Corn Dolly

(redirected from Corn Mother)
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Corn Dolly

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Corn Mother is made from the harvest at Lughnasadh, and is laid to rest for the winter at Samhain. Three months later at Imbolc, this figure is taken up again to become the Maiden. Straws are plucked from the figure and fashioned into the Imbolc Corn Dolly, the Maiden aspect of the Mother Goddess. In Gaelic this is called Brídeóg, or the "Biddy."

The Corn Dolly figure is carried from the fields to the farmhouse with great ceremony. It is sometimes lowered to the ground with a great display of sorrow, or lifted high with cries of joy, signifying death and rebirth. The Corn Dolly is dressed and laid in a miniature bed made of corn and hay with Candles burning around it. A club representing the male energy of the God of Fertility is placed beside the bed.

In the Highlands of Scotland this Corn Dolly is an effigy of Bride, or Brigid, and was carried around the community while gifts were collected for the Bride Feast. A small bed as described above was placed near the door of the house. Bride was then invited into the house to prepare for the coming spring. The festival was strictly matriarchal, and the door of the feasting place was barred to the men of the community who had to plead humbly to honor Bride. This is similar to the Greek agricultural rites of Demeter and Kore, which were principally feminine and excluded males.

Some Corn Dollies are a crude representation of a human, but many are elaborate knots—intricate designs of braided corn stalks in spirals woven into squares or formed into crosses. In Germany the Dolly represented animals—pigs, goats, wolves, hares— and was referred to as the Corn Cock.

References in periodicals archive ?
The "gift" she imagines and prioritizes so emphatically is, again, the story of Selu the Corn Mother herself.
In the story, the animals are saved from Kanati the hunter's relentless pursuit when Corn Mother is sent to be his wife and to help nourish the earth's inhabitants.
Four fresh sprays of spruce were tied to the corn mothers with strips of yucca.
Before their initiation begins, each child is given a Corn Mother.
Females were descendants of Selu, the Corn Mother, and this connection "between women and corn gave women considerable status and economic power because the Cherokees depended heavily on that crop" (p.
To add to western confusion, Panther may also be called Corn Mother or Corn Maiden.
The pair also act as Corn Mothers, encouraging their many seeds into the dirt, then calling the Three Sisters up from them until their leaves strain upwards to hold the Sky.
The corn mothers, a matriarchal theme in Native American and Chicano cultural arts, are now living within a food regime scenario; our tortillas are controlled by agribusiness and neo-liberal policies.
Gutierrez, When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846 (Stanford, 1991); John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America (New York, 1994).
Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, commentary in "Commentaries on When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 15001846, by Ramon A.