File(s) under permanent embargo
Reason: This item is currently closed access.
The Poetics of Plants in Latin American Literature
chapterposted on 20.08.2015, 10:29 by Lesley L. Wylie
Plants have played a significant role in the culture and society of Central and South America since pre - Columbian times. Agriculture began in South America some 10,000 years ago, yielding not only reliable sources of food, but as Kowtko argues, ‘fundamental advancements in society, economics, culture, and politics’ ( 2006, p. 50). Flora figured highly in pre - Colombian cosmologies and myths, as well as in Mesoa merican calendrical systems (Staller and Carrasco, 2010, p. 122) and Pre - Colombian man’s knowledge of and important relationship to plants is evidenced by detailed botanical illustrations, including in the Mexican codices and on Mayan embroideries, Peruvian textiles and Colombian ceramic spindle whorls (McMeekin, 1992, pp. 171 – 72). John E. Staller shows that maize, in particular, ‘was central to the mythological origins, ethn ic identification and very existence of the Meso american people’ (2010, p. 59) — an importance captured in title of Miguel Á ngel Asturias’ s 1949 novel Hombres de maiz