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MOGOLLON ROCK ART AND THE STATUS OF THE FLUTE PLAYER

Published: The International Rock Art Meeting at the UISPP XV Congress Lisbon, 4 9 September 2006 PDF copies with illustrations available from the author

Maarten van Hoek


INTRODUCTION Within North America, some of the largest concentrations of rock art are found in the Southwest of the United States, a desert and mountain area that is home to thousands of prehistoric Indian rock art sites, comprising pictographs (rock paintings) and/or petroglyphs (images created by removing a portion of the rock surface). One of the most interesting rock art manifestations in both North and South America is the image of a biomorph (an image depicting an anthropomorph, a zoomorph or a hybrid figure) with a straight object from the head that is often interpreted as a flute. Those figures are referred to as flute players. In this survey two different issues regarding the flute player of the Southwest of the U.S.A. will be discussed. In the Southwest of the U.S.A. an anthropomorphic flute player is often referred to as Kokopelli. Unfortunately, the flute player in the unsolicited form of Kokopelli constitutes a major example of inverse acculturation (Malotki & Weaver 2002: 122). Moreover the generalized name Kokopelli for a flute player is highly controversial (Malotki 2001) and thus I will use the name flute player only when referring to an image of a biomorph that apparently is playing a wind instrument. This object may be a flute or a trumpet, another type of wind instrument or something completely different. In the first section the status of the flute player is questioned, as it is by no means certain that all flute players images are actual flute players. Yet it proves that in many rock art publications a biomorph with a line from the head is too easily accepted as a true flute player. Moreover, if indeed a flute player image indeed depicts a true flute player, it may have (had) an entirely different meaning in the varying contexts of each culture that used this icon. The second issue concerns the apparent lack of the flute player in Mogollon rock art. Interestingly, images of the flute player are found in South America (Van Hoek 2005), Meso-America (Mountjoy 2001a) and North America (Slifer & Duffield 1994). The apparent absence of the icon in Mogollon rock art which occurs in an area situated between the west of Mexico, where several flute players have been reported, and the core area of the flute player in the U.S.A., the north of New Mexico, is quite puzzling, especially as the Mogollon were geographical and temporal neighbors of the Hohokam and Anasazi peoples, the latter abundantly using the flute player in their iconography (Figure 1). SECTION 1: THE AMBIGUITY OF THE FLUTE PLAYER One of the major issues in rock art research is the interpretation of images and scenes. Sometimes individual images are interpreted and labeled with astonishing ease and, even more regrettably, these classifications are too easily and often mindlessly copied by others. In my opinion, this also happens with the flute player in the rock art of the Southwest of the U.S.A.. When I discussed biomorphs playing the wind instrument in Andean rock art (Van Hoek 2005) I unambiguously stated that any image of an Andean flute player not showing M. van Hoek - 2006 1 Mogollon flute players

specific details, might well represent a hunter, a metalworker or a biomorph smoking tobacco or inhaling drugs. Although I acknowledge the fact that many images of flute players in the Southwest of the U.S.A. indeed will represent a biomorph that is playing a wind instrument, it is scientifically incorrect to label every biomorph with a line or an object from or near the mouth or head area unambiguously as a flute player, not even as a possible flute player, without explicitly offering alternatives. Unfortunately, too many images in Southwestern rock art (and beyond) are unquestioningly and unequivocally identified as flute players. To illustrate this point, I invite the hopefully unbiased reader to scan the images in Figure 2. It is a collage of biomorphs from Northern American rock art sites. At first sight most of them seem to represent a flute player. However, it is very hard for me to uncritically accept that all the biomorphs in Figure 2 are true flute players. I do not question that an object from the head area of a biomorph in Southwestern rock art may well represent a wind instrument and perhaps the anthropomorph in Figure 2.16 indeed represents a true flute player. Instead, I argue that in many cases acceptable options must be considered, though I do not claim that the alternatives that I offer here represent the correct interpretations. In many cases the evaluation will remain inconclusive. Which alternatives must then be considered? First we will have to accept that in some cases we simply do not know what a line from the head depicts. A line emerging from the mouth or nose might even not be an object at all, but may symbolize speech, spit, a magical line or something completely unknown. For instance, a fully pecked, horned anthropomorph depicted in frontal view on a vertical sandstone cliff at Indian Creek, Utah, clearly has a straight line emerging from the head (Figure 1.A), but the two drooping arms do not touch the line. It is therefore obscure what the line represents. However, there still prove to be a few acceptable alternatives for the flute. In literature about Southwestern rock art and beyond, one occasionally finds references to arrow swallowers and/or stick swallowers (Schaafsma 1980: 265 and Fig. 214; Schaafsma 1992: 104, 111, 114, 128; Slifer & Duffield 1994: 42; Malotki & Weaver 2002: 120), snake swallowers (Slifer 2000b: Fig. 128), and of cloud blowers (Slifer 2000b: 121) (Figure 2.17). Much further south, in the Jalisco area of western Mexico, several petroglyphs of ostensible flute players have been recorded (Figure 1.B). Although most of them have been interpreted by Joseph Mountjoy as anthropomorphs (possibly shamans) that use a kind of megaphone (2001a: 61), at least one flute player is alternatively and tentatively suggested by him to depict a shaman that is smoking through an unnamed object (Mountjoy 2001b: Fig. 8). According to Mountjoy, a megaphone is apparently a kind of trumpet through which hunters shouted or yelled in order to herd deer in a sacred deer hunt. Similar instruments are still used in the area today, made of a roll of bark (Pers. comm. 2006). All these practices could have triggered the execution of rock art images that in first instance look very much like the flute player, but could well represent one of the scenes aforementioned. My point is that in many cases it is impossible to tell apart, for instance, the flute player from the stick-swallower. The anthropomorphs in Figures 2.13, 1.14, 1.15 and 1.16 appear randomly distributed on the same panel and are said to represent flute players with birds and Arrow Swallowers (Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 50). But is, for instance, Figure 2.14 a flute player or a stick- or arrow swallower? Although most flute

