Monday, February 25, 2013

Cotton in Mexico

And no I don't mean Steve Cotton ... he's only here sometimes

This was going to be a general nature post about what I ran into today including a Humming Bird (colibrí or chuparrosa locally) sipping my banana flowers. Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, Euriel had asthma problems last night, probably brought on by these low 60's temperatures at night, so we took him to the Centro de Salud in Jaluco. While there Lori noticed what looked a cotton plant except this was 10 feet tall. Having never seen a cotton plant except driving by cotton fields in the south I had my doubts. When I got home I checked the Internet and sure enough, it was. I cut and pasted a few bits of info I found on Cotton, Mexico and it's history.  Always something interesting around the corner. 




The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico

G. hirsutum
The oldest evidence of Gossypium hirsutum in Mesoamerica comes from the Tehuacan valley and has been dated between 3400 and 2300 BC. In different caves of the area, archaeologists affiliated to the project of Richard MacNeish found remains of fully domesticated examples of this cotton. The Tehuacán Valley lies in southern Mexico in the state of Puebla near the region where maize (corn) was first domesticated 7,000 years ago.

Recent studies have allowed the comparison of bolls and cotton seeds from excavation in Guila Naquitz Cave, Oaxaca, with living examples of wild and cultivated G. hirsutum punctatum, showing that they might come from the same species, originally domesticated in the Yucatan Peninsula.

In different eras and among different Mesoamerican cultures, cotton was a highly demanded good and a precious exchange item. Maya and Aztec merchants traded cotton with other luxury items, and nobles adorned themselves with preciously woven and colored mantles.

5 comments:

norm said...

Nice post, learned something new.

John Calypso said...

Would not have guessed in your neck,of the woods.

Anonymous said...

A friend who is 3rd generation "Malaque" born and raised told us that the entire area was once home to cotton fields. The crop was profitable but risky (depending on weather,etc ). That is why eventually the locals diversified into current crops which were not as profitable but far more reliable!

sparks said...

No idea what happened to this post but it did not appear. Thanks Anonymous
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A friend who is 3rd generation "Melaque" born and raised told us that the entire area was once home to cotton fields. The crop was profitable but risky (depending on weather,etc ). That is why eventually the locals diversified into current crops which were not as profitable but far more reliable!

Steve Cotton said...

Nice post. Cotton seems to be one of those bust and boom crops -- worldwide.

As for me, I started to say with the house in Oregon gone, I will spend more time in Melaque. But that would not be true. I will travel as much as I have the last four years.

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa
Euriel School Fund

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