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"Food for the gods, food for the peoples". Rites and modes of cooking among the contemporary nahuas in Mexico

Abstract : In this study, I discuss how ritual food is prepared during agrarian rites in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero among the Nahua population. Two privileged methods of cooking meat and corn-base sacrifi cial dishes will be mainly analyzed: Broth and steamed. Th e idea that the way of cooking, in particular cooked-humid (e.g. the broth) and cooked-dry (e.g. toasted), takes place in local symbolic and semantic system will be developed. Th eses modalities allow to ensure a good communication of the man's prayers towards non-human powers. On the other hand, within the ritual broth food, there is some variation in the preparation of Turkey meat, the perfect kind of sacrificial food. These dissimilar procedures outline a dividing line in the symbolic system: On the one hand, the off erings for non-human geoclimatic entities who are responsible for good harvests and protection of the people and, on the other hand, the off erings that would ensure the living humans the collaboration and table-companionship meals. Finally, we will see that the mode of cooking that privileges the liquid, the very hot and green foods is perceived in analogy with the water cycle and the solar/terrestrial evapotranspiration cycle. Likewise, selecting the ingredients according to their origin (Creole or foreign) allows to construct the autochthony and the control of the lands by the local ritual groups (mayordomiás). \textcopyright 2019 University of Warsaw. All rights reserved.
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Soumis le : dimanche 19 juin 2022 - 14:46:12
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Aline Hemond. "Food for the gods, food for the peoples". Rites and modes of cooking among the contemporary nahuas in Mexico. Itinerarios. Revista de estudios lingüísticos, literarios, históricos y antropológicos, 2019, 29, pp.151--172. ⟨10.7311/ITINERARIOS.29.2019.06⟩. ⟨hal-03698813⟩



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