How did the Tortilla Discourse impact Mexican history particularly the culture and treatment of the Indians in Mexico?
The Tortilla Discourse came to rise when there was a debate in the Mexican cuisine. Through the Tortilla Discourse, there are a few points that one would take from the treatment of Indians in Mexico. Indians in Mexico represented the minority group subject to racism and poverty. In terms of the type of diet, wheat, which was a crop highly linked with civilization, was the central cuisine in the Mexican culture. Maize, on the other hand, became a crop related to poverty for it was the main cuisine for the Indians. They also referred Indians as ‘backward’ for they could not be able to grasp any concept in class about cuisine. Mexicans could also devalue the Indians by terming them lower class due to making their cuisine on the streets. (…food and culture of the Indians as backward and insanity, Class Lecture Wk8)
What types of policies/treatment were the result?
The Indians who were the minority were discriminated due to their ethnicity. The discrimination came along as they were regarded as poor due to cultivating maize. In the end, the Indians became poorer and malnutrition amongst their population.
Due to the differences in the cuisine, the Mexicans felt they had salvation due to using European cuisine. They adopted the use of wheat as their main cuisine and discriminated the Indians for using maize.
More is evident where the sale of food in the streets became illegal in Spain. The move for restricting the sale affected the Indians especially in the time where they were associated with poverty and inferiority.(social scientists blamed the biological and cultural inferiority of Indians to explain unproductive nature, Class Lecture Wk8)
How did the Porfirio Diaz regime impact Mexican history, especially creating conditions for Revolution?
The Porfirio Diaz regime brought about the development of infrastructure to Mexico. His regime brought about extension of the railway line from 400 miles to over 15000 miles of railway. During the same period, telegraph became numerous, and this facilitated the conveyance of information. More schools and hospitals became functional, leading to advanced health care and prolonged life. Generally, the era of Diaz was the beginning of industrialization in Mexico.
However, with the increase in industrialization, there arose a difference in social classes. The rich begun grabbing land from the poor Mexicans and Indians and this resulted in hunger in Mexico. Hunger came along as they were not able to cultivate from their land due to being grabbed. (The industrialization was done at the expense of the Mexicans, Mexico Under Diaz)
His tenure became short-lived as the education system in Mexico brought about intellects who became aware of their rights and the middle class participated in bringing an end to the reign.
What was the role of women in shaping Mexican cuisine in this period?
Due to the influence of the French cuisine and cookbooks, the Mexican women developed their cuisine and later published their cookbook. After the authorization of maize as a commercial crop, the Mexican women used the maize and wheat to come up with their cuisine and a cookbook for their cultural dishes.
Mexican women also participated in the preparation of their cuisine during festivals. The skills are typically taught to the young girls in Mexico from their grandparents and mothers. (the food comes from our ancestors, Traditional Mexican Cuisine)
How did Mexican artists use their art as social and political critique?
The use of symbolism in their art to illustrate their ideas. For example, The Banquet of the Rich represent the typical problems of the working class. The drawing is in the form of a mural that places them at the bottom while putting the rich at the top. (working classes, depicted at the bottom of the mural to represent their position at the bottom of the social order, are busy fighting amongst themselves, leaving the caricatured wealthy to enjoy their luxurious banquet, Mexican Muralism Movement overview)
The artists were the link between the literate and illiterate in society. They would draw images that every audience would understand the message.