Tigridia pavonia & cochineal

Alberto Castillo ezeizabotgard@hotmail.com
Sat, 13 Aug 2005 11:09:14 PDT
Dear all:
           As we all know Spanish invaders were not notoriously dedicated to 
the natural sciences. They were pretty satisfied with giving a name to so 
many new animals of all kinds they found in America (of course all of these 
animals were unknown to them). Thus, they called rheas ostriches, tinamous 
partridges and besides many others, they named the powerful feline found 
from Mexico to Argentina, "tiger", because it had a few features in common 
with the tiger they knew or heard of. That was enough for them! Of course, a 
tiger is striped, lives in Asia, etc., etc. The name jaguar is South 
American and the aztecs and other Mexicans did not give that name to the 
jaguar. It had little importance if the spots were stripes, rings or donuts, 
to the Spanish it was a tiger and Tigridia the plant was.
          As for cochinilla, it may with good probability refer to the fact 
that scale insects are fat and plump, for cochinilla sounds more derived 
from "piglet".
          Cacomite sounds strange and "little Mexican" because it is a 
Spanish form of the original cacmiTL. This really sounds nahuatl. Tigridia 
pavonia was widely used as food roasted in the embers. It seems many 
tigridioids are edible (as crocuses are) and Herbertia lahue is much 
exploited in its native Chile for the same purpose and use and is becoming 
very rare.

MSN Amor: busca tu ½ naranja http://latam.msn.com/amor/

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