Traditional ecological knowledge associated with the elaboration of Siaab g'ez



Traditional ecological knowledge associated with the elaboration of Siaab g'ez, traditional drink of the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.



Carmen Sandoval Meda/Angela Moreno/Jordi Morató



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The traditional ecological knowledge is the accumulation of knowledge and management carried out by the indigenous peoples, this is expressed both in the use of genetic resources and the modifications they make of the landscape. Both the cultural and the biological component act and manifest themselves in the daily practice and in the worldview of these peoples, being maintained through generations thanks to a value system that promotes the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.



Objectives:


Central Objective:


Identify the cultural practices and traditional ecological knowledge associated with the elaboration of Siaab g'ez in the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle.


Specific objectives:


1. Determine the socio-cultural aspects linked to the preparation and consumption of Siaab g'ez in the community of Teotitlán del Valle.


2. Describe the process of making white or rotten cocoa in the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle.


3. Define the agroecological, ethnobotanical and historical environmental background of Theobroma bicolor Humb. & Bonpl. in the Soconusco region of Chiapas.



Methodology:

To carry out this research, a field work was carried out in the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle. The methodology of social work called Participant Observation (OP) was used, from which a qualitative and ethnographic material related to the community and to the stated objectives was obtained. The OP is defined as a research characterized by deep social interactions between researcher and researcher, which occur in the environment of the researched, allowing the collection of information in a systematized manner.



About the Program:


The present research work arises from the effort to document aspects of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (PCI) associated with the gastronomy of the state of Oaxaca (Mexico).

Through this research exercise, the importance of culture in the conservation of biodiversity and traditional ecological knowledge was demonstrated, which is an important factor in the sustainable management of natural resources.


For this the following hypothesis was stated: The importance of the Siaab g'ez as a manifestation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in danger of disappearance and its possible impact on the biodiversity of the cacao plantations of Soconusco (Chiapas). Since in the region of the Central Valleys, in the southern state of Oaxaca-Mexico, a drink highly valued by its inhabitants is consumed, whose main ingredient is the seed of Theobroma bicolor Humb. & Bonpl., an arboreal species that inhabits the southern coast of the state of Chiapas-Mexico, from where it is transferred to the community of Teotitlán del Valle to produce white cocoa through an ancient technique of "rotting" being the only place where this traditional knowledge is preserved.



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