Entry Detail

Zea mays L.
corn, maize


Entry Type:  
Species
Scientific Name:  
Zea mays L.
Common Name:  
corn, maize
Myaamia Name:  
miincipi
Description:  

Myaamia Archival Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Archival Data Comments
Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Horticultural Info 

When wiihkoowia, the whippoorwill, is first heard in spring, it indicates the time of corn cultivation for the Miami. The whippoorwill's call, ansiwašikoko (spelled by Gatschet 'ziwashikóko') means "go to planting" in Myaamia.

Shea, J. G. (ed.) 1903 Horticultural Info 

Corn is stored in caches for use in summer. "Is it the custom of these tribes at harvest-time to put their Indian corn in caches, in order to keep it for summer, when meat easily spoils, and to go and pass the winter in hunting wild cattle and beaver, carrying very little grain. That of our people had runshort, so that passing by the Ilinois village, they were obliged, there being no one there, to take some Indian corn as much as they deemed necessary for their subsistence".

Rafert, S. 1989 Use - Technology 

Old-style quail traps made with a hole and about twenty forked sticks, corn used as bait in the hole.

Rafert, S. 1989 Use - Food 

Corn was dried on a rack. "She started in drying it on racks. What'd he call it?--he called it a "scaffel". It was built with four poles sunk in the round and leveled up level, and then cross sections nailed across the top, way up off the ground, maybe as much as six feet off the ground, or more. Then he made that solid, solid board. And he covered it with paper, newspapers in those days, and my mother got mosquito netting. She'd put the corn on this paper or oilcloth--later in years she used oilcloth. Then over this whole thing she put rock on each corner and in the middle like this here (motions)--and a higher one in the middle, and the mosquito netting was tucked underneath that to keep the flies off of it, and birds." Its size: "I'd say . . .six by five would be about it. They dried apples up there, they dried corn up there, different seasons, of course". Probably a mixture of a traditional drying structure and white influence (Dunn mentions tables for drying corn in field notebook 4), He didn't know anyone that ground it.

Rafert, S. 1989 Use - Food 

"My brother, after my folks died, they made hominy out of it. They raised it for hominy. . . We ate it as roasting ears when I was a kid. Lookin' back on it, it would be practically tasteless but they made meal with it, too. It was meal corn. It was so easy to grind up, see, soft".

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Use - Customs 

"They put in [the grave--a hole lined with boards] a little kettle or earthen pot, about a double handful of corn, a calumet, a pinch of tobacco, a bow and arrows . . ." ("une petite chaudiere ou pot de terre, Environ une jointee de Bled, un Calumet, une pincee de Tabac un arc et des fleches").

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Horticultural Info 

"To return to the occupations of the women, at the end of July they begin to mix or dry the corn. They make two kinds. That which they roast gives them more trouble than that which they boil, for they have to make large griddles and exercise particular care to turn the ears from time to time to prevent their burning too much on one side, and afterwards they have to shell off the kernels. They therefore make very little of this kind. The kind which they boil they gather just as tender as the corn for roasting, and with shells, which they find more convenient than knives, they cut all the kernels, throwing away the cobs, until they have about the quantity they wish to cook for that day. They never keep any for the next day because of the excessive care needed to prevent it from turning sour. After this, as soon as it has boiled for a few minutes, they spread it on reed mats, which they also make in the same manner as those that serve for their cabins. The drying process usually takes two days. They make a great store of this kind. As regards the large ears which are ripe at the end of August, after they have gathered it they husk the ears and spread them on mats. In the evening they gather them into a heap and cover them well; when the sun has risen they spread them again, and they keep this up for a week; then they thresh it with big sticks six or seven feet long, in a place which they surround with matting to prevent the flying kernels from getting lost " ("Pour revenir aux occupations des femmes, a la fin de juillet elles commencent a faire mesler ou secher du bled, elles en font de deux manieres, celuy quelles font Rostir leurs donne plus de peine que celuy quelles sont bouillir, car il faut quelles fassent de un soin rands Grils, et quelles ayent tout particulier de retourner de temps en temps, les espics crainte qu'ils ne se bruslent trop d'un coste, et apres il faut qu'elle l'egraine c'est pourquoy elles en font tres peu, celuy qu'elles font bouillir elles le cueillent aussi tendre que celuy quelles font rostir, et avec des Coquilles qui leurs sont plus commodes que des couteaux elles coupent tous les grains, jetant le conston jusqu'a ce qu'elles en ayent la quantite a peu pres qu'elles en veulent faire cuire dans la meme journee, elles n'en gardent jamais pour le Lendemain, a cause du trop grand soin qu'il faudroit prendre pour l'empescher d'airgrir, apres quoysitot qu'il a bouilly un demy quart d'heure, elles l'etendent sur des nattes de jonc qu'elles font aussi de la meme maniere, que ceux don’t elles se servent pour leurs Cabanes, Il faut ordinairement deux jours pour le faire secher, ils en font de grosses provisions. A L'Egard du gros Bled qui est mure a la fin d'aoust apres quelles l'ont cueillis, elles ostent les Robes des Epics et les Estendent sur des nattes, le soir elles le ramassent a un tas et les couvrent bien, quand le soleil est leve elles le retendent et cela pendant huit jours et apres elles le Battent avec de gros bastons de six ou sept pieds de Long, dans un endroit qu'elles entourent de leurs nattes pour empescher que les grains qui sautent ne se perdent").

