The Hominy Foodway of the Historic Native Eastern Woodlands

This article was published in 2015 in the journal Native South. Drawing on numerous ethnohistoric sources from the Eastern Woodlands, I outline the materials, steps, and aspects of sociality that compose the general native historic hominy foodway of the Eastern Woodlands (just like the title says!). This piece was intended to be a “starter piece” for research on the hominy foodway, introducing the idea of a widespread practice of nixtamalization among historic Indian groups in the south, as well as highlighting similarities between seemingly disparate maize-based practices. In it, I also introduce the idea of that the driving force behind the historic practice of nixtamalizing practices in the native hominy foodway was not nutritional, but instead perpetuated by a culturally-constructed taste for bitter foods. It’s a theme that pops up over and over again in my work, and the idea of culturally constructed taste features prominently in my classes as well.

Creek women making sofky.


The Civil Cooking Pot: Hominy and the Mississippian Standard Jar in the Black Warrior Valley, Alabama

In 2016, this article was published in American Antiquity. In it, I propose that the Mississippian standard jar, the most prolific ceramic vessel form throughout the Mississippian world, was not simply a generic cooking pot, but was instead specially adapted to nixtamalize maize, making it a vital tool in the late prehistoric, Mississippian hominy foodway. While the article is intended for an academic audience, I certainly value any and all perspective on the piece! Additionally, I’ll try to write a more accessible, less jargon-ee piece on the subject soon for the blog.

Below is a color version of Figure 4 from the article.


Historic Hominy Foodway: Poster Presented at the Society for American Archaeology, April 2014.

Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck's 1736 watercolor of a watermelon, the inspiration for my poster!

Philip Georg Friedrich von Reck’s 1736 watercolor of a watermelon, the inspiration for my poster!

You should never get too attached to the posters you make for conferences–they only see the light of day for about three hours, and then they spend the rest of their lives in the back of your closet. Despite knowing better, I was (and still am) really proud of this one–I presented it at the 2014 Society for American Archaeology Conference held in Austin, Texas. The color scheme and the design are extraordinarily me (mistake number two: putting too much of yourself in the poster), and I love the use of quotes to drive the narrative. I also love the use of Guillaume Deisle’s 1718 map as the background! Continue reading

Hominy Foodway of the Native Eastern Woodlands. (Conference Presentation, 71st Annual SEAC Conference.)

Thomas de Bry engraving modelled after John White's watercolor.

Thomas de Bry engraving modelled after John White’s watercolor.

What follows is a presentation I gave in the fall of 2014 at the annual Southeastern Archaeology conference, held in Greenville, South Carolina (full citation appears at the end). While this is a cursory overview of the more extensive material published in the 2015 volume of Native South, the article does not have the images from the presentation. The images included are paintings, drawings, and photographs of Indians eating/making hominy throughout the historic Eastern Woodlands, and I think many of them are spectacular! Continue reading