Potaka chine poteskwata

Potaka chine poteskwata

Corn Grinder (pestle and mortar)

On loan from Agnes Sappington

 “The corn grinder was at least a hundred years old when my daddy, William Ellick, inherited it in 1972. It belonged to my grandmother Julia Dick,” Agnes Sappington explains. “It was used for ceremonies at White Oak. Corn would be dried and ground up for flour. It must have taken all day. I didn’t go to the ceremonial grounds as a kid, but I bet they would have put me to work!”

Julia Dick with Marvin Thomas - Courtesy Northeastern State University Archives, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Julia Dick with Marvin Thomas
Courtesy Northeastern State University Archives, Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Generations of use is evident in the wear marks and sections of repair. Agnes notes, “The mortar cracked and was patched so they could still use it. It’s heavy and I don’t like to move it. The pestle is surprisingly heavy too, with its bulbous end. I guess they would be made of a hard wood, like white oak or hickory. I keep the grinder in my utility room. I’m glad it will now be shared with others at the culture center.”