Corn Grinding

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Food is Sacred - Tyrell Woolboy

Image Credit: Tyrell Descheney

Corn Grinding

During the process of a girl’s puberty ceremony, she is encouraged to grind her own corn. She is also helped with other family members and friends as they take turns grinding.

From the dried corn, she removes the kernels and places them between the stones. Pressing and pushing down in a repeating movement until the corn becomes grounded. Using the stone brush to sweep the cracked kernels back in place to be grounded more. It's also used to sweep the corn off the stones and into a pile. Starting over with placing more kernels on the stone.

While they grind corn, songs can be sung to make the process more enjoyable with the rhythm of the song. This is when some can tell her about responsibilities and such. Showing her to be strong she needs to be to provide for her kids and family when the time comes to using the stones.

The grounded corn is placed into a huge pile for them to mix into a batter for the cake.

For the boys ceremony, his mother is the one who grinds the corn for him while he is in the sweat.

This is just the basics of a portion of the ceremony itself. There's more to it but again, it all varies throughout Navajo land and Navajo families.


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