The Persistence of Nahua Culture

“Cochineal is placed on the new plants: March and April,” in Pintura del beneficio de la grana cochinilla en Mexico
Watercolor, ca. 1775

In this book, twelve large watercolor scenes illustrate the annual cycle of planting, cultivating, and harvesting the nopal cactus. In March and April, the cochineal insects are placed on the new cactus plants to develop; in August and September they are harvested. The cycle begins anew with the pruning and replanting of the nopals in December. The temple-like building at the top of both scenes alludes to the indigenous antiquity of cochineal cultivation.

Newberry Library: Vault Ayer MS 2178

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