In Adventure: Kokopelli, certain myths and fictional characters have been used to create certain storylines around the game. Listed below are some of the fictional elements in the meta-world of Kokopelli.
Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with feathers or antenna-like protrusions on his head), who has been venerated by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States. Like most fertility deities, Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music.
Traditional stories from many Native American, First Nations, and Aboriginal cultures include a deity whose name is translated into English as "Coyote". Although especially common in stories told by southwestern Native American nations, such as the Diné and Apache, stories about Coyote appear in dozens of Native American nations from Canada to Mexico.
Usually appearing as a trickster, a culture hero or both, Coyote also often appears in creation myths and etiological myths. Although often appearing in stories as male, Coyote can be female, hermaphrodite, or gender changing, in traditional Aboriginal stories.
Anita Kloo is an online fictional personality that attempts to assist players by revealing clues to the game prior to the campers starting the game. Typically, the information is hidden and encrypted, so players must "beat a challenge," in order to get the reward of information. However, in 2010's Shelley Lake, players who solved the clues were rewarded with gold coins instead.
The Elimination PhaseEdit
The elimination phase uses the metaphor of a tribe's sacrifice in order to perserve the greater good. By using the democratic process, teams must eliminate players based on their own perceptions, judgements, agreements, and a constant battle of preseervation of self versus the preservation of the whole. This is considered the Altar of Kokopelli, and while in traditional myth Kokopelli was not a sacrifical god, we use this metaphor.
After elimination, players who have been voted out are referred to in the game mythology as "Ghosts.":
In 2012, Rebecca Chatfield, Kirk Carlson, and Dustyn napper created a Creation Myth for the fictional World of Kokopelli. The myth was used as a metphor for the game that season. This myth was read to players by Tim Roderer during the first night's endurance challenge. Information from the myth was then used the following morning in the question panels located in the low ropes-course labyrinth.
Here is the Myth from that year:
Challenge #1: He Who Holds the World - Kokopelli and the Coyote Story
<BALL IN HAND/NO TILE>
In the beginning, the people were a united group. The survival of their culture was dependent upon their ability to work well together. Their needs were simple: to hunt, to gather, and to plant. Time was dedicated to glorify Mother Earth. The people held great rituals in which they sent prayers to all corners of the earth. The north, the south, the east and the west. They sent prayers out each season...spring, summer, winter and fall. They prayed to the Gods of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. They prayed for food, they prayed for abundant resources and they prayed for success in their harvests. For a time, the Gods obliged the people and the forests were full of game, the soil was rich in nutrients and there was plentiful crop to harvest each season. The people flourished.
However, Gods can be fickle and fighting broke out amongst them. The prayers of the people became nothing but distractions and went unanswered. The forests were destroyed by lightning as the Gods threw bolts at each other in the heavens and fire consumed the land. The soil became barren. With nothing to harvest, the people were forced to move to new lands. They roamed for generations through desolate deserts. Desperate prayers were sent to the Gods in the hopes that their fighting would soon end and the people could again hunt bountiful game and take nourishment from the land.
Over the course of time, rumors spread of a new God named Kokopelli that brought with him music, dancing, laughter, plentiful crops...and tricks. The people, not having heard in the Old Gods in what seemed an eternity, became divided and lost sight of what they once held so vital to the survival of their society. There were those that still believed the old Gods would not abandon them. The old ways of hard work, preparation, and experience would guarantee the survival of their society. Their prayers would again be answered. Then there were those that believed this new God, Kokopelli would certainly be their salvation.
Tensions between the people grew and their society became fractured and two tribes were formed. Their society fell into chaos and confusion. Before a fierce battle was to commence, a Coyote appeared before the people. He presented a challenge to both factions. A leader would be determined for each new tribe...and they would do so without bloodshed. The Coyote proposed that He Who Can Hold The World in the palm of his hand would be offered protection. Only through perfect balance and harmony will the true Warrior be revealed. Only in this way would the people again become united with their brothers and sisters.
The challenge waged on for a thousand years and the people became weary. The memories of their differences faded in their minds. To put an end to the strife, the two leaders decided to call the challenge a draw and instead meet once a year, where they would offer up their best warriors in the spirit of the Coyote's Challenge. This pleased the Coyote very much and in a return he bestowed the people with great prosperity. Peace reigned for 3000 years and then...the Coyote became fickle.