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players hold the flute with two arms, one-armed flute players or biomorphs holding the flute with one arm (the other being empty or holding another object) have also been reported (Figure 2.15). Another dubious example is the anthropomorph in Figure 2.18. Is it a flute player as suggested by Slifer (2000a: 104) or an arrow- or stick swallower? It proves that too easily such images are identified as flute players, without offering any alternative. Only in one case Slifer & Duffield suggest that an anthropomorph is not a flute player, but probably a member of the arrow- or stick swallowing order (1994: 45). The anthropomorph shown in Figure 2.1 (Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. A-83) is suggested to be a figure that is playing [why not eating?] what resembles a corn plant (Slifer & Duffield 1994: 57), in itself a strange situation. But, alternatively, it might represent an anthropomorph swallowing an arrow; the short extensions at the end equally might represent the feathers of an arrow. The anthropomorph in Figure 2.2 is suggested to be a flute player (Slifer 2000b: 123), but for the same reason it might depict an arrow swallower. The anthropomorph in Figure 2.11 is labeled as a flute player in frontal view by Slifer & Duffield (1994: Plate 1), but again, I do not see any reason why it could not be a stick swallower. Similarly, the anthropomorph in Figure 2.7 might - because of the zigzag line - be a snake swallower, although it was labeled as a flute player by Slifer & Duffield (1994: Fig. 176). The anthropomorph in Figure 2.9 is suggested to hold a flute or a blowgun by Bostwick & Krocek (2002: Fig. 135), but could equally be a stick swallower. Yet, at least Bostwick & Krocek offer an alternative. The biomorph in Figure 2.4 is interpreted by Slifer & Duffield (1994: Fig. 165) as a possible flute player, probably because the object clearly does not touch the mouth. Also the biomorphs in Figures 2.3 and 1.8 hold an object that does not touch the head, and yet both are interpreted as a definite flute players by Slifer & Duffield (1994: 45, Figs A-45 and 66). Each of these images is better described as a biomorph holding an unidentified object that, because of its position, might be a flute or, for that matter, something else. If not touching the head would be a valid criterion for labeling such figures as flute players (which I doubt very much), I do not see any reason not to include the anthropomorph from British Columbia in Figure 2.20 as a flute player. However, it is said (Keyser 1992: Fig. 25.c) to represent a man spearfishing a sturgeon (the sturgeon not shown in Figure 2.20), which proves that also the graphical context is an important factor in interpreting images. Keyser interprets a pictograph of the anthropomorph in Figure 2.5 as a pipe smoking man (1992: Fig. 32). His interpretation may be correct, but consequently I do not see any reason not to interpret (whether correctly on incorrectly) an alleged flute player from Velarde, New Mexico, (Figure 2.6) as a pipe smoking [sha]man. However, there is another alternative explanation for the line from the head area (see also Van Hoek 2004). Especially images of anthropomorphs that are bending over and/or touching the head area with their hands might be indicative of persons experiencing (shamanic) nosebleeds. Slifer & Duffield (1994: Fig. 96) identify two similar back-to-back figures (only one shown in Figure 2.10) as flute players, despite the fact that in neither case a flute is shown. Although these figures more likely depict persons touching the nose - possibly because of a shamanic haemorrhage - it will remain obscure what precisely these figures do or represents. This comment also applies to the bent-over anthropomorph from Grotto Canyon, Canada, which is tentatively interpreted as a flute player by Magne & Klassen (2001), despite the fact that the flute is rather short and indistinct (Figure 2.12). The figure might as well depict a (sha)man with a nose-bleed, especially as one arm seems to be touching the nose or head, rather than the alleged flute. The anthropomorph in Figure 2.19 has a long, curved

