The Secret Life of Mushrooms
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
Psilocybin mushrooms were first brought into the public consciousness in the late 1950’s after R. Gordon Wasson discovered the ceremonial mushroom rituals of the Mazatec Indians in Mexico and published his findings in Life magazine. Huautla de Jimenez – the largest town in the Sierra Mazateca – was made famous amongst spiritual seekers, resulting in a hippie invasion to the remote mountain town that lasted over a decade. Today, mushrooms are still commonly used for healing, and have become a very public symbol of Huautla’s pride in their culture. The Secret Life of Mushrooms features interviews with anthropologist and author of The Devil’s Book of Culture, Ben Feinberg, local curandera Ines Cortes Rodriguez, Mazatec ritual specialist Edward Abse, and a wide variety of local historians, musicians, and business owners, as journalist Dan Glass investigates the long term cultural effects that outsiders have had on the small mountain town in the last 50 years.