Three Sisters

wooden platter of natural foods from the harvest

Recently, we were hiking at Bandelier, where Ancestral Pueblo peoples lived in cliff dwellings from approximately 1150 to 1550 CE. Corns, bean and squash, referred to as the Three Sisters comprised most of their diet, along with native plants and animal meat. The indigenous people left because extreme drought affected their ability to grow the crops that sustained them.

Why were they called the Three Sisters? Cornstalks provided support for bean vines and squash shielded plants from predators. Beans supplied protein, squash gave vitamins and corn is rich in carbohydrates. What’s left after the harvest was turned back into the soil to nurture next season’s bounty.

Eloqui’s Three Sisters are the buckets or talking points in any presentation. After your open, divide your content into three sections. Then see how they nurture and support one another. Consider the flow of your talk. For example, you may decide to change the position of one bucket for greater effect.

Like the Mesoamerican crops, make sure each bucket reinforces the other, providing mental nourishment. Some of our greatest advancements in science, medicine and communication have come from looking back to ancient methods for inspiration. Cook up a tasty meal and a talk the same way.

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