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1
Así se usa el Metate por Benedicta Alejo para el Colegio Culinario de Morelia
Así se usa el Metate por Benedicta Alejo para el Colegio Culinario de Morelia
::2010/03/10::
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2
El Metate. como se usa el metate Utensilios Mexicanos,Yuri de Gortari
El Metate. como se usa el metate Utensilios Mexicanos,Yuri de Gortari
::2012/12/12::
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3
tortillas en metate
tortillas en metate
::2013/07/24::
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4
Como curar molcajete y metate
Como curar molcajete y metate
::2013/08/20::
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5
Real Hand Made Tortillas 2
Real Hand Made Tortillas 2
::2008/02/09::
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6
Texas Digger finds a metate & mano
Texas Digger finds a metate & mano
::2011/04/18::
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7
comal y metate los relampagos del norte
comal y metate los relampagos del norte
::2009/05/27::
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8
Metate Musings - The Metate
Metate Musings - The Metate
::2010/11/23::
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9
Las Vecinas "El Metate"
Las Vecinas "El Metate"
::2012/08/21::
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10
LOS RELAMPAGOS DEL NORTE (COMAL Y METATE)
LOS RELAMPAGOS DEL NORTE (COMAL Y METATE)
::2011/04/11::
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11
Chocolate de metate
Chocolate de metate
::2014/01/07::
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12
profuga del metate - la hora nacional
profuga del metate - la hora nacional
::2009/05/14::
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13
La profuga del metate- El bautizo.wmv
La profuga del metate- El bautizo.wmv
::2010/01/08::
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14
como se hace un metate ? en san pedro de los metates
como se hace un metate ? en san pedro de los metates
::2014/08/31::
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15
dihcue xita, tortilla de metate en comal de barro
dihcue xita, tortilla de metate en comal de barro
::2013/11/11::
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16
Pasta de chcocolate en metate
Pasta de chcocolate en metate
::2012/01/14::
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17
los relampaguitos comal y metate
los relampaguitos comal y metate
::2014/03/12::
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18
El Metate
El Metate
::2010/10/14::
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19
HERMANAS HUERTA - EL METATE
HERMANAS HUERTA - EL METATE
::2010/07/29::
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20
El Metate - Let the Sunshine @ Boom Boom Room December 2013
El Metate - Let the Sunshine @ Boom Boom Room December 2013
::2014/01/13::
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21
Los Relampaguitos
Los Relampaguitos ''Comal Y Metate"
::2011/09/21::
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22
At the metate
At the metate
::2009/02/06::
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23
comal y metate video
comal y metate video
::2011/08/03::
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24
Reportajes de Alvarado - Chocolate de Metate
Reportajes de Alvarado - Chocolate de Metate
::2014/06/17::
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25
Par De Ases: El profe Hugo del Metate
Par De Ases: El profe Hugo del Metate
::2013/11/08::
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26
metate metlacuil en piedra
metate metlacuil en piedra
::2007/10/17::
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27
Los Relampagos del Norte - Comal Y Metate
Los Relampagos del Norte - Comal Y Metate
::2009/10/18::
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28
El Metate @ Boom Boom Room Puck and Apache
El Metate @ Boom Boom Room Puck and Apache
::2014/06/23::
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29
Chocolate hecho en metate por alumnos de ESGAMEX
Chocolate hecho en metate por alumnos de ESGAMEX
::2012/01/14::
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30
METATE!!!
METATE!!!
::2012/08/19::
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31
Aprendiendo a usar el metate
Aprendiendo a usar el metate
::2013/01/20::
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32
The Metate Room Experience
The Metate Room Experience
::2011/08/29::
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33
La profuga del metate- En una Cascarita.wmv
La profuga del metate- En una Cascarita.wmv
::2010/01/08::
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34
En Arroyo Metate se lleva acabo el primer Corte de Chile Soledad
En Arroyo Metate se lleva acabo el primer Corte de Chile Soledad
::2012/10/24::
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35
El Metate - Nautilus @ Boom Boom Room December 2013
El Metate - Nautilus @ Boom Boom Room December 2013
::2014/01/12::
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36
GRUPO DE DANZA METATE VIEJO 2DA PARTE.mp4
GRUPO DE DANZA METATE VIEJO 2DA PARTE.mp4
::2012/05/01::
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37
moliendo masa en metate
moliendo masa en metate
::2011/02/23::
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38
El Molcajete y el Metate
El Molcajete y el Metate
::2013/07/31::
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39
DE SAN VICENTE NUÑU a  el " río de metate" 2013
DE SAN VICENTE NUÑU a el " río de metate" 2013
::2013/08/02::
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40
Juego 2 de la final metate vs zapote
Juego 2 de la final metate vs zapote
::2014/09/02::
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41
Profuga del Metate - Lala Light
Profuga del Metate - Lala Light
::2010/12/05::
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42
COMAL Y METATE LOS RELAMPAGOS DEL NORTE
COMAL Y METATE LOS RELAMPAGOS DEL NORTE
::2014/04/16::
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43
Relampaguitos   me moriria, comal y metate
Relampaguitos me moriria, comal y metate
::2012/09/26::
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44
CORNFIELD CHRONICLES-METATE AND A HOTTIE!
CORNFIELD CHRONICLES-METATE AND A HOTTIE!
::2013/12/14::
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45
Mano de Metate(blinker barras y estrellas) VS Forastero(blinker blanco)
Mano de Metate(blinker barras y estrellas) VS Forastero(blinker blanco)
::2012/08/28::
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46
GRUPO DANZA METATE VIEJO FINAL.mp4
GRUPO DANZA METATE VIEJO FINAL.mp4
::2012/04/29::
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47
Anasazi Metate & Pottery & Hammerstones with Rusty
Anasazi Metate & Pottery & Hammerstones with Rusty
::2014/09/22::
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48
Metate Trail Day Hike June 21st 2013
Metate Trail Day Hike June 21st 2013
::2013/07/01::
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49
Las Vecinas & Los Arqueros De La Vecindad..04 EL METATE
Las Vecinas & Los Arqueros De La Vecindad..04 EL METATE
::2014/07/15::
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50
GRUPO DANZA METATE VIEJO PARTE 1.mp4
GRUPO DANZA METATE VIEJO PARTE 1.mp4
::2012/04/29::
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Metate, mano and corn, all circa 12th century AD, from Chaco Canyon, USA

