Today's Goddess: Uti Hiata / Corn Mother
Many of the plains Indians have a Corn Mother or Corn Maiden Goddess. In fact versions of Corn Mother show up all over the world. It's interesting that Loar chose the Pawnee Indian Goddess to write about when Cherokee and Hopi stories are more commonly found.
*"Corn Mother is a symbol of the Great Goddess, who gives the substance of her body and her life to provide food for her children."
A number of tales about Corn Mother tell of the mother sacrificing herself so that her children will not starve, commanding her husband and sons to kill her and press her body into the earth and bury her bones. From her bloody flesh mixed with the soil grows corn and from her bones grows the sacred tobacco plant. You can read a version of this story here.
Other stories tell of corn mother pulling the corn off her own body or from her womb every day in secret and when her sons discover this they become horrified and refuse to eat causing her to become old and die. You can read a version of this story here.
The corn cycle is a great example of the cycle of life. It sprouts, grows, nourishes, dies, and returns to the earth to restart the cycle.
*"By honoring these cycles and giving thanks in a spirit of reverence, humanity maintains its bond with Corn Mother and ensures that the blessings will continue. Otherwise our arrogance might cause the land to become barren."
From the Great Spirit Mother website:
"Corn was a highly valued staple in the Americas and together with the other vital crops of beans and squash, the grouping was named the "Three Sisters, Our Supporters" in accordance with the belief that the plants also embodied female spirits. Mother Corn Herself, the nurturing Creatrix and Sustainer, was held in the highest esteem as shown in the following creation story.
"Once all living things were in the womb of Mother Earth. Corn Mother caused all things to have life and start to move toward the surface of the Earth. With Corn Mother's help, the people were born onto the surface of the Earth, but because the people did not know how to care for themselves, they started to wander...Finally the Arikara came to a beautiful land where they found everything they needed to live. A woman of great beauty came to them and the Arikara recognized her as the Corn Mother. She stayed with them for many years and taught them how to live and work on the Earth and how to pray. When she died, Corn Mother left the people a corn plant as a reminder that her spirit would always guide and care for them. The Arikara say that the beautiful place where they learned to live was the valley of the Loup River in Kansas." An Arikara story
*Contemplation: " The Gods are jealous. If you forget to give smoke they will be angry."
*This contemplation and the topic for this blog entry was inspired by, “Goddesses for Every Day” by Julie Loar.