December 31, 2012

0441 UNITED STATES (Arizona) - Kokopelli

I think that a postcard with Kokopelli, who brings good luck and prosperity, is very appropriate for the last day of the year, so here it is. Usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head), Kokopelli (named also Kokopele, Kokopilau, Neopkwai'i, Ololowishkya or La Kokopel) is a fertility deity, but also a trickster god, who represents the spirit of music, venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States, like Navajo, Ho-Chunk, Hopi, Pueblo, or Zuni.

Among the Hopi, he carries unborn children on his back, distributing them to women, and presides over the reproduction of game animals, sometimes being depicted with a consort, called Kokopelmana. Kokopelli's flute-playing chases away the winter and brings about spring, Zuni, for exemple, associating him with the rains. He frequently appears with Paiyatamu, another flutist, in depictions of maize-grinding ceremonies. He is also known to some as a magician, to others he was a storyteller, teacher, healer, or trader.

Kokopelli has been revered since at least the time of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples, the first known images of him appearing on Hohokam pottery, dated to sometime between 750 and 850 AD. He is one of the most easily recognized figures found in the petroglyphs and pictographs of the Southwest, the earliest known ones dating to about 1000 AD. A similar humpbacked figure is found in artifacts of the Mississippian culture of the United States Southeast. Anyway, he is a cottonwood sculpture often carved today.

About the stamps
The first and the fourth stamp belongs to American Design series, about which I wrote here. The second, The Wedding Roses, featuring a photograph taken by Renée Comet of Washington, D.C., was issued on april 21, 2011, and is a Forever one (i.e. is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate). The third is the Christmas stamp for this year, about which I wrote here.

Kokopelli - Wikipedia
Kokopelli - Kokoasis

sender: Bonnie Ogle-Hobson (direct swap)
sent from Glendale (Arizona / United States), on 12.12.2012
Artwork: Smith-Southwestern

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