Drawing Pulque and Filling Pig-skins for Market, Tacuba, Mexico

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
In different parts of the world men make drinks from the juices of various plants. In the deserts of northern Africa and eastern Asia, the juice of melons is drunk to slake the thirst. A variety of palm tree also furnishes a good drink in its juice. In many tropical lands the milk of the coconut is the principal beverage. Coffee and tea are perhaps the most popular drinks. Liquors are made from the fermented juices of grapes, and of corn, rye, and other cereals. You see here, however, a Mexican getting a drink different from any of these. The plant shown is called the maguey (mg´ w), one of the varieties of the cactus or the so-called century plant. The maguey is very much like the henequen (hn´ kn) from which comes the fiber known as sisal (s-säl´) hemp. Great plantations of maguey are grown in many parts of Mexico. Its leaves are from 6 to 8 inches thick and 10 to 12 feet tall. Inside of each is a large green cone, which is cut out when the plants are ripe. Into this opening flows the juice of the leaf, which is gathered, and commonly put into pigskins where it ferments in a short time. It is then a liquor somewhat like beer. It is called pulque (pl´ k). In the latter half of the 11th century a noble of one of the Indian tribes first discovered how to extract the juice of the maguey plant. He sent, by his daughter, some of the pulque, to the Toltec chief. The chief liked the drink, and he loved the daughter so well that he kept her as his wife. This caused an uprising which resulted in the overthrow of the famous tribe; at least this is the way the Indian legend runs. Keystone ID: 10926 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.