Ancestral Maize Grower Reaps Awards at New Mexico State Fair

Rose Marie Tecumseh-Cristobal grows old-fashioned Indian mixed corn.

Rose Marie Tecumseh-Cristobal grows old-fashioned Indian mixed corn.

Published October 5, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE—Some people have a calling in life that preserves the good things from the past that are still important today.

For Rose Marie Tecumseh-Cristobal, it’s growing Indian Mixed Corn, also known as maize or flint, because its outer surface is hard like flint rock.

An enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe in Nebraska, Cristobal was raised on the Yakima Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. Growing up on her father’s land, she and her five siblings learned how to grow, cultivate and harvest crops at a young age.“It was a necessity. If we wanted to eat, we grew our own food,” she recalled.
Giving an example, she said, “We would raise a quarter of an acre of the yellow sweet corn. Then, we would husk it and take it to the cannery or can it ourselves.”

As a young girl, she and her siblings were members of a 4-H Club that regularly entered their produce in the Washington State Fair and won.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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