SALT IN MEXICO (SOURCE)
In any region of the world, salt has always been necessary for human survival. In the history of Mexico, the Lords of the land and their hegemonic cultures as the maya and the Aztec used the salt for their political intentions. As for the colonial Mexico, since the second half of the 16th century until the beginning of the 20th, salt gained additional importance.
Mexico was the first country in the world that used salt in large scale for industrial purposes in the production of silver. During this long period, salt was fundamental for the country’s economy.
Due to the variety of salt resources, as well as geological and geographical diversity of the country, it is likely that over the millennia, Mexico has developed a wide variety of methods for the recovery of sodium chloride. Today, it is still possible to see ancestral practices for obtaining salt and can also appreciate Mexican “salineras” companies at the forefront of world technology.
Spanish conquest stripped the salt of all its prior political importance. However, today salt has been partially preserved for ritual and medicinal use. In pre-Hispanic religion and mythology, the ritual context of salt and the taboos of the deprivation in their consumption highlighted the value attributed to this product.
MYTHOLOGY AND PREHISPANIC RELIGION
We find another example in the complex and pluralistic variety of deities in the Aztec religion. In this culture, they had Huixtociuatl, the goddess of the “salineros” and salty waters. This goddess was linked to Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue, gods of rain and lakes respectively.
USE AND COMMERCE
The class leaders made of the use and consumption of salt an instrument of war and political. The salt trade could be cut, as did the Aztecs in the case of Tlaxcala.
On the other hand, settlements of the interior could have closed the passage to the coastal “salinas”, strategy that the Maya seem to have managed in a very skilful manner.
We also have that one and others, both Mayan as Aztecs, charged salt as a tribute to other cultures.
Cacao was already cultivated by the Mayas for more than 2500 years.
The cacao was called “cacahuat”; the aromatic beverage obtained from its fruits was called “xocolatl”.
The agave is created from the liquid sap that is obtained from the inside of the “penca”.
This first extraction is called mead and is consumed by the natives as a natural refreshing and fortifying drink