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Reading: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: José Agustín Arrieta’s Images of Women, Food, and Beverage

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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: José Agustín Arrieta’s Images of Women, Food, and Beverage

Author:

Jenny O. Ramirez

Virginia Commonwealth University
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Abstract

There is a custom among the Chatino Indians of Juquila, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, that at birth, newborn boys are given a machete by their fathers, and girls receive a metate and malacate from their mothers. This tradition not only establishes the future economic and social role of the male and female, but confirms the gendered separation of the masculine world of the outdoors, public, and active life and the feminine arena of indoors, private, and passive existence. It reinforces the concept of man as the provider and embodiment of culture and woman as nurturer and symbol of nature. The emphasis on the maternal role of woman is traditionally anchored further to her home, a place of enclosed, safe space. As the public workplace outside the home became the domain for men, women found themselves consistently relegated to the private, domestic sphere. Certainly the virtuous, good wife and mother further contributed to the moral integrity of not only the woman, but her family, village, state, and nation. The kitchen was most notably the quintessential internal space that defined the culminating qualities of woman. The locale of nourishment and nurture, the kitchen, as well as the related spaces of taverns, banquet tables, and market, could be interpreted as the spatial manifestation of the fecundity of the female.

How to Cite: Ramirez, J.O., (2007). Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: José Agustín Arrieta’s Images of Women, Food, and Beverage. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 13(1), pp.81–96. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/14
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Published on 01 Jan 2007.
Peer Reviewed

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