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Chocolate in MesoamericaA Cultural History of Cacao$
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Cameron McNeil

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813029535

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813029535.001.0001

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Cacao, Gender, and the Northern Lacandon God House

Cacao, Gender, and the Northern Lacandon God House

(p.367) 18 Cacao, Gender, and the Northern Lacandon God House
Chocolate in Mesoamerica

Timothy W. Pugh

University Press of Florida

The Northern Lacandon of Chiapas, Mexico, perform their most important rituals in the yatoch k'uj or “god house” wherein women were generally excluded. Cacao, which was associated with women, was not the most significant offering for Lacandon. For them, the special offering was relegated to their alcoholic drink which was called balché which was associated with males. This chapter examines the nature of gender in everyday life, the sacred context of the god house, and the manner with which cacao fits into the ritual and social setting of the Lacandon. In this chapter, the assumed unequal gender relations that was believed to be propagated and strengthened by the cacao and balché within Northern Lacandon communities are assessed and examined.

Keywords:   Northern Lacandon, Chiapas, Mexico, yatoch k'uj, balché, gender, cacao, gender relations

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