Ten Corn Maidens

North American - Corn spirits in the lore of the Zuni. These beings were underworld spirits who came to the upper world only to find themselves turned into mortals and locked up by witches. Their absence caused the crops to fail but fertility was restored when the maidens were rescued by Payatami. Another version of this story says that these ten deities followed the Ashiwi from the underworld and were given the seeds of maize and squash by two witches. They were found by the twin gods, Kowwituma and Watsusii, who took them to perform their dance in front of the tribes but they were frightened by Payatami and ran away, causing a great famine. The two gods managed to persuade the maidens to return and they performed their ritual dance once more, restoring the fertility of the land, before finally disappearing for ever. On occassion, referred to as Ten Corn Maidens, Corn Maidens or Corn Maidens.

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