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Mayan Mural detail - Woman presenting tamales

Tamales on Mayan Mural

The presence of tamales in the art of the indigenous tribes of Mexico makes culinary historians believe the tamal played an important role in religious rituals, says Karl A. Taube’s book The Maize Tamale in Classic Maya diet, Epigraphy and Art.  In fact, tamales were around well before the time of Christopher Columbus, filled to the brim with beans, meat, and chiles.  Ancient Aztec women prepared tamales for celebrations that were stuffed with local ingredients like snails, game, boiled fruit, beans and fish.

Though it's a little hard to see, here, on a Mayan stone mural, a Mayan woman is represented presenting tamales, possibly in some sort of ritual.

Mayan Mural detail - woman presenting tamales

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