Lammas is the first of the three harvest sabbats. To the agrarian societies of medieval Europe, early
August signalled the beginning of the harvest season, the time when the first grains were harvested and
many fruits and vegetables became ripe. It was the time to honor the mighty sun god and the gods of the
grain by ritualistically sacrificing the first grains to ensure the continuity of life. As it was believed that
the grain spirit lived in the crop and that it became homeless at harvest time. So the last harvested grains
were treated with special honor and made into a dolly, a hollow shape that allowed the spirit of the field
to spend the winter in the home of the maker. Though corn was a staple to the people of the New World,
it did not appear in Europe until after the Europeans came to the Americas. The corn dollies of Europe
were fashioned from the last sheaf of wheat or other cereal crops, kept for the winter and then were
plowed into the first furrow of the new season so the grain goddess could return again to the field.
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How to make your own Corn Dolly

Materials Needed:
bag of cornhusks

Soak cornhusks in a sink or bowl of water until they are soft and
pliable. Next take four of the cornhusks and stack them together with
the ends pointed down. Then take your string and tie the straight ends
together tightly as shown in figure 1

Trim and round the edges with scissors. This forms the inside of the
dolls head. Figure 2

Turn upside down and pull long ends of husks down over the trimmed
edges. Figure 3

Take the string and tie form the neck. Figure 4

Now we are going to add her arms by taking another husk and flatten
it. Roll this husk into a tight cylinder and tie each end with string.
Figure 5
Fit the arms inside of the long husks, just below the neck tie with
string, as shown in figure 5 to form a waist.

Drape a husk around the arms and upper body in a criss-cross pattern
to form shoulders. Take four or five husks, straight edges together, and
arrange around waist.

Finish off the doll by tying small strips of husk around the neck and
waist to hide the string. Small scraps of cloth may be used to dress the
Lammas Corn Dolly
figure 1
figure 2
figure 3
figure 4
figure 4
figure 5