Ganado Corn Series, detail, 2006, Elsie Holiday, ET513.63
Photo: Kirstin Roper, © NHMU

Corn Stories

Many stories remind the Diné (Navajo) of their deep connection to corn and that they should always care for it. In the Third World, after reconciling their differences at the River of Separation, the men and women heard a cry from the far bank of the river where the women had been living. When they went back and searched, they found the cry coming from corn the women had been growing. They had almost left it behind! When the Third World began to flood, Turkey was last to arrive at the Big Reed that would provide passage to the Fourth or Glittering World. Everyone thought he was lazy, but he was the only being who had taken the time to gather up the food seeds, especially corn, they would need in the Fourth or Glittering World. In this world, Holy Beings made male humans out of white corn and female humans out of yellow corn.