Native American Symbols – Corn

My eyes some times play tricks on me. When I first read the post about Man in the Maze, I thought it said, “Man in the Maize,” and read with interest, looking for the connection with corn. It is a beautiful symbol, and I never knew before what it meant.

Is corn also used as a symbol in jewelry or art by native Americans?


Hello Kathleen,

There is much written about corn as a part of Native American life. This is a very brief overview.

Corn is the symbol of sustenance, the staff of life and is an important symbol of many tribes. Corn is considered a gift from the Great Spirit so its role is both as a food and a ceremonial object.

Hand carved Corn Pendant and Earrings by Lonny Cloud

Hand carved Corn Pendant and Earrings by Lonny Cloud

Very notably, corn is connected to the Hopi for their skill in being able to raise corn in desert sand.

Corn Maiden Kachina

Corn Maiden Kachina

Corn Pollen is a blessing given for protection, understanding and forgiveness. It is used along with prayers, in house blessings, and to bless people by placing pollen on top of the head.

Cornmeal, usually made from perfect ears of white corn, is considered sacred and is used to bless and nurture sacred objects such as fetishes.

Native American Fetish Carvings

Native American Fetish Carvings

The corn maiden gives of her own body to feed her family and provides seeds which ensure a continued source of food.

Corn Maiden Fetish Carving from Picasso Marble

Corn Maiden Fetish Carving from Picasso Marble

9 thoughts on “Native American Symbols – Corn

  1. Thank you for this overview of the place of corn in Native American culture. The jewelry is beautiful, especially the corn earrings and pendant.

    Corn is very important in Mexico as well, and figures as a symbol in Huichol art. Beauty is found in such simple, everyday objects.


  2. Pingback:

  3. Pingback: Native American Dolls – Apache, Lakota, Navajo, No Face « Native American Jewelry Tips

  4. We are currently remodeling our house, & while replacing some cracked plaster with new drywall, we found an old corn cob in the wall. The house was built in 1900. Was this someones discarded lunch or is it possible it was put there as a symbol for sustenance?

  5. Thank you for taking some time to publish “Native
    American Symbols – Corn � Native American Jewelry Tips”.
    Many thanks yet again -Eric

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s