Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to by John Staller, Michael Carrasco

By John Staller, Michael Carrasco

The importance of nutrients and feasting to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures has been largely studied by way of archaeologists, anthropologists and artwork historians. Foodways experiences were severe to our knowing of early agriculture, political economies, and the domestication and administration of crops and animals. students from varied fields have explored the symbolic complexity of meals and its practise, in addition to the social significance of feasting in modern and historic societies. This publication unites those disciplinary views — from the social and organic sciences to artwork historical past and epigraphy — making a paintings complete in scope, which finds our expanding realizing of a number of the roles of meals and cuisines in Mesoamerican cultures.


The quantity is equipped thematically into 3 sections. half 1 supplies an outline of foodstuff and feasting practices in addition to historic economies in Mesoamerica. half 2 info ethnographic, epigraphic and isotopic facts of those practices. eventually, half three offers the metaphoric price of nutrition in Mesoamerican symbolism, ritual, and mythology. The ensuing quantity presents a radical, interdisciplinary source for realizing, nutrients, feasting, and cultural practices in Mesoamerica.

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It was perhaps for this reason that speculations continued unabated for hundreds of years, and in some cases have become part of European folklore. Fanciful perceptions regarding the origins and roles of plants in Pre-Columbian and later European history were in some cases associated with such speculations and preconceptions. The Spaniards, and later to a lesser degree, the French, English, Dutch and others, nevertheless recorded their impressions of Native cultures from the arrival of the first Conquistadors or Pilgrims to the retreat of the last European official during the colonial periods and wars of independence.

But they could also have been gourds that were used for such containers. Early Colonial Period observations emphasize that gourds were used as containers. They continued to be used widely as containers in Mexico until recently when plastics appeared. New World cultures often planted squash with maize and beans, as the cornstalk provided support for the climbing beanstalks, and also shade for the squash (Mt. Pleasant 2006). What also interested many of these explorers was the identification of what crops constituted the primary economic staples, and many Colonial officials were interested as to whether any such food staples were used in the context of religious rituals and symbols as bread and wine were in the Catholic Mass (Sepulveda and Las Casas 1975 [c.

Monaghan, J. (1995). The Covenants with Earth and Rain: Exchange, Sacrifice, and Revelation in Mixtec Sociality. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Montanari, M. (1994). The Culture of Food. Blackwell, Cambridge, UK. Myerhoff, B. G. (1976). Peyote Hunt: The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians. Cornell University Press, Ithaca. Ohnuki-Tierney, E. (1993). Rice as Self: Japanese Identities through Time. Princeton University Press, Princeton. Ortiz de Montellano, B. R. (1990). Aztec Medicine, Health, and Nutrition.

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