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Use - Food 

"To return to the occupations of the women, at the end of July they begin to mix or dry the corn. They make two kinds. That which they roast gives them more trouble than that which they boil, for they have to make large griddles and exercise particular care to turn the ears from time to time to prevent their burning too much on one side, and afterwards they have to shell off the kernels. They therefore make very little of this kind. The kind which they boil they gather just as tender as the corn for roasting, and with shells, which they find more convenient than knives, they cut all the kernels, throwing away the cobs, until they have about the quantity they wish to cook for that day. They never keep any for the next day because of the excessive care needed to prevent it from turning sour. After this, as soon as it has boiled for a few minutes, they spread it on reed mats, which they also make in the same manner as those that serve for their cabins. The drying process usually takes two days. They make a great store of this kind. As regards the large ears which are ripe at the end of August, after they have gathered it they husk the ears and spread them on mats. In the evening they gather them into a heap and cover them well, when the sun has risen they spread them again, and they keep this up for a week, then they thresh it with big sticks six or seven feet long, in a place which they surround with matting to prevent the flying kernels from getting lost" ("Pour revenir aux occupations des femmes, a la fin de juillet elles commencent a faire mesler ou secher du bled, elles en font de deux manieres, celuy quelles font Rostir leurs donne plus de peine que celuy quelles sont bouillir, car il faut quelles fassent de un soin rands Grils, et quelles ayent tout particulier de retourner de temps en temps, les espics crainte qu'ils ne se bruslent trop d'un coste, et apres il faut qu'elle l'egraine c'est pourquoy elles en font tres peu, celuy qu'elles font bouillir elles le cueillent aussi tendre que celuy quelles font rostir, et avec des Coquilles qui leurs sont plus commodes que des couteaux elles coupent tous les grains, jetant le conston jusqu'a ce qu'elles en ayent la quantite a peu pres qu'elles en veulent faire cuire dans la meme journee, elles n'en gardent jamais pour le Lendemain, a cause du trop grand soin qu'il faudroit prendre pour l'empescher d'airgrir, apres quoysitot qu'il a bouilly un demy quart d'heure, elles l'etendent sur des nattes de jonc qu'elles font aussi de la meme maniere, que ceux don’t elles se servent pour leurs Cabanes, Il faut ordinairement deux jours pour le faire secher, ils en font de grosses provisions. A L'Egard du gros Bled qui est mure a la fin d'aoust apres quelles l'ont cueillis, elles ostent les Robes des Epics et les Estendent sur des nattes, le soir elles le ramassent a un tas et les couvrent bien, quand le soleil est leve elles le retendent et cela pendant huit jours et apres elles le Battent avec de gros bastons de six ou sept pieds de Long, dans un endroit qu'elles entourent de leurs nattes pour empescher que les grains qui sautent ne se perdent").

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Horticultural Info 

The Illinois tribe corn cycle began at the end of March or early April when people were returning from winter camps to summer villages. An abundance of wood was gathered by the women so they would not neet to gather during corn planting in early May. Most of the corn was planted and hilled up by the first of June and at that time most villagers went on a buffalo hunt for up to six weeks. After that, at about the end of July, the first corn was harvested and dried. There was a second harvest at the end of August as well.

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Horticultural Info 

"At the end of March or the beginning of April, they gather wood to be able to plant at the beginning of May without being interrupted by having to gather wood to endure cold spells in May. . . . When they wish to finish their sowing early, they offer a feast of flat sides of beef with mixed corn inside of it, and invite as many women as they need to spade up their fields. These do not refuse such invitations, and if any of those invited fail to come, they come next day to offer their excuses and to tell the reasons which prevent their coming. At the beginning of June they hill up their corn, and after that the village sets out on the buffalo hunt."