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line from the head area. As the line definitely is not held or touched by the hands, the line might depict a haemorrhage instead of a real object like a flute as suggested by Slifer & Duffield (1994: 72). But again, the true meaning will remain obscure. Because of the ambiguity of the flute player image discussed above, it will in many cases remain doubtful what exactly has been depicted by the Pre-historic Native Americans. Yet, for matters of convenience, in the next section the image of a biomorph holding an object suggestive of a wind instrument will be referred to as a flute player, bearing in mind that it may represent something completely different. SECTION 2: THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE FLUTE PLAYER Although several Northern American cultures included the flute player into their iconographies, at least three Pre-historic Indian peoples in the Southwest of the U.S.A. definitely used the image of the flute player (Figure 1): The Fremont, who lived mainly in present-day Utah; the Anasazi, who resided in large parts of the Colorado Plateau (comprising parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona); and the Hohokam, who occupied a large area around Phoenix-Tucson, Arizona. Although there was a great deal of contact between these cultural groups, which is expressed in their rock art as well, their iconographies are rather distinct. Yet, there are several geographical, statistical and chronological issues that blur the picture. Regarding the numerical presence of the flute player there are notable differences between the Fremont, the Anasazi, the Hohokam and the Mogollon. In their study of the flute player in the rock art of the Southwest, Slifer & Duffield present a map of rock art sites featuring flute player images (1994: Fig. 1). They included 100 sites within the Anasazi cultural sphere against 20 for the Fremont area, 3 for the Hohokam area and 9 for the Mogollon area. This is a first indication that the flute player in Southwest rock art is mainly an Anasazi feature. If we count the sites with flute players in the areas that overlap, a similar picture emerges. The Fremont area has 20 sites, but 12 may be Anasazi, leaving only eight definitive Fremont sites featuring the flute player. Strikingly, the figures for the Anasazi are: 100 overall sites minus 19 sites in overlap areas, which leave 81 definitive Anasazi flute player sites. For the Mogollon only two definitive flute player sites seem to remain as seven sites also are situated in the Anasazi influence sphere. Because in this section I concentrate on the Mogollon rock art at Three Rivers, I will only discuss the two neighboring peoples who may have directly influenced the Mogollon: the Hohokam to the west and the Anasazi to the north (Figure 1). From now on, the too distant Fremont culture will be ignored in this survey. Also, rock art imagery of more recent peoples - such as the Navajo - will not be discussed in this work. The statistical picture even gets more polarized when it comes to individual flute player images (conveniently ignoring the aforementioned ambiguity of the flute player). Slifer & Duffield state that there are probably thousands of flute player images in the rock art of the Southwest (1994: 17), and that many more will still be discovered. This further approach will prove almost invariably the Anasazi supremacy of the flute player. This can be demonstrated by looking at statistical position of the flute player within Hohokam and Mogollon rock art. THE HOHOKAM

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Slifer & Duffield state that flute player images within the Hohokam culture area appear to be almost totally confined to pottery representations, whereas Hohokam rock art is said by them to include only four flute players at three sites (1994: 106). Actually, there are perhaps up to ten flute players at those three sites, as South Mountain Park, Phoenix, Arizona, has possibly seven flute player images instead of the one reported in Slifer & Duffield (1994). Three of the South Mountain Park flute players seem to be authentic (Bostwick & Krocek 2002: Figs 103, 112 and 113). One of the alleged flute players at South Mountain Park (Figure 2.9) might equally depict a stick swallower or a hunting scene in which an anthropomorph uses a blowpipe (Bostwick & Krocek 2002: Fig. 135). This event may be compared with a similar petroglyph at Miculla, Peru, also depicting a possible hunting scene (Van Hoek 2005: Fig. 7B). Three other flute players, found at one rock art panel at South Mountain Park, are in my opinion doubtful (Bostwick & Krocek 2002: Fig. 136). The alleged flute players at South Mountain Park - an area of roughly 40 square miles - are strikingly concentrated near the major, northern entrance to the mountains. Two more flute players (one shown in Figure 2.7, although this example may be a snake swallower) are found at Sierra Estrella, a mountain range 10 miles WSW of South Mountain Park. One isolated flute player has been reported from Aztec Canyon, several miles south of South Mountain Park (Slifer & Duffield 1994: 106). Thus, the few flute players occurring in the rock art of the Hohokam prove to be concentrated in a relatively small area, moreover rather distant from the Anasazi region. But distance is not always a boundary. It is known that the Hohokam had intensive contacts with the south (the area what is now Mexico) and to a lesser extent with the west (the Pacific Coast). Moreover, Brody (Pers. comm. 2005) states that interactions between the Hohokam and the northern Southwest, from the Colonial Period (Hohokam 1 in Figure 3) on, were common enough in all directions for almost any kind of pictorial interactions to have taken place. This brings me to discuss two possibilities. Generally spoken, the iconography of distant cultures will often be dissimilar. However, from the natural or cultural context or from certain universalities of the human psychology and nervous system an identical image may emerge independently in two separate culture areas. Then we speak of parallel development. On the other hand, such an image may equally be introduced to an area from a distant source, in which case we speak of diffusion, even if the metaphorical contents of the image changes over time. Thus, the flute player image in Hohokam rock art may equally have traveled from the south or may have been have been adopted from the Anasazi in the north. If indeed the Hohokam borrowed the symbol from another culture, it is uncertain whether icon and ideology ever traveled as a team (Brody: Pers. comm. 2005). Also, a distinguishing feature of (most?) Hohokam flute player images is that they are not phallic and not humpbacked, though many are typically bent over. Therefore, the Hohokam flute player might constitute a completely separate development in Southwest rock art traditions. It is moreover unlikely that the extremely low number of distantly found flute players in Hohokam iconography triggered a boom of flute players in Anasazi rock art. But such a development may not be ruled out completely. Notwithstanding the scarcity in Hohokam rock art, the sharp contrast of only ten known flute players against thousands of identified examples in Anasazi rock art is overwhelming. This raises a problem, also because there seems not to exist consensus regarding the precise

