Maya identity through food ways in Mérida and surrounding regions in Mexico



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The Yucatán state of México has had a rich history of indigenous peoples, colonialists, and global influence; this is especially visible through the food of the region. Mérida, in particular, has developed a society that romanticizes the region, yet leaves the Maya descendant population stranded. This paper aims to reveal the effects of food ways on Maya descendants in Mérida, México, in terms of social factors, including poverty, health, and obesity. Few studies have been conducted on identity through diet, although the diet is recognized as a large cultural aspect. Specifically, this paper will focus on the various classic Maya diets and how they interact with both locals and visitors in and around Mérida. Through analyzing elements including both modern and historical lifestyles, agricultural practices, and globalization, the effects of the globalization of food on Maya descendant lifestyles will be clear. With numerous factors contributing to the decline of local cultural practices within a more globalized society, the maintenance of Maya identities is reliant on food ways. Maintaining dietary practices results in a continuation of ethnic heritage, although it is often practiced in personal settings. On this basis, modern food ways in Mexico both aids and hinders Maya descendants, depending on the viewpoint.



Food ways, Maya, Yucatán, Food, Diet, Economics, lifestyle, health, Anthropology