Monthly Spirit
August 2008
Corn Woman

Corn Woman © Aris Dervis 1992/2008, Blue corn Santa Fe, New Mexico

© Aris Dervis 2008

Corn Woman

On the east coast August is corn month. For the next six weeks corn reaches its annual peak of sweet succulence.  And so we take this occasion to honor Corn Woman, the Native American Goddess responsible for bringing us this great gift.  There are as many legends regarding Corn Woman as there are storytellers, but some elements are consistent.

Corn Woman had some sons who were always hungry.  To feed them she would disappear each day and return with a full basket of corn.  The kids were suspicious about where their mother found the corn.  One day they spied on her and saw her straddling the basket, shaking her body, and filling the basket with corn.  The children were horrified and considered their mother to be a witch.  They thought they had no recourse but to kill her.

Reading their minds, Corn Woman gave them explicit instructions on how to treat her body after they killed her.  They were to drag her corpse around the land seven times and then bury her. In the spot where they buried her, corn grew and fed them even after she was gone.

Here is a recipe for Blue Corn Bread

1 ½ c. flour
1 ½ c. blue corn meal (available online)
6 t baking powder
6 T grated cheese
¼ c chopped onion
6 T cooking oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t salt
¼ c sugar
4 t chile powder
1 ½ c milk

Sift dry ingredients (except chile powder) into a large bowl.  Add onions and cheese.

In a large skillet heat cooking oil and add chile powder.  Cool chile oil and add to milk and eggs in separate bowl.  Mix well, then stir into dry ingredients until well blended.  Return to greased skillet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Serves 8.

Corn Woman is available as a print, t-shirt, candle or greeting card.

Serving Spirits Monthly Spirit © Aris Dervis