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chronology of Southwestern rock art. It has been suggested that the flute player image diffused from Mexican antecedents to the Hohokam and thence to the Anasazi by the Pueblo I period - about A.D. 700 (Haury 1976: 240, quoted in Slifer & Duffield 1994: 30). A Mexican origin for the Hohokam flute player seems to be confirmed by the discovery of flute players at Huejuquilla, Jalisco, Mexico, which seem to have close affinities with Hohokam flute player (Olmos Aguilera 2003). On the other hand, Schaafsma suggested (Pers. Comm. to Slifer & Duffield 1994: 30-1) that the flute player image appeared in Anasazi rock art by around A.D. 500, two hundred years before the Hohokam influence as suggested by Haury. In another work, Schaafsma argues that the earliest appearance of the flute player in Anasazi rock art occurs before A.D. 700 (1980: 132). Moreover, Slifer & Duffield initially suggest that the Hohokam were painting flute players on their pottery perhaps as early as the sixth century A.D., while simultaneously and confusingly they state that the earliest appearance of the flute player in Hohokam ceramics took place around A.D. 750 to A.D. 850 (1994: 4, 30). The theme appears to have been lost among the Hohokam by A.D. 1200 (1994: 31). Slifer & Duffield mainly base the early start of the flute player in Hohokam iconography on the appearance of the flute player on Gila Butte ceramics found at Snaketown, an ancient Hohokam settlement, 12 miles SE of South Mountain Park (1994: 113-4). The Hohokam populated Snaketown from the 1st century BC through the mid-1500s; a rather long time span. Brody (Pers. comm. 2005), confirming that according to Haury's report (1976) on Hohokam pottery at Snaketown, flute players are first noted on Gila Butte pottery (beginning of the Colonial Period, c. A.D. 775 - Hohokam 2 in Figure 3), is not aware of flute players from the earlier Pioneer Period (Hohokam 1 in Figure 3). THE MOGOLLON First of all, Brody rightly argues that it is a mistake to conceive of the Mogollon as a coherent society. They were different groups of people who made similar-looking unpainted pottery, lived in pit houses and occupied a vast area of quite distinctive ecological zones living in (through most of time) small (5 to 20 households), widely scattered settlements (Pers. comm. 2005). However, for matters of convenience, the Mogollon culture has roughly been divided into the Mountain Mogollon in the west of New Mexico and the Desert Mogollon in the east (Schaafsma 1980: 186). Prior to A.D. 1000, an early Abstract Style characterized rock art phases 1 to 4 of the Desert Mogollon (Figure 3), while the last rock art phase of the Desert Mogollon culture (Mogollon 5 in Figure 3) is called the Jornada Style, which includes the rock art of the Jornada and the Mimbres regions. Importantly, the style and subject of many images on Mimbres ceramics are similar to several rock art images at Three Rivers. This conveniently provides a rough time estimate for the Three Rivers rock art imagery, which largely belongs to the Jornada Style of the Jornada region and approximately dates from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1400. The statistical gap between the flute player in Anasazi rock art and Mogollon rock art is even more striking. Slifer & Duffield include nine locales with flute players within the general Mogollon cultural sphere (1994: Fig. 1). They moreover state that flute players are seen in the iconography of the Mogollon of southern New Mexico, but seem to refer mainly to examples on ceramics of the Mimbres (1994: 4), although they also argue that flute player images are also rare in the rock art of the Mimbres region (1994: 114). However, Brody informed me that although he has seen a good sample of Mimbres painted pottery - upwards of 6000 examples (some ca. A.D. 875 to A.D. 975; but mostly Mimbres Classic, A.D. 975 to

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A.D. 1150), and while he may have seen a flute player and forgotten it, he has no memory of ever doing so. Importantly, he makes the same remark for Mimbres rock art and the rock art at Three Rivers (Pers. comm. 2005). Confusingly, Slifer & Duffield also acknowledge that within the Mogollon culture depictions of humpbacked, and sometimes phallic, figures are found in rock art, but none is playing the flute (1994: 32). To complicate things further, they state that compared to the Anasazi and Fremont culture areas, there are few flute player depictions in the rock art of the Mogollon region and then mention a possible flute player near Reserve, New Mexico, an example that, moreover, has been destroyed (1994: 103). The only possible and still existing flute player included by Slifer & Duffield in their Mogollon section (1994: 105, Fig. 173) is said to occur at Three Rivers, New Mexico, but I regard this example as highly doubtful as I will demonstrate further on. A few years later, Slifer (1998) described a Jornada Style elements of a rock art site at Arroyo del Macho (some 70 km NE of Three Rivers) featuring several petroglyphs of humpbacked anthropomorphs that are directly associated with dragonflies. One of the anthropomorphs, which in this case is not phallic and does not have a humpback, holds a straight object that emerges from the head (Figure 2.2). According to Slifer (1998: 209) the anthropomorph appears to be playing a flute-like object. However, it is uncertain whether this object is an actual wind instrument. It seems to have feathers at the end (the object might even be regarded to have a rattle-snake tail-end) and therefore the anthropomorph may equally represent an arrow swallower (or even a snake swallower). Moreover, the site is located just within the Anasazi culture sphere and images at that specific site need not be of exclusive Mogollon authorship. Although it cannot be ruled out that certain Mogollon groups played the flute or another wind instrument (Slifer & Duffield speak of flutes fashioned from hollow reeds, especially in the Mogollon area [1994: 20]), Brody (Pers. comm. 2005) cannot recall any end-blown wind instruments being found in Mimbres or Jornada sites, except for relatively small flagelots (flute-like musical instruments consisting of end-blown bird bone "flutes" that have about eight finger holes cut into it). In contrast, flutes and whistles have been recovered from Anasazi Basketmaker III sites (Cole 1990: 114). This summary leaves us with only two, possibly three dubious flute players in Mogollon rock art against the thousands of unambiguous figures in Anasazi iconography; again a strong argument in favor of an (independent?) Anasazi origin of the flute player. However, there are a few interesting images at Three Rivers that need to be considered in this context because they show a posture that is typical for a flute player. But despite the flute playerlike appearance of the biomorphs involved, it is highly debatable to what extent these images offer conclusive evidence that the Mogollon knew of the flute player icon. THREE RIVERS Three Rivers is an enormous petroglyph site on the eastern fringe of the Tularosa Basin and just west of the Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico. Also visible from the top of the one mile long rocky ridge are the White Sands gypsum area to the SW and a recent black lava flow, called El Malpais; both located in the Tularosa Basin to the west of the site. On the roughly N-S stretching ridge, an intrusive sill, are found about 21.000 individual petroglyphs on a scatter of boulders and outcrops (Duran & Crotty 1999). The great majority of the petroglyphs have been very superficially pecked out of the deeply patinated, igneous rock surfaces. A problem is that additional pecking, bruising and recent vandalizing of rock surfaces easily create distorted and blurred pictures on this type of stone.