The Great Warrior that had lasted the longest in the Coyote’s Challenge came to have a vision. In it, Kokopelli came to him. Not a word was spoken. Kokopelli slowly turned and walked towards the woodline of an infinite forest. Kokopelli played his flute as he approached the giant wood sentinels and the secrets that were guarded within. Just as Kokopelli reached the edge of the woods, He put away his flute. Gracefully, He removed a bow and arrow. He took careful aim and shot his arrow deep into the heart of the forest. He gazed directly at the Great Warrior and stepped into the woods and disappeared. The Great Warrior tried in vain to follow, but it was of no use.
The Great Warrior wandered the endless forest and eventually came to a clearing while in the pursuit of Kokopelli. In the center of the clearing, sat the Coyote that had presented the Great Challenge to the people. With an impish grin, he gazed upon the Great Warrior and said, "I have been waiting for you. At the Great Challenge you demonstrated the strength of balance necessary for your people's survival. You are the true leader. Your way is the true way. The vision of Kokopelli’s hunt was my gift to you. You must use it to your advantage." And with that, the Coyote turned, and in a series of short, calculated jumps he disappeared into the forest just as Kokopelli had and the Great Warrior was left in the clearing alone.
The Great Warrior’s tribe all shared a collective dream that night. They saw the Great Warrior, and Kokopelli, and the Coyote. But in the morning, each forgot the passing memory. The Great Warrior, never forgot.
The best warrior of the losing tribe had wandered a secluded shoreline and eventually came to a peninsula where sat the Coyote that had presented the Great Challenge to the people. With an impish grin, he gazed upon their best and said, "I have been waiting for you. At the Great Challenge you demonstrated the superior democratic skills necessary for your people's survival. You know when to step down. You are the true leader. Your way is the true way.” And with that, the Coyote turned, and in a series of short, calculated jumps he disappeared into the forest just as Kokopelli had and the nest warrior they had was left in the clearing alone.
Each of the Great Warriors went into seclusion where they each meditated and prayed for the Coyote to appear once again and bestow upon them answers to questions that went unasked in their visions. Deep in their meditations, each heard the Coyote's voice, "In order to honor your ancestors. you must bring the people's together in a 3 day, 3 night, festival where you will test your abilities. Not all will succeed, in fact, most will fail. It is far too greedy to simply ask for the answers you seek without once again proving yourself. Offer up your fastest, your most skilled and your wisest warriors and I in return will provide you with the direction that you desire most."
From the Coyote's words, each of the Great Warriors decided they would use the games to secretly create a superior society.
The evening of the Great Challenge was held in earnest anticipation. Each Leader had brought with them the best they had to offer. Food and drink were shared, friendships and rivalries intertwined. The celebration had begun...
However, Kokopelli had heard whispers on the wind. From the song of the birds, to the splash of the fish, to the march of the hare, to the buzz of the bees, echoes of the competition reached Kokopelli's ears. Kokopelli demanded a price. He said, “In return for protection as the competition progresses, at least one warrior must pay the ultimate sacrifice in blood. Their spirits will burn in the fires of judgement and their souls will be carried on the wind. The whispers of their voices will be echoed from tree to tree as the winds shift. Beware of the decisions you make. All those sacrificed must be honored as you travel your path.”
As Kokopelli’s Challenge waged on, one by one, the people were sacrificed. However, behind his back, the Coyote continued to give the greatest warriors visions of spirit quests. Kokopelli realized this, and to set matters even, he pitied those that had been sacrificed before and he offered them a vision of his own. He also said, in a carefully played melody that only the Dead can know, “The Spirits of the Dead live among us. You are not free, but you are not in prison. For many of you, you will live again as fish, as bird, as bee, or hare. But for one of you, maybe four, will reincarnate back into man.”
The spirits hung onto his words, waiting patiently for their redemption. In the end, Kokopelli had outwitted the Coyote. For at the end of the sacrifice came everlasting life, for it was the Spirits of the Dead that would decide the fate of the Living.