Religious Ritual in the Mixtec Culture: A Holistic Evaluation

Date

2012-12

Authors

Gilbert, Fred (Ignacio)

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Abstract

The highlands of western Oaxaca have been home to the Mixtec people since the Pre-Classic era. Indeed it is the mythical and cosmological location where their deity lifted the sky from the earth. They have left many artifacts, works of metallurgy, and the rare gift of fan-fold books called codices. The codices express their Mixtec story, through their Mixtec point of view. Much of what we now know has been retrieved from the codices. Although much research and data has been collected, the significance of mushrooms in Mixtec life has been all but neglected. In addition to a study of the relevant literature on the Mixtec as well global examination of mushroom consumption and ritual, this thesis examines the modern presence of mushrooms in the Mixtec areas. I was able to travel to western Oaxaca for a brief time, speak with locals, search for curanderas, and witness how openly mushrooms are accepted, even today. This study will take a holistic approach though evaluating the geographical location of the Mixtec, the economic impact of controlling mushrooms for trade, and the use of mushrooms in religious ritual. This paper will also make the connection between the control of mushrooms and power.

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Keywords

religious ritual, mixtec, watershed, mushroom, Mesoamerica, Oaxaca, Shaman, Honors College

Citation

Gilbert, F. (2012). Religious ritual in the Mixtec culture: A holistic evaluation (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.

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