The Amaranth Paradigm

Judith Misrahi-Barak

in Caribbean Globalizations, 1492 to the Present Day

Published by Liverpool University Press

Published in print June 2015 | ISBN: 9781781381519
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9781781384923 | DOI:
The Amaranth Paradigm

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This chapter explores the varying uses of amaranth — a broad-leafed plant that can be consumed as a vegetable for its leaves but also produces cereal-like grain — from the pre-European Amerindian Caribbean to the present day. In particular, it uses the amaranth paradigm to review the concepts of globalization and glocalization in the Caribbean context. It shows how amaranth, once closely connected to Amerindian civilization and culture, almost disappeared after being banned by the Spanish Conquistadors but has since demonstrated the diversity of its genus and its resilience. It also cites the fact that amaranth has been known for generations across the Caribbean basin under the name of ‘callaloo’. Finally, it discusses the (agri)cultural, historical, and linguistic complexities of amaranth and callaloo.

Keywords: amaranth; Amerindians; Caribbean; globalization; glocalization; Spanish Conquistadors; callaloo

Chapter.  6360 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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