Insects are a non-traditional fetish subject in Zuni; they figure more prominently in decorative motifs in pottery, petroglyphs and rock paintings. In Tony Hillerman’s novel The Boy Who Made Dragonfly: A Zuni Myth, the dragonfly origin myth was popularized, stating that the dragonfly is a harbinger of life, good health and rain.
The cicada, which lives in many areas of the Southwest, represents rebirth and good fortune. In Zuni mythology, cicadas can outwit coyotes, the natural trickster. Cicadas are also associated with the Kokopelli, the charismatic and iconic flute player portrayed in rock art and ceramic imagery.