The Story of the Corn Husk Doll

Mrs. Snow, a talented Seneca craftswoman, tells this legend. Many, many years ago, one of the Three Sisters wanted to make something different. She made the moccasins and the saltboxes, and mats. She wanted to do something different so the Great Spirit gave her permission. So she made the little people out of cornhusk and they were to roam the earth so that they would bring brotherhood and contentment to the Iroquois tribe. But she made one that was very, very beautiful.

This beautiful corn person went into the woods and saw herself in a pool. She saw how beautiful she was and she became very vain and naughty. That began to make people very unhappy and so the Great Spirit decided that wasn’t what she was to do. She didn’t pay attention to his warning, so his messenger came and told here that he was going to have to punish her.

Her punishment would be that she’d have no face, she would not converse with the Senecas or the birds or the animals. She’d roam the earth forever looking for something to do to gain her face back again. So that’s why we don’t put any faces on the cornhusk dolls.