Gravier, J. ca. 1700 Horticultural Info 

Corn was harvested communally and taken into the Miami dwellings. It was spread out and then gathered up again.

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food 

Sagamity is made from corn. "Lastly, it is of this pulse [corn boiled in a bit of lye] the Sagamity is made, which is the most common food of the Indians. In order to this they begin with roasting it, they afterwards bruise it, separate it from the husk and then make it into a sort of pap, which is insipid when without meat or prunes to give it relish. It is sometimes made into meal, called here farine froide, and is the most commodious and best provision for a journey; and such persons as walk on foot can carry no other. They also boil the maize in the ear whilst it is still tender, they afterwards roast it a little, then separate it from the ear and lay it to dry in the sun: this will keep a long time, and the sagamity made of it has an excellent flavour".

Filson, J. 1793 Use - Food 

Corn cultivated in large tracts and made into traditional dishes. Harvesting celebrated. General Wilkiinson and his U.S. military expedition, attacked the Indian village near the mouth of the Eel River on the Wabash in 1791, " . . .destroying about 200 acres of corn, which was in the milk, and in that stage when the Indians prepare it for Zassomanony". They next attacked a Kickapoo village on the Illinois River, ". . .destroying about 200 acres of corn at Kathtippacanunck, Kickapoo, and the lower Weauctenau towns".

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Horticultural Info 

Corn storage is done by means of lined holes in the ground; especially when they have to leave their village or to hide it from enemies, or by drying and hanging bunches of ears, or threshing. "Their corn and other fruits are preserved in repositories which they dig in the ground, and which are lined with large pieces of bark. Some of them leave maize in the ear, which is tufted like our onions, and hang them on long poles over the entry of their cabbins [sic]. Others thresh it out and lay it up in large baskets of bark, bored on all sides to hinder it from heating".

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Use - Food 

Popcorn, peenkiteeki miincipi, literally means 'corn that explodes by heat'.

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food 

Corn grown on fertile bottomlands of St. Joseph River.

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Horticultural Info 

White corn is open pollinated and must be protected from cross pollination with other varieties/hybrids, when characterisitcs other than those of the traditional white corn are noticed e.g. dents, those seeds are not kept for planting.

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Description 

Miami white corn has very starchy consistency when in milk stage, will make your fingers white with milk when kernels are crushed, unique appearance with deep red roots and red silks, long ear of only eight rows so it looks skinny.

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Use - Technology 

White corn was a prized trade item.

Dunn, J.P. 1919 Description 

"It is whiter, of the same size as the other [corn], the skin much finer, and the meal much whiter." This is probably what the Myaamia called 'nokíngwämínĭ', or soft corn, because it ground easily. Dunn also describes this as "flour corn -- Indians used to raise [it] -- ground up easy -- used it for lye hominy -- not raised now"

Blair, E 1911 Use - Food/Customs 

Algonquians have a feast which is part of a funeral custom, in which corn dishes are a part. "If the savages intend to celebrate the feast of their dead they take care to make the necessary provision for it beforehand. When they return from their trade with the Europeans, they carry back with them the articles which suit them for this purpose, and in their houses they lay in a store of meat, corn, peltries, and other goods".

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Use - Food 

Myaamia white corn part of contemporary quiche recipe.

Blair, E 1911 Use - Food/Customs 

Algonquian widows are given a special meal, including a dish of corn, as part of the funeral process. "[One of them] begins her mournful song, while she weeps hot tears; all the others join her therein, but they cease to sing at the same time when she does; and then a present is given to her--a piece of meat, a dish or corn, or some other article".

Shea, J.G. 1903 Use - Food 

"They [Illinois] live on Indian corn, and other fruits of the earth, which they cultivate on the prairies, like other Indians".

Blair, E 1911 Related Info 

Algonquians women, in general, harvested and made bags for holding corn grain. "The obligations of women are to . . .rasise and harvest the grain . . . to make bags for holding the grain".

Rafert, S. 1989 Use - Food 

Myaamia white corn was cut off the cob green and dried on the "scaffel".

Rafert, S. 1989 Description 

"A soft white corn. It was a dull white corn. It had a large grain and a very small cob--the cob was a long, slender cob. A full ear of corn wouldn't be that long, and the cob wouldn't be any bigger than my finger here. The grains were like that and rounded, they were rounded. And sometimes there'd be a purple grain here and there" "we called it squaw corn".

