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 zone, but additionally to maintain their tradition and their lifeways. among 1996 and 2006, anthropologist Carole Counihan gathered food-centered existence histories from nineteen Mexicanas—Hispanic American women—who had long-standing roots within the higher Rio Grande zone. The interviews during this groundbreaking learn inquisitive about southern Colorado Hispanic foodways—beliefs and behaviors surrounding meals construction, distribution, instruction, and consumption.
In this booklet, Counihan gains wide 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 files how Antonito's Mexicanas identify 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 tremendous position by way of gardening, canning, and drying greens; getting cash to shop for nutrition; cooking; and feeding relations, neighbors, and buddies on usual and festive events. They use foodstuff to solder or holiday relationships and to precise contrasting emotions of concord and generosity, or enmity and envy. The interviews during this ebook display that those Mexicanas are ingenious companies whose meals paintings contributes to cultural survival.
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Extra info for A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture)
She was a delightful conversationalist with a lively mind. Ramona had an excellent memory of her childhood days on the family ranch on the north bank of the Conejos River, just east of the hamlet of Guadalupe. She had two siblings—an older sister, Elena, who became a teacher, married, and moved to New Mexico; and an older brother, Cres, who took over the family ranch after their father retired and ran it with his wife, Lucy, and their five children. After Cres died, Ramona remained close to her sister-in-law, nieces, and nephews, who lived far and wide but visited her often.
She grew up in the small ranching community of Las Mesitas and remembered her family producing much of their own food. Almost as central as Teddy and Helen in the first half of the book is Ramona Valdez. Born in 1919, she had just turned eighty when I met her, and we did seven interviews between 1999 and 2001. She lived just a block away from me in Antonito. Because of poor health, she was largely housebound and enjoyed visitors. A couple of times a week I gave her a call, and if she was free, she always welcomed me to come over and talk.
We weren’t discriminating. Even now, we don’t—well, to a little extent we do, like, supposing you were an Anglo and then a Spanish girl would be against you, trying to outdo you in things. Well, if she’s Identity and Ethnicity in Antonito 35 a friend of the family or something, you favored her, not because she’s Spanish but just maybe a relative or something. A little discrimination but not hard, not in business. Not in elections. In elections we always vote for whoever we think can do better. But the more you mixed [with Anglos], the better you were; sometimes you mix quite well, and other times you just hate the Anglos, other times you hate the Mexicans, and then you hate the poor, and another one hates the good-looking people, and they don’t want them [laughs].
A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture) by Carole M. Counihan