Corn Maidens

Beyond Tradition

Corn Maidens

Faye Corn Maiden
Faye Quandelacy, Shell (PC)

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Zuni Maidens and Other Human Figures

Corn is to Pueblo people what the buffalo has always been to the Plains Indians, the very symbol of LIFE. In Zuni mythology, the Corn Maidens brought this gift, and many of the carvings of women, especially those with a criss-cross pattern on the body, are carved to pay homage to the Corn Maidens.

Relatively recently a wider range of figural carvings is coming out of Zuni. Most represent participants in social dances, a mainstay of traditional Zuni life. Olla maidens with pots on their heads, women with tablitas (crenellated head dresses), and figures wrapped in shawls are a few of the more common representations.

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