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Red-maple spoon, made by Takosímáthlî, Old Tommy


Length: 54.000 cm

AOA 1980.Am32.1

Room 26: North America

    Red-maple spoon, made by Takosímáthlî, Old Tommy

    Mikasuki, late 19th century AD
    From New River, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, North America

    This spoon would have been used for eating sofki, a soup or drink made from boiled maize. Many south-eastern stories refer to the creation of maize from the body of Corn-woman. According to the Creek informant Jackson Lewis (at the beginning of the twentieth century) she instructed people - who had spied on her making delicious sofki - to place the maize kernels in a corn-crib. After four days there was a loud noise and the crib was full of maize ready to be planted.

    In another story, told by the Natchez Wat Sam, Corn-woman rubbed herself to produce the corn. In this case the people were told to kill and burn Corn-woman; maize, beans and pumpkins then grew from her ashes. In another version of the story, the hard maize-kernels are initially rubbed off sores on Corn-woman's body.

    J.C.H. King, First peoples, first contacts: (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)


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    On display: Room 26: North America

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