One activity for Lughnasadh that is thousands of years old is the making of the “Corn Dollies”. This is a custom that originates with the people that once grew corn before the invention of farming machinery. They believed that the grain crops were home to a spirit. When they harvested the crop, it would made the spirit homeless. This Spirit was called the “Corn Maiden”, “Corn-Mother” or the “Corn Spirit”.
Corn Dollies were made from the last sheaf of corn that was cut and would be kept until spring to ensure the harvest would be a good one. The Corn Spirit would be made homeless at the harvest, and my creating a “Dolly” from the sheaves, or plaited straw they would be rehomed within and reborn in the following year’s crop.
During Harvest Festivals and Feasts, a Corn Dolly would sit on the table at a place of honour to bless the banquet. The Harvest feast was often held in honour of the farmers, and not only was there a grand meal, but games were often played, music too.
With the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the invention of farming machines, the traditions of creating a Corn Dolly from the last sheaf all but died out, however the custom survives still in the art of crafting things from straw as a hobby.
Creating a Corn Dolly
Corn dollies bring health, wealth and general prosperity to the land or property owner according to old Witches. A simple ritual could include writing a special wish with a marker onto the dolly (good health for a friend?) and burn the dolly.
Items you will need:
🧘 Corn husks
🧘 Large bowl of water
🧘 Twine or string
🧘 Old pieces of fabric
🧘 Watercolours or markers
- Soak the cornhusks in warm water for an hour, until they become pliable.
2. Gather several of the damp husks and then tie them together with a piece of twine about ½ inch from one end.
3. To make the head, hold the knotted end in one fist, then fold the husks down (as though you were peeling a banana) so that they cover the knotted end.
4. Smooth out the husks to make a face, then secure them with a piece of twine around the doll’s neck.
5. To make the arms, roll up a single husk and tie it off at both ends. Position the arms up between the husks, under the doll’s neck. Smooth the husks over the arms to form the chest and back then cinch in the waist with twine.
6. For a skirt or legs, arrange several husks, inverted (like a skirt that has blown up over the doll’s head) around the waist. Secure with twine, then fold the skirt down. For legs, divide the husks into two parts, tying each bunch at the knees and ankles
7. To make clothes, hair, hats or other headpieces, glue on little pieces of fabric. You can use markers and watercolors to give the illusion of facial features.
8.You can add Glitter as well as any other decorations to the Corn Husk Doll.
Comment below or on the Facebook Page if you have any pictures of a Corn Dolly that you would like to share.
*)O(* Rainbow Love, Light and Blessings *)O(*