Nebraska is a leader in producing and exporting corn. These female dolls are handcrafted from light and dark corn husks that have been soaked in warm water. The husks are then formed into the figure’s body, arms, head, dress and scarf. Some of the dolls are sitting on a bench, and one hand is holding a hand spindle for spinning wool into yarn. The bench is made from wood.
Location: Midwest USA
Main language: English
Currency: US Dollar
Construction: corn husks, wood
Height in Centimeters: 16
Height in Inches: 6
Reading Level: 5.80
My name is Mabel, and I live in Nebraska. When I wake up in the morning and look out my window, I see rows and rows of corn stalks. Nebraska is known as the Cornhusker State. Nebraska grows a lot of field corn that is used to feed animals, make gasoline (ethanol), and export. We are one of the top three states in corn production in America. Only Illinois and Iowa produce more corn than Nebraska. I love eating sweet corn from the fields – especially with butter and salt.
Living in a state filled with corn is a lot of fun. There are Sweet Corn Festivals all across the state when the sweet corn ripens in August. Last year my grandfather won the Nebraska Cornhusking contest. He was in the men’s 75-and-older division. The goal was simple: Pick and shuck as much corn (by hand) in 20 minutes as possible. The contestant with the wagonload of corn that weighs the most at the end of the time, wins. Today, the farmers harvest billions of bushels of corn using big machines called combines. In this contest, however, the competitors use a more primitive technology—their hands.
Next year, Mom says is going to enter the Corn Husk Doll contest. She makes corn husks dolls that appear to be knitting, weaving, etc. I also enjoy the Corn Mazes that appear in the fall. Many farmers leave a few acres of corn stalks in the field after harvest. Then, they create a maze by removing some of the stalks in a mysterious pattern. Some of the mazes can take hours to escape.
Corn has been essential to Nebraska for centuries – long before the settlers came west. With corn, the Native Americans did not need to depend entirely on hunting and fishing to survive. The Indians also had a legend about planting corn, called the Legend of The Three Sisters.
The names of the sisters were Corn, Bean, and Squash. They loved each other and relied on each other. They are stronger when they were together.
Corn is tall and straight, with yellow flowing hair (silk). She grows best when the ground has moisture and has important nutrients, like nitrogen.
Bean loves to climb and attach to others. She grows best when she can cling to a pole or a stalk. She also supplies nitrogen to the soil, which helps other plants.
Squash likes to stay close to the ground and wander around a bit. She has large leaves that provide shade to keep moisture in the ground. The leaves also deter weeds and raccoons.
When planted together, Corn provides a tall straight stalk for Bean to climb. Bean provides important nutrients to the ground. Squash helps to keep moisture in the dirt and limits weeds from growing.
Some have even expanded the legend to include Sunflower as the fourth sister. Standing very tall and bright, Sunflower attracts the birds so they don’t eat the corn!