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s the ears were huske


d they were thrown
on th e flat mud roofs of the houses to dry. T
Phone:hese Indians

did not use all the corn at once. The old women thought of crop failures the next year and so they saved a double amount of the life-giving grains to plant the year after. After all the husking was done, the pueblo was swept clean with brooms made of grass bound with yucca fiber or corn husks. This

was in preparation for a fest

ivalÑ a dance perhaps, to observe the gathering-in of the crop. Strange customs these Indians had! While corn was standing in the fields it was the property of the men. As soon as it was gathered, husked and stored, it belonged to the women who were the caretakers, even though they took little p

art in pueblo life at Frijoles w

hich was predominantly a masculine society. Not all the four hundred rooms at Puwige were used for dwellings. Perhaps no more than a hundred Indians lived here. The smaller rooms around the inside of the circle, more than lik

ely, were used for storage

purposes. If this were so, it was here that great stores of corn were keptÑinside the circle, safe from plunderers and robbers. How important this corn was! It might have been offered to the Gods as a request for various favors and Indian women might have taken corn along when they went to look for p

ottery clay,

for clay was a scarce item here. And some of the people might have worn little bags of corn around their necks. Even in prehistoric times a corn cake would have-tasted good. Green corn, was pounded into a pulp, patted into a cake and then

baked on a

hearth of black stone over a little fireplace. And Indian women could have greased the little cakes with the fat of a deer to make them tasty. When the corn was all dry old women knelt before their angled metates set in bins and with a hand-piece or mano of black basalt they ground. Their fingernails were worn oblique on the ends from constant rubbing in rhythmic time with a corn-grinding chant sung by the men as they beat a drum or two. And they ground on t

hree or four metates.

First, they broke the corn, then by the time it was passed on and ground on each of the metates, it was transformed into fine corn flour. And lastly, it wa

s stored away or perhaps packed over the mountains to other villages. Some of it might have been traded for buffalo hides b

y traders who penetrated the buffalo region to the east, far out of the realm of the pueblos of the Rio Grande and adjacent mountains. There were many uses for corn. Bundles of grass were bound together at the tops with twisted corn shucks and used as brooms. And even cigarettes could have been made by wrapping corn husks around the dry leaves of some tobacco plant. Only the old men smoked. Smoking

could have taken place in one of the kivas at a time when a delegation arrived from another pueblo. Keres and Tewas might-have held council at Tyuonyi,

about Tyuonyi itself, and passed around from each to other a fire-stick with a glowing end from the fireplace as a lighter. Mats and door-flaps were made of plaited corn husks and it would not have been an uncommon sight to find these coverings over the openings of some of the houses at the base of the cliff. corn was certainly an important item. Archaeologists have recovered beans alsoÑpinto beans. It was a type know

n to the Indians before the Spaniards ever thought about the New World. During s

ome of our excavation work I found th

at the people who had lived in the Ceremonial Cave, far abov
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