The Cornucopia

By: Jenn Whilborg

cornucopia woman.jpg

In Thanksgiving, the cornucopia is the most common symbol of a harvest. The cornucopia is a horn shaped container, overflowing with “an abundance of the Earth’s harvest,” typically including fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is also known as the ‘horn of plenty,’ due to its Latin derivation where “cornu” means horn and “copia” means plenty. We can often recognize the cornucopia, but not many know the story behind it. Originally, the cornucopia was made of a real goat’s horn, rather than the common woven wicker ones we see today. This comes from the Greek legend which states that Zeus, the Father of Gods and men, had to be banished to a cave so his cannibal father didn’t eat him. While in the cave, a goat named Amalthea watched over Zeus. As Amalthea was nursing him, Zeus accidentally pulled off her horn. Zeus promised that the horn would always bring her what she wanted and it has since represented plenty and prosperity.


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