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Who is Kokopelli?


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Or better said, what is he go geocaching? I know who he is/was - mythological symbol & all, but I'm looking for the formal connection to our game....something like, 'Patron Saint'. 'Mascot' doesn't seem to do it .... & I am drawing a blank for a good, or proper description.


Reason I'm asking is.....we recently lost a notable cache here, with a nice long history. The site was formerly a downtown store that burned down many many years ago; the space was converted to a nice li'l park/rest stop....and many logs will attest to the pleasant surprise of many people (even locals) who didn't even know it was there before visiting. Nice shrubbery & flowers were planted - it even had a raised display area featuring a metal sculpture of the dancing Kokopelli.


You can see the cache (now archived) we called 'Koko's Garden' <here.


When I was first introduced to geocaching, this was one of the first cache pages I visited....and was very impressed with how well it was done. Still admire it to this day!


Anyway, a couple months ago the city just bulldozed the whole dang park away - turning it into a parking lot! OH The shame!! Of course, they didn't know the cache was there - not that that would've stopped 'em! But it was a real shame we lost this little oasis in the heart of our town.


Another loss, apparently, was the sculpture of Koko! I'm sure hoping that wasn't bulldozed away as well. I've found the name of the person who owns the property, and I'm preparing to approach him & ask about the statue - see if we can get it put up again, elsewhere. And hopefully, be able to revive the spirit of this nice place to visit -- and it's "little secret" as well!


So, I'm looking a good description for the "what Koko is to our game" issue, as part of my plea.....and all ears for what this crowd can provide!! So help out an ol' sentimentalist, willya, huh?



Edited by Star*Hopper
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I think you may be confusing Kokopeli with Koko?

AFAIK there is no formal or official usage of the Kokopeli icon in geocaching. But because there is a certain commonality between our outdoor activity and that of Kokopeli, cachers may have used the image as an avatar and in their cache listings? I only see one active cache with that keyword.


Kokopeli was originally a fertility deity among certain Native American tribes based in the Southwest, but in recent times has also come to be a pop culture symbol of the Southwest.

Koko used to be the graphic designer at Groundspeak and the creator of the Signal icon we all have come to recognize as the mascot of geocaching. She is also responsible for all of the other icons used at this website and the other Groundspeak sites especially the 700+ Waymarking bingo card marks.

Edited by wimseyguy
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...So, I'm looking a good description for the "what Koko is to our game" issue, as part of my plea.....and all ears for what this crowd can provide!! So help out an ol' sentimentalist, willya, huh?



Overall, it's not much of anything in the broader activity. It's a regional symbol However locally it was a cultural mecca. A nice thing in an urban world that's being slabbed up and paved over. Public art is rare, and almost always appreciated though there are exceptions. Some artists have a muse doesn't have the public in mind so much as their own inner glee. That said it sounds like you don't have an exception so it would not be hard to ask the city what they are doing to mitigate the 'accidental destruction of the peaceful community island.

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Well, I'm not an expert perse. But as he's all over my bathroom, I did a little research. Kokopelli is from Southwestern Native American mythology. He's a fertility god (ok big word, and it doesn't really fit, but spirit seems too small) and the hump on his back is said to be carying blankets, seeds and babies. He's playing a flute for reasons I cannot recall at the moment. Don't know what Kokopelli would be doing Geocaching, but he's been adopted by many groups. They usually replace his flute with something pertaining to thier particular hobby.

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Long ago when the world was new, a child was born in a Pueblo in New Mexico.


He had a large head and grew very tall. His name was Kokopelli. The other children in the village teased Kokopelli because he looked different.


The Medicine Man seeing this problem decided to make Kokopelli a clown. “See Kokopelli, people will laugh with you not at you.” Kokopelli became a wonderful clown and entertained the villagers at all the dances and festivals but at night he would climb into the hills and cry because he really did not want to be different.


One night he cried so loud that he could be heard throughout the universe where Spiderwoman was hanging the stars. She called to Kokopelli to come to her, so up he climbed into the universe and told Spiderwoman his sad story.


“You have a good heart Kokopelli and deserve a reward. Go fill your back with stars.” So he did. Then Spiderwoman gave Kokopelli a magic flute. “Go back to earth and play this flute from village to village. The music will be so beautiful it will fill the people’s hearts with joy. The joy will make their feet dance. The dancing will make the joy rise into the clouds and the clouds will cry tears of joy which will water the three sisters: corn, squash and beans. Then there will be an abundant harvest and at every harvest fesival, Kokopelli, you throw a handful of stars into the crowd and each young maiden who catches one will hold it to her breast and it will go inside her body and someday she will have a little baby.”


So from that day on Kokopelli has been a the symbol of all these good things which are: music, dancing, rain, harvest and fertility.

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Folks, please.


Several responders seem to've missed the opening note:

"I know who he is/was - mythological symbol & all... "

I'll further....I'm interested in mythology, and could write a hefty chapter on Kokopelli, who he was/is, includiing his relatives. I helped edit the Wiki page on him!! :)


And the additional:

"...but I'm looking for the formal connection to our game.."


Repeat - "looking for", & "connection".


And I'm almost tempted to ask - "Y'all are the ones who never read the cache description, ain'tcha??"



And if ya don't believe there's a connection between Koko* & caching, just Goog up the string "Kokopelli +geocaching" -- you'll get ~10 pages of hits!


*And no, I wasn't confusing the Spirit with the graphic artist - my 'Koko' was merely an abbreviation. As would be evidenced thru the link I provided.


Bu-u-u-ut....thanx for the constructive input -- I think I've got what I need. If not, I'll just wing it! :)

It's prolly a hopeless endeavor anyway. But ya never know 'til you try, & at least I'll be doing that!


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... One night he cried so loud that he could be heard throughout the universe where Spiderwoman was hanging the stars.


Who knew Spiderwoman was that old, she sure doesn't look it - http://www.google.com/search?q=spider+woma...lient=firefox-a :)


Yeah Man! And she was really HOT back in the day!


Anyway, I think part of the mystique of Kokopelli is his reputation as both a trickster and a clown...how many cachers had to 'clown around' in that little park, searching for the cache while attempting to trick onlookers into thinking they were just talking on their cell-GPSr! :)

Edited by AZcachemeister
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And the additional:

"...but I'm looking for the formal connection to our game.."


Repeat - "looking for", & "connection".


I've been geocaching for quite some time and am not aware of any formal connection between Kokopelli and geocaching.


The Kokopelli image is a popular one for many uses. Google Kokopelli + skiing gives you over 37,000 hits, Kokopelli + hiking gives you over 50,000, Kokopelli + surfing gives you 28,000 hits and Kokopelli + birding gives you a whopping 141,000 hits. I've seen a brewery using the image as well as numerous other businesses. I think a lot of people just think it's a cool image.

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