Kokopelli

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Kokopelli is a prehistoric deity depicted hundreds of times in rock art in the south-western United States.

Where and how is it used?

Often shown as a humpbacked flute player, this mythical being has survived in recognizable form from Anasazi times to the present. The Anasazi or “Ancient Ones” were primarily farmers in the Colorado area. The Basketmaker Period (c. 200BC) and the Pueblo Period (c. 700AD) include Kokopelli as one of their deities. Today he is one of the Hopi ‘kachinas’ (deified ancestral spirits). There are widely-held beliefs that he was a fertility symbol, roving minstrel or trader, rain priest, magician, trickster, and seducer of maidens. In Pueblo myths, Kokopelli carries in his hump, seeds, babies, and blankets to offer to maidens that he seduces. In other myths, he wanders between villages with bags of songs on his back. As a fertility symbol, he was welcome during corn-planting season and was sought after by barren wives, although avoided by shy maidens. It has been speculated that the figure originally derived from travelling traders who announced their arrival by playing a flute as they approached.

What did you or someone else pay for it?

no idea

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

I first met Kokopelli in 1999. We had gone to America on holiday. Just before coming home we were browsing the souvenir shops in search of keepsakes. In one particular shop I spotted the shape of a colourful figure, blowing a long pipe-like instrument, and wearing what appeared to be an Indian headdress. The label proclaimed the figure to be: Kokopelli, a flute player famous throughout American Indian culture as a symbol of abundance and fertility. This was something that I had to have. Later, back home, I did some research and came up with some interesting information.
My next meeting with Kokopelli was eight years later. I had visited the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton to see an exhibition. On display were the artworks from 50 covers of the arts magazine Evolver. Imagine my surprise when I saw that one of the exhibits was a painting of Kokopelli. He was shown as a stick-like figure wearing what looked a rain cape, so that he appeared to be armless. The painting was for sale. I would have loved to have bought it. However the asking price was too prohibitive.


How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service


Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

a local craftsman

Who was paid to make it?

an artist

What skills does it take to make it?

metal work skills

Where was it made?

America

What does it cost to make it?

no idea

What is it made from?

1. metal :
2. stone:

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

artist

Who or what assesses its quality?

Not answered yet

Where is it sold?

america

Who or what sells it?

a souvenir shop

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

Not answered yet

Where is it used?

as an ornamnet in my house

Where is it kept?

on a display shelf

How and by whom is it cared for?

by me

How long will it last?

forever

Where will it go when it's finished with?

dont know

What is it worth?

no idea


How do you and others value this commodity?

See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.

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What do these numbers mean?

This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.

Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?

Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.

  • Controversy Score:
    (Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)

    The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.

  • Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
    (Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued

    Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.

How do you value this commodity?

To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
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Questions and answers

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Conversation

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