|OKokopelli is a prehistoric Southwestern "personage," whose origins, in some research literature, probably dates back to Mexico. The contention is that it appears significantly in Basketmaker III through Pueblo III (approximately 400 AD to 1300) among the Anasazi, and is generally associated with the Hopi Flute Clan and the Tewa Nepokwa'i. |
OThis is a multi-purpose deity with overlapping attributes, and it may also be both a male and female figure, although we most often see the figure as either a male or non-gendered figure. It is curious, because contemporary art and jewelry often does not reveal any gender orientation, so this question is sometimes asked.
OKokopelli's most obvious physical characteristic is the humped back, and the most common paraphernalia, is the flute. Other characteristics include antennae, a penis, and a clubbed foot. I read, some time ago, that the hump may actually be a burden basket carrying seeds or children (infants). The image is found in prehistoric rock art, effigy figures, pottery, and kiva walls. It is a religious or supernatural figure, meant to invoke rain, fertility among both humans and game, and sometimes perceived as a seducer of women (young girls) and comparable to the Trickster (Schaafsma 1980 after Wellman 1970).