Posted by: penpatience | June 30, 2021

DO YOU KNOW THE LEGENDARY KOKOPELLI?

WRITERS WORDS: “It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live-in peace.”.” –Native American Proverb-Shenandoah

 

JULY 2021 MONTHLY MUSING

 

DO YOU KNOW THE LEGENDARY KOKOPELLI?

 

I’ve made many trips to Arizona throughout the years. During one of my early trips to this arid Southwest state, I first glimpsed a legendary Kokopelli artifact in the Phoenix, Sky Harbor, Airport. Always, I’ve liked Native American tribal histories and immediately fell in love with this unusual “humpback” figure.  I learned Kokopelli was a Native American flute player and I read, (at that time) when Kokopelli played his flute, peace reigned in the valley. I quote, “With all the myths and legends surrounding the significance of Kokopelli, there’s one thing we can deduce from all of them: that this deity is one that made people happy……Kokopelli signifies happiness and hope.” (The Symbol and its Meaning-Mythologian) Ah, yes, music and peace, a great combination. A combination that is more than welcome during this chaotic twenty-first century. Right?

Kokopelli, pronounced, Koh-koh-pell-ee, is one of the most widespread images surviving from ancient Anasazi mythology and is a prominent figure in Hopi (a southwest Native American tribe) legends. Also known as a Magical flute player or hump-backed flute player, Kokopelli was considered an inspirational symbol who brought well-being to the people, assuring success in hunting, planting and human conception.  Hmmm…. Human conception? It’s said his flute had the power to woo women and Kokopelli was praised as a fertility God…bear with me while I quote again about this intriguing Native American phenomenon:

 “Known as a fertility god, prankster, healer and story teller, Kokopelli has been a source of wonder throughout the country for centuries. Kokopelli embodies the true American Southwest, and dates back over 3,000 years ago, when the first petroglyphs were carved. Although the true origins are unknown, this traveling flute-playing Casanova is a sacred figure for many Southwestern Native Americans. Carvings of this hunch-backed flute-playing figure have been found painted and carved into rock walls and boulders throughout the Southwest.” (Kokopelli-Legends & Lore, Indigenous people.net)  My view of Kokopelli is he became an exceptionally influential symbol and brought peace, joy and love with his enchanting musical flute.  What a Guy!

I muse and recall…a special dinner out at a restaurant where an Italo-American violinist wandered among diner’s tables playing ethnic and notable love songs on the violin –a combination of great Italian food and wine with romantic, musical ambiance sure to set the scene for evening “amore.” Perhaps, a similar situation not unlike Kokopelli’s ancient, mythological power. Again, legend has it, villages would sing and dance throughout the nights when they heard him play his flute.  The next morning every maiden in the village would be with child😊

I share a Kokopelli saying:

Play from the heart, the flute is a heart song like a sweet prayer and it will teach you as well as you teach yourself.

My wish for all of us, today, in this tumultuous twenty-first century, with or without a musical flute, may peace reign in your valley.

Postscript: The above photo is a Kokopelli copper artifact I purchased in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kokopelli reigns on my deck every summer.

 


Responses

  1. Greetings, Gaye. And thank you for your well-wishing in the form of “may peace reign in your valley.” We wish the same for you

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    • Hi Carole, I always enjoy hearing from you. Yes, we all could use peace reigning in our valleys. Best wishes always, Frances

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  2. I loved this! I have Kokopelli earrings that I wore all the time until I learned he was a god of fertility! Now I think it’s safe to go back to wearing them! Thank you for the background on this delightful being!

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    • Hi Pat. Glad you enjoyed the Musing this month. By the way, I enjoyed reading your work in the New Author Journal, Summer Issue. Happy Fourth!

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      • Thank you – I have t had a chance to read through it. I love prompts that are parts of sentences. They pull a lot more memories out of me.

        Be well!

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  3. Very informative!

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    • thanks. glad you liked it.

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