Return of the Corn Mothers
What is a Corn Mother?
From Taos, New Mexico to the Hopi mesas of Arizona, the oral traditions of story continue to shape the living culture of the Pueblo peoples. Historically, one central figure in these traditions has been the Corn Mother, the giver of life.
This legendary entity is important to the Pueblo cultures, as she is synonymous with Mother Earth and represents growth, life, creativity, and the feminine aspects of the world.
Although her influence diminished with the coming of the Spanish conquest and the introduction of Christianity, Pueblo communities still preserve their knowledge of the Corn Mother. Some legends say that she will return one day to bring harmony and enlightenment.
This collection of portraits and stories is about today’s Corn Mothers. They are women who live, study, and work in the Southwest: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Texas. Some are native, indigenous to this region.
Others have journeyed here, as thousands have done for centuries, from other places.
They all share an ability to pull from the past all that is sacred and holy, and to create a future that is filled with promise.
This is a multi-generational and multi-cultural exhibit, which represents the continuation of a story that is always evolving. 'The show is based on the Pueblo myth of the Corn Mothers, said to have sung in the essence of creation, including the sacred Kachinas. The exhibition, a 2007 Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute award winner, features multi-cultural and multi-generational women from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, who embody the spirit of the Southwest.
One of the most unique exhibitions to come out of Colorado, the show’s focus is a photo exhibition of women who have earned accolades for community activism and creative endeavors. Each featured woman also recounts in story form her memories of the women who influenced her in her life journey. A documentary clip by C’Rodrigo gives a behind-the-scene account of this
This project has been made possible by funding from
the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute and the Colorado Folk Arts Council
Their Spirit Was Still Here.
Corn Mothers Story Map
Celebrating women from the San Luis Valley and their stories
About The Authors
Contributors to Return of the Corn Mothers Book