Corn Dolly

Corn Dolly

Corn dollies or corn mothers are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanization.

Before Christianisation, in traditional pagan European culture it was believed that the spirit of the corn (in modern American English, "corn" would be "grain") lived amongst the crop, and that the harvest made it effectively homeless. James Frazer devotes chapters in The Golden Bough to "Corn-Mother and Corn-Maiden in Northern Europe" (chs. 45-48) and adduces European folkloric examples collected in great abundance by the folklorist Wilhelm Mannhardt. Among the customs attached to the last sheaf of the harvest were hollow shapes fashioned from the last sheaf of wheat or other cereal crops. The corn spirit would then spend the winter in this home until the "corn dolly" was ploughed into the first furrow of the new season. "Dolly" may be a corruption of "idol" or may have come directly from the Greek word eidolon (apparition); that which represents something else.

Read more about Corn Dolly:  Background, Vetula, Materials Used, Further Reading

Other articles related to "corn, corn dolly, dolly":

The Harvest Festival in Britain - Customs and Traditions
... known as a "Mell-supper", after the last patch of corn or wheat standing in the fields which was known as the "Mell" or "Neck" ... it was bad luck to be the person to cut the last stand of corn ... In some counties the last stand of corn would be cut by the workers throwing their sickles at it until it was all down, in others the reapers would take ...
Corn Dolly - Further Reading
... Discovering Corn Dollies By M ... Lambeth ISBN 0-85263-283-5 Corn Dollies Their Story, Traditions and How to Make Them by David J Keighley ISBN 0-9504215-0-2 A Golden Dolly, the Art, Mystery and History of Corn ...

Famous quotes containing the word corn:

    The hill farmer ... always seems to make out somehow with his corn patch, his few vegetables, his rifle, and fishing rod. This self-contained economy creates in the hillman a comparative disinterest in the world’s affairs, along with a disdain of lowland ways. “I don’t go to question the good Lord in his wisdom,” runs the phrasing attributed to a typical mountaineer, “but I jest cain’t see why He put valleys in between the hills.”
    —Administration in the State of Arka, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)