This was the sprite and the name of Celebi in the beta of Pokémon Gold and SilverMonths before the development of Pokémon Gold and Silver was finished, the beta sprites of the new creatures that would be introduced was very different from the current one, as is the case with Celebi.
This legendary, plant-like Pokémon was originally to be called “Kokopelli,” referring to the Native American “god of music and fertility. Dr. Lava has posted on his Twitter account what both the initial and final versions look like, and an illustration of what Celebi (or Kokopelli) would have looked like if his first design had been kept. You can take a look at it below:
Beta Celebi:— Dr. Lava's Lost Pokemon (@DrLavaYT) August 10, 2020
Celebi's earliest-known design dates back to its 1998 beta sprite -- it appears to be based on Kokopelli, the Native American god of music & fertility who's known as a trickster.
1. Beta sprite recreation by @RacieBeep
2. Beta sprite, final sprite
3. Final artwork pic.twitter.com/TjUGo8uMVU
Beta Celebi:— Dr. Lava's Lost Pokemon (@DrLavaYT) August 11, 2020
In Gold & Silver's 1999 demo, Celebi had a Native American motif, was Normal instead of Grass/Psychic, and classified as the "Plant Pokemon" instead of the "Time Travel Pokemon."
1. Demo sprite recreation by @RacieBeep
2. Demo sprite, final sprite
3. Final artwork pic.twitter.com/uWEHHja37E
The Evolution of Celebi:— Dr. Lava's Lost Pokemon (@DrLavaYT) August 11, 2020
Celebi's earliest beta sprite is only known to exist in black & white -- a design clearly based on Kokopelli, a Native American god of music. Celebi was later revised into another Native American motif, then finally, into the Celebi we know today. pic.twitter.com/ThN7udT1nd