Huichol legend about maize. 
     There is a huichol myth which talks about the anthropogenic selection performed by this indigenous nation with maize... 
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The Mother of Maize
  ...The Mother of Maize changed her dove appearance to a human one; She introduced to the young man her 5 daughters, who symbolize the five maize sacred colors: white, red, yellow, spotted and blue. As the young man was hungry The Mother of Maize gave him a kettle filled with tortillas and a pot filled with atole; he didn't belive that those could satiate his hunger, but the tortillas and atole were renewed magicaly, in a way that he couldn't finish them. The Mother of Maize asked him to choose one of her daughters and he took the Girl of Blue Maize, the most beauty and sacred of them all...
    This legend talks about the influence of the anthocyanin synthesis (chemical molecules that give its characteristic color to maize grains) in maize selection. When it's said that the Mother of Maize finds a huichol young man, takes him to her home, offers him in marriage her daughters where each one of them represents a color, it's indicating the main colors of maize grains from where the selection will be perfromed, thus she has a White Daughter, another Red, one Yellow, a Spotted and a Blue one, the huichol chooses the Girl of Blue Maize who is the most sacred.

    During this narration it can be glimpsed the importance conceded to Transposable Genetic Elements, as it's well known, a rising on aleurone anthocyanin synthesis involves the action of Activator (Ac) element, so in this moment the main character chooses the Girl of blue Maize, whose aleurone shows a high rise in the production of this pigments, in this way he leaves the other girls that have the element Ac off , spotted or red (Ds desactivator)  that implies the presence of pelargonidine on aleurone with the consequent inhibition of 3'-flavonol-hydoxilase, it means that only the Girl of Blue Maize had the genetic contents necessary to satisfy the needs of the Huichol people (Blue tortillas are more delicious!).

    Now we suggest you to read Introduction to aproach the research that made us conclude the data used to explain the Huichol legend.


Evolution of teosinte to maize
Huichol legend    Introduction    Anhtocyanin synthesis      Copper precipitates Redox system
Germplasm changes    Pith abscission    Iltis ear    Locus Waxy    TGA gene   Mutator gene
Text Only Version
Versión en español
Laboratorio Químico de Productos Naturales 1991

Tortilla: It's maize dough rounded and flat, baked over a metal plate.
Atole: It's a beverage made with maize dough, it can be flavored with
other foods.

The legend was taken form the book "Mitos y arte huicoles", published by Sep/Setentas and written by Peter T. Furst and Salomón Nahmad.