Fetish-Corn Maiden TB02
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
Use TB55RXB to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; the bag keeps the trackable clean and prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take the travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission is needed to leave the U.S.
Photos in the travel bug logs are appreciated. I will be re-post them here, where they can be seen by other cachers.
About This Item
I have a small collection of fetish carvings. Fetishes are an animals or figures carved from natural materials-- stone, minerals, gems, shell, antler, wood, amber, coral, fossil ivory and probably many more. Most of mine are quite small, less than two inches in height or length. Most of my collection is from Zuni artisans (New Mexico), but I also have items from carvers in other western states, including Alaska.
The corn maiden fetish, like most others, has its roots among the puebloans. The Pueblo Peoples are a diverse group of native inhabitants of New Mexico and Arizona who lived in compact communities of apartments. They traditionally subsisted on agriculture. Of the approximately 25 pueblos that exist today, Taos, Acoma, Zuni, and Hopi are the best-known. Corn is an essential crop for the Pueblo Indians, and is prominent in their sacred ceremonies.
In Pueblo stories, the corn maidens saved the people from famine by bringing them life-giving corn. The maidens were also connected to seasonal changes and to harvests. The corn maiden figures may be shaped like an ear of corn, or may be more human in appearance, but with a costume carved to resemble an ear of corn in front. Most have long, straight hair and a bit of adornment, such as a dot of turquoise or coral representing a necklace. Many of the figures wear robes or shawls with fringes on the bottom.
The robes sometimes have dragonfly (double-barred cross) symbols carved on the back. The faces of the corn maidens are usually quite stylized, with slits (or dots of turquoise) for eyes and circles for mouths. Some maiden figures have their long hair done up on the sides like a traditional Hopi twist. Some wear a tablita, a board-like, stepped headdress. Others carry ollas on their heads, sometimes filled with turquoise chips.
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