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CORN. By :Varga Boglárka. Origins of Corn A large number of Indian myths deal with the origin of corn and how it came to be grown by humans . Many of the tales center on a " Corn Mother " or other female figure who introduces corn to the people .

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By:Varga Boglárka


Origins of Corn

A largenumber of Indianmythsdealwiththeoriginofcorn and howitcameto be grownbyhumans. Many of thetales center on a "CornMother" orotherfemalefigurewhointroducescorntothepeople.

Inonemyth, told bytheCreeks and othertribes of thesoutheastern United States, theCornWoman is an old womanlivingwith a familythatdoesnotknowwhoshe is. Everydayshefeedsthefamilycorndishes, butthemembers of thefamilycannotfigure out whereshegetsthefood.

Oneday, wantingtodiscoverwherethe old womangetsthecorn, thesonsspyonher. Dependingonthe version of the story, thecorn is eitherscabsorsoresthatsherubsoffher body, washingsfromherfeet, nailclippings, orevenherfeces. Inallversions, theorigin of thecorn is disgusting, and oncethefamilymembersknowitsorigin, theyrefusetoeatit.

deity god or goddess

The Corn Woman solves the problem in one of several ways. In one version, she tells the sons to clear a large piece of ground, kill her, and drag her body around the clearing seven times. However, the sons clear only seven small spaces, cut off her head, and drag it around the seven spots. Wherever her blood fell, corn grew. According to the story, this is why corn only grows in some places and not all over the world


Inanother account, theCornWomantellstheboystobuild a corncrib and lockherinsideitforfourdays. Atthe end of thattime, theyopenthecrib and finditfilledwithcorn. The CornWomanthenshowsthemhowtousethecorn.

Otherstories of theoriginofcorninvolvegoddesseswhochoosementoteachtheusesofcorn and tospreadtheknowledgetotheirpeople. The Seneca Indians of theNortheasttellof a beautifulwomanwholivedonacliff and sangtothevillagebelow. Her song told an old man toclimbtothe top and be herhusband. Atfirst, he refusedbecausetheclimbwassosteep, butthevillagerspersuadedhimto go.

Whenthe old man reachedthe top, thewomanaskedhimtomake love toher. Shealsotaughthimhowtocarefor a youngplantthatwouldgrowonthe spot wherethey made love. The old man faintedas he embracedthewoman, and when he awoke, thewomanwasgone. Fivedayslater, he returnedtothe spot tofind a cornplant. He huskedthecorn and gavesomegrainstoeachmember of thetribe. The Seneca thensharedtheirknowledgewithothertribes, spreadingcornaroundtheworld.


SummerCornSalad’s recipe:


6 earscorn, husked and cleaned

3 largetomatoes, diced

1 largeonion, diced

1/4 cupchoppedfreshbasil

1/4 cupoliveoil

2 tablespoonswhitevinegar

salt and peppertotaste


1st step:Bring a largepot of lightlysaltedwaterto a boil. Cook corninboilingwaterfor 7 to 10 minutes, oruntildesiredtenderness. Drain, cool, and cutkernelsoffthecobwith a sharpknife.  

2nd step:In a largebowl, tosstogetherthecorn, tomatoes, onion, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Chilluntilserving.