Welcome to the Ethnomycology of the World website

What Are Fungi?
Fungi As Tools
Medicinal Fungi
Edible Fungi
Psychoactive Fungi
References And Links


      The ethnomycology of the world website will attempt to guide you through the many layers of human-fungal interaction throughout our past and present. Learn about the many uses of fungi in society since antiquity.

Figure 1. The Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria
     The Kingdom of Fungi is as diverse as life itself. There are many different types of fungi, from the microscopic yeast cell to a basketball sized puffball. Through out human history fungi has been gathered, used, and consumed. If not for the humble mushroom, mankind may never have become what it is today. Whether fungi was being used as food for its nutritional and healthy benefits, or being used as a medicine in times of illness and pain, mushrooms have had a lasting impact on the human consciousness.

     Perhaps most significant has been its role in the spirituality of man. The red and white Amanita muscaria (Figure 1), mainstay of the heavens, has long been used by Siberian shamans. The mushroom is considered to be a prime candidate for the legendary Soma of ancient Hindu. On the other side of the world, indigenous ritual use of Psilocybe mushrooms, the flesh of the gods, was in full use by the Aztecs.

Figure 2. Polypore growing on tree
     Fungi's role in human cultural is sometimes just practical. Some fungi, like polypores (Figure 2), can be used as fuel for fire. Some are hard enough to sharpen knives and spear heads. Hypha can be made into fabric for clothing. There is no end to the uses of fungi in our world.

(c) 2007-2009. Frank Mandarino. Return to Goa-Shoom.net