Friday, 5 October 2012

Old Buckenham Women's Institute

Making corn dollies
September is the time for harvest and appropriately Ellen Howe came to the Old Buckenham WI to remind them of all the uses of straw and particularly to show and demonstrate the making of corn dollies.
Corn dollies are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs before the combine harvester came into use. In pagan times it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop and that harvest made it homeless. Therefore hollow shapes were fashioned from the straw so that the corn spirit could spend the winter in the ‘corn dolly’ which was ploughed into the first furrow of the new season.
Ellen had many splendid examples for members to admire. Then they were all given eight stalks of wheat and shown how to make a simple corn dolly decorated with symbolic coloured ribbon. It was surprising successful and most people went home with a very nice corn dolly that they had made themselves.
David Whiteley from BBC East Television came to the Group meeting earlier in September and this was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening. Members learnt some of the secrets behind the tv programmes and it was quite remarkable how much the presenter contributes to the making of the show.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham WI will be their birthday meeting, now 45 years young. So on Thursday 25 October they look forward to a glass of wine and a piece of cake as well as hearing from Roger Canwell who will telling of his experiences when taking part in both ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’.

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