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Sterling Silver Kokopelli Hopi Overlay Pendant


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Nathan Fred Jr. (1942- )

For more than 3,000 years, images of Kokopelli have been on everything from ancient rock art to T-shirts and baseball caps. He is also referred to as the humpback flute player and the legends about him are as numerous as his images. Some believe he was a “pochteca” or traveling salesman of sorts, who traveled the ancient roads from Central America to what is today the Southwest. With his pack slung over his back, he brought with him not only goods, but stories and news of far-away places, as well as the charm to seduce beautiful young women.

Most consider him a fertility symbol as many depictions of him include a prominent phallus. He is considered the god of children and agriculture. As an overseer of agriculture, it is said he chases away the winter and brings spring with the melodies of his flute. The Zuni associate him with rain. Some tribes say he carries seeds and babies on his back.

Artist Nathan Fred learned the Hopi overlay technique at Hopicrafts on Third Mesa.  Hopicrafts was started in 1962 in the village of Kykotsmovi at Third Mesa by Judge Emory Sekaquaptewa and his brother. They developed their own designs and employed many talented silversmiths. Nathan’s work has been published in numerous publications. His favorite designs are the Kokopelli, kachinas, the sun and eagles.

Nathan Fred Jr. (1942- ) hallmark signatureThis stylish oval pendant features a single Kokopelli playing his flute. The image was carefully cut out and set on a backing of silver. It hangs on a 19-inch sterling silver chain. It is stamped on the back with the artist’s hallmark, an arrow.

Condition:  very good condition with a nice patina from age.

Provenance: this Sterling Silver Kokopelli Hopi Overlay Pendant was purchased by the current owner’s mother in the early 1980s in Flagstaff.

Recommended Reading:  The Beauty of Hopi Jewelry by Theda Bassman

Nathan Fred Jr. (1942- )
C3902N-pendant.jpgC3902N-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.