Contexts of offerings and ritual maize in the pictographic record in Central Mexico

  • Elena Mazzetto Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Natalia Moragas Segura Universitad de Barcelona
Keywords: Civilization, Mesoamerican, Archaeology, Ritual, Food -- Religious aspects -- Amerindian religion, Eating and meals, Diet, Cooking, Food habits, Nutrition, Votive offerings, Mexico -- History, Indians of Mexico


The objective of this article is an initial enquiry into the evidence and classification of the offerings of maize in Central Mexico from the Classic period to early colonial times. In order to achieve this goal, we will analyse the presence of maize in Central Mexico according to the evidence found in mural paintings and some pictographic codices. Two Mesoamerican cultures will be considered to achieve our analysis: the Teotihuacan and Mexico-Tenochtitlan.  Maize was instrumental in the performance of daily rituals and in the diet of these ancient Mesoamerican cultures and the cereal also had sacred connotations in pre-Hispanic, colonial and contemporary narratives. We suggest this by reading the iconographic and symbolic representations of corn in the form of seeds and pods, or as an ingredient in cooked foods which are represented in the mural paintings of Teotihuacan as well as some codices of the post-Classic Nahua tradition. These methodological enquiries reveal evidence of a cultural continuity in Central Mexico as a contrasting perspective on the archaeological and ethno-historical period. 
Label for peer-reviewed scholarly publications
Apr 13, 2015
How to Cite
Mazzetto, E., & Moragas Segura, N. (2015). Contexts of offerings and ritual maize in the pictographic record in Central Mexico. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 26, 82-100.