Our collections have various symbols and icons that are important in Native American culture. One of these icons is Kokopelli, who is commonly seen in the Southwest of the United States. But who was Kokopelli and why is he so icon? Here we have your answers for you.
Who is Kokopelli?
Kokopelli is a fertility deity and within the Hopi people, he carries unborn children on his back. Therefore, many little girls have become afraid of him.
Additionally, he is the officiate over animal reproduction which is why he is frequently represented with animals from deer to various insects.
He is depicted as a humpbacked flute player where his flute plays an important role in his other representations.
Within the agriculture aspect, he uses his flute to chase away winter and bring in spring. Also, the Zuni and many other tribes associate him with the rain.
Sometimes, he is seen with another flutist, Paiyatamu, in corn-grinding ceremonies. Because of that, he is also known to have seeds carried on his back.
Kokopelli and the Southwest
Kokopelli is associated greatly with the Southwest region of the United States. Over 3,000 years ago, there were petroglyphs found that were carved. Even though the origins of this mythical icon is unknown, he has been an embodiment of the Southwest and is seen all over in the area.
Kokopelli’s Various Origins Ideologies
There have been many speculations of who Kokopelli was and what he stood for. The first image of him was dated back between 750 and 850 AD. This led to some idea that his figure was a representation of ancient Aztecs known as pochteca.
These ancient Aztecs had various items and goods carried on their backs which could have constructed the figure of Kokopelli.
Furthermore, he was seen as a trader. He used his flute to portray himself as friendly while reaching the settlement. But to others, he wasn’t a trader but someone who informed.
Due to Kokopelli’s ancient findings of painting and carvings, it’s difficult to put a finger on where his image came from.