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The enormously varied imagery at Three Rivers comprises a fascinating mixture of abstract designs, zoomorphs and anthropomorphs, many occurring in isolation on a rock face. Hallmarks are cross-rings with an external ring of dots; stepped-fret figures; rectangular quadrupeds, often with interior decoration; birds; feet, hands and paws; Tlaloc figures (anthropomorphs said to be related to a Mesoamerican rain god, but this idea is controversial) and masks or faces. Flute players seem to be absent; at least, the theme is not at all mentioned in the report on this major Mogollon site (Duran & Crotty 1999) or in any literature about the Mogollon that I have available or that I have consulted. This absence seems rather strange if indeed the nearby Mimbres did produce ceramics depicting flute players as Slifer & Duffield suggest (1994: 4). However, it is seriously questioned by Brody (Pers. comm. 2005) if the Mimbres ever have used the flute player in their iconography. POSSIBLE INDICATIONS OF FLUTE PLAYERS AT THREE RIVERS? Although Southwestern flute players are often humpbacked and/or phallic, decisive in establishing an image as a true flute player is, of course, the presence of a flute. As I have postulated that images of the true flute player seem to be completely absent at Three Rivers, other indications than the flute may be considered. Indeed, there are phallic figures and humpbacked biomorphs at Three Rivers. Slifer & Duffield report a few humpbacked and/or phallic figures at Three Rivers, including an ogre-like biomorph that is carefully suggested to represent Kokopelli (1994: 104). But when this biomorph is considered in more detail, it proves that the relative positions of the splayed hand and the open, grinning mouth showing teeth (Figure 4) are not appropriately placed to hold a flute. Although Slifer and Duffield include a drawing showing a definite phallus (1994: Fig. 189), the status of this body part in the actual petroglyph is somewhat debatable. There are markings in that specific area, but they might be remnants of an (older?) petroglyph like a solar image. Another possible solar symbol is placed between the arm and the abdomen of the figure. The other indicative seems to be the (slightly) humpbacked nature of the biomorph, which might however have originated from the necessity to incorporate or (ergonomically) avoid a large ear-of-cornshaped, natural projection on the rock (situated between the two solid arrows in Figure 4). However, at Three Rivers even a petroglyph of a bighorn sheep with an enormous humpback occurs (possibly in order to create a second, negative horn for the bighorn). It is therefore highly unlikely that this ogre-like figure ever was intended to depict a flute player. Moreover, I think it is far fetched to call this biomorph a shaman, Kokopelli or anything-else. We simply do not know what it is. Besides the presence of a flute, the often phallic nature and/or the hunched back, a fourth characteristic may be the posture that is typical for a biomorph playing a wind instrument. Interestingly, there are some rock art images of phallic and/or hunched biomorphs in Southwestern rock art that are, because of their posture, suggestive of the flute player, without a flute actually being present (Figure 5). Is it possible that the flute is graphically invisible but metaphorically present? Although the concept of the non-visual in rock art is highly controversial, as it cannot be proven, the idea of the non-visual might have been introduced in Southwest rock art imagery as well as the following examples seem to suggest. Slifer & Duffield describe a hunting scene from Monument Valley, Arizona, in which the actual hunter is not depicted. They suggest however, that the presence of the hunter is symbolized by a series of human footprint petroglyphs behind a bighorn sheep (1994: 78). In this way, the hunter is invisible, yet present. Another possible example has been reported from the Mussentuchit area, Utah, where a natural shadow alignment at certain times of the year

