Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins

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Another in a series of FLAAR Reports created exclusively for the Institute of Maya Studies by Nicholas Hellmuth and his research team in Guatemala City:

Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins in Maya Diet, Art and the Ballgame

by Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth, Director of the Foundation for Latin American Anthropological Research (FLAAR)

Squash are eaten; squash vines are present in sculptures from the Olmec through to later Maya and Cotzumalhuapa sculptures. Ceramic effigy bowls clearly reproduce (a thousand years ago) the typical ribbed pumpkin-like squash. As recorded in the Popol Vuh, a squash takes the place of a head for one of the Hero Twins in the Xibalba ballgame. So, we find there are many reasons to study squash, gourds and pumpkins, especially as it pertains to the ancient and modern Maya of Mesoamerica.


Since squash, pumpkin, and several of the seeds are easily obtainable in supermarkets across the USA and around the world, I hope you will consider adding more of these to your diet. Avoid the pre-cooked or packaged, over-salted, over-chemicalized, over-sugared normal microwave eating style that we all are tempted into (including yours truly). I trust you’ll enjoy the high-resolution photographs from the milpas and mercados of Guatemala in the associated full-color PDF.


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Left: FLAAR Maya staff working on on the Squash report: Standing, left to right: Abigail Gabriela Cabnal, Maria Josefina Sequen Subuyuj, Linda Ixchel Bac Cojti, Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth; in front: Pedro Choc, Luz Maria de los Angeles Caal Caal.


Squash cover smRight: Click on the image of the cover to open the PDF report in a new window where it can read and downloaded.


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Copyright 2012 Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins. The Institute of Maya Studies is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your charitable contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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