Encyclopedia Article


Unless stated otherwise, Hillerman's use of "pollen" refers to yellow corn pollen (or tádídíín in Navajo), which is a sweet tasting, yellow-colored powder that is collected from the tassels of mature corn plants. Because corn, or maize, has traditionally been a life-giving staple of indigenous groups throughout the Americas, the pollen, which is necessary for corn's own survival via pollination, has attained a sacred, life-giving status of its own. Often kept in small leather pouches, corn pollen is used in ceremonies as a blessing and offered in prayer.

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"Pollen-covered tassels of corn, January 15, 2012" by donkeycart is licensed under CC BY-NC.

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