HR Giger's Necronom III:
Kokopelli playing a gun/flute

leading from

a) Necronom III was painted in 1976, and two stages of the painting have been photographed.
A large head with elephant like tusks either side and enigmatic details buried in the right of the picture that looks like as there a figure to the left as if sitting at a table doing something as in a Vermeer painting,

Possible humanoid character in Necronom IIIa 1975

b) Is it a human with a pipe like structure, with his head lowered and elongated at the back. In the original, the head fades into the structure of the head. In the original it might have an eye like an cartoon character and then it was covered up in the second.

Highlighted Possible humanoid character in
Necronom IIIa 1975 with tendrils extending
from the back of the head,

c) Is the thing playing a violin? Is he holding a gun, perhaps with the barrel to his mouth, or he is holding a large rifle vertically intersecting with the elephant’s cheekbone. Is the humanoid figure in the manner of a circus performer with tentacle like legs wrapped around the elephant’s trunk
My general assumption that the vague suggestion of a cartoon character like figure in the details on the left, with one arm following the outline of the elephantine ear may as well be someone pointing the barrel of a pistol into his mouth, especially in view of the Pump Excursion paintings from years later in 1988 but there might be happier possibilities about what the character is up to. However Giger would reveal that the character in Pump Excursion is holding a shot gun to his mouth but in a way that should make people think that he is an American Indian playing a flute. (See Pump Excursion)

work 610, Pump Excursion, 1988

d) The lower body might just be a tentacle like trunk. In fact in image 450a he seemed to attempt something similar but with the figure seated straight with a set of pipe or cables coming out of the back of the head

work 450a, Study for a lamp and mirror (1981)

e) Revelation of Kokopelli
28th June 2015, a friend named Wesley Stamper noticed how part of the image  highlighted in red resembled a character known as Kokopelli who 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. The character is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music ( 

Highlighted Possible humanoid character in Necronom IIIa 1975
Some say these flute playing figures represent the Hopi katsina Kokopelli, who has a hump and is associated with fertility, but traditionally he does not carry a flute. Elder Hopis have referred to flute-playing rock art figures as "cicadas," noise-making insects with a flute-like proboscis. The cicada is an important Hopi figure, believed to bring the plant-nurturing heat essential for a good harvest. (.Ekkehart Malotki, Kokopelli: The Making of an Icon (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2000).)

Indeed this matches up with the what I might expect to see buried in Necronom III.

(See also other Representations of Kokopelli.)

A modern Kokopelli (

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