Megalopyge's 'Powers of Annoyance'
Last month Maria Sibylla Merian ranked among a host of intellectuals who had depicted cacao (see Pods, Pots, and Potions). This month we zoom in to study the caterpillars creeping through the image. The larvae featured on cacao have a special history, perhaps not unrelated to the European reception of cacao explored on this site. As we will see, when Merian published Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium in 1705, it was the first time Europeans had seen cacao firmly rooted i
Aztec Methods 1) Grinding chocolate: Aztec woman grinding beans (foreground) Bernardino de Sahagún, The Florentine Codex [Historia general de las cosas de nueva España], c. 1575, fol. 69 (verso), Medicea Laurenziana Library, Florence 2) Frothing chocolate: Aztec Noblewoman frothing chocolate Codex Tudela, 1553, Museo de América, Madrid 3) Servingware: Drinking cup Cholula-style ceramic goblet Photo © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum by Ines Seibt/ BPK, Berl