2010年6月5日 星期六

[0057] 瑪黛茶由來的歷史故事 (下)


CC 授權圖片 by vibrant_art


Informed about its supposed virtues and magical origins the confirmed the indisputable effect it had on their physical welfare. The surprising renewal of body and spirit brought by the native decoction but not only restored their health but inflamed their commercial instincts – and an industry was soon born.




Two centuries later, the Argentine gauchos of the great Pampean plains and the effete oligarchs of Buenos Aires would share the daily habit of drinking mate with thousands of Paraguayans, Uruguayans, Brazilians, Bolivians, and people as far north as Peru.




By the end of the 20th century, the Guaraní herb would be cultivated for worldwide consumption by a $400 million agricultural industry producing more than 300,000 tons of the processed plant every year.

到20世紀底,瑪黛茶 - 瓜拉尼人的藥草 - 的全球消費量已達到 4億美元,每年的生產超過 30萬噸。

A Vilified, and Vindicated, Brew Even though yerba mate is relatively unknown in the United States, people throughout South America, Europe, and the Middle-East have long appreciated its healthy attributes and epicurean appeal.


A letter written in 1628 by the Jesuit priest Nicaolás del Techo sheds light on the health benefits being touted centuries ago.

在西元1628年,有個耶穌會教士 Nicaolás del Techo 寫了一封信,信中揭示了瑪黛茶對於健康的好處。而這封信在數百年前便成為了一個行銷工具。

“Too many virtues are attributed to the herb,” he complained. “It acts as a soporific at the same time as it stimulates; calms the appetite at the same time it aids digestion.

『瑪黛茶實在是有太多的優點,』他抱怨著說, 『它竟然可以在安定情緒的同時也達到刺激精神的效果。不僅如此,它還可以抑制食慾又幫助消化。

It restores strength, brings happiness, and cures many diseases. All I see is that those who develop the habit can’t seem to get along without it.”


Considering its mythical origin and seemingly magical properties, the early Jesuits’ mistrust of this powerful Guaraní herb was understandable.



They voiced opposition to its use, deeming it a “demonic” pagan beverage given to the “tribal witches” by Tupá – none other than Lucifer himself.


他們認為瓜拉尼人的神靈 Tupá 就是魔鬼撒旦。


They forbade its consumption in their territories and decreed the worst of all punishments for those who disobeyed, excommunication.


This had a disastrous effect, because the use of mate had become so widespread that the church found itself confronting the possibility of losing almost all the faithful.

In spite of the harsh decree, people continued sipping their favorite beverage. To make matters worse, a Dominican priest branded the herb an aphrodisiac.


Contrary to his intentions, this caused the use of mate to spread like Viagra, until it reached a level of nearly 345 kilos per person every day!


他讓瑪黛茶傳播的速度就像威而剛的出現一樣,直到每人每天的平均消耗達到了將近 345 公斤的水準!

This explosion in popularity marked, unfortunately, the beginning of a sad chapter in mate’s history.


As consumption spread throughout South America, a mate gold-fever resulted in the virtual enslavement of thousands of Guaraní Indians, exploited by Spanish encomenderos (contractors) in the most brutal fashion.



The Guaraní were forced to open paths through the rainforest with machete blows from the Paraguayan capital of Asunción to the heart of the mate groves in Guairá Marazón, Iraí, and Alto Uruguay.

瓜拉尼人被迫開鑿了穿過雨林的捷徑,他們使用大砍刀一路的從『巴拉圭』首都『亞松森』開路到瑪黛茶的主產地 『Marazón, Iraí, and Alto Uruguay』。

These paths were watered by the sweat and blood of thousands of aborigines, and paved with their bones. In the annals of New World exploitation no single industry brutalized its labor force more than those first encomenderos of yerba mate.




For their part, the Jesuits by now had realized the failure of their attempts to discourage mate , and began to embrace it instead.


They sanitized its pagan origin by substituting Santo Tomé (Saint Thomas) for Tupá in the myth of its inception, and became so closely associated with the drink that many still know the plant as yerba missionera, the missionary herb.

耶穌會為了自圓其說,消滅了原本瑪黛茶異教的起源,以 Santo Tomé(聖湯馬斯)代替了 Tupá ,創造了一個基督教下的神話來源。

於是之後原本瓜拉尼人的 Caá - Yerba Mate 瑪黛茶成為了傳教士的 Yerba Missionera 草本植物。

Happily, their change of heart helped attenuate, somewhat, the plight of the Guaraní.



-Dr Myrtha Elba Ruiz de Pagés and Fernando Pagés