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Corn is Centerpiece of Greenwich Exhibit

The Bruce Museum will present an exhibition featuring the food early Native American tribes depended on for survival: corn.

Opening Saturday and running until July 3, the exhibition, titled "Three Sisters and Corn Maidens: Native American Maize Cultivation and Customs," features objects created for cultivation, preparation, storage and celebration of corn.

In the Northeast, the Iroquois believe the "three sisters" — corn, beans and squash — are precious gifts from the Great Spirit. The Hopi, a Southwest tribe, believed they were offered corn by the guardian of the fourth world, Masao. Corn remains predominant in agricultural, economic and ceremonial practices of Native Americans. The exhibit will examine regional differences related to the practice of corn horticulture.

Objects featured in the exhibit include pestles used to grind corn into meal; bowls and baskets to hold corn in ceremonial and everyday practices; and other items, such as dolls, featuring images of corn. Items are taken from the collections of the Bruce Museum and supplemented by loans from the Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College and the private collection of Drs. Seymour and Harriet Koenig of Lake Mahopac, N.Y.

The Bruce Museum is at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich. General admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, free for children under 5 and Bruce Museum members, and free to all on Tuesdays. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays and closed Mondays. For more information on the "Three Sisters" exhibit, call 203-869-0376.

Be part of the conversation: Do you know any other traditional Native American uses for corn?

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