PRIMITIVE CORN-PLANTING METHODS.
climatic differences are no doubt responsible for the fact that three
distinct planting methods were in vogue among the Indians. These were as
follows: (1) The Hopi method; (2) the Omaha, or mound, method; and (3) the
usual "hill" method.
The Hopi and other tribes of the Southwest, in order to reach moist
soil in the sandy areas which they cultivate, make use of the planting stick
in planting. This stick is about 3 feet in length and has a stiltlike
projection about 10 or 12 inches from the bottom. The stick is pressed into
the soil with the foot, and holes are made from 8 to 12 inches in depth.
Into these holes as many as 20 kernels are dropped. The hills are about 10
feet apart. The number of plants in the hill may seem excessive, but none
are thinned out, being left as a protection against wind and sun.
The Omaha, or mound, method was used by the Omaha Indians of
Nebraska. In this method the earth was pulverized and heaped into mounds
about 18 by 24 inches in area. The northern end of the mound was 18 inches
in height, sloping to the south, the south end being level with the ground.
The mounds were from 2 to 3 feet apart on all sides, and 7 kernels to the
mound were planted. Sometimes a ditch was dug around the mound, into which
water was poured in dry seasons.