The Three Sisters: Legendary Companion Crops
Meet the legendary crops called the Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash.
The Three Sisters are the pinnacle of companion crops. Spanning across centuries, corn, beans, and squash have been the backbone of indigenous cultures both spiritually and practically.
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The Holy Trinity
Across many indigenous cultures, the "Three Sisters" have been referenced for centuries. The nomenclature was assigned by an Iroquois legend that said the three crops were given to the people by the "Great Spirit," as three inseparable sisters that would bring prosperity to the people.
The throughline of the legend of the Three Sisters lives with other tribes, but with slightly different names or meanings. The Tewa in New Mexico have a fourth sister, the Rocky Mountain bee plant that lives among the other crops and attacks bees to attract the polinators.