A metate (or mealing stone) is a mortar, a ground stone tool used for processing grain and seeds. In traditional Mesoamerican culture, metates were typically used by women who would grind calcified maize and other organic materials during food preparation (e.g., making tortillas). Similar artifacts are found all over the world,[1] including China.[2]

Formation and morphology[edit]

While varying in specific morphology, metates adhere to a common shape. They typically consist of large stones with a smooth depression or bowl worn into the upper surface. The bowl is formed by the continual and long-term grinding of materials using a smooth hand-held stone (known as a mano). This action consists of a horizontal grinding motion that differs from the vertical crushing motion used in a mortar and pestle. The depth of the bowl varies, though they are typically not deeper than those of a mortar; deeper metate bowls indicate either a longer period of use or greater degree of activity (i.e., economic specialization).

Another type of metate, called a grinding slab, may also be found among boulder or exposed bedrock outcroppings. The upper face of the stone is used for grinding materials, such as acorns, that results in the smoothing of the stone's face and the creation of pocked dimples (see image).

Ceremonial metates of Costa Rica[edit]

A Costa Rican metate with bird iconography at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Carved, volcanic-stone ceremonial metates represent one of the most unusual and complex traditions of pre-Columbian artifacts from Costa Rica. They come in many different forms, and morphological variation corresponds to different regions and time periods. They can be rectangular, circular, flat, or curved. They may or may not have rims and between three and four legs. Some exhibit use-wear while others show no signs of wear and appear to have been made specifically for use as burial goods. Some examples characterized as metate might have actually been a type of throne for sitting on – not a metate at all.

Some examples are known as effigy-headed metate, which feature an animal’s head at one end, with the metate itself making up the body of the creature. Animals typically depicted are jaguar, crocodile or birds. The most complex type of ceremonial metate is the class referred to as “flying-panel” metate. This style comes from the Atlantic watershed region, including the City of Guayabo and represents a high level of craftsmanship and complexity. Carved from a single piece of stone, these metate typically contain multiple figures, both underneath the plate and on the legs. Trophy heads, birds, jaguar, monkey and saurian figures are the most common themes. The “flying panel” metate is believed to be the precursor to free standing sculptural figures more common later in the Atlantic watershed region.

