Kamis, 26 Juni 2008

The Origin of Pulque

Now that humans had food, a sun, and a moon, they needed something that would bring joy to their lives. The gods gathered and decided that the people of the fifth sun should be able to partake in something that would make them want to rejoice with music and dance. One night, Quetzalcoatl went to the goddess Mayahuel, the goddess of maguey (agave plant), and convinced her to descend to Earth with him.
Once on Earth, they bound themselves into a tree, each taking up a branch. When Mayahuel’s grandmother woke up the next morning, she found that her granddaughter was missing. Enraged, the grandmother summoned the tzitzimime, the demonic female celestial entities, embodied as the stars above, and told them to go find Mayahuel. When they found the tree that was holding both Quetzalcoatl and Mayahuel, the tree split into two, dropping the branches to the ground. Recognizing the branch that hid Mayahuel, the grandmother proceeded to shred it, giving parts to the tzitzimime so that they could eat greedily and consume her. They did not touch Quetzalcoatl’s branch, and once they left, he shape-shifted back to his usual form. In mourning, he proceeded to bury what was left of Mayahuel. It was from this humble grave that the first maguey plants sprang forth, and from the sap of this plant was made the alcoholic beverage pulque. Pulque was used in Aztec rituals and ceremonies, as well as in celebrations and festivals, and is still enjoyed today by contemporary Mexicans.

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