Is the Hopi Deity Kokopelli an Ancient Hindu God?

By Gene D. Matlock, B.A., M.A.

Compared with the rest of our galaxy, the world we inhabit is no larger than a pea. Therefore, if at sometime in the past, one tribe of humans decided to move from point A to point B, it seems to me that it would be easy to trace the migration of such a group on this microscopic orb. For example, suppose that I should decide to trace the migration of the Hopis from "wherever" they originated. First, I would learn about the ancient places they mentioned in their origin myth. The fact that they are Hopis and snake cultists would cause me to wonder whether or not they were any way related to the ancient snake-worshiping Khopis, Hopis, Opis, or L'Hopitai tribe in what are now Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, which were then part of Greater India.

The Hopi origin myth mentioned their nuclear home, called Kiva. This word appears similar to the name of the ancient city-state of Khiva in today's Uzbekistan. Khiva, Uzbekistan is one of the most ancient cities on earth, having been inhabited since about 8,000 B.C. It received its name from the type of round, sun-baked mud pit-houses of the inhabitants, with the doorway in the center of the roof. The inhabitants of ancient Khiva entered their homes by a ladder. Khiva's name is derived from two Sanskrit words: Ki (ant hill) plus Va (dwelling).

The Hopis say that their ancestors, the Khivites, were subject to a small kingdom named Muski. In the same area where Khiva, Uzbekistan is today, there was a small kingdom of non-Hindu tribals, called Musika or Muski. They bitterly opposed attempts by the Brahmins and Kshatriyas to force them to hand over their lands and become part of the caste system. However, the Afghan Hopis did ally themselves with the Brahmins long enough to force Alexander the Great to return to Greece.

The Hopi Kiva and Muski lay in a larger, "mythical" region known as Sivapuni or Sivapu. Is it a coincidence that the ancient region of Northern India where God Shiva was the only religion, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kashmir, was called Sivapuri?

According to the Hopis, the priests and leaders of Muski began to persecute their forefathers, even ravishing their wives and daughters. They then asked their chief, called Yai-owa, to ask even a greater leader, Maasawa, to help them leave Sivapuni. By some strange coincidence, it just so happened in ancient Northern India, the compound word Ja-ovaha meant "chief; overseer; caretaker." Maha-Ishvara meant "Great Lord; King; God Shiva."

Maasawa agreed to aid and finance the departure of the Hopis. To lead them out of Muski, he contracted the services of what the Hopis call "white men," known as Bahanna. Then, their Wind God, Yaponche, blew them across a great lake to the Promised Land. In Sanskrit, Vahana means "mover; transporter; ship; vessel; boat." Panch was a Sanskrit name for Pani or Phoenician.

The Able Panch setting out to invade the earth, brought the whole world under their sway. (From the Mahabharata.) Indra hath raised the Sun on high in heaven. Indra leads us with single sway - the Panch leaders of the Earth. (Taken from the Rg Veda.)
To guard and protect the Hopis on their journey to the Fourth World, Masaawa sent the "War Twins" with them, collectively called Pokangkhya. By pure chance, an ancient North Indian word for "War God" was Gangyus. Po-Gang-Haya meant "Chief Gangyus' warriors." Evidently, they were elite warriors.

Before emerging to the fourth world, the Hopis decided to sacrifice two Mahus, a type of insect, to keep them warm and safe on the journey. Now, in Sanskrit, Maha does not mean "insect," but it does mean "great; sacrifice; cow; bull." Anyone acquainted with Hindus knows that not even in ancient times would they have sacrificed cows, an animal they worship. They would have killed anyone who even thought of such an evil act. Were the Hopis driven out of Sivapuri for killing cows for food and disrespecting Vedic Brahm-Aryan culture?

Here's another possible scenario of what really happened: The Greeks have a legend about the Cyclopes, a one-eyed race of monsters whom everyone feared. A Cyclopes could be conquered only by having its eye punched out. Edward Pococke, the 18th century Greek scholar and Orientalist, wrote that this word "Cyclopes" is a Greek corruption of the name of a pastoral people in India "äwho lived in round buildings with the doorways in the center, like the Southwestern Indians' Kivas." 'India in Greece; p. 43.)

The Greek word "Cyclopes" (pronounced "Keeklopehs") evolved from Ki (ant) + Ku (hill; hump); Lu (division; separation); Pes (chiefs) = Kikulupes. As the Hopis themselves said, they left Khiva in two groups, each going their separate ways.

Before leaving Khiva forever, the Hopis could have killed and butchered all the cows in the city. Then, they dried the meat to be used as food for the trip abroad. After that, they shot flaming arrows in all the doorways of the homes of Khiva, burning the city to the ground. Separating themselves into two groups, one went to Greece; the other to the Americas. Did the Greeks and the Hopis descend from the same stock? The Hopi emergence myth seems to hint that they did! Does the name Kokopelli really mean "The Khiva (ant hill) Prince," the chief who led the Hopis to the Americas? The Hopi origin myth is loaded with hidden meaning.

Image of Kokopelli (right) as depicted on Hopi petroglyph at Second Mesa. Note that this panel also portrays a migration of many generations from a distant land.

Of course, I realize that all I have said is probably just some crazy kind of coincidence. However, I do wonder at times why I can translate most of the names of nearly all Hopi Kachinas into Sanskrit names that make sense. For instance, let's ruminate on the favorite Kachinas of both puebloans and Whites: Kokopelli and his "devil-may-care" spouse, Kokopellimana.

