Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese
Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Malagasy Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Thai Turkish Vietnamese

definition - Ethnomycology

definition of Wikipedia

   Advertizing ▼



  Amanita muscaria has a long and varied history of psychoactive use.

Ethnomycology is the study of the historical uses and sociological impact of fungi (a.k.a. "fungi lore"), and can be considered a subfield of ethnobotany or ethnobiology. Although in theory the term includes fungi used for such purposes as tinder, medicine (medicinal mushrooms) and food (including yeast), it is often used in the context of the study of psychoactive mushrooms such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms, ergot and Amanita muscaria. By analogy to the term entheogen the term "entheomycology" (ἔνθεος entheos meaning literally "god within", more freely translated "inspired") has been suggested for the study of psychoactive mushrooms used for spiritual purposes.[1]

The researcher Robert Gordon Wasson rekindled interest in this field of study in the late 1950s, inspiring later researchers such as Terence McKenna, Carl Ruck, Giorgio Samorini, Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Richard Evans Schultes, John Allegro, Clark Heinrich, Dan Merkur, and James Arthur.

Besides mycological determination in the field ethnomycology depends to a large extent on anthropology and philology. One of the major debates among ethnomycologists is Wasson's theory that the Soma mentioned in the Rigveda of the Indo-Aryans was the Amanita muscaria mushroom.[2] Following his example similar attempts have been made to identify psychoactive mushroom usage in many other (mostly) ancient cultures, with varying degrees of credibility. Another much written about topic is the content of the Kykeon, the sacrament used during the Eleusinian mysteries in ancient Greece between approximately 1500 BCE and 396 CE.[3] Although not an ethnomycologist as such, philologist John Allegro has made an important contribution suggesting, in a book controversial enough to have his academic career destroyed, that Amanita muscaria was not only consumed as a sacrament but was the main focus of worship in the more esoteric sects of Sumerian religion, Judaism and early Christianity.[4] Clark Heinrich claims that Amanita muscaria use in Europe was not completely wiped out by Orthodox Christianity but continued to be used (either consumed or merely symbolically) by individuals and small groups such as medieval Holy Grail myth makers, alchemists and Renaissance artists.[5]

While Wasson views historical mushroom use primarily as a facilitator for the shamanic or spiritual experiences core to these rites and traditions, McKenna takes this further, positing that the ingestion of psilocybin was perhaps primary in the formation of language and culture and identifying psychedelic mushrooms as the original "Tree of Knowledge".[6] There is indeed some research supporting the theory that psilocybin ingestion temporarily increases neurochemical activity in the language centers of the brain, indicating a need for more research into the uses of psychoactive plants and fungi in human history.[7][8]

The 1990s saw a surge in the recreational use of psilocybin mushrooms (a.k.a. "shrooms") due to a combination of a psychedelic revival in the rave culture, improved and simplified cultivation techniques, and the distribution of both the mushrooms themselves and information about them via the Internet. This "mushrooming of mushroom use" has also caused an increased popularization of ethnomycology itself as there are many websites and Internet forums where mushroom references in Christmas and fairy tale symbolism are discussed. It remains open to interpretation what effect this popularization has on ethnomycology in the academic world, where the lack of verifiable evidence has kept its theories with their often far-reaching implications shrouded in controversy.


  1. ^ Irvin, Jan; Andrew Rutajit (2006). Astrotheology & Shamanism: Unveiling the Law of Duality in Christianity and Other Religions. The Book Tree. p. 216. ISBN 1-58509-107-3. 
  2. ^ Wasson, R. Gordon (1968). Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. ISBN 0-15-683800-1. 
  3. ^ Wasson, R. Gordon; Albert Hofmann & Carl A. P. Ruck (1998 second edition). The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries. Hermes Press. p. 149. ISBN 0-915148-20-X. 
  4. ^ Allegro, John (1970). The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: The Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity Within Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East. Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. p. 320. ISBN 0-340-12875-5. 
  5. ^ Heinrich, Clark (2002 second edition). Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Park Street Press. p. 256. ISBN 0-89281-997-9. 
  6. ^ McKenna, Terence (1993 reprint). Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution. Bantam. ISBN 0-553-37130-4. 
  7. ^ "Neurometabolic Effects of Psilocybin, 3,4-Methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE) and d-Methamphetamine in Healthy Volunteers A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled PET Study with FDG". Neuropsychopharmacology. 1999. http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v20/n6/full/1395272a.html. 
  8. ^ "Neural Correlates of Hallucinogen-induced Altered States of Consciousness". http://cognet.mit.edu/posters/TUCSON3/Vollenweider.html. 
  • Oswaldo Fidalgo, The ethnomycology of the Sanama Indians, Mycological Society of America (1976), ASIN B00072T1TC
  • E. Barrie Kavasch, Alberto C. Meloni, American Indian EarthSense: Herbaria of Ethnobotany and Ethnomycology, Birdstone Press, the Institute for American Indian Studies (1996). ISBN 0-936322-05-5.
  • Aaron Michael Lampman, Tzeltal ethnomycology: Naming, classification and use of mushrooms in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, Dissertation, ProQuest Information and Learning (2004)
  • Jagjit Singh (ed.), From Ethnomycology to Fungal Biotechnology: Exploiting Fungi from Natural Resources for Novel Products, Springer (1999), ISBN 0-306-46059-9.
  • Keewaydinoquay Peschel. Puhpohwee for the people: A narrative account of some use of fungi among the Ahnishinaubeg (Ethnomycological studies) Botanical Museum of Harvard University (1978},ASIN: B0006E6KTU

  External links



All translations of Ethnomycology

sensagent's content

  • definitions
  • synonyms
  • antonyms
  • encyclopedia

Dictionary and translator for handheld

⇨ New : sensagent is now available on your handheld

   Advertising ▼

sensagent's office

Shortkey or widget. Free.

Windows Shortkey: sensagent. Free.

Vista Widget : sensagent. Free.

Webmaster Solution


A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !

Try here  or   get the code


With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.

Business solution

Improve your site content

Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.

Crawl products or adds

Get XML access to reach the best products.

Index images and define metadata

Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.

Please, email us to describe your idea.


The English word games are:
○   Anagrams
○   Wildcard, crossword
○   Lettris
○   Boggle.


Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.


Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !

English dictionary
Main references

Most English definitions are provided by WordNet .
English thesaurus is mainly derived from The Integral Dictionary (TID).
English Encyclopedia is licensed by Wikipedia (GNU).


The wordgames anagrams, crossword, Lettris and Boggle are provided by Memodata.
The web service Alexandria is granted from Memodata for the Ebay search.
The SensagentBox are offered by sensAgent.


Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.

last searches on the dictionary :

2276 online visitors

computed in 0.093s

I would like to report:
section :
a spelling or a grammatical mistake
an offensive content(racist, pornographic, injurious, etc.)
a copyright violation
an error
a missing statement
please precise:



Company informations

My account



   Advertising ▼