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Navajo Corn

navajocodetalkersadmin on August 10, 2016 - 10:00 am in Navajo History

To someone who doesn’t know the first thing about Navajo life and traditions, the idea of Navajo corn sounds like it might refer to a particular approach to preparing corn. The truth of the matter is that the relationship between corn and the Navajo people is considerably more complicated than that. There is a great deal of fascinating information that highlights the long-standing role of corn in Navajo life and Navajo traditions.

If you are going to study Navajo history and culture, you are also going to want to study Navajo corn. To that end, there are some fascinating pieces of information that you will want to learn about.

The Navajo And Corn

The relationship between the Navajo people and corn is one that stretches back hundreds and hundreds of years. Even today, corn is a prominent component to existing Navajo traditions. Certainly, corn is an important food staple to the Navajo tribe. However, there are several other elements to Navajo corn that should be kept in mind:

  • As mentioned before, corn is an important food item to the Navajo people. It is a staple to a number of Native American tribes. Corn is still planted every spring in large fields.
  • Corn is seen as far more than a simple symbol of food. It is also considered to be an important symbol of fertility, and even of life itself.
  • There are very few rites or ceremonies in which corn does not play a role of some kind.
  • In terms of corn and Navajo rituals/rites, the pollen of the corn is a great example of the importance of Navajo corn. After it has been dusted off the tassels, it is used as a means to bless in ceremonies. It is a prominent element in the subject of Navajo prayer.
  • Returning to the importance of corn as a food staple to the Navajo people, there are a variety of foods in which corn is the primary ingredient. These foods include kneel-down breads, blue-corn mush, dried-steamed corn, and roasted corn.
  • Corn is also prominent in the coming-of-age ceremony for a Navajo girl. When a Navajo girl comes of age, a massive cake made from corn is cooked underground. The pit in which the corn cake is cooked is circular, and it is lined with an assortment of corn husks.

These are just some of the important, fascinating facts about the Navajo people and corn. Certainly, there are many more examples out there for study.

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