Revised Research Idea

I have revised my research idea to encompass the general history of yerba maté in colonial Latin America, rather than just in Argentina because I think that might have been too specific (I was struggling to find good sources). It seems to be something that was adopted by the colonizers and I think that will lead to interesting accounts and findings on the role of maté in colonial society.

Primary source:

I can not find the actual letter, but according to Adalberto López, in “The Economics of Yerba Mate in Seventeenth-Century South America”,

Alonso de la Madrid to Governor Hernandarias, Asuncion, 10 February 1596, cited by Aguirre, Diario, 2: pt. 2, p. 359.

had written a letter about mate (a written account of mate in colonial Latin America).

If you could give me some guidance on how to find primary sources that would be really helpful; I tried for a while with no luck.

Secondary Sources:

Folch, Christine. “Stimulating Consumption: Yerba Mate Myths, Markets, and Meanings from Conquest to Present.” Comparative Studies in Society and History52, no. 1 (2009): 6–36.

Joyce, T. A. “Use and Origin of Yerba Maté.” Nature134, no. 3394 (1934): 760–62.

López, Adalberto. “The Economics of Yerba Mate in Seventeenth-Century South America.” Agricultural History 48, no. 4 (1974): 493-509.

Rodríguez‐Alegría, Enrique. “Eating Like an Indian.” Current Anthropology46, no. 4 (2005): 551–73.


5 thoughts on “Revised Research Idea

  1. dcox20

    Awesome idea Katrina. I would recommend looking for a book similar to Victors and Vanquished that focuses on Argentina. You could also check out the internet archive, which is something I used to primary source material for my junior IS. However a lot of the sources appear to be in Spanish. Either way, check it out.

  2. Miki R.

    This is awesome! I studied abroad in Chile for a bit last semester, and maté was also a huge thing there because of the influence of a lot of the communities in the Andes. From what I saw, maté was generally drank communally, so maybe you could look into how/if it became something that was appreciated by both European colonizers and native communities as well. I’m focusing on food more generally for my project and thought of using a cookbook as a source, so in a similar vein you could also look into the way maté was/is prepared and consumed.

  3. Matt

    I think one thing you could possibly do is see if mate was not only drank in the New World, but if it ever made its way back to Europe. We hear of many different New World foods, especially crops such as maize, potatoes, tomatoes, etc that have a large impact on the food and culture of Old World societies. Was mate ever something that impacted the Old World like those crops did, even if it was on a smaller scale?


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