Kokopelli the fluteplayer is one of the most popular icons that American culture has adopted from the Native peoples of North America. The Kokopelli name and image are everywhere, adorning everything from jewelry, welcome mats, T-shirts, and money clips to motels, freeway underpasses, nature trails, night clubs and string quartets. Kokopelli evokes mystery and wonder, ancient ceremonies and spirituality, Mother Earth and the purity of nature.
But what exactly is Kokopelli? Just how Native American is the ubiquitous fluteplayer? In this readable and fascinating book, the distinguished Hopi scholar Ekkehart Malotki describes the development of the Kokopelli phenomenon in American mass culture from its beginning to Kokopelli's present status as pan-Southwestern icon. He explores the figure's connections with the Hopi kachina god Kookopölö and Maahu, the cicada, and discusses how this rock art image has been appropriated and misunderstood. Kokopelli sheds light on a little-understood aspect of Hopi culture and testifies to the continuing power of Native cultures to spark the popular imagination and interest of outsiders.