Rafert, S. 1989 Horticultural Info 

Fish, small suckers that were bony, were put with hills of corn, one per hill.

Thwaites, R.G. (ed.) 1903 Horticultural Info 

"Their women and old men take care of the culture of the ground, which is so fertile as to afford three crops of Indian corn every year".

Thwaites, R.G. (ed.) 1903 Horticultural Info 

Timing of corn planting in relationship to hunting: "When they have sown their corn, they go a hunting for wild bulls [buffalo], whose flesh they eat, and the skin serves for their coverings, having dress'd the same with a sort of earth, which serves also to dye them".

Kinietz, V. 1938 Horticultural Info 

July is the Hilling corn moon, or 'utshetshēēkutaa kēēlswa', August is the time when the corn is fit to be eaten, or 'kēēshingwaa kēēlswa'.

Kinietz, V. 1938 Use - Food 

Men mostly hunt but help the women in planting and hoeing of corn.

Sabrevois, J. 1718 Use - Food 

". . . the River of the miamis . . . is nothing but continuous marshes. In these there is at all seasons game without end, especially in autumn and spring; so that one can not sleep on account of the noise made by the cries of the swans, bustards, geese, ducks, cranes and other birds . . . The Miamis . . . are very industrious and raise a kind of indian corn wich is unlike that of our tribes at Detroit. Their corn Is white of the Same size as the other with much finer husks and much whiter flour".

Kenton, E. 1925 Horticultural Info 

"It is true that they have an abundance of indian corn, which they sow at all seasons. We saw at the same time some that was ripe, some other that had only sprouted, and some again in the milk, so that they sow it three times a year. They cook it in great earthen jars, which are well made." "They keep their corn in large baskets made of canes, or in gourds as large as half barrels".

Kenton, E. 1925 Use - Food 

Sagamite and corn bread offered to visitors: "He [Illinois person, coming to meet Marquette in their canoes] joined us, singing very agreeably, and gave us tobacco to smoke, after that, he offered us sagamite, and bread made of indian corn, of which we ate a little".

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Use - Technology 

Pieces of wood and Indian corn husks, and stones were thrown at the Jesuit fathers when they announce mass and catechisms.

Kenton, E. 1925 Use - Food 

"They live by hunting, game being plentiful in that country, and on indian corn, of which they always have a good crop, consequently, they have never suffered from famine".

Kenton, E. 1925 Use - Technology 

Ladles, used for eating sagamite, among other things, were made out of the skulls of cattle. "They make all their utensils of wood, and Their Ladles out of the heads of cattle, whose Skulls they know so well how to prepare that they use these ladles with ease for eating their sagamite".

Kenton, E. 1925 Use - Food 

Sagamite is a meal of indian corn boiled in water and seasoned with fat. "The first course [of a four-course feast to welcome Father Marquette as a special visitor] was a great wooden platter full of sagamite, --that is to say, meal of indian corn boiled in water, and seasoned with fat. The Master of Ceremonies filled a Spoon with sagamite three or four times, and put it to my mouth as if I were a little Child".

Dillon, J.B. 1859 Horticultural Info 

General Anthony Wayne wrote: "The very extensive and highly-cultivated fields and gardens show the work of many hands. The margins of those beautiful rivers, the Miamis of the Lake (Maumee) and Auglaize appear like one continued village for a number of miles both above and below this place; nor have I ever before beheld such immense fields of corn in any part of America, from Canada to Florida".

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934 Use - Food 

"They cook this [dried pumpkin slices] with meat and Indian corn. It is a great treat among them" ("ou en met cuire parmy la Viande et le Bled d'inde mesle c'est un grand regal parmy eux").

Dunn, J.P. 1902 Use - Food 

In 1746 the Weas at the mouth of the Ohio [modern day Cairo; Illinois] were reported to be cultivating corn [referred to as 'wheat'] and tobacco ("Leur occupation est la chasse, la culture du bles et celle du tabac").

Gravier, J. ca. 1700 Horticultural Info 

A reddened stick was shaken as a way to guard a crop field. "reddened stick, shaken to guard a field" ('mic8ac8nagane'", [reddened stick], "baston rougi et jongle pour garder le champ").

