A mysterious Mexican monkey

The strange “Vasija del mono de obsidiana” (lit. “the vase of the obsidian monkey”) is one of the Aztec-Mexican masterpieces of the National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City where it is exposed. We appreciate its appearance, but yet we know so little of its history as this captivating work continues to keep its secrets hidden.

Never without my Mate: the Latin peace pipe.

Argentines and Uruguayans go everywhere with a shoulder bag that protrudes a Thermos. We see one, then two, then ten, and then, during a meeting between friends, we see ourselves handing a kind of shaman’s gourd accompanied by a « tomas mate? » (which means “do you drink mate?”). No reference with your “mate” friend but a Spanish word that you should pronounce “matey”. The thermos actually contains hot water in which we brew the precious mixture of dried leaves (Yerba mate, or “matey” ) and which we then aspire with a metal straw; before recharging it with water and passing it to you direct neighbor. So yes, then you would have, « tomado maté ». This ritual is much more than a moment of relaxation or a tea time with friends! Taking a look at the culture of the Mate in South America is essential to understand how these countries work. When we talk about the “Mate culture”, we mean as well the arboricultural culture, which is a major contributor to the export economy and the promotion of regional products from the south American area, as the traditional culture, a know-how, social behaviors and a South American way of life.

So, let’s have a look at this thousand-year-old drink that seduced both the revolutionary Che Guevara and the Pope, or even Madonna and Maradona!

Cix Mugre: urban art is not only Banksy!

The artist Antonio Triana becomes “Cix Mugre” when he grabs his brush, his tattoo machine or some colors sprays. With his art, that may look like a great ayahuascan trip, he now covers walls of all around the world! Meet Cix !

In the land of Santa Claus, the Samis: the last indigenous people in Europe.

Living with his reindeer in Lapland, our dear red Coca-Cola Santa surely resembles the Samis (is he one of them?), this ancient and long despised people formed by the most commonly known as “Lapps”. But who are they? How many are they ? How do they live? Why were they despised? What remains of their culture? Let’s go and meet this people !

A Portuguese Folly ? Discover the Amazing Monserrate Palace!

Going through it is a real change of scenery: pastel-colored walls, corridors of arcades divinely carved in stucco lace, a central atrium under a dome of finely chiseled wood, tiling subtly decorated with volutes, all ordered according to a circular plan … everything participates to create an intimate and mysterious atmosphere. We find ourselves far from the pomp or the rustic, from Versailles and its grandiloquence or from the old country house. No, this palace has its own look, and its own aire, that of a getaway in the 19th century as romantic as oriental!

The Topo of the Bolivian Woman: Between Weapon and Fashion

Clothes accessory, steak knife, mirror, spoon, sign of power and wealth, ritual object, weapon, political instrument (etc.): this Bolivian pin could replace the Swiss army knife as its use was (and remains!), full of meaning. Moreover, its history enriches South American anthropology.

Whiskey VS Whisky VS Bourbon : what are we drinking tonight?

Can you tell what is the difference between Whisky and Whiskey with an « e » ? Would it only be for some orthographical matter ? And what about Bourbon ? Isn’t it a type of whisk(e)y either ? Click here and you will know everything !

The Poke bowl: from Polynesia to hipsters

Did you know that it is pronounced « pokaï » and not « pokeh »? And whether that comes from « piece » or « cut » in Hawaiian? If so, too bad for me, I use the good old « better late than never ». If not, maybe these late lines can still bring their dose of new knowledge!

The T’anta wawas: children for meal!

©Museum Tales On the left of the image above, you can admire an adorable brioche-marmot and in the center, a bread-pig, but it is on what is on the right that I draw your attention: the kind of “embrioched” child ! Also spelled Tantawawa, it can literally be translated by « child of bread », since « t’anta »Lire la suite « The T’anta wawas: children for meal! »

To celebrate the end of the year like the Aztecs?

A lot of different cultures but for almost everybody, the coming days herald a new year! You may have in mind the hangover of your 20s, Chinese dragons parading through the streets, or other images relating to the different ways of moving from one year to the next… But do you preview the Mexica’s way? Follow the paragraphs, it’s here!