Our team is responsible for the “crops” collection. With each new drawer we look at, we become more amazed (or a-maized) at how many different kinds of corn that have been collected from Hopi people. So far we have already archived 16 different types of corn! We all wondered why they grew so many types of corn. Do they all have different uses? Also, did the Hopi purposefully genetically select for all these types of corn, or did they just happen to be growing in that area of Arizona?
One specimen of corn that stood out to us was the purple corn. We had seen red, yellow, and blue corn in some form or another in supermarkets (as popcorn, fall decor, corn chips, or frozen), but never purple corn. It definitely stood out among the others and sparked our interests. We wondered what this purple corn tasted like. We also wanted to know the conditions or genetic differences that made it such a beautiful and unique purple color. Did they grow this beautiful corn strictly for food or was it just for decorations?
Another specimen that interested us particularly was a very small gourd. Mostly we just thought it was neat, since it is so tiny and preserved so well. It looked very similar to the pumpkins we use this time of year to carve for Halloween in the U.S. We are sure it must have had a different use for the Hopi and we are interested in what it was.