Chapter

Cacao in the Yukatek Maya Healing Cerermonies of Don Pedro Ucán Itzá

Betty Bernice Faust and Javier Hirose López

in Chocolate in Mesoamerica

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780813029535
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039503 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813029535.003.0020
Cacao in the Yukatek Maya Healing Cerermonies of Don Pedro Ucán Itzá

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This chapter discusses and examines the symbolic uses of cacao in contemporary Yukatek Maya healing ceremonies (k'ex), as well as its uses in ritual beverages including in the uncooked, uneaten offerings associated with ritual numbers and placements. This chapter looks into the pairing of cacao seeds with other plants, for instance chili peppers, the positions they are placed in, and the associations they generate with other symbols wherein they suggest fertility, sexuality, and generational cycles. This chapter focuses on cacao which forms part of the symbol system used by the healer in referring to the circumstances of the patient as part of a family extended through time and related to space through the path of the sun.

Keywords: symbolic uses; cacao; healing ceremonies; Yukatek Maya; k'ex; ritual beverages; offerings

Chapter.  8872 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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