Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Anthropology

First Advisor

Edmond A. Boudreaux

Second Advisor

Robbie Ethridge

Third Advisor

Jay Johnson


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This thesis investigates ethnohistoric accounts written about Southeastern Native Americans and their practice of a renewal ceremony known as the Green Corn Ceremony or Busk. It then presents a model of the material consequences and potential archaeological signatures of this ceremony. This model is applied by analyzing four large refuse basins at the Stark Farm (22OK778) site located in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi. Situated in the Black Prairie physiographic region of the Southeastern United States, this site was occupied between the Late Mississippian through Contact era (A.D. 1400 - 1700) and is thought to be part of the larger Starkville Archaeological Complex (Boudreaux et al. 2020; Clark 2017; Cobb et al. 2016; Smith 2017). By analyzing the ceramic assemblages, fired clay, ethnobotanical, and faunal remains at Stark Farm, this thesis examines Stark Farm’s relationship to Green Corn ceremonialism, and aims to expand upon our understandings of the domestic and non-domestic life at Stark Farm. This research further develops the body of knowledge on the lives, spiritual beliefs, and foodways of peoples living in the Black Prairie both before and after contact with Europeans. It also takes a closer look at the history and practice of the common Historic celebration of the Busk or Green Corn Ceremony that has been adapted throughout time and is still celebrated yearly as an integral part of spiritual beliefs for many Southeastern Native American groups.



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