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[Tidbits] Corn

Fact: It is second only to wheat as the main ingredient in breakfast

Fact: As to how corn was first created … I give you the bare
essentials. A long time ago a lonely man was cajoled by a beautiful
woman–as inducement to having her as a companion for evermore–to
burning a field and then–when the sun set–to grabbig her by the
hair and dragging her through that burnt field–resulting in the
phenomenon that wherever she was dragged corn would grow. For the
majority of you who–I suspect–find the minds of women unfathomable
… I give you the above bit of as yet another view into
the intricate thinking mechanism of the female intellect.

Fact: Corn. A god. Sowed in the spring … reaped in the summer by
decapitation and ingestion. A symbol of fertility with a living
creature often serving as the substitute paradigm of the god. Thusly
… in France … quite some time back … cats were killed to
coincide with the final cutting of the last sheaf of corn for the
season … and was then roasted and eaten on Sunday. Mmm. Yummy. In
other parts of Europe a cock was buried up to its neck and was then
decapitated with a sickle to coincide again with the last cutting of
the last sheaf of corn. As to them wot inhabited Galloway, Scotland
… the cutting of the last sheaf of corn was referred to as
“cutting the hare”. Lest some of you think these rites were limited
to non- humans … I urge you to re-think your thinking … for as
often as not stray travelers innocently roaming through towns and
villages were often seen as corn-gods trying to escape and were
summarily seized and slain in order to ensure a continual annual
return of a good harvest.

These actions, folks, had absolutely nothing to do with the cynical
concepts that might pass through the minds of those less pure in
thought of the innate barbarism of man … and more to do with the
beneficent nature of humans as they strive in purity and goodness to
achieve a harvest rich enough to feed all. For we are … you see
… indeed … a most saintly bunch … wouldn’t you say?

And so we come to the final conundrum … that most perplexing of
questions that I suspect invades the minds of most of you and that
is: What has this got to do with jewelry, Benjamin?

Yes … well … fair enough. I have this brooch … or necklace …
set with rows of graduated white cultured pearls in the shape of a
corn on the cob. Quite mouth-drooling and attractive in fact.
Realistic enough looking to prompt one to pick up a knife and fork
and yell out: “Pass the butter, please.” It’s definitely worth a
look/see … if for nothing else than to wonder why a jeweler would
want to make this in the first place … and why a woman would want
to wear it in the second place.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Tidbits Graphics … and then click on the link that says: Corn …
in order to view a rather interesting representation of maize.

Benjamin Mark

Fact: It is second only to wheat as the main ingredient in
breakfast cereals. 

Benjamin, by all means feel free to meander on all you want on
various subjects of your choice, but please don’t label the results
as “fact” unless you have a clear idea of what you’re writing about.
Corn, in your first and penultimate paragraphs, is an American
grain, also known as maize. It has its own set of origin legends and
associated rites and customs in the Native American societies for
which it was a staple, but those you refer to below are European,
and are associated with other grains, mostly wheat and barley. I
know it’s confusing, since these are also referred to generically as
"corn", but the root of this word is the same as in “kernal”, and
means grains of pretty much anything. (This is why we refer to
"corned" beef - because the rock salt used in its preparation came
in granular form.) The sheafs of corn you refer to are not the same
thing as ears or stalks of maize, and the religio-agricultural
beliefs and practices associated with grain production and referred
to below were more or less extinct by the time the first maize was
imported into the European continent. Perhaps this may seem like
nit-picking to you, but things that are presented as factual tend to
linger in ones brain, and if they turn out to be otherwise, can
cause one to lose bets in bars…

Andrew Werby