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Legendary Native American Figures: Selu

Name: Selu
Tribal affiliation: Cherokee
Pronunciation: say-loo
Also known as: Corn Mother, Corn Woman
Type: Goddess, corn, first people
Related figures in other tribes: First Mother (Wabanaki), Corn Mother (Arikara), Mondawmin (Anishinabe), Unknown Woman (Choctaw)

In Cherokee mythology, Selu was the First Woman and goddess of the corn. (Her name literally means "maize" or "corn" in the Cherokee language.) Selu was killed by her twin sons, who feared her power; but with her dying instructions she taught them to plant and farm corn, so that her spirit was resurrected with each harvest.

Selu Stories

*Kanati and Selu:
    Cherokee legend about the corn goddess Selu and the origin of hunting and agriculture.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Selu and Kana'ti: Cherokee Corn Mother and Lucky Hunter:
    Children's book depicting the Cherokee Indian myth about the origin of corn.
Selu: Seeking The Corn-Mother's Wisdom:
    Book of Cherokee Indian stories and spirituality by a Native author revolving around Selu the Corn Mother.
Myths of the Cherokee:
    Classic collection of Cherokee Indian legends and folktales.

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Additional Resources

 Cherokee Voices
 Cherokee legends
 Cherokee Indian words
 Cherokee writing
 Cherokee names
 North Carolina tribes
 Southeast Woodland tribes
 Iroquoian languages



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