This tall and lovely corn maiden is also an olla dancer - more about that below. Carl Etsate carved her from antler and inlaid jet eyes and an opal mouth. Her olla (pot) has designs etched in all around and is filled with turquoise. Her hair is carved and extends all the way down her back. She has a 2.5" cedar corn on the front. Turquoise and opal dots are inlaid on her body.
Size: 7.25" H x 1.125" L x .875" 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.
Zuni olla maidens are women who dance with fragile water jars, or ollas, balanced on the top of their heads. These women play an important role in Zuni, acting as cultural ambassadors for the community portraying and preserving cultural traditions for future generations. Zuni Olla Maidens sing songs of their own composition in their language, as well as those written by male community members. They dance with drums, rattles, and instruments that sound like frogs.
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.