Camote, sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas: Foods of the Mayan People: Root Crops

 

Ipomea-batatas-camote

Sweet potato, camote, Ipomoea batatas today is a Superfood. 2000 years ago it was also part of the food of the Mayan people of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize.

 

In the 1930’s through 1950’s, most books on the Maya did not feature root crops in their list of food eaten by the Maya. Some may mention camote or malanga but all the emphasis is on maize, beans, and squash. It was not until Bennet Bronson’s article in 1966 that root crop research became popular.

 

FLAAR has found over a dozen roots used by the Maya. Plus a root crop listed by many authors is indeed edible, but none of our Mayan team’s families actually eat the root; they use only the leaves of this plant (Canna indica, accepted name for what used to be called Canna edulis). We raise Canna indica in our Maya ethnobotanical research garden plus we work together with people in Q’eqchi’, Kaqchiquel, and Pokomchi areas of Guatemala.

 

PDF, Articles, Books on Ipomoea batatas, camote

 

  • BRONSON, B.
  • 1966
  • Roots and the Subsistence of the Ancient Maya. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology. Vol. 22, No. 3. Pages 251-279.

    Note: in FLAAR we have a copy that was generously sent to us, if you want this article, please let us known so we can send it for free to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • GONZÁLEZ, G., GARCÍA, E., CASAS, A. and J. M. DUPUY
  • 2014
  • Conocimiento tradicional maya sobre la dinámica sucesional de la selva. Un caso de estudio en la Península de Yucatán. Etnobiología. Vol. 12, No. 1. Pages 60-67.

    Available Online:
    https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/5248320.pdf

 

  • LENTZ, D. L., DUNNING, N. P., SCARBOROUGH, V. L., MAGEE, K. S., THOMPSON, K. M., WEAVER, E., CARR, C., TERRY, R., ISLEBE, G., TANKERSLEY, K., GRAZIOSO, L., JONES, J., BUTTLES, P., VALDEZ, F. and C. E. RAMOS
  • 2014
  • Forests, fields, and the edge of sustainability at the ancient Maya city of Tikal. PNAS. Vol. 111, No. 52. Pages 18513-18518.

    Available Online:
    www.pnas.org/content/111/52/18513.full.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggested webpages with photos and information on Ipomoea batatas

www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/convolvulaceae/ipomoea-batatas/fichas/ficha.htm
Information.

www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/convolvulaceae/ipomoea-batatas/fichas/pagina1.htm
Photos.

www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a587
Information and photos.

www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ipomoea+batatas
Information.

www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-8500721
List of synonyms.

www.peruecologico.com.pe/flo_camote_1.htm
Information.

 

First Posted September 2017

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