s and squash
are called the Three Sisters
by many Native American tribe
s, most notably the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois
Confederacy). These crop
s are grown together and mutually benefit from the association
; the corn supports the climbing bean and the bean "fixes" nitrogen
in the soil for the heavily feeding corn. The squash fills the spaces between the hills of corn, shading the soil and helping to retain moisture.
In addition to being staples in the Iroquois diet the Three Sisters are the foundation of many stories and traditions. They are said to want to be together, just as Indians want to be together. They are celebrated as a gift from the Creator and are a part of the creation stories. Ceremonial festivals such as the Seed Blessing or Planting Dance and the Green Bean Dance and the Green Corn Dance are centered around the Three Sisters.