In Pueblo mythology, Corn Mothers were sacred figures who sung the essence of all creation into existence. About three years ago, my husband brought home this book called When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away, remembers journalist and photographer Renee Fajardo-Anstine. It was about the Corn Mothers and the whole life force, she says. When I was growing up, the women were very nurturing and loving. If you had food, you shared it. So we had this inspiration to seek out and find modern Corn Mothers. We spent three years finding them and documenting them and traveling into the wilderness.
The result is Return of the Corn Mothers: A Photo Journal Exhibition of Southwestern Women, an exhibit that opened October 13 and will run through January 30, 2009, in the University of Colorados Museum of Natural History, 1035 Broadway in Boulder. A preview of the display was on view at the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council in May of this year, but this exhibit is the real deal. Theres a book that goes with it, a videographer traveling and collecting interviews, and its going to be a day-long symposium at Metro State College in March and traveling to other museums, notes Fajardo-Anstine.