Kokopelli tattoos are seen most often on people of Native American descent. This character is a fertility deity seen prominently in Hopi and Pueblo glyphs and artwork.
The origins of this sacred figure are unknown and the legends regarding him are varied and colorful. His design can be based on his reputation as a fertility god, healer, musician and even as a prankster.
With the deities many different natures and purposes, kokopelli tattoos can be chosen by anyone as an expression of their personality. Of course these tattoo designs began and are still used primarily by those of Native American descent.
Although, anyone who relates to the many characteristics attributed to the fertility god could proudly display their own original piece.
The image in ancient glyphs of this sacred figure is usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player with feathers like a headdress or antenna-like protrusions on his head. The hump on his back is actually considered to be the bag of seeds he carries for planting crops.
He is generally shown in glyphs and often playing the flute and dancing in his hunchbacked poses. His design is quite simple, just a step above a stick figure, making it easy to create original tattoo designs. There is also a female counterpart in native Indian legends known as Kokopelli-Mana.
Kokopelli tattoo designs
It is very common to see the image of this legendary figure combined with tribal artwork. Most of these tattoo designs and the traditional artwork are in a mural of tribal art patterns and petroglyph-like designs.
Kokopelli can be done in practically any color scheme. As he is considered the bringer of seasons any color choices would be appropriate. The fall colors - oranges, browns and rusts, or spring colors - pastels like pinks, lavenders and baby blues; even summer and winter colors which are generally bold primary colors have been seen in these designs. These would all be beautiful and unique if incorporated into tribal art.
Another common reason for kokopelli tattoos is a pregnancy or childbirth. One of the legends of this fertility god is that in the night the trickster would play his flute and sing and dance throughout the village.
The next morning every maiden in the village would wake up with child. Therefore it is not uncommon to see this symbol tattoo that represent the births of children. They are especially significant with first pregnancies and first childrens births.
Also a very common reason people get the trickster tattooed is their love of music and the arts. He was constantly singing and dancing and bringing change and joy to the villages he visited. Still today music, dancing and the arts bring joy to peoples lives, therefore it is quite appropriate to see kokopelli tattooed on our creative and musically inclined members of society.
As with any tattoo, everyone wants an original piece that expresses who they are and what they wish to convey through their art. The opportunities to do that with kokopelli tattoos are endless. Combined with tribal stylings and rich colors as the original Native American artwork appears can be translated into a complex and beautiful piece of body art.
Even a simple piece can be rich and full of meaning for the person wearing it. And that is the true reason most individuals get tattoos, to memorialize a period of their life, or an event of importance, or even a piece of a loved one they never want to forget.
If you have a tattoo with a story behind it that you would like to share we would love to help you do that! Just use our contact form below to submit a picture of your ink and your story.
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