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Native North American Mythologies

Native American Hero Myths

Who is Corn Mother?

Corn Mother, whose stories are told by many Native American peoples, is an embodiment of the Indian belief in the animistic origin of corn. Certain Iroquoian speakers said that Corn Mother was really the Earth Mother and the mother of the creator himself and the source of plant food. When she died, corn grew from her breasts, and beans and squash from the rest of her body. The Arikara of the Plains have a myth of a murdered Corn Mother from whom corn grew. In the southwest many say that Corn Mother planted her heart in the earth and announced that instead of giving forth milk, the earth would produce corn. The Cherokee and the Penobscot of Maine have particularly haunting Corn Mother myths involving sacrifice and planting.



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