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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Lesley N. Origins: Hey Ho, Nobody Home (45) RE: QUERY: Hey Ho, Nobody Home 14 Oct 99


The "soul cakes" caught my interest and I thought others might be interested in what they refer to (sorry, it's the historian in me). I learned this from John Davis who sent me information about John Barleycorn. It's from Frazier's The golden bough. King a gruesome - but Halloween is coming up....

The Corn King was selected from the men of the tribe, treated as a king for a year, then at a pre-set time, danced the corn maze and was killed. His body was then dragged through the fields so the blood would run in the furrows and make the barley grow. Afterwards, he himself may have been eaten.

The barley was made into cakes and stored for the winter. Around the solstice, when it was evident the sun would come back for another year, the cakes were given to children to imbue them with the spirit of the corn king. They were called 'soal cakes' (soul cakes), and in England, kids still go a-soalin' for cookies.


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