Grasshoppers on guard in Mexico City
Walking through Bosque de Chapultepec this morning, I did what I’ve been meaning to do for months – I took a shot of one of the many chapulines that stand guard around Mexico City’s biggest park. Chapultepec means “hill of grasshoppers” in Nahuatl, the ancient Mexica language. Luckily I had my camera with me and the sun was just gaining force, so here it is.
One of the many stone chapulines, or grasshoppers, that stand guard around Mexico City’s main park, the Bosque de Chapultepec, this morning.
The word “chapultepec” means “hill of grasshoppers” in Nahuatl (see Wikipedia entry), one of Mexico’s ancient languages originating from the Aztecs. History books say that the park was originally a refuge for wandering Aztecs before it became a place of residence for Aztec nobles.
Grasshoppers are a signature food in Mexican states such as Oaxaca, where they’re toasted and then doused with chili, garlic and lemon. (LA Plaza)
More casual research also suggests that the Mexicas, who settled in the park during the 13th century, believed that it contained an entrance in the inframundo, or underworld, through an abandoned cave in which the last Emperor of the Toltecs, Huemac was said to have spent his last days after the fall of Tula.