Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden

Deer Hunter and White Corn MaidenDeer Hunter and White Corn Maiden

Tewa

Deer Hunter was the best hunter in the entire village. He always came back with a deer. White Corn Maiden was the best pot maker and the best embroiderer. People always thought they would end up married one day, and they did.

Instead of becoming a power couple for the tribe, they turned towards each other and neglected their other duties. The people began to lament that they were together. The council could do nothing to separate the two or turn their eyes elsewhere.

In the spring, White Corn Maiden became very ill and died. Deer Hunter was distraught. For four days after a death, the soul of a person walked around the village before the send-off ceremony. Deer Hunter went out in search of White Corn Maiden. He found her and begged her to come back. She was not of the same world anymore and she knew it would not be the same.

White Corn Maiden was correct. She was pale and began to stink. At first, Deer Hunter just turned his back, but then he tried to get away from her. Wherever he went, she would follow. In time, she looked much like a skeleton.

One day a man dressed entirely in white buckskin showed up with the biggest bow anyone had ever seen. He called for Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden. They came out. He told them he had been sent by the spirits to get them. He put them both on arrows and said they would chase each other through the sky for eternity. Deer Hunter is a bright star in the sky while White Corn Maiden is a dimmer star always following after him.

Observations

I have heard of White Corn Maiden before, but I cannot remember from where.

I’ve also heard stories similar to this before. Two people are parted by death and one has the opportunity to come back, but it’s not the same because that person doesn’t belong anymore.

Themes

This story is a bit on the spiritual side. If you could bring someone back, would you? What if you brought them back, but they weren’t the same? What if they did start rotting? What if their voice didn’t sound the same? What if they were a zombie?

Considering that you do believe in the idea of souls, would you keep a person from the next world because you couldn’t stand to be away from them? Isn’t it kind of selfish to do something like that?

Hey Baby, you could go to heaven, or you could stay here with me.

Look, I know it would suck, but sometimes you just need to let a person go on and do what they need to do, this doesn’t only apply if your person has just died and you want to hold their soul with you longer; it applies to other things, like college, or getting a better job, or what have you. Sometimes, you just have to let a person go and do what they want because they’re never going to be the person they’re meant to be if you don’t.

It’s nice to be a star and all, but wouldn’t both Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden be happier if they had gone to the spirit world like everyone else?

Overall

This is kind of a sad story.

Weigh In

Do you think you’ve been kept from doing something you were supposed to do because someone couldn’t bear to be away from you?

Do you think Deer Hunter would have gotten over White Corn Maiden if things had gone the way they were supposed to?

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