This lovely corn maiden is hand carved from a striking specimen of orthoceras fossil, which contrasts beautifully with the dark color of the rest of the stone. It is possible to see other fossils in the body as well. Her face is inlaid sterling silver and around her neck are small inlaid pieces of turquoise. Her body has been enhanced with carvings of corn stalks and dragonflies. The pattern etchings of the corn in her midsection indicate she is a mother – a giver of life. The corn maiden is symbolic of the Zuni legend in which she saved the Zuni tribe from starvation. In Zuni today, the Corn Maidens appear in the spring and bring food offerings for Ceremonies and other rituals. She assures the Zunis a plentiful harvest.
Orthoceras was an ancient mollusk that lived more than 400 million years ago. These were the earliest recognizable animals and were able to swim and crawl. Orthoceras ranged in size from a few inches to over six feet long. When they died, their shells fell to the ocean floor and after being covered by sediment, were transformed into stone.
Condition: Excellent – original condition – new
Provenance: Purchased directly from the artist.