By Maria Elisa Christie
Throughout the area, the kitchen is the guts of kin and group lifestyles. but, whereas all people has a narrative to inform approximately their grandmother's kitchen, the myriad actions that pass on during this frequently woman global are usually devalued, and little scholarly consciousness has been paid to this important area within which kin, gender, and neighborhood kinfolk are solid and maintained. to offer the kitchen the prominence and recognize it benefits, Maria Elisa Christie the following deals a pioneering ethnography of kitchenspace in 3 vital Mexican groups, Xochimilco, Ocotepec, and Tetecala.
Christie coined the time period "kitchenspace" to surround either the interior kitchen zone within which daily foodstuff for the relations are made and the bigger outdoor cooking quarter within which complicated foodstuff for neighborhood fiestas are ready through many ladies operating jointly. She explores how either types of meal practise create bonds between family members and neighborhood participants. specifically, she exhibits how women's paintings in getting ready nutrition for fiestas provides ladies prestige of their groups and creates social networks of reciprocal legal responsibility. In a tradition rigidly stratified by means of gender, Christie concludes, kitchenspace offers ladies a resource of energy and a spot during which to transmit the traditions and ideology of older generations via quasi-sacramental nutrients rites.
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Extra info for Kitchenspace: Women, Fiestas, and Everyday Life in Central Mexico (Joe R. and Teresa Lozana Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture)
All of the collective food preparation activities for community celebrations that we explore in this book are linked to a particular barrio, not a town. Traditional barrios have their roots in the prehispanic calpulli (land of the clan), in which residents held land in common. These barrio-like units formed the basis for territorial organization and the extraction of tribute (tequitl). More importantly, the calpulli were of sacred origin and linked to the “gods called calpulteteo, whose intervention guaranteed the fertility of the land” (Rueda Hurtado 1998: 17).
Surprisingly (and probably due to its history as a political center), Tetecala has a more urban character and identity, even though 80 percent of the economically active population in the municipality is involved in agriculture and animal husbandry, according to an internal report by the municipal government in 2001. The geographic location of Xochimilco and Ocotepec, on the periphery of large urban centers, is important here. People’s discourse in these two communities upholds the values of their rural and indigenous roots even as they prefer to downplay such roots in order to benefit from their rela tionship to the city and modernity.
In all three sites, belonging is defined to a great extent by the relationship to the land. In Xochimilco and Ocotepec it is reaffirmed through participation in community fiestas. 3 Whenever I interviewed people who were not born in Xochimilco, Ocotepec, or Tetecala, they would immediately clarify that they were not legitimate spokespersons. “No soy de aquí” (I am not from here), I heard many times over from people who had spent most of their life in the community in question. People who are “from here” make it clear to people who are not that their voices are not representative of local interests.
Kitchenspace: Women, Fiestas, and Everyday Life in Central Mexico (Joe R. and Teresa Lozana Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture) by Maria Elisa Christie