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Turquoise & Tufa

Vintage Hopi Silver Overlay Kokopelli Bracelet

Vintage Hopi Silver Overlay Kokopelli Bracelet

Regular price $795.00
Regular price Sale price $795.00
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In the late 1980's early 1990's, Kokopelli suddenly became everyone's favorite southwestern icon. If you traveled anywhere in the Four Corners region during that time period, you just may have found yourself with a Kokopelli tee shirt, mug or piece of inexpensive tourist jewelry to commemorate the trip.

This beloved hunchback flute player with his finely feathered head is much more significant than mere tourist memorabilia, though.

For the Hopi, he appears as a katsina often spreading seed he carries in a backpack. 

It's often said that Kokopelli has evolved from early petroglyphs and even pieces of pottery that show a flute player with an exaggerated phallus to symbolize fertility. Interestingly, some Hopi people are quick to separate Kokopelli from the phallic flute player seen in rock art. 

In fact, many years ago, when I was fortunate enough to visit part of the Hopi ruins Awatovi, our knowledgable Hopi guide made sure to emphasize that Kokopelli and the flute player as depicted on the Awatovi rock art were absolutely NOT the same figure.

For another first-hand opinion on the subject, read this interesting article from the Navajo Hopi Observer.

Whatever the interpretation, both Kokopelli and the more traditional flute player are much more significant than 1990's tourists and gift shop owners acknowledged.

This wide Hopi silver overlay cuff actually treats the Kokopelli figure with proper reverence. It's by Gary and Elsie Yoyokie, and unlike most of the more touristy Kokopelli jewelry, this cuff is handmade of very heavy gauge sterling silver. It was created to feature not one but 3 repeating Kokopelli designs - one in the center, and one on either side. Each is framed by an undulating wave and spiral design. They're big, bold, striking and strong.

While the handmade Hopi cuff likely dates circa 1990's, it's a much more meaningful treatment of this cherished and whimsical character who may not be the same as the Hopi Flute Player depending on who you ask.

It measures 5 1/2" inside with a 1 1/4" opening that can be adjusted to a larger or smaller size. The width is where this overlay bracelet is impressive. It's a full 2 1/4"!

Signed on the inside.

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