The belief that seasons are brought on by various spirit
s has long been a tradition in Scottish Folklore
Before the introduction of machinery onto farms, and when the majority of the people who lived in Scotland still lived in extended families known as 'clans', harvesting was traditionally done with a scythe. At the end of the harvest, which was considered a time of celebration, once all corn had been harvested, the whole clan would gather in the fields, led by their chieftain, surrounding the one remaining stand of corn. It was believed that the Maiden of the Corn, who was chased through from field to field as the male workers harvested the corn, was trapped in this final stand of corn. As the last scythe severed its roots, the chieftain would catch the sheaf in his arms and present it to 'the bonniest lass present'. This girl would then carry it home from the fields, accompanied by pipes and fiddles, where it would be painstakingly worked into a corn-doll by the women of the clan, who then dress her in garments fit for a queen. She would then be taken to a great feast, where she would be presented to the men of the clan. The chieftain would propose a toast, and the Maiden of the Corn would be raised into the rafters to watch over the clan in the year ahead.