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creates a flute of light which gradually extends from the head of an alleged flute player to that of an opposite anthropomorph (Slifer & Duffield 1994: 98 and Fig. 166). The flute is invisible most of the year, yet present at certain times. Pertaining to the concept of the non-visual flute, there is an interesting yet distant analogy. In the coastal desert zone of Chile and Peru, South America, several rock art sites feature biomorphs that seem to play a wind instrument like a flute or a trumpet. In an earlier research paper I tentatively suggested that some of the biomorphs that are in the position of the flute player might represent the concept of the non-visual. This means that the flute was deliberately not incorporated into the image, but was yet supposed to be present; its presence suggested by the specific position of the biomorph, combined with the graphical context of the iconography on the rest of the rock panel and of the rock art in the region. The evidence was largely based on the fact that on a rock panel at Pakra, Valle de Pisco, Peru, three monkeys actually were shown to play a wind instrument, while a fourth monkey in an exactly similar position did not have such an instrument (Figure 6). At the nearby site of Huancor more biomorphs were depicted in similar positions, either holding or lacking a musical instrument or an unidentified object (Van Hoek 2005). Interestingly, also at Three Rivers there are some images of anthropomorphs - often humpbacked and/or phallic - that have the typical position of a flute player, but do not feature a flute. I will consider these images in more detail. First there is the anthropomorph suggested by Slifer & Duffield to possibly represent a flute player (1994: Fig. 173, showing only part of the hand-petroglyph). This fully pecked human figure appears on a small vertical panel of a partially flaked boulder, its position indicated with 1 in Figure 7. The anthropomorph seems to be accompanied by a large splayed hand that holds or touches a spear(head) or arrow(head) (Figure 8; not showing a small part of the wrist and the rest of the arm of the hand-petroglyph). The anthropomorph - executed in profile - is not humpbacked, but is clearly phallic. The figure has two legs (one partially flaked off) but only one arm that is raised and bent at such an angle that it is possible to imagine a flute being held. Moreover, there are some isolated peck marks between the head and the arm and beyond that might be intended to represent a flute, or indicate the intention to graphically add such an instrument. Slifer & Duffield include these marks in their illustration partially as if it is a solid, straight line, possibly representing a flute. The head also seems to be executed in profile. The way the head is pecked suggests the presence of a nose and an open mouth, but this may be fortuitous. If indeed the mouth is shown, it is certain that there is nothing directly emerging from it. Therefore it is uncertain if a flute was really proposed to be represented by the faint line of small pecked areas. The second panel that I would like to describe is found only a few meters south of the previous one (indicated by locale 2 in Figure 7). On a much sloping part of a medium sized boulder is a row of possibly four or five fully pecked anthropomorphs, all shown in profile, except perhaps for the right-hand figure. The panel is heavily bruised and/or randomly pecked in places, which obscures the details to a certain extent. None of the figures is phallic or humpbacked, but especially the two central figures are in a typical position. Both may be classified as seated figures (although this is not at all certain). The two have one arm each, which is raised and bent at such an angle that, again, it is possible to imagine a flute being held (Figure 9; only showing the three right-hand figures). Once more there are many pecked (or bruised) areas between the head and the hand, but these seem to be too haphazard to be

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indicative of a flute, especially as there are many more such pecked areas at other random places on the panel. Much further north on the ridge is a most interesting group of petroglyphs on a large boulder located at the foot of the highest knoll on the ridge (its top at 1600 m), its position indicated with 3 in Figure 7. Dominating the SE facing, vertical panel is a large anthropomorph with raised arms, frontally depicted, and in a squatting position. On the panel are also some bird tracks, a small zoomorph, a row of small arches, two dotted ring marks, a mushroom-shape and an uncertain pattern of lines and randomly pecked or bruised areas. On the left-hand side is a small but definitively phallic anthropomorph. It is depicted in profile and shows two legs with merging feet and two arms, again raised and bent at such an angle that it is possible to imagine a flute being held (Figure 10). Remarkable however, is that the figure is clearly humpbacked. Thus it shows all the alleged attributes of a flute player and, moreover, it does have the distinctive position of a flute player. But there is no flute. Instead, the hands seem to hold or enter a cloud of faint peck marks, but this cloud may be a chance feature; it may be later or earlier and not even be related to the anthropomorph. Hence it is definitely not a flute player. Not far from stone 3 is a small boulder or outcrop, flush with the slightly east sloping hill side; its position indicated with 4 in Figure 7. The smooth panel has only two petroglyphs: a short, slightly curved, line; vertical in relation with a most interesting anthropomorph that has been depicted in profile. The figure is fully pecked, except for the head area, which is outlined and possibly features an eye. The figure is clearly phallic and, moreover, distinctly humpbacked. The anthropomorph has two arms, again raised and bent at such an angle that it is possible to imagine a flute being held (Figure 11). But once more there is no flute. And on this panel are no pecked areas that could give the impression of a flute being present or intended. So, also this figure definitely does not depict a flute player. A last petroglyph is even less convincing. It is on a panel located at site 5 in Figure 7 and comprises the lower, vertical part of a high, west facing columnar rock covered with bold geometric patterns. Next to two vertically orientated abstract designs is a pecked figure consisting of two outlined circles. The bigger circle has a groove pointing downward, which might represent a leg. The smaller circle, which could be viewed as the head is connected with the larger circle by a short groove, the neck (?). From the smaller circle runs a groove towards the abstract designs. It is in a position similar to that of a flute from the mouth of a flute player. The problem is now that the figure definitely is not humpbacked or phallic and only vaguely resembles a biomorph playing a flute, especially since there are no definitive anatomical features involved. CONCLUSIONS Rock art issues often centre on interpretation of a specific image or scene and the terminology used to describe the imagery. Obviously this is also the case for the flute player icon in the Southwest of the U.S.A.. Although many images may indeed represent true flute players, it has been demonstrated in this survey that not necessarily all biomorphs with a straight object from the head are playing a wind instrument. Moreover, the flute player does not exist. It is the western observer who groups a variety of biomorphic images under the category flute player, which is modern, non-native and so loosely defined that its enormous net catches a large number of disparate images that cannot possibly have ever had a shared meaning. For that reason the term "flute-player" carries absolutely no ideological implications other than those associated with those who created the category in the first place.

