Kokopelli

Kokopelli is a fertility god from the American Southwest; more specifically from the Hopi Native American tribe although Kokopelli is recognized by other tribes. He is responsible for the fertility of humans and agriculture and is most often depicted with a humpback and playing a flute. The humpback us actually unborn children he carries on his back to young expectant mothers; young girls actually fear Kokopelli for this reason. He is part of some marriage rituals and he can be found depicted with a consort or woman named Kokopelmana by the Hopi and Hohokam people. Kokopelli is also a jokester and embodies the spirit of music. Kokopelli is the only anthropomorphic deity that has been given a name, and identity and a gender of all of the petroglyph gods found by archaeologist in the southwest United States.

His flute is believed to chase away the winter cold weather and bring about the change into spring. This was of utmost importance to the Native Americans as many tribes were nomadic within their geographic areas and spring generally meant moving to their summer camp. The first images of Kokopelli have been found on pottery dating to between 750 to 850 B.C. Not only does Kokopelli oversee human and agriculture fertility he also oversees game animal fertility such as rams and deer but is sometimes associated with snakes as well. Kokopelli in some southwestern cultures is depicted with animal companions for this reason. Some cultures believe Kokopelli to be an insect of sorts; some scholars think that his name may stem from Zuni and Hopi words one of which is the same word for the Desert Robber Fly a very sexually active insect.

Some Scholars believe that since Kokopelli is associated with game animals that his flute is actually a blowgun; because the Spanish learned of Kokopelli from the Hopi it is their representation of him that society is most familiar with. The humpbacked, flute playing deity's name is based on the Hopi words for "kachina hump." Kachinas are small dolls that the Hopi are master craftsmen of, and the hump represents the unborn children. The appearance of Kokopelli in history predates Aztec and Anasazi and Kokopelli may be a physical representation of these traders in the ancient American Southwest but this theory is still up for debate.





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