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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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Traditional Cacao Use in Modern Mesoamerica

Traditional Cacao Use in Modern Mesoamerica

(p.341) 17 Traditional Cacao Use in Modern Mesoamerica
Chocolate in Mesoamerica

Cameron L. McNeil

University Press of Florida

Several Mesoamerican communities still cultivate or purchase cacao and use it in their foods and rituals. For many of these Mesoamerica communities, the consumption of cacao is closely associated with various life events such as marriage and childbirth and in many important ritual offerings. Although traditional cacao uses in several Mesoamerican communities display strong parallelism and commonalities, there are customs unique to specific communities as well. This chapter discusses some of the beverages and foods produced from cacao in Mesoamerica. This chapter examines the importance of cacao in several ritual and secular activities of the Mesoamerica and attempts to explore the meanings of these uses. The chapter centers on the research conducted in Honduras and Guatemala, particularly on Maya culture.

Keywords:   Mesoamerican communities, rituals, cacao, foods, consumption of cacao, ritual offerings, traditional cacao uses, importance of cacao, secular activities

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