Kokopelli Story page 6
Kokopelli was a proud Toltec who came to Aztlan from deep in the
heart of Mexico. Aztlan was the origin point of the mighty Aztec Nation
before they built their capital in the middle of a lake, on an island
now known as Mexico City. Aztlan's uppermost border was in southern Colorado
and covered all of the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico. The inhabitants
of Aztlan were the peaceful Pueblo Nations. These Pueblos were farmers
and cliff dwellers who depended upon the Thunder-beings and the Whirling
Rainbow to feed the Three Sisters -- Corn, Squash, and Beans -- so the
People could live.
The name of Kokopelli carries with it many myths and legends. All
stories agree on one thing: he played the Indian Flute. His music was
said to bring fertility to the land and to the People. His trade routes
from southern Mexico to the southern regions of Colorado are marked with
Petroglyphs of a humped-back flute player. His life was colorfully told
around many a Council Fire and his praises sung in many a Kiva. It is
said that his seed was sacred and that children born of him were blessed
with special talents. Any woman chosen by Kokopelli was honored among
her people for she would bear a child from the race of gods.
Kokopelli play for me,
So my heart may sing,
Magic flute of mystery,
Fruitful dreams you bring.
Song of Aztlan,
Canyons of my mind,
Heart to heart,
Speaks of the Divine.
A mong the archetypal images that have survived their ancient beginnings
as powerful mythic beings envisioned by early shamans, is the humpbacked
flute player of the American Southwest. His Hopi name is "Koko"
for wood and "Pilau" for the hump containing the bag of seeds
or songs he always carried. From the time of the Anasazi to the 1700s,
Kokopelli has been carved or painted in many forms on rock walls and boulders.
He also appears on Hohokam and Mimbres pottery and kiva murals, and is
popular in the ceremonies, dances, songs, and stories of the Pueblo Indians.
I n ancient Indian legends, the flute player was the symbol of
happiness and joy, a fertility god, and a traveling prankster. According
to some, he traveled north from Mexico, stopping at many southwestern
villages, spreading news, music and happiness.When he left, the crops
were plentiful and the women were pregnant. Hopi Kokopelli kachina dolls
were traditionally carved with an enlarged phallus, until the Anglo missionaries
and widespread commercialization discouraged the sexual connotations of
Kokopelli's role as fertility symbol.
K okopelli is the most well-known of American rock art images.
His influence has now spread far beyond Native Americans of the Colorado
Plateau. He can be found on any object representing the Southwest or native
Americans, from earrings to lamps. He has also been adopted as a company
mascot for a variety of enterprises internationally.
A personality, and individual, the personification of a legend,
a confounding nuisance to others, such is Kokopelli the- famous hunchbacked
flute player. Kokopelli has never been a sinister character, never voodoistic,
but always comic. He appear from the San Juan Basin and Monument Valley
to Cases Grande in Mexico among the Navajos, the Hopis, the Rio Grande
Pueblos and westward to the deserts of California Kokopelli figures have
been found in ruins of pithouse people dating as early as 200 A.D. His
earlier depiction's gave him six toes and -was vividly phallic but the
missionaries persuaded the Indians to omit this feature in the interest
of "decency". Many primitive peoples- welcomed Kokopelli -around-
corn-planting time. Barren wives sought his "company"; unmarried
maidens fled from him in terror. The name Kokopelli may have derived from
Zuni and Hopi names for a god (Koko) and a desert robber fly they call
Pelli That predatory insect has a hump on its back and steals the larva
of other flies.
At San Ildefonso, he was known as a wandering minstrel, with a
sack of songs on his back, trading new songs for old, and -was greeted
as- a harbinger of fertility and a god of the harvest. At Oraibi, another
Hopi village, Kokopelli is said to have a sack: of deerskin shirts and
moccasins to barter for Brides.
The Navajo tale says that a wandering
Zuni named Blue Feather was very skillful with throwing sticks (used like
dice), bankrupt the great city of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. This
action led to the city's downfall in the 13th century. Not satisfied with
winning all the tribal treasure and lands Blue Feather took over the running
of the city. His delusions of grandeur led him to woo and win one of the
city's vestal virgins This act of sacrilege drought down the terrible
wrath of other gods in the form of drought and disease. The surviving
people all ran away and city collapsed, leaving Blue Feather in the ruins.
As man servant to Blue Feather, the hunchback Kokopelli either died in.the
ruins or ran of with the virgin
A strange lonely figure stares out of the past
His image inscribed on a thousand rock faces
This stick figure man, with a hump on
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