This article explores the custom of drinking traditional maté teas in Asunción, Paraguay. My discussion is founded in fieldwork completed throughout Paraguay’s winter months from June to September 2011. Maté is a tea-like infusion of the yerba maté plant, which is indigenous to Paraguay and the surrounding region. This article takes an anthropological approach to maté drinking, and includes the perspectives of the market vendors who sell plant infusions for this tea, and with whom I conducted interviews during my fieldwork. In doing so, I position maté drinking in the contexts of both custom and as a method of taking traditional medicines within the social, cultural, and economic realities of Asunción.

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