icons of the Native American culture are quite common in the American Southwest and have influenced the unique cultural art and design of the region.The flute playing Kokopelli, figure is one such icon and dates back 3,000 years to petroglyphs and pottery found throughout the Southwestern United States.
Usually depicted as a humpbacked dancing figure playing a flute, the Kokopelli often carries a large bag on his back and has an insect-like antennae. The Kokopelli is a Kachina, or spirit, found in the mythology of the the Zuni, and Anasazi tribes and he is also known as a Hopi fertility god. He has often been called the prankster, hunter, healer, musician, dancer and the story-teller in many of their myths and legends..
The Kokopelli A Magical Symbol
A guide to the ancient symbols and sites of one of the American Southwest's most iconic image.
Kokopelli Art and Design
Hopi Legends of The Kokopelli
The word Kokopelli comes from the two Hopi words, "Koko" meaning wood and "Pilau" meaning hump. In most Hopi legend the Kokopelli represents fertility. As such he was often depicted in early pictographs as having enlarged genitals.
As a fertility god, the Kokopelli's large hump contained gifts that he used to seduce women. In other tales, he carried a baby on his back, which he left with one young woman in each village he visited. His flute was also thought to heal and women who could not bear children would ask for his assistance.
The Kokopelli was also thought to fertilize the land and carried the seeds of the world in his hump and as he traveled he scattered the seeds and warmed the land to make them grow by playing his flute.
Home Decorating with Kokopellis
Tales of The Traveling Kokopelli
Some legends suggest that Kokopelli was a real ancient Toltec trader who played the flute and traveled routes between Mexico, the west coast, and the southwest. He was seen as a symbol of happiness and joy, traveling from village to village playing his flute.
As a prankster, he appears in the folktales and mythology of many different peoples. As a fertility god he would play his flute, play pranks, and when he left town in the morning, all the women were pregnant and the crops were plentiful.
As a hunter, Kokopelli plays the flute to lure the mountain sheep he is hunting. The Zuni call him a rain priest and connect him and his music with the gift of rain.
Southwestern Kokopelli Jewelry
Traveling Fluteplayer - The Kokopelli
Kokopeli of Native American folklore was a traveling fluteplayer. The artwork in this video was done by Maria Ester Rodriguez an Argentine Artist living in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. She was comissioned by Erik the flutemaker who drew the native stick figures. Every place the figures sat were pottery pieces collected in Arizona. The music in this video are on Erik's Kiowa Inspired Love flutes. Erik was joined by Musician Peter Avello on the Keyboard in "The Trail" and with flutemaker, bamboo grower and musician Chuck Therox in the song "Morning Prayer". Erik's music is available on line at Eriktheflutemaker.com and the proceeds of his music goes to support The Kids Of Cascabel.
More at FlutemakerMinistries.org