"Hey amigo! do you want to go on a trip? do you want mushrooms?"




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The Mazatec people from the northern highlands of the Mexican State of Oaxaca are known for the syncretism of their religion, which combines pre-Hispanic culture and Catholic religion introduced with Spanish colonization in the sixteenth century. Nowadays, Mazatec religious practices are characterized by ritual ceremonies revolving around the religious spirit of the people and their cosmology. They are known for using mushrooms and other hallucinogenic plants to connect them with the world of their gods. The sacredness of these mushrooms is such a large and complex topic that no attempt at scientific explanation seems to solve all of the magical mysteries of the Mazatec universe. However, my introduction to it began in 2011 when I was carrying out fieldwork among the Mazatec people as part of my Ph.D. studies in architecture. This article is a direct account of an experience I had that seems to go beyond rational parameters; to a place where the spiritual and magical predominate; to a world in which healers and shamans eat sacred mushrooms in order to perform ceremonial rituals to heal people.


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indigenous studies, vernacular architecture, sociology, anthropology, phenomenology


Zapata, L. (2017) "Hey amigo! do you want to go on a trip? do you want mushrooms?". The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 6 (1), pp. 57-63


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture