and herbalist, Sarah Preston
at Radiance, in the heart of downtown Lancaster, PA
A corn dollie is a small figure made of corn husks or straw. Corn dollies are part of the folk customs surrounding the grain harvest in Great Britain and much of Europe. In that part of the world, "corn" originally referred to any grain, especially wheat, and it is grain straw, that goes into making corn dollies. When European colonists came to North America, they brought the tradition with them and began using corn husks, the sacred grain of this land. In this context, the word "dolly" is probably a variation of the word "idol."
In Europe, it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived in the growing crop, and the dolly gave the corn spirit shelter after the crop was harvested. The dolly was usually burned or ripped apart in the fields before planting time the next spring. Destroying the dolly released the spirit and allowed it to aid another successful harvest.
Phyllis has been making corn dollies for several years (the photograph above is one of her dolls), and includes an intention in the making of each doll. She suggests possibilities like a house-warming doll, a healing doll, a marriage-blessing doll, a doll for a specific season or celebration. Herbs and materials would be dependent on the purpose of the doll.
Join us on Saturday, August 20 at 1pm, at Radiance, and make your own corn dollie! To register, call Radiance at 717-290-1517, or stop in whenever the shop is open, 9 W Grant St, in downtown Lancaster, across the cobblestones from historic Central Market.
Cost of the class is $35. Materials will be provided, but feel free to bring any bits of ribbon or other decorations you would like to use. To register, call Radiance at 717-290-1517, or stop in whenever the shop is open, 9 W Grant St, in downtown Lancaster, across the cobblestones from historic Central Market.