Chocolate Pathway to the Gods

ISBN-10: 0816524645

ISBN-13: 9780816524648

Edition: 2008

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Description: Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods takes readers on a journey through 3,000 years of the history of chocolate. It is a trip filled with surprises. And it is a beautifully illustrated tour, featuring 132 vibrant color photographs and a captivating sixty-minute DVD documentary. Along the way, readers learn about the mystical allure of chocolate for the peoples of Mesoamerica, who were the first to make it and who still incorporate it into their lives and ceremonies today. Although it didnt receive its Western scientific name, Theobroma cacaofood of the godsuntil the eighteenth century, the cacao tree has been at the center of Mesoamerican mythology for thousands of years. Not only did this chocolate tree produce the actual seeds from which chocolate was extracted but it was also symbolically endowed with cosmic powers that enabled a dialogue between humans and their gods. From the pre-Columbian images included in this sumptuous book, we are able to see for ourselves the importance of chocolate to the Maya, Aztecs, Olmecs, Mixtecs, and Zapotecs who grew, produced, traded, and fought over the prized substance. Through archaeological and other ethnohistoric research, the authors of this fascinating book document the significance of chocolateto gods, kings, and everyday peopleover several millennia. The illustrations allow us to envision the many ancient uses of this magical elixir: in divination ceremonies, in human sacrifices, and even in ball games. And as mythological connections between cacao trees, primordial rainforests, and biodiversity are unveiled, our own quest for ecological balance is reignited. In demonstrating the extraordinary value of chocolate in Mesoamerica, the authors provide new reasonsif any are neededto celebrate this wondrous concoction.

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 10/15/2008
Binding: Mixed Media
Pages: 208
Size: 9.00" wide x 10.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 2.134

Meredith L. Dreiss is a research fellow at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. Her company, ArcheoProductions, Inc., develops and produces anthropology-related educational and entertainment projects. She is also president of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, an organization focused on issues of global sustainability.

Sharon Edgar GreenhiLL has more than twenty years of experience in the fields of architecture, museum design, and historic preservation in the United States and Mexico. She is a long-time consultant to ArcheoProductions, Inc.

Introduction
Chocolate and the Supernatural Realm: Food of the Gods
Chocolate and Ritual in Mesoamerica: Fertility, Life Cycles, and the Soul's Journey
Power, Wealth, and Greed: The Seduction of Cacao
Serve Up the Chocolate: Drinks, Vessels, and Glyphs
The Healing Powers of Chocolate: Folk Medicine, Nutrition, and Pharmacology
Balancing the Cosmos: Chocolate's Role in Rainforest Ecology
Notes
Bibliography
Illustration Credits
Index
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