Kokopelli Story page 5
In ancient Indian legend, Kokopelli the flute player was the symbol
of happiness and joy. He talked to the wind and the sky. His
flute could be heard in the Spring breeze, bringing warmth after the winter
Kokopelli embodies everything pure and spiritual about music.
He was also thought of as a fertility god and traveling prankster.
He would visit villages playing his flute, carrying his songs on his back.
Everyone would sing and dance the night away. In the morning, when
he left, the crops were plentiful and all the women were pregnant.
There are many stories of Kokopelli. One is that he is responsible
for the end of winter and the coming of spring. Native American
legend has it that when the Kokopelli comes playing his flute the Sun
comes out, the snow melts, the green grass grows, the birds come out and
begin to sing, and all the animals gather around to hear his songs. Kokopelli
and his flute bring the Spring out of the Winter.
Kokopelli's female counterpart is Kokopelli
He is depicted in ancient rock carvings as a humpbacked flute player.
Images of Kokopelli have been found in ruins dating back as early as the
third century and as late as the sixteenth.
In the legends of the southwest Kokopelli is known variously as
a magician, a storyteller, a teacher, a healer, a trickster, or God of
Sacred Native American teachings hold the that the Kokopelli's
hump is full of the seeds of all plants of the Earth, and denotes his
power to cause birth and growth.
Some legends say that long ago, when women could not bear children,
they would seek out Kokopelli and he had the ability to restore their
child bearing powers.
Believed to bring fertility and good fortune to whomever he met
wherever he chose to roam, Kokopelli, with his hunchback and flute, was
always welcome. His arrival in a Native American village was often marked
by celebration, dancing and singing. Kokopelli possessed a playful, carefree
nature that seemed to be able to bring the good out in everyone.
Regardless of the details of any specific
legend, Kokopelli is always portrayed as an inspiring figure with a passion
It had been a very dry year and the trust that rain was coming
had worn thin. Kokopelli, the master magician, had come to trade. His
humpback was actually his bundle of sacred objects, Medicine and seed
he had brought for trading, and his flute seemed to glow in the firelight.
He used the reflected light, as well as sound, to mesmerize his observers.
The feathers in Kokopelli's headdress were bright red Macaw feathers,
which gave the illusion of his being bathed in the Eternal Flame of passion
and creativity. The Fire of fertility that crowned his head also radiated
from his body as he swayed in front of the communal fire. When he finished
with his flute, he wrapped it like a child in brightly woven material
and offered it to the Great Star Nation. His words carried to the farthest
reaches of the pueblo. "This flute carries the music of the stars
to the Great Earth Mother and calls for the Thunder-beings to unite with
her," he cried. "This union will bring a child to the People
who will one day lead them back to the stars, through the inner-Earth
from which they came."
A cool rush of high mountain air blew up the canyon to stir the
embers of the communal fire into a whirlwind that exploded, filling the
night sky with starlike sparks. The gasps of wonder from the mouths of
the People echoed through the moonless night. Suddenly the light that
the Fire-beings cast, gave enough light for everyone to see the masses
of Cloud People who had gathered in the heavens to answer Kokopelli's
call. Once again, the People cried out in awe at the magic of this half-god,
half-man, Kokopelli. Even the sleeping babies awakened to the spectacle
of Kokopelli's magic. Surely the long-awaited rain would feed the Three
Sisters and the People would live. Kokopelli called out for everyone to
gather up their clay pots so that the moisture could be collected for
future use. The Thunderers called out that Rain was about to begin.
The Fire Sticks gave quite a light show before Rolling Thunder
broke the silent night. The only other sound was the scurrying of feet
in yucca-fiber sandals running up and down ladders to grab the pots. One
maiden stood entranced near the main plaza marveling at the lightening
in the night sky while others around her became frenzied, running to and
fro. Kokopelli looked at her beautiful, innocent face filled with wonder
and approached her, still holding his flute like a child. She was filled
with a sereneness that had piqued his curiosity.
"Why have you not gathered your pots?" he asked. "They
are in place high on the mesa," she answered. When he asked the maiden
her name, she replied, "I am called Ice Flower of the Winter Clan
of White Corn." "Why are your pots already in place, Ice Flower?"
he asked. "Because your flute called to me when you came up the canyon
and told me you would bring the rain," she answered. Kokopelli was
intrigued. He smiled in a knowing way as the maiden returned his smile.
"So you are the one," he said.
The People assembled for the Medicine Chief of the Eagle Clan's
prayer of gratitude just as the first Rain People began to touch the Earth
Mother. Kokopelli took Ice Flower by the hand and led her to the Fire.
All eyes were watching the couple as they made their way to the head of
the plaza. When the prayer was over, Kokopelli placed the flute, wrapped
like a child in Ice Flower's arms as a symbol that this woman would share
his music and his seed.
Magic was in the air and the child of this union would use the
magic of this Medicine to assist the People in finding their way back
to the stars. The legend of the Pueblo People tells that they crawled
up from the underworld after creation. Meanwhile the spirits of their
Ancestors went back into the underworld until it was time to walk the
Earth again. Kokopelli spoke to them of a time before the Creation when
each person was a spark of Fire from Great Mystery's Eternal Flame and
had fallen to Earth to seed the Mother with fertile thoughts, ideas, and
actions. He told them that they would all become like Fireflies in the
Great Sky Nation on the day when the Toltec and Pueblo bloodlines came
together as one.
The Aztecs say that Ice Flower brought a man-child, who became a great spiritual leader of the Eagle clan, into the world. His Medicine was the gentleness of his mother and the Fire of his father. Since Mesa Verde was abandoned hundreds of years ago, we are left with this question: did they leave the Earth and go to live in the Great Star Nation? If so, the fertility and abundance of Kokopelli shines on our world each night.
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