Tall Cedar Corn Maiden
Tall Cedar Corn Maiden

Tall Cedar Corn Maiden


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Zuni carver, Carl Etsate, carved this tall, graceful corn maiden with a detailed tablita (head piece) from cedar.  The curve of her body and her round mouth make it seem like she is singing and swaying.  He inlaid jet and turquoise eyes, and a turquoise dot mouth.  There are inlaid jet and turquoise dots on the front of her body which is detailed corn kernels and hatch lines.  Her detailed hair goes all the way down her back. "CE" is engraved at the bottom of her long hair on the back.  More about corn maidens below.

Size: 2.875" H x .5" Diameter

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.