Shimmering Shell Corn Maiden
Shimmering Shell Corn Maiden
Shimmering Shell Corn Maiden

Shimmering Shell Corn Maiden

zf000942

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She is carved from shimmering mother of pearl and holds a pin mussel shell bowl with four ears of corn.  Carl Etsate carved a delicate tablita, and inlaid jet and turquoise eyes and a red coral mouth.  The four ears of corn are carved from lapis, mother of pearl, and turquoise.  She has inlaid turquoise dots below her neck, and turquoise, lapis and coral dots on her body.  She stands on a base of cedar with crushed turquoise. Her etched long hair goes all the way down her back.

Size: 3.5" H x 1.125" L x .75" W

Female corn beings represent all that is good about being a woman: loving, generous, nurturing, kind, strong with great compassion.  In tribes that traditionally grow corn, most of the stories are the similar.  There are many Indigenous stories about how corn was brought to the people at a time when there was hunger, and how a sacred, sometimes other worldly, female being brought them corn.  In Zuni Pueblo, there are three ages of female corn beings: the maiden who wears her hair in the traditional buns on each side, the mother who has one or more babies, and the elder grandmother who wears her shawl over her head. There are dances to honor the female corn beings in many of the Pueblos.  And in other tribes, she is held in a place of great honor.

Traditionally, Zuni carvings are symbolically fed cornmeal.   Each Zuni fetish comes in a box with a descriptive card and a tiny bit of corn meal to tide them over until they reach you.