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Footpath by Southwest Crossroads

The Pueblo people in the American Southwest have cultivated corn for many hundreds of years. The Puebloans, like the Hopi, dry farm and rely upon rainfall for their crop, as well as use irrigation methods as evidenced at Chaco Canyon. The Zuni grew corn in unique “waffle gardens” with crisscrossed furrows to catch the water.

For the Pueblos, corn is not only a basic food but also the basis of all life and is featured in many creation stories. The Apache, Navajo and other tribes also grew corn.

Storytellers, writers and artists have represented corn in stories, documents, and artwork such as photographs and paintings.


View images of corn.


Read one of the selections.


Answer questions.

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Corn is a New World crop from the Americas that the Europeans did not grow until Native Americans introduced corn to them. The first Spaniards to reach New Mexico could not have survived without supplies of corn they received or demanded from the Pueblos. Corn became a staple for the new European settlers to the region who took it to Europe for widespread cultivation.