The Cactus Metaphor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Mexican History and Culture
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781405190572
StatePublished - Apr 20 2011


  • Cacti of importance to Mesoamericans - barrel cacti-genera Echinocactus and Ferocactus
  • Cochineal industry development - at the time of the Spanish arrival in the Americas
  • Early Europeans arriving in the Americas - finding a bewildering proliferation of cacti
  • Indigenous Mexicans with less historical influence - raising cacti to iconic significance
  • Mexico's tricolored flag - its most prominent symbol of national unity
  • Narcoculture and rise of popular religious cults - like Santa Muerte (Holy Death), a claim to material cultural landscape of nation
  • Pre-Columbian medical practitioners - fluency in use of nopal and tunas, for treating disorders
  • Pre-Columbian peoples, finding cacti of immense significance - as cultural icons
  • Prickly pear cactus - symbolizing the role that cacti plays in Mesoamerica
  • The cactus metaphor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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