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Kokopelli: Fertility Deity and God of Harvest
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Kokopelli: Fertility Deity and God of Harvest

Kokopelli: Fertility Deity and God of Harvest


In many places in the world, primitive people used to carve images on rocks, often called Petroglyphs.  The Kokopelli, a mystical flute player, is the most well known petroglyph in the American southwest.

Petroglyph carvings of the Kokopelli figure date thousands of years back, and the first known images of Kokpoelli appear on Hohokum pottery dated sometime between 750 and 850 AD.  The name Kokopelli is believed to have derived from the Zuni and Hopi names for god (koko).  As the Kokopelli petroglyph is seen in many locations throughout the southwest, there are, understandably, numerous legends surrounding the mythical character.  He is known as a fertility deity and a god of the harvest, as well as the bearer of good luck, most often depicted as a humpback flute player. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli is said to preside over both childbirth and agriculture, but is also said to be a trickster god, who also represents the spirit of music.

According to the Hopi, Kokopelli carries unborn children on his back and distributes them to women, making him oft feared by young girls.  He often takes part in rituals relating to marriage, and it is said that Kokopelli can be seen on thefull and waning moon.  Additionally, Kokopelli presides over the reproduction of game animals, who are often associated with the figure, as well as sun-bathing and water loving animals such as snakes, lizards, and insects.

As he is related to agriculture, Kokopelli’s flute-playing is said to chase away the winter and bring about spring, and many tribes, such as the Zuni, associate Kokpelli with rain.