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Bradford's Indian BookBeing the True Roote & Rise of American Letters as Revealed by the Native Text Embedded in Of Plimoth Plantation$
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Betty Booth Donohue

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037370

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037370.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Corn and Wampum

Corn and Wampum

(p.56) 4 Corn and Wampum
Bradford's Indian Book

Betty Booth Donohue

University Press of Florida

This chapter explicates both the symbolic and actual uses of corn and wampum in Native daily and ceremonial life, and illustrates how Of Plimoth Plantation contains corn and wampum tropes. Corn is not only a staple Native food; it is also an item of veneration and a Native sacramental. There are corn deities, such as the Cherokee Selu, and Native people are often named for corn as a sign of respect. Corn is thought to have generative capabilities, which corn pollen is used, in Navajo sandpaintings, to animate. Wampum was first used by Natives as an incipient writing system, but was later corrupted and became used as currency. Both corn and wampum are closely related to people and their welfare. When corn and wampum were used for commercial gain, however, both Plymoutheans and Natives suffered.

Keywords:   Cherokee, corn, corn deities, corn pollen, corn tropes, Native foods, Navajo, sandpaintings, Selu, wampum

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