Presentation on theme: "Mesoamerican Subsistence Techniques. Mesoamerica’s ecological diversity is reflected in the great diversity of domesticated plants. I found these different."— Presentation transcript:
Mesoamerica’s ecological diversity is reflected in the great diversity of domesticated plants. I found these different varieties of maize in a storage room in a Catholic church in Pichataro, Michoacan, Mexico.
Dietary Diversity is a function of physical/natural diversity Mesoamerica is an overwhelmingly mountainous region, which is a primary reason for the high level of diversity in the physical environment.
This slide explains why mountain-building has been so frequent in Mesoamerica. Remember the importance of subduction.
Mole (cacao and chiles) Avocado Cacao The great diversity of native food plants, in italics, contributed to the region’s diverse culinary traditions. Cheese and onions The additions of foods from other cultures further diversified the cuisine.
Diagram of the Valley of Mexico in which the Aztecs had their capital city, Tenochtitlan. This valley was in the northern part of Mesoamerica. However the Aztecs had settlements and trade routes that extended to present- day Nicaragua.
Monte Alban, a large Zapotec settlement in Oaxaca, Mexico. Also within Mesoamerica.
The ceremonial ball court at the Classic Mayan site of Copan, in northwestern Honduras. Also in Mesoamerica.
This list demonstrates why Mesoamerica is one of the most important centers of plant domestication. S. Mexico, Guatemala and Central America were locations within Mesoamerica
Common market scene, where vendors sell products from plants domesticated in Mesoamerica.
Cacao plant growing as an understory tree in a rubber grove in Guatemala. This setting is a human substitute for its natural habitat. Cacao is native to the tropical rainforest, where it grows as a shrub on the forest floor. This rubber grove is a simplification of that setting in which a tropical rainforest tree (rubber) is planted in monoculture. Its canopy shades a monoculture of cacao shrubs.
Rubber-cacao grove: A contemporary system of agroforestry that combines two tropical rainforest plants that were in the New World
How odd is this? Taco Bell is trying to expand into Mexico… For real.
Conversely, this restaurant in Oaxaca is attempting to teach urban Mexicans about the great diversity of maize by creating a menu that includes only dishes which have only locally-grown native plants as ingredients.
This mural protests the introduction of genetically-modified maize from the US out of fear that cross-pollinization threatens locally domesticated maize varieties. Oaxaca, Mexico.
Food represents a much larger part of a household’s budget in Central America and the Caribbean than in the US. So, when the price of a dietary staple such as tortillas or beans increases, it’s newsworthy.
Some regions in Mesoamerica have exploited their cuisines as tourism attractions, such as Oaxaca’s mole festival.