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versión impresa ISSN 0185-1659


GARCIA QUINTANILLA, Alejandra  y  EASTMOND SPENCER, Amarella. Rituales de la x-táabentun (Turbina corymbosa) y de los mayas yucatecos. Cuicuilco [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.53, pp.257-281. ISSN 0185-1659.

Turbina corymbosa grows throughout Mesoamerica, it is widely known in Yucatan and has no Spanish name. It's known by its Maya name as xtabentun or, correctly spelt, x-táabentun. Many hypotheses have been put forward regarding its ritual use but the yucatecan mayas have been especially reserved about this. Based on contemporary oral tradition, we can now distinguish two types of ritual management of the plant: The first has to do with rituals performed by the x-táabentun itself, together with other plants from the Convolvulaceae family. The second type is carried out by humans. According to testimonials collected in Pixoy, Yucatan, it is clear that the villagers are aware of the hallucinogenic properties of the x-tdabentun seeds (when the plant is colonized by a fungus from the Clavicipitaceae family); and that the midwives also know of the therapeutic value of the alkaloids produced by these (colonized) plants. Following on from this knowledge, we analyze accounts that have been kept in the collective memory about plants, drinks and seeds, as well as colonial sources that refer to substances used by shamans. Finally we present our identification of a x-tdabentun flowering plant on a Maya vase from the Classical period, and we revisit Thompson's [1998] and de la Garza's [1990] hypotheses about the existence amongst the ancient Maya elite of a profound knowledge of this native plant and its use as a entheogen in ancient times.

Palabras llave : Turbina corymbosa; x-tdabentun; serpent-vision; alkaloids; Mayas; rituals; flowers.

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