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Breath and Smoke

Tobacco Use among the Maya
Edited by Jennifer A. Loughmiller-CardinalKeith Eppich

Details

Overview

From Classical antiquity to the present, tobacco has existed as a potent ritual substance. Tobacco use among the Maya straddles a recreational/ritual/medicinal nexus that can be difficult for Western audiences to understand. To best characterize the pervasive substance, this volume assembles scholars from a variety of disciplines and specialties to discuss tobacco in modern and ancient contexts. The chapters utilize research from archaeology, ethnography, mythic narrative, and chemical science from the eighth through the twenty-first centuries.

Breath and Smoke
explores the uses of tobacco among the Maya of Central America, revealing tobacco as a key topic in pre-Columbian art, iconography, and hieroglyphics. By assessing and considering myths, imagery, hieroglyphic texts, and material goods, as well as modern practices and their somatic effects, this volume brings the Mayan world of the past into greater focus and sheds light on the practices of today.

Contributor Bios
Jennifer Loughmiller-Cardinal is a member of the Raman Forensics Laboratory in the Chemistry Department at the University at Albany. She is a contributor to Ancient Psychoactive Substances.
Keith Eppich is a professor in the Department of History, Geography, and Anthropology at TJC—the College of East Texas. He is a contributor to Archaeology for the People.