Who or What Is Kokopelli?

Who or What Is Kokopelli?

Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head), who is venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music.

Kokopelli is one of the most intriguing and widespread images surviving from ancient Anasazi Indian mythology and is a prominent figure in Hopi legends. The figure represents a mischievous trickster or the Minstrel, the spirit of music. Kokopelli is considered a symbol of fertility who brought well-being to the people, assuring success in hunting, planting and growing crops, and human conception.


Kokopelli Meaning

Kokopelli is a proper noun, so it should always be capitalized and used just like a name:

  • Correct: Kokopelli is a whimsical figure.
  • Incorrect: I saw a Kokopellis on coffee mugs today.

Pronunciation: Koh-Koh-pell-ee.

Also Known As Magical flute player, humpback or hump-backed flute player

Common Misspellings: Kokopeli

Examples: You can’t really buy “an actual” Kokopelli because he is a spirit. You can find Kokopelli on shirts, logos, and all kinds of products.

Kokopelli Golf

Conveniently located within the El Dorado Lakes community near Arizona State University and just 20 minutes from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, Kokopelli Golf Club in Gilbert offers the service and amenities of an upscale private club, at daily fee prices.

Open to the public seven days a week for golf, tournaments, dining and special events, the club also offers attractively-priced membership options – offering avid golfers unlimited access and an array of exclusive benefits and privileges.

Kokopelli Trail

Among the Hopi, Kokopelli carries unborn children on his back and distributes them to women; for this reason, young girls often fear him. He often takes part in rituals relating to marriage, and Kokopelli himself is sometimes depicted with a consort, a woman called Kokopelmimi by the Hopi. It is said that Kokopelli can be seen on the full and waning moon, much like the “rabbit on the moon”.

Kokopelli also presides over the reproduction of game animals, and for this reason, he is often depicted with animal companions such as rams and deer. Other common creatures associated with him include sun-bathing animals such as snakes, or water-loving animals like lizards and insects.

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In his domain over agriculture, Kokopelli’s flute-playing chases away the winter and brings about spring. Many tribes, such as the Zuni, also associate Kokopelli with the rains. He frequently appears with Paiyatamu, another flutist, in depictions of maize-grinding ceremonies. Some tribes say he carries seeds and babies on his back.

In recent years, the emasculated (i.e. non-ithyphallic) version of Kokopelli has been adopted as a broader symbol of the Southwestern United States as a whole. His image adorns countless items such as T-shirts, ball caps, key-chains, and patio decor. A bicycle trail between Grand Junction, Colorado, and Moab, Utah, is now known as the Kokopelli Trail.


Kokopelli Tattoo

Kokopelli is a mythic figure that dates back to the Hohokam, Yuman and ancient Pueblo peoples of the American Southwest.

It appears that his full character crystalized among the Hopi people.

He symbolizes fertility and the bond of marriage, and is often depicted hunched over, playing his flute.

In Hopi myth, Kokopelli carries unborn children slung on his back and delivers them to expecting mothers. As such, many young women fear him, but later learn to love and respect him. The tribe believes that he may be seen depicted on the full moon.

He is also responsible for the children of game animals and he’s often shown walking amongst rams, deer, snakes, and insects. Every winter, Kokopelli plays his flute to chase away the cold winds and snow and usher in warm spring weather. Anthropologists believe he may represent ancient traders from the Aztec kingdom who arrived in today’s Southwest bearing sacks of precious goods upon their backs.

More recently, Kokopelli has been adopted by Southwest culture more generally, and many who hail from Arizona, New Mexico, west Texas, and southern Utah identify with him. Most who bear the Kokopelli tattoo trace their lineage back thousands of years to a time before any European had landed on American shores. As a mythical figure, he continues to represent fertility, bounty, and long life for those descended from the Indigenous Americans of the Southwest.

Kokopelli Packraft

The unique thing about packrafts is its ability to pack up small and light. This ranges from the 4.9-pound, one-person Hornet-lite to the 13.8-pound, two-person Twain.

Luckily, even the largest Kokopelli boat is still very light. Any packraft will easily fit in your car, but if you plan to regularly hike or bike with your raft, light and small is ideal — something like the Rogue, which packs down to the size of a roll of paper towels. It’s both capable of crossing rivers and extremely packable.

What is the legend of Kokopelli?

According to a Hopi mythKokopelli’s sack contained babies to be left with young women. At San Idelfonso, a Pueblo village, Kokopelli is thought to be a wandering minstrel with a sack of songs on his back who trades old songs for new. According to Navajo legendKoko is a God of harvest and plenty.

Where did the Kokopelli originate from?

The history of Kokopelli goes back 3000 years to the first carved petroglyphs. The Anasazi established him as a deity. The Anasazi were ancient Pueblo people centered in the present-day Four Corners region in the Southwestern United States (Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah). His true origins are unknown.

What is a Kokopelli tattoo?

Kokopelli TattoosKokopelli (aka Kokopilau) is a fertility deity, usually pictured as a hunchbacked flute player. He was worshipped in the Southwest of the United States by Native American tribes like the Hopi. Kokopelli is the bearer of fertility and agriculture, but he is also a trickster god and a bit mischievous.

Is Kokopelli trademarked?

Kokopelli especially likes to take advantage of the fairer sex.