JCB Fellow's Talk: Julia Sarreal

July 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

Julia Sarreal, (Arizona State University), Helen Watson Buckner Memorial Fellow

"What is Yerba Mate?"

Yerba mate is a caffeinated beverage widely consumed throughout South America, and an important marker of cultural identity.  Originally a Guaraní good, maté evolved over the years to become a colonial drink, a mainstay of the gaucho (cowboys), and a hip social activity in Argentina. Yerba mate has also entered the United States market as a tea, iced beverage, and energy drink. Relatively little is known about how the Guaraní consumed yerba mate before European contact. This presentation uses early seventeenth century dictionaries from the John Carter Brown Library to learn about Guaraní yerba mate practices and trace what terminology can reveal about yerba mate’s transition from a Guaraní drink to a colonial beverage.


The Reading Room will close to researchers at 3:30 p.m.