A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis by Carole M. Counihan

By Carole M. Counihan

Located within the southern San Luis Valley of Colorado, the distant and comparatively unknown city of Antonito is domestic to an overwhelmingly Hispanic inhabitants suffering not just to exist in an economically depressed and politically marginalized region, but in addition to maintain their tradition and their lifeways. among 1996 and 2006, anthropologist Carole Counihan gathered food-centered lifestyles histories from nineteen Mexicanas—Hispanic American women—who had long-standing roots within the top Rio Grande quarter. The interviews during this groundbreaking research interested by southern Colorado Hispanic foodways—beliefs and behaviors surrounding nutrients construction, distribution, coaching, and consumption.

In this booklet, Counihan gains huge excerpts from those interviews to provide voice to the ladies of Antonito and spotlight their views. 3 strains of inquiry are framed: feminist ethnography, Latino cultural citizenship, and Chicano environmentalism. Counihan records how Antonito's Mexicanas determine a feeling of position and belonging via their wisdom of land and water and use this data to maintain their households and groups. ladies play a huge function through gardening, canning, and drying greens; getting cash to shop for nutrients; cooking; and feeding relations, neighbors, and friends on usual and festive events. They use nutrition to solder or holiday relationships and to specific contrasting emotions of concord and generosity, or enmity and envy. The interviews during this booklet display that those Mexicanas are innovative prone whose nutrients paintings contributes to cultural survival.

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Additional info for A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture)

Sample text

My mother would take us to the Presbyterian church, and all our Sunday School instructions were in English. But on my dad’s side, my grandmother knew how to write and read Spanish. She hated English. All conversations between adults in our family would be in Spanish. Ethnic, Gender, and Religious Identity Over the course of the twentieth century, English increasingly prevailed in Antonito through the influence of the school and the Presbyterian church, and it became increasingly common in the public sphere.

It was unfair what they were doing with Chicanos, that we were at the lower levels. We were at the lower level of education, we were at the lower level of getting jobs. Every opportunity, if you were not white you did not get it. If you had a Hispanic name they shuffled you to the back. I thought, that’s not fair. So there we were, marching. It was just all classified into what your race was—if you were Chicana or Chicano you still got shafted either way. You got the lowest job, the lowest pay.

I have never forgotten that embarrassment. I don’t think the next day I bought ice cream. Seventy-years after this event, Ramona still remembered her embarrassment at speaking English incorrectly, which was a powerful catalyst to learn it well. She articulated the connection between language and culture by noting the many Spanish-language periodicals her family read when she was young; these periodicals played a key role in sustaining Hispanic culture in the Southwest, and their decline paralleled the imposition of English in the schools and the broader community (Rosales 1997).

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