When archeologists first discovered the multitude of cave paintings in southwestern United States, they somehow determined that the image was of a god and this god depicted in the crude drawings was the Native American god, Kokopelli. Since Kokopelli was carrying a flute, he was deemed to be the god of music. Others said that he was doing a rain dance so he must be the god of agriculture. Some surmised that the item Kokopelli was holding was not a flute but actually a blow gun, so, he is the god of hunt. Many saw the item in his hand as a spear, so, that made him the god of war. Entomologists said that the picture is actually a crude drawing of an insect. Then, it was discerned that the thing in his mouth was actually a phallus so he must be the god of fertility. Frankly, I don’t really see how you can get pregnant that way but I don’t have a PhD in Archeology. Finally the archeologists approached the Native Americans, or Indians as many like to call them, and the native chiefs said, “Koko-who?”
That story kind of makes you wonder how much our world religions may have misinterpreted their history, traditions and scripture.
Kokopelli in current pop culture is typically depicted in cartoon format with a hunchback, long protrusions from the head-possibly feathers, and a flute. As I mentioned earlier, in ancient depictions it was described as a large phallus, though this feature is absent from most modern versions, as Spanish Christian missionaries in the colonial period discouraged it. Modern images of Kokopelli simply portray the god dancing and playing his flute. In the consumer world Kokopelli usually appears as a carved, painted, or drawn silhouette and is very popular on clothing, pop art, kitsch and greeting cards. He has proved to be very lucrative.
Kokopelli is somewhat of a trickster figure so young and unmarried women would often fear or, invoke him, as he is said to cause pregnancy. It is rummored that Kokopelli is able to detach his phallus and leave it in bathing areas in order to secretly impregnate girls. Maybe virgin birth is not that uncommon in other religions, although, I’ve read that the word “virgin” in days of old meant someone who was not married, not necessarily that they have not had sexual relations. But, I don’t have a PhD in First Century Middle Eastern Culture.
In some tellings, Kokopelli’s hunchback is actually a sack filled with seeds and babies. In general, Kokopelli is a positive figure who brings abundance and enjoyment of life to his followers.