jícara

In the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, a premetric market unit. “Jícara” is the name given gourd bowls made in Mexico; farther south, the dried fruit of the jicaro tree is made into sizeable cups (as tall as 8 inches), also called jicara.

The jícara was described as a unit of capacity, 1.5 liters, but only 0.25 liter in another location. It was also described as a unit of count, specifically of plums, 20 pieces in one location and 10 in another, probably representing the number of plums that would fit in a gourd bowl.

The interesting exception to its use as a capacity measure is that an official in Pichucalco, Chiapas, described the jícara as a unit of land area, 0.5 hectare¹. Probably this is a seed measure of land, the amount of land that would be sown with a jícara of seed. What kind of seed, we have no idea.

1. Medidas Regionales. Censo Agricola Ganadero de 1930.

Pages 32, 37, 147, 169 and 175.

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