Kokopelli is actually an anthropomorphic insect. Many of the earliest depictions of Kokopelli make him very insect-like in appearance. His case mask is dark on each side, separated by a line that runs up the front and over the top of the mask. These divided dark sides of the mask may represent the large compound eyes on each side of the insect’s head.
I have actually experienced the bite of an assassin fly. While on a rock art field trip in northern New Mexico many years ago I felt a large insect land on my back but since I was wearing my shirt I felt no apprehension. I should have for all of a sudden I felt something like a drill bit penetrate about ¼” into my back, and this drill bit was red-hot. I was instantly dancing around and yelling for my colleagues to brush it off. This Kokopelli was not the happy, cute, comfortable iconic figure that modern faddists and interior decorators collect. This Kokopelli was a painful and fearsome confrontation, and it has made me more sensitive to the mixture of respect or devotion, and apprehension, with which an Ancestral Puebloan farmer might contemplate this kachina. My original meeting with Kokopelli was not a happy one and I would rather not repeat it.