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Corn mother

The origin of maize

Joseph Nicolar
Joseph Nicolar

When Kloskurbeh, the All-maker, lived on earth, there were no people yet. But one day when the sun was high, a youth appeared and called him “Uncle, brother of my mother.” This young man was born from the foam of the waves, foamed quickened by the wind and warmed by the sun. It was the motion of the wind, the moistness of the water, and the sun’s warmth which gave him life — warmth above all, because warmth is life. And the young man lived with Kloskurbeh and became his chief helper. Now, after these two powerful beings had created all manner of things, there came to them, as the sun was shining at high noon, a beautiful girl. She was born of the wonderful earth plant, and of the dew and of warmth. Because a drop of dew fell on a leaf and was warmed by the sun, and the warming sun is life, this girl came into being — from the green living plant, from moisture, and from warmth. “I am in love,” said the maiden. “I am a strength giver, I am the nourisher, I am the provider of men and animals. They all love me.”

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— from “Corn Mother” in American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon 1984), Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz

Corn Mother, or Corn Maiden, is a mythological character in several Native American creation myths believed to have been responsible for the origin of corn (maize). The version related above, retold from several 19th Century sources, including Joseph Nicolar (1827–1894), author of The Life and Traditions of the Red Man (1893).

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Joseph Nicolar
Joseph Nicolar

When Kloskurbeh, the All-maker, lived on earth, there were no people yet. But one day when the sun was high, a youth appeared and called him “Uncle, brother of my mother.” This young man was born from the foam of the waves, foamed quickened by the wind and warmed by the sun. It was the motion of the wind, the moistness of the water, and the sun’s warmth which gave him life — warmth above all, because warmth is life. And the young man lived with Kloskurbeh and became his chief helper. Now, after these two powerful beings had created all manner of things, there came to them, as the sun was shining at high noon, a beautiful girl. She was born of the wonderful earth plant, and of the dew and of warmth. Because a drop of dew fell on a leaf and was warmed by the sun, and the warming sun is life, this girl came into being — from the green living plant, from moisture, and from warmth. “I am in love,” said the maiden. “I am a strength giver, I am the nourisher, I am the provider of men and animals. They all love me.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

— from “Corn Mother” in American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon 1984), Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz

Corn Mother, or Corn Maiden, is a mythological character in several Native American creation myths believed to have been responsible for the origin of corn (maize). The version related above, retold from several 19th Century sources, including Joseph Nicolar (1827–1894), author of The Life and Traditions of the Red Man (1893).

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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