A fabulous Mother of Pearl Corn Maiden by Vickie Quandelacy, Zuni. It's a large carving 3-1/2" x 2" x 1/2".
Mature Corn Maidens are depicted without corn kernels and have richer robes. The garments on a Corn Maiden can have various pottery designs associated with the different rain elements. Dragonflies portrayed by a vertical line crossed with two horizontal lines on the robes, are messengers who carry prayers to the spirit world and are associated with water. Some corn maidens carry offerings of crushed stones.
Corn Maidens are sometimes called Grandmother of Light or Grandmother of the Sun. The carvings represent the supernatural beings that emerged from the Middle World at the same time the Zuni people did. There are various stories about the Corn Maidens, their leaving and return to the Zuni land. Corn Maidens are key elements in many of the Zuni celebrations and rituals. There are eight Corn Maidens; the Maiden of the West has a tray of blue corn, the Maiden of the East has white corn, the Maiden of the North carries yellow corn, the Maiden of the South has red corn, one Maiden carries black corn, and one Maiden carries multi-colored corn.