cacao in pre-colonial america

Cacao has been used in rituals and ceremonies since the beginning of time. Drinking vessels containing traces of theobromine, a compound in cacao, have been found in archeological sites dated back to 1500 B.C.  The Olmecs are believed be the earliest civilization to have used cacao as a sacred beverage and integrated it into their rituals and ceremonies. Later it became a big part of the Maya and Aztec culture.

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cacao was consumed by the royal families as well as warriors and it was a symbol of luxury. it would be drank around the fire while discussing philosophy, astrology, and even the polítical concerns that were taking place in each society. This heart-opening, mind-focusing beverage would connect the community together while bringing a deeper sense of self.  

Prior the colonization of america, Cacao was much more than a ceremonial BEVERAGE. The beans were also used as currency as a means of exchange  for all types of goods.

The plant is considered medicine and has been used in rituals to connect deeper with ones heart. During weddings, beans would be shared between the lovers to express their devotion  and adoration  for one another.



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It’s also believed that cacao supported in the process of transcendence. When a Maya leader or King died, they would place a bowl of cacao next to the body to support their transcendence. The Mayas believed that when the soul left the body, one would go to the inframundo, (underworld) and dwell in a battle. Cacao became a facilitator and support for the king or leader to win the battle and have the soul would enter the heavens.