Dunn, J.P. ca. 1900 Use - Food 

Dunn gives the Peoria term 'pálakĭngwähamĭ́ngĭ' as "‘cracked hominy (before cooking)’"

Shea, J. G. (ed.) 1903 Horticultural Info 

Corn is planted two times a year: " . . .there produces two crops of every kind of grain a year".

Trowbridge, C. 1824-5 Use - Food 

'oanngzongoamēēnee taahkwāuhemingk', corn meal, yellow corn-to grind".

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Horticultural Info 

Soldiers reported marching through five miles of Myaamia corn fields--being able to see Myaamia cornfields on both sides of the Maumee River for as far as one could see.

Bush, L. L 1996 Use - Food 

Human-charred maize kernels were recovered from excavations at an early 19th century Myaamia village site.

Dunn, J.P. 1909 Horticultural Info 

"siinipiikiinkweehaakani" meaning, lower jaw bone of a deer, used as the traditional tool for scraping freshly husked kernels of corn to obtain the green corn juice.

Dunn got this word from George Finley, a Peoria speaker from OK. It is unclear whether Dunn's Miami speakers knew the word (Costa 2011, pers. comm.) – Bishal Baaniya
Dillon, J.B. 1859 Horticultural Info 

Corn was planted along banks of Wabash. "near these places [spring villages] they plant some corn . . . The Miamis and Eel river Miamis reside, principally, on the Wabash, Mississinewa, and Eel river, and the head of the White River".

Thwaites, R.G. (ed.) 1903 Use - Food 

A corn storage technique: "When the Savages have gather'd in their Indian Corn, they dig some Holes in the Ground, where they keep it for Summer-time, because Meat does not keep in hot Weather, whereas they have very little occasion for it in Winter, and 'tis then their Custom to leave their Villages, and with their whole Families to go a hunting wild Bulls, Beavers, etc. carrying with them but a small quantity of their Corn which however they value so much, that the most sensible Wrong one can do them, in their Opinion, is to take some of their Corn in their absence." ". . . For we wanted Provisions, and yet durst not meddle with the Indian Corn the Savages had laid under Ground, for their Subsistence, and to sow their Lands with".

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Use - Food 

White corn meal makes corn mush, was a traditional dish in Barbara Mullin's household.

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Use - Food 

Barbara Mullin's grandmother, Ethel Goodbo Gamble made hominy in their Commerce, Oklahoma home, by putting wood ashes into a bucket, filling it with water, and letting it sit. The water became lye-water, as they called it. Corn would then be placed into the bucket and the water would do its work--loosening the hull from the corn and swelling the corn up. Then the corn was rinsed in clear water many times. This was used to make edible dried corn.

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Food 

Corn flour made of white and yellow corn 'unzángwämíni', corn flour white, literally "yellow corn"

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food 

"The Indian women make bread of maize, and though this is only a mass of ill kneaded paste, without leaven, and baked under the ashes, these people reckon it excellent, and regale their friends with it, but is must be eaten hot for it will not keep cold, sometimes they mix beans, different fruits, oil and fat with it: one must have a good stomach to digest such dainties".

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food 

Rotten corn eaten as a "dainty":  "I am less still able to conceive what has, however, been attested by persons worthy of credit, that the Indians [probably referring to the Miami-Illinois or closely related tribes of the upper Midwest] eat as a great dainty a kind of maize, which is laid to rot in standing water as we do hemp, and which is taken out quite black and stinking. They even add, that such as have once taken a liking to this strange dish, do not with their will lose anyof the water or rather of the dirt that runs from it, and the smell of which alone, would be enough to turn the stomach of any other person".

Blair, E 1911 Use - Food 

Prepared with milk. "They have in especial a certain method of preparing squashes with the Indian corn cooked while in its milk, which they mix and cook together and then dry, which has a very sweet taste. Finally, melons grow there which have a juice no less agreeable than refreshing".

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Food 

Green corn prepared for village guests of distinction. "When Maize is in the ear and still green, some roast it on the coals, in which way it has an excellent flavour. They commonly regale strangers with this dish. They also send it in some places to persons of distinction who arrive in their village . . . ".

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Use - Customs 

A harvest festival concludes the corn and other crop harvesting. The festival and feast is held in the night.

Kellogg, L.P. 1923 Horticultural Info 

The women tend the corn fields, primarily: "Besides, the care of household affairs and making the necessary provision of wood, the women are likewise alone charged with the culture of the fields; as soon as snows are melted and the water sufficiently drained off, they begin preparing the ground, which is done by stirring it slightly with a crooked piece of wood, the handle of which is very long, after having set fire to the dried stalks of their maize and other herbs which have remained since the last harvest".

