Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The story behind the Cornucopia extends way back to the times of Greek mythology. It did not become a part of the traditional “giving of thanks” among the English until after they heard of it in the year 1508. It was years later, when the first Pilgrims arrived and made their homes in America,that this tradition was brought along with them and became a regular celebration. Ever since that first Thanksgiving, the Cornucopia has always been associated with giving thanks for the abundance of food the earth has provided us with.

Of interest is the Greek mythology surrounding the origins of the Cornucopia. Legend has it that Rhea, the mother of the great god Zeus, entrusted his care while an infant to several nurses. One of them, Amalthea, went to great lengths to keep the baby safe. As outlandish as it might sound to us, she hung his cradle up high, on a tree where he would not be easy prey for wildlife. She felt him to be safest if he would be neither in the heavens or on earth, nor in the sea. While strange, indeed, this in itself is typical of mythology. It was during this time that Amalthea fed the infant deity with the milk of a goat. As he grew in strength, young Zeus was said to have broken off one of the goat's horns, handing it to the nurse who was caring for him. He then, with the magical ability he possessed as being a god, gave the Cornucopia the power to be filled with whatever the holder of it desired. This is how it earned the distinction of being a "horn of plenty."
While other, lesser known versions of the mythical story exist, the one of Zeus was the most widely believed and spread from generation to generation.

Without a doubt, this Thanksgiving, where a Cornucopia is displayed, you will think back to its beginnings and have a greater appreciation for what it represents. It certainly is a fitting item to be included in our holiday celebrations.

I, personally, would love to see a Cornucopia overflowing with all kinds of yarn...LOL
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Kar said...

I'm right there with you on the Cornucopia filled with yarn. That would be great!

Have a great Thanksgiving Dawn!


Erin said...

I had no idea about the cornucopia, very cool. Okay, I do have a question for you. I just finished my 100th granny square!! I am thrilled to start sewing them together. But I have no idea to do it! What is the method you used on your granny square beauty? My email is evorkink@yahoo.com