Sixteenth-century Mexican manuscripts are frequently scoured by Aztec scholars looking to better understand the preconquest period. Elizabeth Morán creates a unique study that looks across several manuscripts of this time in order to understand a specific theme: the use of food in Aztec rituals. Morán aims to further contextualize this topic with representations of food, deities, and rituals from stoneworks, ceramics, and murals.

Morán’s first objective, following the quadripartite theoretical organization of Michael Smith, is to describe private/popular and public/state ceremonies that incorporate ritual food consumption. Dividing the material from the manuscripts in this way, Morán focuses on events in the human life cycle (popular) and the veintena ceremonies (state), with most of the sources drawing from sixteenth-century codices. Morán uses this structure to emphasize the overlapping ritual functions between the private and public sectors.

Morán’s second objective is to analyze the role of food rituals in the Aztec cosmovision...

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