Myths & Legends



Cherokee: The Corn Woman

The corn woman as good medicine. A fable from the Cherokee.
— Orly

ONE day a hunter could find no game. He had but a few grains of corn with him. He was very hungry. In the night a dream came to him and he heard the sound of singing.

Early the next morning the hunter rose, but again he found no game. When he slept again the dream came to him, and again came the sound of singing, but this time it was nearer. Yet again he could find no game.

The third night the dream came to the hunter, and when he awoke, he still heard the song. Then he rose quickly and followed the song. At last he came to a single green stalk of Selu.

The stalk spoke to him. It said, “Take off my roots, and take them with you to your wigwam. Tomorrow morning you must chew them before anyone awakes. Then go again into the woods. So will you always be successful in hunting.”

The green stalk gave him many directions for hunting the elk and the deer. So it talked until the sun rose to the very top of the sky trail. Immediately the green stalk became a woman. She rose gracefully into the air and vanished.

Then all the people knew that the hunter had seen Selu, the Corn, wife of Kanati. Therefore the hunter was always successful.



Source:  K.B.J. [1]

Culture:  Cherokee

Language Group:  Cherokee (Tsalagi Gawonihisdi) is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language and differs significantly from the other Iroquoian languages.


Related Reading

Max Muller: An Account of the Popol Vuh

Shawnee: Piqua