Gypsy's Travels

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Ornaments - "Kokopelli"

DH and I chose this brightly colored, enameled metal figure of Kokopelli as a souvenir of a wonderful trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kokopelli appears everywhere and has become a popular symbol for the tourist trade. The colors on this piece figure prominently in most of the Southwest art. They are reminiscent of the red earth and blazingly beautiful sunsets. You can't help but be happy when you look at Kokopelli. This one seems to have a bag of presents on his back, or prehaps he is off to prepare the earth for Spring planting.

Ko-ko-pel-li (kô kô pel´ lê) n. {der. Hopi "kokopilau" (koko = wood, pilau = hump)} the humpbacked Flute Player, mythical Hopi symbol of fertility, replenishment, music, dance, and mischief. The mysterious Kokopelli character is found in a number of Native American cultures. He is especially prominent in the Anazasi culture of the "Four Corners" area. The figure represents a mischievous trickster or the Minstrel, spirit of music. Kokopelli is distinguished by his dancing pose, a
hunchback and flute. His whimsical nature, charitable deeds, and vital spirit give him a prominent position in Native American mysticism. Kokopelli has been a sacred figure to Native Americans of the Southwestern United States for thousands of years. Found painted and carved on rock walls and boulders throughout this region, Kokopelli is one of the most intriguing and widespread images to have survived from ancient Anasazi Indian mythology, and is a prominent figure in Hopi and Zuni legends. Kokopelli is also revered by current-day descendants
including the Hopi, Taos and Acoma pueblo peoples.
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. His "hump" was often considered a bag of gifts, a sack carrying the seeds of plants and flowers he would scatter every spring. Warming the earth by playing his flute and singing songs, Kokopelli would melt the winter snow and create rain, ensuring a good harvest. Kokopelli often displayed a long phallus, symbolizing the fertile seeds of human reproduction.

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  1. We have visited many sites in which this puebloan fellow has been a part of the culture. I'm happy that y'all featured him.

  2. Our copy of Google Earth has most of the Southwest covered with stick pins at sites we have visited or know about.

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