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Accepting these observations, it nevertheless is striking that flute-player images, whatever they depict or symbolize, occur in a wide area from Chile in South America to Utah in North America and yet apparently is absent in the Mogollon culture area, which is enclosed by cultures that feature the flute player (Figure 1). The issue of the missing flute player image also seems to be the case in large parts of northern Mexico. Although the icon has been reported in Durango and Jalisco (Mountjoy 2001a; 2001b), it seems to be absent further north in Mexico, in Sonora and neighboring Chihuahua. The flute player also seems to be absent on Chihuahuan Casas Grandes polychrome ceramics and this reflects the absence of the flute player on the related Mimbres pottery. This absence is puzzling indeed, but one of the possible answers may be that the flute player icon did not travel in whatever direction, but instead developed independently in the various cultures, also because the contents of the icon might be completely different. For instance, the flute players petroglyphs of the Jalisco area in western Mexico are said to represent anthropomorphs who use a kind of megaphone in a specific hunting ritual (Mountjoy 2001a), while many Anasazi flute players indeed seem to represent actual flute players. Yet, there are many indications that icons and ideas migrated from one cultural group to another and in this respect the Mogollon were no exception. There were definitely contacts between for instance the Anasazi and the Jornada Mogollon (Schaafsma 1980: 254) and several Mogollon themes appear in Rio Grande Style (Anasazi Pueblo IV) rock art. Brody argues that interactions among all three groups (and it is often the western researcher who thinks of them as three distinct groups rather than as x number of peoples) seem to have become increasingly common through time. By the 10th century interactions may have been commonplace in borderland areas and by the 12th century all sorts of interactions were taking place among the three groups so much so that we effectively lose the Mogollon while the Anasazi and Hohokam each transform themselves into something new and different by the 1300s (Pers. comm. 2005). However, it seems that certain elements of the Jornada Style rock art iconography and ideas did travel north and partially transformed the Anasazi rock art into what is now known as the Rio Grande Style or Anasazi Pueblo IV Style (Schaafsma 1980: 254). Importantly, there seems not to be any notable exchange of icons or ideas in the other direction and apparently the powerful image of the flute player - ubiquitous in Rio Grande Style rock art - was never adapted by the Mogollon. This may mean that the Rio Grande Style borrowed the flute player from the earlier Anasazi iconography (Schaafsma 1980: 255-6) at a time that incoherent and elusive Mogollon groups were no longer able, interested or willing to incorporate as an icon the flute player from the Anasazi, and definitely not as a sort of pan-Mogollon icon. This seems to be evident at Three Rivers. Indeed, at Three Rivers, a well known Mogollon site, not a single convincing image of the flute player has been reported so far. Indeed, there are several biomorphs that may be regarded to be humpbacked and/or phallic, but even the humpbacked and phallic nature of an anthropomorph moreover showing the typical flute player position is a highly controversial indicative of a flute player. A humpback definitely is not an allusion of a flute player, as is demonstrated by the humpbacked ogre-like biomorph at Three Rivers. At least four biomorphs at Three Rivers are found in a position typical for the flute player, but because there are no true flute player images at the site (and perhaps at any other Mogollon rock art site) there is no evidence at all that suggests a non-visual flute is a serious option (although this never can be ruled out completely - absence of proof is no proof of absence). Concluding, the anthropomorphs from Three Rivers described in this survey may

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equally hold an invisible stick or staff (analogous to a figure at a Mogollon pictograph site at Gila River - Schaafsma 1992: Fig. 64), or may hold an invisible arrow or stick that is being swallowed. Or they may not hold anything at all; they simply may be empty handed. The typical posture may have had a different meaning entirely. Yet, the presence at Three Rivers of humpbacked, phallic anthropomorphs with an attitude typical for the flute player is remarkable and must have been significant. Notwithstanding the complete lack of evidence, they might depict flute players, but this interpretation will remain highly controversial, also because there is no flute player tradition in either Mogollon rock art or ceramic art. Indeed, also at other Jornada Mogollon rock art sites, the flute player seems to be absent. At least, its appearance is not mentioned in any of the literature about Three Rivers and/or the Mogollon that I have available. However, Brody (Pers. comm. 2005) rightly argues that relatively few of the many Mogollon rock art sites (not all of which look alike) have been documented. Consequently, there is not enough information to accept as fact the published generalizations about flute player images in Mogollon rock art. Yet, the flute player is a true hallmark of the Southwest and I think that even a single flute player at any surveyed Mogollon rock art site would be reported immediately. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am most grateful to Prof. J. J. Brody for helping me with the preparation of this paper and for his willingness to read and comment on the draft version. I am obliged to Prof. Joseph Mountjoy for sending me specific information on western Mexico and allowing me to use one of his illustrations. I am also grateful to Marty Magne and Michael Klassen for emailing me their paper on the Canadian flute player and for their permission to use one of their illustrations. As usual Dennis Slifer generously allowed me to use several illustrations from his various books. REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING BOSTWICK, T. W. & P. KROCEK. 2002. Landscape of the spirits. Hohokam rock art at South Mountain Park. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson. BRODY, J. J. 1977. Mimbres Painted Pottery. School of American Research, Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. BRODY, J. J. & R. SWENTZELL. 1996. To Touch The Past - The Painted Pottery of the Mimbres People. Hudson Hills Press, New York. BRODY, J. J. 1983. Mimbres pottery: ancient art of the American Southwest. New York: Hudson Hills Press. DURAN M. S. & H. K. CROTTY. 1999. Three Rivers Petroglyph Site: Results of the ASNM Rock Art Recording Field School. The Artifact, Volume 37, No. 2. El Paso Archaeological Society. El Paso, Texas. Special Publication No. 2. Archaeological Society of New Mexico. Albuquerque, New Mexico. MAGNE M. & M. A. KLASSEN. 2001. A Possible Fluteplayer Pictograph Site Near Exshaw, Alberta. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 25: 124

