Corn Dolly

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A ritual doll, or variation of a poppet, used in traditional seasonal rites for the fertility of the land. The corn dolly is a harvest figure made of either the last or first sheaves of grain. It is placed in the fields or used as a charm in fertility rites or as a centerpiece in seasonal celebrations. Corn dollies are hung in homes or fed to livestock as a magical charm for their well-being.

Modern corn dollies are made in various shapes, especially for hanging in the home, such as bells, cornucopias, or plaited into intricate patterns.

Corn dollies have many names, such as corn-mother, grandmother, mother of the grain, harvest-mother, mother-sheaf, old woman, old wife, the Cailleach, the hag, the queen, the Bride, the maiden, the Ceres and the Demeter. The latter two are the Greek and Roman names, respectively, for the goddess of the grain and harvest.