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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


CROCKER SAGASTUME, René et al. Eating-Nutritional Interculturality in the Wixarika Ethnic Group of Mexico. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.78, n.6, pp.691-700. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background: The high prevalence of eating-nutritional problems and the low degree of impact the food programs have, mainly because the cosmovision of this people has been overlooked warrants the recovery of the eating-nutritional culture of the Wixarika ethnic group in Mexico. This research is aimed at providing elements for constructing a sustainable, intercultural, participation-based eating and nutrition model bringing together modernity and this people's ancestral traditions. Methods: The participative action based on the Sociocritical epistemology was employed as the research methodology with the in-depth survey and participating ethnography techniques. This research was conducted in the Wixarika of Santa Catarina Cuexcomatitlan community in the municipality of Mezquitic, Jalisco, Mexico. Results: The foods eaten by the Wixarika people have a religious meaning, in which corn is the main connecting force of their food-related cosmovision. As most Mesoamerican cultures, the basis of food production and consumption is comprised by the «three sisters»: corn, beans and squash, to which «jitomate» and «chile» have been added, as well as the gathering of foods from the surrounding environment such as fungus, chelites and nopal, foods which, on being produced and eaten in sufficient quantities and properly combined may provide for this ethnic group being properly fed. Conclusions: Food comprises a central aspect in the way in which the cosmovision of the Wixarika people is set out, these being representations and meanings which must be integrated in order to a model which will ensure the eating-nutritional soundness of this ethnic group.

Keywords : Intercultural; Alimentation; Nutrition; Wixarika ethnic; México; Staple foods; Child nutrition; Malnutrition; Qualitative research; Etnology; Culture.

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