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Indigenous Peoples' Literature



An Address to Mother Corn
How Antelope Carrier Saved the Thunderbirds and
Became the Chief of the Winged Creatures

How Corn Came to the Earth

The Arikaras (Sahnish) came from the south, many years ago, to the Missouri River in what is now North Dakota and the Fort Berthold Reservation in South Dakota, where they live today. With them, they brought not only reliance on corn as their most important agricultural crop, but also their appreciation of it as a divine gift. The Great Spirit Above gave them corn and they show their gratitude every year in their ceremonies.

In these religious ceremonies, corn was honored and referred to in the endearing and also the highly respectful title of "Mother Corn." At a certain time in the ritual, one of the leaders of the tribe made an address to Mother Corn in the following words, or in words with similar effect.

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The Indigenous Peoples' Literature pages were researched and organized by Glenn Welker.