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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index


Maria Sabina and Her Mazatec Mushroom Velada.

Wasson, R. Gordon; Cowan, George; Cowan, Florence; Rhodes, Willard. (1974).
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.


ISBN: 0-15-157202-X


Description: Deluxe first edition, limited to 250 copies, xxxiv + 284 pages. Gilt page tops. Ethno-mycological Studies No. 3 of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University, A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book. The deluxe edition consists of the following items in a sturdy box covered by navy blue cloth: (1) the main book in a protective clear plastic cover, (2) an inner box also covered in navy blue cloth and stamped in gold Maria Sabina sings her Mushroom Velada. The inner, phonograph record box contains (a) a set of 4 double-sided phonograph records titled Maria Sabina sings her Mazatec Mushroom Velada, (b) a book included within the record box titled Maria Sabina and her Mazatec Mushroom Velada * Musical Score to accompany the text and records. Colophon page at the back of the book reads, "Of this book 250 numbered copies have been printed by the Stamperia Valdonega, Verona, in Dante type face, on Magnani mould made paper, and bound by Giovanni De Stefanis in Milan, copies bearing numbers 1 to 200 are offered for sale and 50 copies numbered from I to L are for private circulation only. March MCMLXXIV." [Colophon]. Photographs by Allen B. Richardson.


Contents: Prologue, phonetics, transcript and translation of Velada by George M. and Florence H. Cowan, photographic sequence, the Mazatec language, musicological notes by Willard Rhodes, acknowledgements, analytic index to the transcription, general index.


Note: The cover design is taken from a huipul hand-woven on a backstrap loom in Ayautla, in the Sierra Mazateca. First trade edition includes: (1) a boxed set of 4 audiocassettes titled Four Cassettes recording Maria Sabina's Mushroom Velada and (2) Maria Sabina and her Mushroom Velada * Musical Score to accompany the text and records. The ISBN of the trade edition is the same.


Excerpt(s): We here offer to interested readers the text of a shamanic ceremony performed on the night of 12-13 July 1958 by Maria Sabina in the Mazatec village of Huautla de Jimenez, in the Sierra Madre Oriental, at the northernmost corner of the State of Oxaxca, in Mexico. Maria Sabina was supported on this occasion by her daughter Maria Carreras, also an accomplished curandera but of a lower category, and by Aurelio Carreras, who though a genuine curandero was on a much humbler level. We call the session a velada, a `night vigil', which is how those Mazatecs who speak Spanish refer to it. We give the complete text of the session in Mazatec language, the translation into English and Spanish, linguistic and musicological commentaries, the musical notation of the chanting and singing, the sound track of the session, ethnographic notes prompted by the text, and a photographic record of the events of that night. Except for us who were busy with tape recorded and camera and two of the Indians, all the adults including the officiants were under the potent influence of the divine inebriant, a species of Psilocybe. In our sound track nothing is deleted.

Never before has a shamanic performance in the New World been presented with anything like the completeness of this one. (page IX)



Compilation copyright © 1995 – 2001 CSP

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