THE LEGEND OF MAÍZ
A long time ago in the center of the planet, there was a town that, like all towns at that time, hunted and ate roots to survive, their lives were like their bland food and not good at all... they lived there because they knew that the mountains hid a hidden treasure, a golden plant, capable of feeding all its people, rich and nutritious that they could harvest during all seasons.
People ventured to the mountains to get that treasure, many people tried but failed, they asked the strongest gods for help and they with all their brute force failed too.
Quetzalcóatl, an intelligent and strategist god, responded to the pleas of the people, and instead of the other gods he decided to use his intelligence and not his strength.
He watched the mountains for a while and realized that a red ant was carrying the treasure he was looking for, Quetzalcoatle turned into a black ant and quickly befriended the ant and asked him to show him the way, she agreed and together they undertook the most dangerous journey of their lives, a long way to have such short legs, with the risk of being stepped on by any other animal, but together they made it.
Quetzalcoatl gave the corn to the first Aztecs so that they could create their civilization, to be always nourished and above all he taught them a lesson, that no matter how strong you put in, if not creativity and intelligence, the Aztecs paid attention to him and managed to transform this seed in the Corn, food that for generations has fed not only the people of the Aztecs and not the whole world.
SIN MAÍZ NO HAY PAÍS
"Without Corn there is no country"
The history of Mesoamerica, and of what we now call Mexico, contains one of the most wonderful stories. Specialists estimate that it happened sometime between 9,000 and 6,200 years ago. The inhabitants of Mesoamerica managed to transform a group of wild grasses, the teosintes, into what we know today as corn.
Teosinte trees have several stems that branch out. Several small cobs emerge from the branches. These have a distichous structure: they only have a couple of rows of grains, which are protected by a kind of rigid skin.
Thanks to the collective and collaborative work of the indigenous peasants, who have been carefully selecting, over several generations, the teosinte grains that had the optimal characteristics, one of the first plants that human beings created with domestication and that shaped the corn over time.
What were the main differences between teosinte and corn? Instead of multiple stalks, corn has a single, sturdy stalk. The ears that are born are few and appear in the center of the plant, they are much larger than those of teosinte; they are soft and easier to eat. The grains are exposed and occupy several rows, that is, their structure is polycystic.
The advantages of these mutations are enormous. The size, texture and quantity of the grains increased. The grains, no longer having a rigid cover, could germinate more quickly. In addition, its collection became easier. While the grains of the teosinte fell and dispersed, those of the corn remained attached to the cob. This allows them to be harvested more easily, without having to pick grain by grain, and whole cobs can be stored.
These mutations caused by human work meant that corn, unlike teosinte, could not propagate itself. Natural dispersal mechanisms stopped working. Corn needs the human being to intervene, to shell the cobs so that its grains can germinate and grow healthily. This is why the Mexican anthropologist Guillermo Bonfil Batalla (1935-1991) stated: "Corn is a human plant, cultural in the deepest sense of the term, because it does not exist without the intelligent and timely intervention of the hand, it is not capable of reproducing itself.
"Sin maíz no hay país / Without Corn there is no country"
is a cultural, social and political movement that seeks to preserve this ancient product, promoting the consumption of the greatest cultural contribution that Mexico has offered to the world.
You can see more of the movement at
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