Joseph Nicolar
  • Joseph Nicolar
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

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.”

— 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).

  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Comments

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close