Pozole Carne Humana

Anthropophagy is the custom and practice of eating human flesh.


After almost a year we are presented again the date of September 15-16, to the joy of the Mexican people who have the opportunity to plan some recreational trip or just rest from the monotony of work. During national holidays, many of us have the opportunity to enjoy delicious typical Mexican cuisine. Among some of the dishes that we taste in these days is the birria, the pambazos, the enchiladas, the carnitas. But I can certainly go along when I say that above all these, highlights the pozole.


The ritual anthropophagy among the Mexicas. Codex Magliabecchiano

This dish was documented by several of the monks (some Spaniards, Creoles or mestizos others) who came to New Spain years after the fall of Tenochtitlan.Among them Fray Bernardino de Sahagun, who wrote about the singular saucer in his monumental work: General History of the Things of New Spain. We can say that we wrote with disgust, as the ancient Mexica prepared pozole meat of captives slaughtered in some parties, mainly dedicated to Our Lord the Flayed, Xipe Totec. In this celebration, which bore the name of Tlacaxipehualiztli, the famous sacrifices rayamiento or gladiatorial where a captive warrior was tied to a temalacatl (a large cylindrical. Stone, eg Tizoc Stone, the former Archbishop ‘s Palace or the Stone were made Of the Sun) of the waist to face the great Mexican fighters (cuauhpilli and ocelopilli) armed to the teeth. After being killed, the captive was skinned and dismembered for consumption. The right thigh always went to the palace of Huey Tlahtoani, to express gratitude and respect. According to the chroniclers of Sahagún commented, thighs was the part where the meat with better flavor and texture was. The left thigh and both arms were owned by the warrior who had captured his enemy in battle. Although he could not consume them, since from the Mexican worldview the captor became his father and the captured his son. His relatives, comrades in arms, calpulli leaders were about to eat a big meal. It is important to clarify that among the Mexicas there was ritual anthropophagy, in other words, the consumption of human flesh for religious purposes. This privilege was segmented to select group of the large population of Tenochtitlá n, nobles, rulers, warriors and teteuctin (lords). When these rituals were carried out Sahagun comments that the meat that was consumed was never roasted, but boiled.


Human ritual anthropophagy. Codice Florentino

One of the most common forms of eating human flesh was in the pozolli, Nahuatl word that means sparkling or boiled (foam apotzontli, potzonalli is said). From the time of the Excan Tlatolloyan (Triple Alliance) a variety of corn that today we call was used cacahuacintle , whose main feature is the large size of its grains.

For the preparation of the well, the corn kernels are first precooked in lime water (50 mgs of lime, 5 liters of water and one kilo of maize). When he releases the first boil is removed from the fire to let stand all night. This process is intended to remove more easily the hard coverage of the corn kernels. The next day they rub the corn kernels to literally “skin them”. Then remove the head of each grain. Subsequently the meat, or human, of pork of turkey or chicken is placed in a great vessel / pot along with the precooked grains so that it boils for several hours until the corn explodes. The ancient Mexicas said that they were transformed into white flowers.

This typical Mexican dish is accompanied with slices of radish, striped lettuce, avocado, toast or cream cheese. In the area of Guerrero it is typical that you add cracklings. To emphasize its flavor is added piquín ground pepper and the famous oregano. I take the audacity to mention that residues of this condiment have been found in the Teotihuacan housing complexes (Escalante Gonzalbo, Pablo et al., History of Daily Life of Mexico tome I, Mesoamerica and the indigenous areas of New Spain), The same form as the epazote.


The corn being poured into a bowl to be cooked. You see the 3 ceremonial stones. Codice Florentino

At present the well has undergone changes and differences associated with the region where it is prepared and consumed. In the state of Guerrero white and green is prepared, while in Mexico City, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco red variant is consumed.


The current pozole

Due to the aberration caused to the Europeans by the ritual anthropophagy practiced among the Nahuas, they decided to import large numbers of pigs since the Indians said that their meat was very similar in taste, texture and amount of fat than the human. This is one of the main reasons why Mexico is one of the countries worldwide where more pigs are consumed.

Archaeological data: In the archaeological site of Tecoaque Sultepec located near Calpulalpan in the state of Tlaxcala there are many evidences of ritual cannibalism, even the Europeans led by Juan Yuste were not spared from this fate. Their bones tell us the horrible end they had, since they were sacrificed and later boiled to be consumed. How do we know this? Because in them there are marks of obsidian dishwashers that were used to remove their meat. Also they were altered by the high temperatures to which they were exposed when being boiled. Finally something similar happens with Otomi girl, who was dismembered alive and then be swallowed (image). Their bones were later reunited to be buried along with votive offerings related to the pulque deities like Ome Tochtli and Tepoztecatl.Curious are the maguey vessels that accompanied her at her funeral. This was not done for reasons of cruelty, but to emulate the myth related to the benefits of pulque related to the deity Mayahuel and Quetzalcoatl.



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