Temporal and regional variation[edit]

Metate and mano

The earliest traditions of stone sculpture in Costa Rica, including ceremonial metate, began in late Period IV (A.D. 1-500). Metate from the Nicoya/Guanacaste region have longitudinally curved and rimless plates. Those from the Atlantic-Watershed have a plate that is horizontally flat and rimmed. Both are associated with mortuary goods, suggesting differential social status existed within these communities. The three main types of Costa Rican stone sculpture at this time– tripod-metate, mace heads and jade “axe-god” pendants – peaked and declined in use during Period V (A.D. 500-1000).

Stone sculpture was never popular again in the Nicoya/Guanacaste region, but in the Atlanic Watershed ( such as from Guayabo) by Period VI (A.D. 1000-1500) freestanding figural sculpture and new forms of ceremonial metate came into use. These new metate types might be rectangular with four legs like the jaguar effigy-head examples or might be round in shape with a pedestal base. These latter types often have carved human heads (or just suggestive notches) around the rim implying a relationship with ritual trophy-head taking. This particular form of metate seems to have been influenced by the stone sculptures of the Panamanian site of Barriles.

At the site of Las Huacas, fifteen metates were excavated from sixteen graves. None of these metate had mano (grinding stones), suggesting that the carved metate as a mortuary object had a deeper symbolic meaning than just the processing of foodstuffs. The metate’s basic mechanical purpose is a platform on which (primarily) maize is ground into flour. This transformation of grain to flour has symbolic implications relating to life, death and rebirth. It is still not clear if maize was a main source of sustenance, and it is entirely possible that maize was reserved for making chicha (beer), for use in ritual feasting activities. Given their role as a burial good, it seems that metate held a strong meaning for human life, death and the hope for a rebirth or transformation of some kind.

Iconography[edit]

The three most popular iconographic elements of ceremonial metate seem to be saurian, bird, and jaguar creatures. Monkeys are also common. A unique feature of ceremonial metate is the lack of human figures. Disembodied heads are the sole exception. While human figures become the main subject of the free standing sculptures, which depict nude females or male warriors with trophy heads and bound male captives, these do not seem to have been depicted on metate. Flying-panel metates often have anthropomorphic figures, but these always have animal (often crocodile) heads.

In both the Nicoya and Atlantic-Watershed regions, metates are often made with saurian (Specifically crocodile, alligator, or caiman) imagery. It is thought that the saurian represents the surface of the earth, which relates to agricultural fertility.[3] One of the oldest and most prominent themes in Chibcha art is that of the Crocodile god. Depicted as an anthropomorphic being with a crocodile head, he has been carved into fly-panel metates, sometimes shown standing on a double-headed saurian and other times on a jaguar. As a symbol, the double-headed Saurian has the longest use and distribution of any iconographic element in the Isthmo-Columbian area.

Costa Rica flying-panel metates date to the 1st and 7th centuries. However, certain features of the Crocodile god depicted on flying-panel metates show him with unnatural U-shaped elbows and long, narrow fingers, as seen on crocodile gods made in gold that date to the 10th-16th centuries. These stylistic forms make sense for use in the small gold ornaments made with the lost-wax technique, but seem strange for use in carved stone. Perhaps these metate date much later than previously thought, and were inspired by the depictions in gold.[4]

Birds with long, curving beaks that seem to represent vultures, toucans or maybe hummingbirds are another popular theme. First found in Costa Rica on Pavas and El Bosque-phase pottery, these are a common element in Flying-panel metates, sometimes depicted with or pecking at human heads.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Graham, M.M. (1981). Traditions of Costa Rican Stone Sculpture. In Between Continents/Between Seas: Precolumbian Art of Costa Rica, pp. 113–134. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York.
  • Lange, F.W. (1996). Paths to Central American Prehistory. University Press of Colorado. Niwot, Colorado.
  • Quilter, J. & Hoopes, J. (2003). Gold and Power in Ancient Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia. Dumbarton Oaks. Washington D.C.
  • Snarskis, M.J. (1981). The Archaeology of Costa Rica. In Between Continents/Between Seas: Precolumbian Art of Costa Rica, pp. 15–84. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York.
  • Stone, D. (1977). Precolumbian Man in Costa Rica. Peabody Museum Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

External links[edit]

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