Blair, E 1911 Use - Food 

"The kinds of food which the savages [Myaamia] like best, and which they make the most effort to obtain, are the Indian corn, the kidney bean, and the squash. If they are without these they think they are fasting, no matter what abundance of meat and fish they may have in their stores, the Indian corn being to them what bread is to Frenchmen".

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Use - Food 

Myaamia corn dishes: kitahsaakani (parched corn), mahtohkatwi (cooked hominy), mihtohkatoopowi (corn soup), and corn bread.

Dunn, J.P. ca. 1900 Horticultural Info 

Dunn noted the term kiišiinkwia (spelled 'kĭcĭngwĭa'), recorded from Finley, Peoria, meaning ' corn that is filled out' , ripe ear of corn, ‘green corn’.

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Food 

"Two miles above Peru, on the Mississinewe (pronounced now by the whites: Ma'shinawe), was the Osage village, the largest village of the Miamis. Now it is a vast corn field".

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives Use - Food 

Corn drying sheds were used and covered with tall grasses to keep rain out. "I think she said when they first come from Indiana there was a tall grass that they covered their dry sheds with . . . To dry their corn or somethin' like that. They tied it down with poles. Now that's amazing to me how that would turn [repel] water".

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives Use - Food 

Hominy is made from corn.

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives Use - Food 

Method of drying corn: "The way we dried corn; the Indians always dried the corn, at least, we always did. The way Mamma done it was she would cut the corn off of the cob and put it in the oven and stirred it until some of the milky stuff. Then they would put it on top of the Chicken House, so the sun would shine on it and dry the corn. Then they put a mosquito net on top of the corn so the flies wouldn't get the corn. At night we would gather up the sheet the corn was laying on and bring it in so the dew wouldn’t make damp again. We did this for six or seven days, until the corn was completely dried. Then Mamma would put the corn in the oven, one last time to make sure it was good and dry. After the corn was completely dry, we would put it in fruit jars for storage, just like beans. And it took a long time to cook, just like beans. But it was worth the wait, this corn has a different taste: a dried taste. I've since made it myself!"

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives Use - Food 

Dorn was cooked by first rinsing in cool water, putting rinsed corn in a large pot and covering with water, then cooking over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Seasoning was added for flavor

Olds, J., Olds, D. and D. Tippman 1999 Use - Food 

"White flour corn" seed, also known as "Aunt Mariah's corn" brought from Indiana to Oklahoma after removal by Rebecca Stitt Walker.

Baldwin, D 1997 Use - Food 

Corn cooked in a large black kettle, also used for vegetable soup and chili.

Rafert, S. 1989 Use - Food 

Corn was parched: "The indians sustained themselves on a long hunt or a war party with parched corn. They could carry that with them in a buckskin pouch, and eat it just enough to keep em' a goin'. If they couldn't get meat to eat, why they could always rely winter and summer on parched corn. Indian corn parched up real well, too. We parched a lot of squaw corn [Myaamia corn] when I was a kid".

Tippman, D. 1999 Use - Food 

Hominy made from corn [not necessarily Myaamia varieties]. The shelled corn was covered with water, a little bit of lye, from wood ashes, was added to soften the husk of the corn.

Tippman, D. 1999 Use - Customs 

Corn silks smoked occasionally with corn cob pipe.

Tippman, D. 1999 Use - Food 

Various types of corn were grown by Jim Strack’s family, including sweet corn, feed corn, 'yellow dent' corn, which had a longer and straighter ear.

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Use - Food 

Myaamia corn cultivated. Seeds from Bruce Thorington.

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Use - Technology 

Red worms found inside cobs of ears of corn on low parts of corn plant were obtained and used as live fishing bait.

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Use - Material 

Corn husks used to make baskets. Cob drilled out to make pipe to smoke corn silk.

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Use - Food 

Corn was cultivated and eaten.

Gonella, M.P 2003-2006 Horticultural Info 

Myaamia corn sometimes grows short, sometimes tall.

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives Use - Medicinal 

Component of medicine bag: ". . . cedar is like a purification, um, the sweet grass . . . corn . . . Its just medicine. Everything you would need to sustain you here or here after, is that little tiny portion, is in that bag".

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives Use - Food/Customs 

Corn soup and hominy are considerd feast foods in certain occasions. "Well, its just sacred, blessed. Its prepared wthout any seasoning, no salt in feast food .  . . Traditional dishes, uh, pot meat, corn soup, hominy".

