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Estudios sociales. Revista de alimentación contemporánea y desarrollo regional

versión On-line ISSN 2395-9169


DZIB-HAU, Rita Mercedes et al. Meaning of traditional cuisine for Mayas Macehuales domestic groups in Huay Max, Quintana Roo, México. Estud. soc. Rev. aliment. contemp. desarro. reg. [online]. 2019, vol.29, n.53, e19692. ISSN 2395-9169.


Investigated the function that traditional cuisine currently has as a place for food preparation in the cultural reproduction of Huay Max, a Macehual community of the so-called Maya Area in the Municipality of José María Morelos in the state of Quintana Roo.


A qualitative investigation has been carried out, using a descriptive approach combined with ethnography and considering the domestic group as the unit of analysis. To document culinary practices and their meanings conferred by the components of the community, three domestic groups were selected and submitted to semi-structured and in-depth interviews (carried out in Mayan), and to participating observation.


Show that extended domestic groups are the basis of the organization of productive and food activities; they furthermore indicate that products used to elaborate the dishes are provided both internally and externally. With respect to the meaning that men and women conferred to food and cuisine, this depended on the value of these practices, on the people, and on the sense of belonging to the territory, which confers identity. Nevertheless, due to male migration, social assistance programmes, and scarce agricultural productivity, nonlocal products and industrial food are incorporated into the diet. These products modify the cuisine and the culinary practices, as well as contributing to a decrease of self-sufficient agricultural production, and consequently, to an abandonment of maize agriculture.


The machismo that still prevails in the community prevented working with more domestic groups.


Despite this, the meanings conferred to the cuisine and food, are fundamental for the resistance and cultural reproduction of these groups.

Palabras llave : contemporary food; culinary practices; meanings; nutrition; cultural knowledge; cultural resistance.

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