Native American Totems

Discovering the medicine and lessons learned from the spirits of animals and all living things.

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The corn plant and the luscious ears that grow from it provide us with some really great tasting food. Whether we eat it straight from the cob or the kernels removed this plant has provided food for humans for something like 7,000 years. Native Americans have valued this plant for centuries as a way to sustain life and have used it as a sacred part of some ceremonies.

Did you know that the corn plant is not a plant that exists naturally on earth? It is actually a human invention and can not survive unless nurtured by humans. It is believed that the first corn came from central Mexico over 7,000 years ago. It developed from teosinte, a grass, and did not resemble the corn that we have today. Over time the corn plant evolved into the plant we now grow and enjoy. The indigenous peoples of both North and South America came to rely on the corn plant as a major source of their food and by the time that the Pilgrims arrived in North America the Natives had become quite adept at cultivating this wonderful food. I’m fairly certain that corn would have been served at the first Thanksgiving dinner. Along with the other two sisters of crops, squash and beans.

Sweet Corn Vintage Seed Packet Poster
Vintage Sweet Corn Seed Packet Poster by SunshineDazzle at Zazzle

Although corn has been a staple of Natives for thousands of years, it also symbolizes goodness, abundance, and fertility. When we feed the body, the mind, the heart, and the spirit in our daily lives we find beauty. Living our lives in balance is the beauty that “grows corn” for both physical and spiritual sustenance.

  • The root of the corn plant gives us the message of the beauty that we can experience daily by connecting to the Earth Mother with our roots.
  • The stalk of the corn plant signifies the attitude that we need to have to walk in beauty and balance.
  • The kernels of corn represent the fruits of our labors and the good energy used for the labor and gained from the labors.
  • The corn silk catches sacred pollen to give us abundance in our lives.

If we think of our body as the corn plant and nurture it as we would a plant growing in the ground, we can both grow and walk in the beauty of life in a balanced and sacred way.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related