Across Native American cultures, Corn Maidens play a special role, symbolizing the prayers of the people for a bountiful harvest. Hopi and the Zuni people tell their own stories of the Corn Maiden, creating Katsinam and fetishes in her honor. Cherished by the Zuni people, the Corn Maidens came to the villages to dance, bringing with them a new and bountiful harvest each year. Representative of women and their important role in Zuni culture, Corn Maiden fetishes are created from a variety of materials including coral, turquoise and onyx. Each fetish is unique, with some artists capturing the maiden as a young woman and others as a mature figure. Once of our favorite pieces, a double-sided fetish carved from shell , displays six different maidens and reflects the lifetime of a woman. According to Hopi legend , the most beautiful of the Corn Maidens was the Blue Corn Maiden, and because of her beauty and kindness she was stolen away by the Winter Katsina — taking the corn harvest with her.
Zuni Carved Corn Maiden Fetish
Corn Maiden - Zuni Fetish - Vickie Quandelacy - Zuni Corn Maiden Carving | eBay
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F148 Lapis Corn Maiden
So, it comes as no surprise that much corn and its harvest plays a big role in Native American Indian tradition and folklore. According to tradition, Corn Maidens were created in the palm of the right hand of the Great Spirit as guides for the people of the Earth. People were not always able to determine from among the many plants and animals on the Earth what was good for them to eat—what would nourish them vs. So the Corn Maidens were sent to give each clan a single seed of corn that, if properly cared for, would feed and sustain them.
Lapis Corn Maiden and Hopi Maiden. The Hopi maiden on the reverse side has a turquoise accent stone. Sandra Quandelacy from the Zuni Pueblo is the carver. This is symbolic of the Zuni legend in which she saved the Zuni tribe from starvation.