When: 2011-10-25

Collection location: Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca, Mexico [Click for map]

Who: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)

Specimen available

Purchased from Mazatec indians.

It is very late in the season and all the shamans in the city that we spoke with had only fresh san isidro (Psilocybe cubensis).

We were eating tacos last night and a little kid (must have been about ten) saw my fungi.com sweatshirt and asked if we wanted to buy mushrooms. He took us to his mom, a Mazatec shaman. As we followed them back to their house we asked him if he had tried the mushrooms. The kid said he had eaten them four times and it was chido (great). She said that the only mushrooms she had were San Isidro’s, but we told her we were only interested in derrumbes. She left and returned with a few old black mushrooms that smelled like ammonia and were wrapped in a banana leaf. She became angry when we told her they were rotten. She insisted that they were not at all spoiled and were perfectly fine. She didn’t smile anymore after that. She wanted 150 pesos for them which we thought was expensive. I kept trying to buy just one or two but she insisted on selling the whole bananna leaf full. We ended up giving her 50 pesos. (about $5)

The spores are 6 – 6.5 × 3 – 3.5 × 3 – 4 micrometers, ellipsoid in both face and side view, so these are definitely Psilocybe zapotecorum.


Proposed Names

58% (1)
Recognized by sight: It used to be the case the suspected Psilocybe zapotecorum collections had to be put the wringer of serious microscopic examination. But a new paper that came out in 2012 changed all of that, and now it is very easy to ID macroscopically.
Based on microscopic features: Spore shape and size, plus the location confirms that this is P. zapotecorum.
Based on chemical features: Staining blue

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Also well said
By: IntoTheFlames
2011-10-27 08:38:20 EDT (-0400)

Glad you’re out there collecting specimens.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2011-10-27 01:06:26 EDT (-0400)

This area of mexico is unique in that a large portion of the locals try to sell us psychedelic mushrooms. No one has tried to sell us any drugs in any other parts of mexico. As soon as we step out of the car and they see the color of our skin, they offer mushrooms. Sometimes they try to wave us down while driving. Many are old ladies that look like Maria Sabina.

Today we bought some very umbonate derrumbes from a lady who was probably about 22. We stopped to ask her directions and she offered mushrooms. Her house was really cool, there was corn hanging everywhere. She was only about 4 feet tall and could walk under it, but we kept hitting our heads on the maize. I wish I had a picture, but it was her kitchen/bedroom too so I didn’t want to photograph it. She was really nice and let us pick the interesting ones, and only charged us 30 pesos.

Yesterday we bought a nice collection of fresh Psilocybe zapotecorum from a store that had big blue mushrooms painted on the wall.

I wonder about how the mushrooms have changed life around here. Certainly it improves the quality of the art in this area. We have lots of good pictures of that. It is hard to gauge the effect of the abundant psychedelic drugs on the people here for a few reasons. Since they are illegal they keep it slightly underground. Also the mazatec indians usually can’t speak english or spanish. We are going to try to learn some of the mazatec language next year. Cactu always makes friends with everyone we come across and it would be really fun if we could speak their language.

I don’t see many hippies in these parts.

The indians go to a place called the mountain of adoration to eat the mushrooms and worship.

Well said
By: IntoTheFlames
2011-10-26 23:36:48 EDT (-0400)
a shame.
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-10-25 13:45:05 EDT (-0400)

some 60 years of Psilocybe tourism in rural mexico has transformed the sacred into haggling and con artistry. I wonder how high the trustafarian/hippie factor still is in these parts during the rainy season.

What kind of cultural preservation exists (if any)? What/Who is documenting the culture to date, protecting it from further corruption, and ensuring its continuation into the future?

Created: 2011-10-25 13:19:44 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2014-01-25 22:32:29 EST (-0500)
Viewed: 202 times, last viewed: 2020-06-30 05:21:14 EDT (-0400)
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