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Food 

Corn used during pork curing.

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Food 

Modern traditional crop. In the traditional story of Young Thunder William Pecongah, he describes the crops he had growing on his land 160 acres of reserve in central Indiana. "There I planted corn, wheat, potatoes, peas, tobacco, beans, apple trees, pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, onions, hay, straw, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, turnips, tomatoes, pawpaws, cherries, strawberries, plums, blackhaws, peaches, walnut trees, pecans, hickory nuts, barley and rye".

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Use - Food 

Parched corn brought on a hunt, cooked by boiling and when almost done, adding beef tallow. The traditional story Wilaktwa tells of some Myaamiaon a hunt; and cooking this dish when some enemies came upon their camp. Wilaktwa asked them to wait and eat with them first before they fought. When the soup was heated up he threw it in their faces and on them; blinding them all. Then he beat them to death.

Dunn, J.P. ca. 1900 Use - Food 

Dunn Peoria 'sĭnĭ́pĭkĭ́ngwähamĭ́ngĭ', "juice of scraped green corn" and 'sĭnĭ́pĭkĭ́ngwähakánĭ', tool for making juice of scraped green corn, traditionally, a lower jaw bone of a deer"; 

Wheeler-Voegelin, E. 1934-1985 Horticultural Info 

At a Myaamia village at the head of the Maumee River, a U.S. military detachment found the Myaamia had burnt their town, but still existing were "a few pretty good gardens with some fruit trees, and vast fields of corn in almost every direction".

Wheeler-Voegelin, E. 1934-1985 Horticultural Info 

At the Wea village near the mouth of Wea Creak, on the middle Wabash, Weas had their summer village and extensive cornfields for over 72 years 1717-1790.

Bush L. L. 2003 Related Info 

Archaeological studies have demonstrated that corn was cultivated as a food resource by Late Woodland (prior to 700 A.D through 1450 A.D.) indigenous peoples of central and southern Indiana, with its cultivation and presence in archaeological sites increasing during this time. In the Oliver Phase of the Late Woodland period (1000 A.D. through 1450 A.D., approximately), two cob fragments were found, demonstrating the cultivation of an 8-row corn variety during this time.

Dunn, J.P. 1919 Description 

"They [the Myaamia] have a finer maize".

Sabrevois, J. 1718 Use - Food 

"The Savages [Illinois living in what is now Kaskaskia, Illinois], besides raising a great deal of indian corn, also produce a great deal of French wheat. There are three flour mills; one a wind-mill, one a horse-mill, and one a hand-mill . . . The French wheat thrives very well here; it is Sown in autumn and the climate is milder than in France".

Dunn, J.P. ca. 1900 Use - Technology 

Used as fodder.

Dunn, J.P. 1919 Use - Food 

Corn made into hominy: "It [soft corn] was used for lye hominy and was the favorite corn for parching, as it was easily chewed. Parched corn, not ground, is called 'kĭtsamĭngĭ', when ground, as it usually was when carried for food, it is called 'kĭtássakánĭ'. Corn in the milk was preserved by boiling and then drying it. This is called mindjĭ́pĭ cokósamĭ́ngĭ. The favorite corn of the Miamis of recent times is what the whites call "squaw corn", and they call 'ĭkkĭ´pakĭ´ngwämĭnĭ' (blue corn), or sometimes 'tosänĭa mĭndjĭpĭ' (Indian corn), or 'miami mĭndjĭpĭ' (Miami corn). This is an early variety, and sweeter than ordinary corn. The Indians are very fond of a soup made of scraped green corn, which is called 'mĭndjĭ́pĭ', or corn soup".

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Horticultural Info 

Gatschet listed a number of corn terms relating to corn stages of growth and cultivation: kiišiinkwee--just growing, not yet ripe literally, growing; 'kishî́ngwe kílswa'--literally, roasting ear moon; variously translated as July or August.

Gatschet, A.S. ca. 1895 Horticultural Info 

Gatschet ca. 1895 listed the Miami-Illinois term kitasaakani incicating corn which is parched first, then pounded or atomized into hominy", and 'kitasámani' "I am parching, roasting (as in maize, coffee beans)".

Botanical Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Data Comments
Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006 Habitat

Myaamia corn was and is unique to the Great Lakes Region.

Steyermark, J.A. 1963 Habitat

Occurring as a cultivated species and occasionally as an escape throughout eastsern and western Myaamia lands.

