Attentive readers who remember our series of posts on the resurrection of Pawnee corn from almost 10 years ago may be interested in this recent Twitter thread from Prof. C.S Prakash.
Amazing story of the revival of Pawnee Eagle Corn – Grown by native Americans, thought to be extinct. One family had saved last 50 kernels taken with them when they were exiled from Nebraska to Oklahoma in the 1870s. “It tastes like almonds with cream”https://t.co/pgRSxTk8oP pic.twitter.com/B5dVDKVRbW
— C. S. Prakash (@AgBioWorld) February 18, 2018
For those who would prefer to stay away from Twitter, and I know there are some, I’ll take the liberty to reproduce Prof. Prakash’s text below, embedding the links for clarity, but minus the photos, alas.
- Amazing story of the revival of Pawnee Eagle Corn. Grown by native Americans, thought to be extinct. One family had saved last 50 kernels taken with them when they were exiled from Nebraska to Oklahoma in the 1870s. “It tastes like almonds with cream”.
- A farmer who grew the Pawnee Eagle and other heirloom corn 🌽. Much beauty in the biodiversity, once extinct it is lost forever. Gene banks and such farmers heroes! Vavilov is smiling!
- Deb Echo-Hawk, Pawnee tribe’s official ‘Keeper of the seeds’. When tribes were forced from state to state by the US govt — Trail of Tears — seed keepers brought their own strains of corn seeds with them, so when they settled again, they could grow food on their new land.
- Eagle corn revived from near-extinction by an unlikely friendship and determination of Native American seed saver from Oklahoma Deb-Echo Hawk along with Ronnie O’Brien, a culinary art instructor at a community college in Nebraska.
- Pawnee tribe lived along tributaries of the Missouri River in Nebraska. In 1870, ~ 12,000 people were removed from their land, forcibly exiled to Oklahoma, only about 600 survived. Eagle corn is a tragic testimony to the brutal racism Pawnee endured.
- Roger Echo-Hawk mentioned to me that as Native Americans could not get into US universities in the 19th century, black universities such as Hampton Institute educated them. Booker T. Washington who founded @TuskegeeUniv where I work, also studied there!
- Those who wish to reach Deb Echo-Hawk to learn more about the Pawnee Eagle Corn heirloom seed and check with her when the seeds would be public available may contact her through Facebook page.
- Learn more about this amazing Pawnee Eagle Corn — Workshop on ‘NATIVE CORN’ Honoring Nebraska’s First Farmers — The First Meeting on Indigenous Crops in Nebraska, April 28, 2018 at the Central Community College-Hastings, Hastings.