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Author Topic: C H I C L E  (Read 506 times)
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« on: March 17, 2009, 08:30:12 pm »

Axin is an oily yellowish grease obtained by crushing an insect called Axin, that lives on tropical Spondia trees; the Aztecs also used it as lip balm, and as another remedy for diarrhoea. So now you know the Aztec recipe for chewing gum: aromatic tar, chicle and crushed insect grease!

13. 'The harlot' (Click on image to enlarge)
The Florentine Codex stresses the main purpose of chewing gum: ‘For this reason the women chew chicle: because thereby they cause their saliva to flow and thereby the mouths are scented; the mouth is given a pleasing taste. With it they dispel the bad odour of their mouths, or the bad smell of their teeth.’ Apparently only women chewed gum in public, and they took care to be discreet:

14. 'The harlot' (Click on image to enlarge)
‘Bad women, those called harlots, show no fine feelings; quite publicly they go about chewing chicle along the roads, in the market place, clacking like castanets.’ Well, at least the Aztecs only frowned on noisy gum chewing: after the Spanish Conquest the Catholic Church frowned on chewing gum (just like they frowned on most things…) and it’s been banned in many parts of the world (including schools!) ever since. But that’s a long story.
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