Corn Dolly

(redirected from Corn dollies)
Also found in: Dictionary.

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 ?
VEGETABLE PATCH: Young visitors with their corn dollies look at some of the healthy vegetables growing on the allotment site Pictures by Andy Catchpool (AC020912Ffarm-03) Purchase: www.
As part of the British Food Fortnight last Friday's Harvest Fayre at Haverfordwest was particularly successful, with a huge range of fresh meat and meat products, dairy goods and freshly churned butter, cheese, bread, honey, fruit and vegetables (including organic), sheepskins, corn dollies and a wide variety of garden plants on offer from some 35 stalls.
The speaker was Elsa Jackson who gave a most interesting talk on the history of corn dollies.
Dr Chris Upton is weaving corn dollies at Newman College of Higher Education in Birmingham.
n Nordic style is inspired by simple, natural textures, so a real tree works perfectly nCreate a feeling of warmth with by twisting a length of pretty white fairy lights around the tree n Home-made decorations are popular, with corn dollies and straw hearts giving a rustic effect n Gingerbread is a favourite Nordic decoration n Finish off with sprigs of red berriesCONTEMPORARY WHITE The most obvious way to bring your Christmas tree bang up to date is to adopt one main colour theme.
Five points behind Julia was G Bryant from the County Corn Dollies who play in Division H of the same league.
FUN FOR ALL: Corn dollies at Beamish Museum, shark week at Tynemouth Aquarium, and living history events featuring exciting battle re-enactments.
Home-made decorations are popular with corn dollies and straw hearts giving a rustic effect.
Pretty much any straw can be used to make corn dollies.
Corn dollies were often made of the last sheaf of corn in a field and offered to the goddess for fertility in the following year.
Babs Lewis hit a whacking 42 for the Checkmates in Division H of the Combined Clubs League against the County Corn Dollies.