Corn was more than just a side dish to the Haudenosaunee people. Every single part of the corn was used in some way, the husks were braided and woven into baskets and dolls, the kernels were the main source of calcium in their diet, and the stalk itself was the protector for the beans that grew.
Recently our staff put together a 56 Minute Workshop to guide the community through creating a Beaded CornCob Keychain. Not only did they make beautiful beaded keychains, but participants also got to learn about the significance of Corn to the Haudenosaunee people. It wasn’t just food, it was an entity of its own.
Do you want to check out the Workshop Replay?
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Corn was seen as one of the Three Sisters, and was planted together with Beans and Squash. These three plants worked together
to support each other. The Corn provided a long stalk for the Beans to climb, the Beans supplied nitrogen to the ground, and the Squash would keep the ground covered and protected from weeds.
Watch the video below to learn more about the story of the Three Sisters.
Learn more about the process of lyed corn from Chezney Martin and how this ancient technique of lyed corn would alkaline the body and protect the Haudenosaunee from disease.
Cornhusks were also used to make baskets, hats, and faceless dolls. The dolls were said to be faceless to remind the people not to be vain or self absorbed with their looks and beauty. The photograph to the right is taken from the “Art of Cornhusk” Exhibition and created by Elizabeth Doxtator, owner of “Everything Cornhusk”
Press Play on the Video Below to get an in-home lesson on the Significance of Corn to the Haudenosaunee people.