The photos themselves make it worth owning this beautiful book; they took my breath away! But beyond that, if you are interested in heritage food, Native American history/sociology, gardening, self-sufficiency and/or sustainable living, protection of old seed varieties, or the relationships between spirit and body as mediated by what we grow and eat—you owe it to yourself to take a look. Dianna Henry has more experience with heritage corns and Spirit-led gardening than anyone else currently teaching on the subject. Her collection of these corns, and stories about the ways in which they have come into her life, are unparalleled, and this book represents a little of what she knows.
Dianna Henry’s book introduces heritage seed keeping, focusing on dozens of corn varieties. This unusual domesticated plant depends on human interaction, and so ceremonial as well as nutritional values are part of this unique story. Mottled Pawnee black-eyed flour corn as well as a rainbow of colored corns—from white to rose to purple, blue, green, and black—are among her “portraits” of corns. She includes historic information, use, and cultivation. Henry, herself of Native heritage, gifts readers with beautiful dialogue, in the form of journals, as well as photographs. This is an amazing book that will change how readers interact with plants.
When Dianna ‘Corn Woman’ asks me read and write a review of her book: Whispering Ancestors. I thought it was going to be a very good book about her incredible connection with corn. But, I found instead The Songs of many of The Mother Corns Sisters”. Corn is to us Native people one of our most “Sacred” plant beings whose voices have started to dim because of the many seeds that have lost to us. Read this book for the “Sacred Corn Sisters” still sings their song to us. All we have to do is LISTEN!
I have known Dianna for a number of years and have watched with fascination as she developed her ability to tap directly into the ancient information stored in kernals of corn. This information contains, not only important messages from the past, but essential instructions for the future. Dianna Snow Eagle’s book is long awaited. Now it is here.