Related Sources  
Reference Source Reference Type Data Comments
Blair, E 1911  

Algonquians have a feast which is part of a funeral custum, in which corn dishes are a part. "If the savages intend to celebrate the feast of their dead they take care to make the necessary provision for it beforehand. When they return from their trade with the Europeans, they carry back with them the articles which suit them for this purpose; and in their houses they lay in a store of meat, corn, peltries, and other goods".

Blair, E 1911  

Algonquians women, in general, harvested and made bags for holding corn grain. "The obligations of women are to . . .rasise and harvest the grain . . . to make bags for holding the grain".

Kinietz, V. 1938  

There were some Myaamia men that assumed the dress and character of women, associated with other women, and took equal share in planting, hoeing and gathering of corn, and in other domestic activities.

Rafert, S. 1989  

Myaamia white corn was grown by Anna Marks Lora Siders parents, sister of Joe Mongosa and other Mongosas, and LaMoines parents. This corn stopped being grown when the sweet corn came along. His brother made hominy out of it, called it squaw corn. "Of course, I'm sure that Lora's folks did [grow white corn]. My folks did. Oh, I think most all of 'em--Mongosas did, I'm sure. It ended when the sweet corn come on. My brother, after my folks died, they made hominy out of it. They raised it for hominy. It was a soft corn, soft white".

Kinietz, V. 1938  

"There are no feasts connected with . . . the planting or ripening of the corn and vegetables, as is practiced among the Delawares . . .".

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006  

On April 12, 2002 and May 7th, 2002, the annual planting of white corn took place at the Tribal farm outside Commerce, Oklahoma.

Pease, T. C. and R. C. Werner 1934  

Women helped tend the corn, which could be used as a focus of attack of enemy tribes: "Several women complained that their corn had been cut, and others that they had found Iroquois moccasins in their fields. . . .if it was true, as their women said, that enemies had cut their corn, they would surprise the enemy scouts, who doubtless were waiting for the crop to ripen before attacking them. They approved of my idea . . . Four days later brought in two Iroquois who had cut corn for the last time." ( "Plusieurs femmes se plaignirent qu'on avoit coupe de leur Bled, et d'autres qu'elles avoient trouve des souliers d'Iruqouis dans leurs Champs").

Kohn, R.W, Lynwood, M.R, Edmunds, D. Mannering, M. 1997  

Billie Smith's Shawnee father raised corn; and would harvest the corn stalks in the fall. He would fashion a birds body out of corn stalks and make it so wings came out of the center.

Aatotankiki myaamiaki 1998-2006  

Myaamia white corn was planted in the spring of 2001 by Mildred Walker and other tribal members at Tribal farm outside Commerce, Oklahoma.

Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Archives  

Traditional story regarding origin of Myaamia white corn. "The tradition said that probably white corn came from someone who took a trip somewhere to the south and to the west to some unknown location to get the white corn, but no one knows".

Kohn, R.W, Lynwood, M.R, Edmunds, D. Mannering, M. 1997  

The Delaware have a number of types of corn, for different uses, including dried, hard corn for corn soup, corn that is scraped off and let set for bread.

Kohn, R.W, Lynwood, M.R, Edmunds, D. Mannering, M. 1997  

Corn preparation: The Delaware would bring the corn in by the wagon loads, and drop it into boiling water for about three minutes, then dumped onto clean wagon sheets and husked and cut by young folks. They would take a spoon and with the handle down, press down right between the rows, resulting in whole kernel corn. They would do this all day long, and if the got a whole row out without it breaking, then they got to go around and get a kiss from whoever we wanted. The Delawares did it differently, cutting their corn and then scraping the cob, as did the Potawatomies, but just for certain dishes.The regular everyday corn was always whole kernel.

Clark, J.E 1993  

The Shawnee have a dance called the Bread Dance, held in April. The dance is preceded by a ball game played between the men and women, and the twenty corn kernels used in scoring were planted by one of the women chiefs, after which all the corn could be planted.

Bush L. L. 2003  

Archaeological studies have demonstrated that corn was cultivated as a food resource by Late Woodland (prior to 700 A.D through 1450 A.D.) indigenous peoples of central and southern Indiana, with its cultivation and presence in archaeological sites increasing during this time. In the Oliver Phase of the Late Woodland period (1000 A.D. through 1450 A.D., approximately), two cob fragments were found, demonstrating the cultivation of an 8-row corn variety during this time.