Story page 8
Date/Time: 03/04/2001 12:52:17
Kokopelli is a prehistoric deity depicted
hundreds of times in rock art, some of it over a thousand years old, located
in numerous sites in southwestern United States deserts and mountains.
Often depicted as a humpbacked flute player, this mythic being has survived
in recognizable form from Anasazi times to the present. There is something
appealing about Kokopelli which fascinates all kinds of people, even in
our modern technological age.
The Anasazi or "Ancient Ones" were primarily farmers, growing
corn, beans, and squash in the Four Corners area on the Colorado Plateau.
Both the Basketmaker Period (dating at least from about 200 B.C.) and
the Pueblo Period (dating from about 700 A.D.) include the humpbacked
flute player among their deities or supernaturals. Long-distance trade
networks and migrations from Mexico apparently helped spread cultural
and religious elements, so that by 1500 A.D. fluteplayer images were also
included in the Hohokam, Mogollon, and Fremont cultures, in petroglyphs
(rock carving), pictographs (rock painting), kiva murals, ceramics and
baskets. Today, Kokopelli is one of the Hopi kachinas, and is in many
traditional stories and songs of Native Americans of the desert southwest.
In Kokopelli, Flute Player Images in Rock Art , Dennis Slifer and James
Duffield mention "...widely held beliefs that Kokopelli was a fertility
symbol, roving minstrel or trader, rain priest, hunting magician, trickster,
and seducer of maidens..."
"In Pueblo myths, Kokopelli carries in his hump seeds, babies, and
blankets to offer to maidens that he seduces. In upper Rio Grande pueblos,
he wandered between villages with bags of songs on his back. As a fertility
symbol, he was welcome during corn-planting season and was sought after
by barren wives, although avoided by shy maidens."
The above referenced book (published by Ancient City Press, Santa Fe,
New Mexico, 87502) includes many photographs and line drawings of ancient
petroglyphs and pictographs. It contains songs and stories interspersed
in factual material. I found it interesting, informative, and stimulating
to the imagination. The quotes are on pages 3, 7, and the following in
the conclusion on page 140:
"No matter what form or how complete our understanding of his history,
Kokopelli still brings wonder to our lives. The thin sound of his flute
that once echoed off canyon walls must still be reverberating around the
Southwest and through the ages..."
Date/Time: 03/04/2001 12:30:23
Kokopelli, the hump-back flute player, is a symbol seen all over the southwest.
Evidence from canyon walls and ancient pottery indicate that he was a
popular symbol to many Indian tribes. To the Hopi, Kokopelli actually
represents one who brings the burden of babies and also one who carries
sacks of buckskins for the women to make moccasins. In the springtime
he is part of ceremonies depicting certain mating rituals. In Zuni culture,
Kokopelli is known to be an important rain priest who brings in the rain.
Known as Ololowishkya, he is shown with a festive hairstyle, displaying
a large phallus and is always seen with flute playing Paiyatamu as part
of corn grinding ceremonies. In the Winnebago version of Kokopelli, he
has a penis which he could detach and send down the river to "have
his way" with the young maidens bathing in the stream.
Date/Time: 03/04/2001 11:56:21
The lore of Southern Utah has it that a little man named Kokopelli
used to travel the villages long ago. He carried a bag of corn seed on
his back, and taught the people to plant corn.
At night, while the people slept, Kokopelli roamed the corn fields,
playing his flute. The next morning villagers would arise to find the
corn four feet tall and Kokopelli vanished. Also many of the young women
of the village would be pregnant.
Drawings of Kokopelli, also known as
the Anasazi Casanova, decorate rock panels throughout southeastern Utah.
The Sand Island Rock Art Panel has a special claim to fame: five Kokopelli
figures. The Navajos of Monument Valley can show you a unique Kokopelli
petroglyph: He’s lying on the ground, playing his flute. Both Kokopelli
sites are close to camping areas where you can stop for a good night’s
sleep. But if, during the night, you hear the gentle tones of the flute,
you’d better lock up your wives and daughters.
Date/Time: 03/04/2001 11:55:19
The figure of Kokopelli - the Humpbacked Flute Player - appears in many
of the ancient legends of Native Americans. His image can be found in
petroglyphs carved upon canyon walls and desert rocks. A symbol of abundance
and fertility, he carried the seeds of plants and flowers in the hump
of his back. Mischievous but good-hearted, Kokopelli is probably best
known for the music he played upon his flute. His songs were said to bring
warmth and life to both the people and the land. Listen carefully and
perhaps you too can hear the merry sounds of Kokopelli's magic flute!
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