Mississippian Period: 900 A.D. to 1500 A.D.
(Five hundred to eleven hundred years ago)
During this time, people developed a new variety of corn called eastern flint, which closely resembles modern corn. It was grown with beans and squash (known as the “Three Sisters,”) in fields surrounded by gourd birdhouses hung on poles. These provided homes for purple martins, birds who eat destructive insects and keep crows and blackbirds away from the corn.
The increased food supply provided leisure time, which people used to build mounds, refine arts and crafts (and create new art forms like shell gorgets), and celebrate religious ceremonies. At the Green Corn Ceremony, families, clans, and tribes came together for prayers, dances, marriages, and reconciliations. This ceremony is still celebrated today.