Cuckoo for Kokopelli | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Cuckoo for Kokopelli 

Pin It
Favorite

In recent decades, the mischievous, flute-playing trickster has become something of a pop icon. His image has been silk-screened on more T-shirts than Jim Morrison’s; gift shops throughout the Southwest sell coffee mugs, coasters and bumper stickers emblazoned with the cheerful silhouette of “the flute dude.”



Unfortunately, the merchandisers who envisioned a Kokopelli with skis, saxophones, bicycles or golf clubs instead of a flute forgot something. According to Dennis Slifer, author of Kokopelli: The Magic, Mirth and Mischief of an Ancient Symbol (published this month by Gibbs Smith in Layton), “[I]n the majority of contemporary depictions, he is missing something vitally important. His erect penis, the essential feature of his original role as a god of fertility, is typically lacking in the kitschy images.

In petroglyphs, Kokopelli is very obviously a fertility god on par with Priapus or Pan. The commercial version has, unfortunately, been sanitized for mass appeal.



Neo-Kokopelli may sell more T-shirts'but it’s difficult to see how anyone could make the corn grow using just a stupid golf club.

Pin It
Favorite

More by Brandon Burt

Latest in News

  • Fight or Flight

    The Leonardo emerges from rocky financial start, prepares for next phase.
    • Oct 18, 2017
  • 'I Believe in Community Involvement'

    Sim Gill responds to outcry following justified ruling in deadly Patrick Harmon shooting.
    • Oct 11, 2017
  • Quintana's Rule

    Local attorney takes on immigrants' rights.
    • Oct 4, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Second Chances

    The release of a high-profile minor's court record casts a shadow over the juvenile system.
    • Mar 23, 2016
  • Lawmakers Impose Criminal Restrictions on Protesters

    In the final hours of the legislative session, a bill cracking down on protesters received unanimous consent.
    • Mar 23, 2016

© 2017 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation