Sunday, July 14, 2013

And really, building new snob-appeal menus based on per-Conquistidore Aztec diets?   How many times do I have to remind y'all that ritual and (possibly) dietary cannibalism was a common element of most Nahuatl cultures of the time, but *especially* the Mexica or Aztec

There's a Mexican restaurant in the county named "Rey Azteca".  I refuse to go every time someone brings it up... I don't want to set foot in an eatery that might as well be named "King Cannibal".


Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

That is true. It was. They ate many of those sacrificed at the temples. But at least they were not eating beef at the time...of course that is because there were no cows in Mexico (the bison were up north).

Mitch H. said...

I have to wonder if the resilience of Central American hydraulic tyrannies - despite being firmly stuck in the Neolithic - had something to do with the American shortage of domesticatable large animals. You can hardly build a ferocious pastoral or nomadic alternative to the ugliness of early civilization if you had no access to herdable animals like horses and cattle and so forth.

The Comanche, and to a lesser extent, the Apache, were a catastrophe to colonial Central America when they got their hands on horses. But would the pre-Cortez Mexica have been less... vile under pressure from a nomadic or pastoral alternative to the smoking altars?

Paul said...

Heh. I thought I was only the only one. There's a product display at my local Costco promoting the "Ancient Superfood of the Aztecs". I can't walk by without muttering "What? Human blood?" -- sadly to no one in earshot who gets it.

In the interest of fairness: "While there is universal agreement that the Aztecs practiced sacrifice, there is a lack of scholarly consensus as to whether cannibalism was widespread."

Mitch H. said...

The controversy is over how to define 'widespread'. If by that they meant the rather dubious and extreme dietary theory - that the Aztecs were actually using ritual cannibalism to supplement their dietary protein in any serious fashion - then yes, I agree that the practice wasn't 'widespread' in that sense. But the sources and, IIRC, the evidence is firm that ritual (rather than dietary) cannibalism was an integral element in a number of the Nahuatl cults' practices.