For many indigenous peoples, corn plays an important role in culture and spiritual practices.
To the Navajo people, in particular, there are very few ceremonies in which corn does not play a role of some kind. Corn represents life itself and is an important “character” in the Diné Bahaneʼ (Navajo Creation Story.) Corn pollen is used as a means of blessing in Navajo and Pueblo people.
The Corn Maiden is a sacred personification of bounty, who appears throughout many Native American cultures. In Zuni pueblo, Corn maidens came to the village to dance and bring a good harvest and represent the important role women play in the culture. The Hopi speak of the Blue Corn Maiden’s beauty and kindness and how it was stolen by the winter beings (kachinas), taking the harvest with her. The Summer Katchina then appealed to the Winter Katchina to return the Corn Maiden for half the year, which is why the harvest is annual.