When corn is to be planted by the Indians, it is the work of the

women folk to see to the sorting and cleaning of the best seed. It

is also the women's work to see to the planting. (This was in olden


After the best seed has been selected, the planter measures the

corn, lays down a layer of hay, then a layer of corn. Over this

corn they sprinkle warm water and cover it with another layer of

hay, then bind hay about the bundle and hang it up in a spot

where the warm rays of the sun can strike it.

While the corn is hanging in the sun, the ground is being prepared

to receive it. Having finished the task of preparing the ground,

the woman takes down her seed corn which has by this time sprouted.

Then she proceeds to plant the corn.

Before she plants the first hill, she extends her hoe heavenwards

and asks the Great Spirit to bless her work, that she may have a

good yield. After her prayer she takes four kernels and plants one

at the north, one at the south, one at the east and one

at the west sides of the first hill. This is asking the Great

Spirit to give summer rain and sunshine to bring forth a good crop.

For different growths of the corn, the women have an interpretation

as to the character of the one who planted it.

1st. Where the corn grows in straight rows and the cob is full of

kernels to the end, this signifies that the planter of this corn is

of an exemplary character, and is very truthful and thoughtful.

2nd. If the rows on the ears of corn are irregular and broken, the

planter is considered careless and unthoughtful. Also disorderly

and slovenly about her house and person.

3rd. When an ear of corn bears a few scattering kernels with

spaces producing no corn, it is said that is a good sign that the

planter will live to a ripe old age. So old will they be that like

the corn, their teeth will be few and far between.

4th. When a stalk bears a great many nubbins, or small ears

growing around the large one, it is a sign that the planter is

from a large and respectable family.

After the corn is gathered, it is boiled into sweet corn and made

into hominy; parched and mixed with buffalo tallow and rolled into

round balls, and used at feasts, or carried by the warriors on the

warpath as food.

When there has been a good crop of corn, an ear is always tied at

the top of the medicine pole, of the sun dance, in thanks to the

Great Spirit for his goodness to them in sending a bountiful crop.