Weekly Deity: Crow


Crow is a deity of the Iroquois tribe in North America.  He is a symbol of wisdom, being a wise creature, and also a deity of corn.  Also known as Ga-Gaah, for the sound he makes.

Attributes

Crow appears to the people as a bird, not as an anthropomorphous deity.  He does not change shape or take on human attributes.  He remains a large black crow.

Mythology

This deity is very important to the people.  When Crow came to earth, he brought with him in his ear a grain of corn.   This grain of corn fell out as he flew and was planted by the god Hahgwehdiyu, the good creator deity, in the body of his mother, Atahensic, the earth.  This planted grain soon grew and became the first ear of corn.  The Iroquois then learned how to plant and harvest corn, their staple crop.  At every harvest and every summer when the corn is tall, Crow is allowed to hover over the fields and eat the grubs, and he receives the first share of the corn as thanks.

Light and Dark Sides

Crow is a wise deity, although this does not come across in his myth.  To me, it seems more that the grain of corn in his ear was an accidental happenstance–but then, who would know?  Still, Crow is considered a wise deity by the Iroquois, though it would also be wise to remember some of the other attributes of crows when working with Crow: they like shiny things, and are sometimes braggarts, although in Crow’s case, he has the right to brag since he brought such an important crop to the people.  But keep that bit of arrogance in mind.  Crow can also be seen as partially a fertility god, since he was instrumental in bringing the corn to life and bringing growth to the people.  All in all, he seems like a pretty good deity to work with, neither Light nor Darkbut somewhat neutral.

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