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MALOTKI, E. 2001. Kokopelli: The making of an icon. University of Nebraska Press, Norman. MALOTKI, E. & D. E. WEAVER JR. 2002. Stone Chisel and Yucca Brush. Colorado Plateau rock art. Kiva Publishing, Walnut, CA. MOUNTJOY, J. B. 2001a. Ritos de renovacin en los petroglifos de Jalisco. Arqueologa de Occidente. Arqueologa Mexicana, Vol. VIII, Num. 47. 56-63. Editorial Raices, Mxico. MOUNTJOY, J. B. 2001b. El Arte Rupestre. Antropologa en Jalisco, No. 10. Secretara de Cultura del Estado de Jalisco. Guadalajara, Jalisco. OLMOS AGUILERA, M. 2003. Resea de la Gran Chichimeca, el lugar de las rocas secas de Beatriz Braniff C. Frontera Norte. enero-junio, Ao/Vol. 15. No. 029. Colegia de Frontera Norte. Tijuana. Mxico. SCHAAFSMA, P. 1980. Indian rock art of the Southwest. UNMP, Albuquerque, NM. SCHAAFSMA, P. 1992. Rock art in New Mexico. Museum of New Mexico Press. SLIFER, D. & J. DUFFIELD 1994. Kokopelli. Fluteplayer images in rock art. Ancient City Press, Santa Fe, N.M. SLIFER, D. 1998. Signs of life: Rock art of the Upper Rio Grande. Ancient City Press. Santa Fe, NM. SLIFER, D. 2000a. Guide to rock art of the Utah region. Sites with public access. Ancient City Press. Santa Fe, NM. SLIFER, D. 2000b. The serpent and the sacred fire. Fertility images in Southwest rock art. Museum of New Mexico Press, NM. VAN HOEK, M. 2004. Enigmatic quadrupeds in Southern African petroglyph art. Paper read to the RASI-2004 International Rock Art Congress, Agra, India. VAN HOEK, M. 2005. Biomorphs playing a wind instrument in Andean Rock Art. Rock Art Research, Vol. 22. N 1: 23-34. Melbourne.

CAPTIONS

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Figure 1. Map showing the location of the study area (enclosed by the dash line) within the Americas. A: Petroglyph from Indian Creek, Utah (after a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2005). B: Petroglyph from Jalisco, Mexico (after Mountjoy 2001a: Fig. 20). Figure 2. Rock art images from North American. 1: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. A-83; 2: after Slifer 1998: Fig. 229; 3: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 66; 4: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 165; 5: after Keyser 1992: Fig. 32; 6: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig.10; 7: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 176; 8: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. A-48; 9: after Bostwick & Krocek 2002: Fig. 135. 10: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 96; 11: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Plate 1; 12: after Magne & Klassen 2002: Plate 4; 13, 14, 15 and 16: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 50; 17: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 42; 18: after Slifer 2000a: Fig. 86; 19: after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. A-108; 20: after Keyser 1992: Fig. 25c. Figure 3. Chart of Southwestern chronology (based on Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 2 and Schaafsma 1980: Fig. 140). Figure 4. Petroglyph of a biomorph. Three Rivers, New Mexico. After a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2005. Figure 5. Anthropomorphs featuring a flute player-like posture. A: Painting on Black-onwhite Mesa Verde Bowl (after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. 179); B: Petroglyph. Galisteo Basin, New Mexico (after Slifer & Duffield 1994: Fig. A-48). The large spoon-shaped object most likely is of different authorship; C: Petroglyph. Velarde, New Mexico (after Slifer 2000b: Fig. 44.t); D: Petroglyph. Jemez Mountains, New Mexico (after Slifer 2000b: Fig. 20.i). Figure 6. Petroglyphs of monkeys playing a wind instrument. Pakra, Peru. Solid arrow: actual slope; open arrow: possible original slope of the fallen boulder. After a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2004. Figure 7. Map of Three Rivers, New Mexico. Based on Duran & Crotty 1999: Fig. 4. Inset: location of Three Rivers within the study area. Figure 8. Petroglyph of a biomorph in a flute player position. Three Rivers, New Mexico. After a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2005. Figure 9. Petroglyph of a biomorph in a flute player position. Three Rivers, New Mexico. After a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2005. Figure 10. Petroglyph of a biomorph in a flute player position. Three Rivers, New Mexico. After a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2005. Figure 11. Petroglyph of a biomorph in a flute player position. Three Rivers, New Mexico. After a photograph by Maarten van Hoek, July 2005.

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