The pre-Vedic Hindu "God of Good Fortune" was named Kubera or Kuha, among other names.

I have long suspected that the American Southwest's most ancient and popular deity, Kokopelli, is none other than Kubera or Kuha. Petroglyphs and drawings of Kokopelli have even been found in the ruins of the Hohokam and Anazasi cultures. These are thought to be the original Puebloan cultures.

I will now compare the physical features, names, and cultural anomalies between Kubera and Kokopelli, so that you can reach your own conclusions. I'll first start with a chart comparing the physical features of both deities.


Kokopelli traced from ancient Hopi rock wall.

Kubera Kokopelli
A dwarfA dwarf
A humpbackA humpback
Pot-belliedPot-bellied
Six toes on each footSix toes on each foot
Eight teethVery few or the same number of teeth
ClubfootedClubfooted
Has three legsHas a penis as long as his legs
Often wears a headdressOften wears a feather headdress
Wears a kiltWears a kilt
Is a god of good fortune and luckIs a god of good fortune and luck

More About the Names of the Two Deities

As I have previously stated, Kubera has more than one name. In ancient times, his most common name after Kubera was Kuha, also meaning "rogue; cheat." Ku means "humpback; deformed." Another Sanskrit word, Ka, means "Sun; King." Pala or Pali means "protector; ruler; king; prince. If I turn these words into a compound word, I come up with Kakuhapali. Since Kokopelli is always associated with the sun and fertility, the drawings and petroglyphs of this deity are often accompanied by a shield depicting the sun (Ka).

Naturally, I would not expect any thinking human being to accept all the preceding evidence as sufficient. In Sanskrit, Kaka means "lame man; a cripple; an impudent and insolent fellow." Does Kakapali = Kokopelli? Another Sanskrit word, Kuhaka, means "a cheat; rogue; juggler; trickster." The Puebloan Kokopelli, probably an itinerant traveling salesman, was also a lovable, popular, cheat, rogue, juggler, and trickster.

The puebloans have another name for Kokopelli, which I believe deserves some consideration. It is Kokopetiyot. In Sanskrit, Kaka = "hunchback; deformed." Pati = "husband; male;" Yat = "travelling." Yatu = "traveller; spirit; sorcerer." Is there any similarity in pronunciation and definition between Kokopetiyot and Kakapatiyat?

Kubera or Kuha was the ruler of some fun-loving fairies, a few of whom were Gandaras or Kandahars, sexually promiscuous celestial musicians and dancers whose sole purpose on earth was to bring joy to mankind; Apsaras, also heavenly dancers specializing in fanning the fires of human passions - and the Kinnera, known among gods and men as celestial musicians and dancers. Some authorities have wondered whether these "pleasure fairies" were at one time temple prostitutes before becoming mythological creatures.

Kokopelli was famous for his sexual promiscuity. Whenever he entered a village, barren wives always tried to lure him into cornfields or some other secret place. After sporting with him, they knew for sure that they would bear children. Without a doubt, many a husband probably wondered why his children looked more like East Indians than Amerindians. The ancient Amerindians did not have harps, such as those of the Kinnera, but they did have flutes. Kokopelli was an excellent flutist. Before entering a village, he would start playing his flute and dancing. Everyone in the village turned out to welcome him and join in the merriment, especially those women whose husbands never lived up to expectations.

About Their Consorts

Kokopelli's wife was named Kokopellimana. In the Hopi language, Mana is "woman; wife." In Sanskrit, Mena means "woman; wife; Mother Goddess." Is Kokopellimana similar in pronunciation and definition to Kakapalimena?

Kubera or Kuha's consort was Yaksini (pictured right on stelle) or a female Yaksha, maintaining sexual intercourse with mortals attached to the service of Durga. In Indian mythology, Mauneya, served Lord Kubera as the matron (Madam?) of a class of Ghandaras and Apsaras.

Kokopellimana also performed the same service to mortal man, for which many unmarried Amerindians were eternally grateful. She was always on the prowl at night, looking for someone to please sexually.

I believe that the Kachinas (pictured left) are the Hopis' "history book" way of remembering their ancient ties with India. They give a number of celebrations each year in which these Kachinas entertain the public. One of their favorite Kachina acts is that of Kokopellimana and her aggressive search for a man with whom to copulate. A certain man will dress up like Kokopellimana. Then, lifting up "her" skirts enticingly, "she" throws herself on an unwary, luckless "victim", pretending to ravish him. Meanwhile, the audience is in danger of laughing itself to death! None of the men chosen as "victim" enjoys the part he must play in this celebration. Embarrassed beyond measure, he often frees himself from Kokopellimana, fleeing to his home and hiding there until the celebration is over.

Are all the things I have written about just a bunch of contradictions? Who knows? But I do ask myself this question: If I come upon a bird with unusually greasy feathers, with webbed feet, a long flat bill, swimming in a lake, and screaming "quack, quack, quack," how am I to identify it? Should I call it a duck? Or is it a humming bird?

If any of my readers are interested in pursuing this and other similar anomalies in depth, I recommend my book The Last Atlantis Book You'll Ever Have to Read - The Atlantis - Mexico - India Connection and the one now in preparation: From Khyber (Kheeber) Pass to Gran Quivira (Kheevira), NM and Baboquivari, AZ - When India Ruled the World?

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