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The salt in the Yuquitania

Salt is a fundamental ingredient in the preparation of the Yuquitania. Formerly salt was obtained from different processes of plant material obtained in the jungle. According to Juan Álvaro Echeverri, in his essay "La sal de monte", he establishes that the stories of the Spanish chroniclers speak of a type of salt that was used by indigenous groups. “It is a salt made from the combustion of bark, buds and stems of certain plant species. This type of plant-based salts have been used by many peoples of the Americas and other continents and continue to be used to this day by various Amazonian groups. Several indigenous groups make this type of salt, as an essential mixture for tobacco ambil, among others, and for ritual, medicinal and culinary use (Echeverri, 2011)”. In other words, the salt was obtained from the leaves and fruits of certain vegetables reduced to ashes. The historical records of the colony show that, for example, in the Negro River, salt was obtained from a plant that grows on the rocks in the rapids of the rivers, also called cachiveras. Another way to obtain salt was through trade with sub-Andean groups, who had access to large deposits in the high jungle of that region and traded it with the Amazonian peoples for dried fish, feathers, honey, skins and wood.

If you want to know more about obtaining and using salt in the Amazon regions and indigenous peoples:

La sal de monte: un ensayo de ‘halofitogenografía’ uitoto, January 2001, In book: Imani mundo. Estudios en la Amazonia colombiana, Publisher: Unibiblos, Editors: Franky, Carlos E. and Zárate, Carlos G.'halofitogenografia'_uitoto

Foto: Laura Noguera

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