Cultures & Traditions

Demeter (Greek goddess)

Demeter is the Ancient Greek goddess of the harvest. Beyond controlling the Greek's main source of food, she also was believed to oversee the cycle of life and fertility. Demeter is commonly known as the mother of Persephone, whose abduction is the start of the mythical origins of seasons. Persephone, was stolen by Hades, lord of the underworld. When Demeter mourned her daughter, the land withered and died. Persephone was released to the upper world, but since she had eaten several pomegranate seeds during her captivity, she had to return to Hades for the winter months. This kind of life/death/rebirth fertility myth has parallels in the Near East and Egypt.

Adapted from

DMA unpublished material, Label text [1974.87.FA].