Letter to the Editor: Kokopelli more than statue
I recently ran an errand on Main Street and was pleased to see that both lights and flowers have been added to the Kokopelli statue. Mr. Prazen's sculpture is magnificent. Seeing it again reminded me of the furor that went on when the statue was first placed. Several people disapproved of the sculpture; some using their names, and other anonymously. One of the anonymous complainers intimated that the statue was nearly naked. I was so disappointed when I drove to Main Street and discovered that the Indian warrior is actually better covered than most of the male joggers that run in my neighborhood, or even some that mow their lawns.
I realize in all things, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My husband and I have collected beautiful hand-woven rugs, turquoise jewelry, many types of pottery, sand paintings, woven baskets, and intricately carved kachina dolls from the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes. Therefore, some of the comments concerning the placement of Kokopelli on Main Street seemed extremely demeaning to me.
I find it amazing that with the Greeks, Romans, and Norsemen, modern man has been able to accept their ancient past of worshiping many gods and goddesses. These mythologies are accepted and taught in every high school and college in America. Each high school student should hear the tales of Homer, the adventures of Ulysses, the bravery of Jason and the Argonaughts, and more. But for some reason, the white man doesn't offer the same respect to the ancient gods of the Native Americans.
I find that painful, for there are no other people I respect more than those who were forced onto desert reservations, where they now live, and have made it their own. Years past I remember a sign that hung in a Native American school. It stated, 'Tradition Is An Enemy Of Progress'. What a bunch of phooey. Ethnic traditions are things to be proud of and widely celebrated.
At the time that Kokopelli was placed, I remember someone nearly having a fit because Kokopelli was a 'sex-god'. Oh, gasp, shock, horror. Actually, Kokopelli was a revered god of fertility. All early civilizations prayed to fertility gods in hopes of increasing the harvest of corn, squash, baby lambs, colts, and even babies for longing couples. So you see, fertility was something to be prayed for so that life would continue abundantly.
I would suggest that if any of you truly believe that having a statue of Kokopelli in your town will be responsible in some way for unwanted pregnancy in your family, you should become a little more familiar of the differences of fertility and sex. I would also suggest that you be more in tune with the influences, which are entering your house every day, via the computer and television. The young people of America are bombarded daily by sexual content in the many things they see and read. All parents should be vigilant and involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
You will come to realize that ancient myths and beliefs are legends of times long past. If the Native American mythologies were taught alongside the Greek and Roman mythologies, the students would also learn of the Navajo code talkers of World War II. The Japanese were unable to break this code, and that failure eventually helped the allies to win the war. The code talkers were awarded the most prestigious award possible during times of war, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Who knows, Kokopelli was also known as a trickster, and his tricks may have helped the war effort also.