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Maria Sabina
From María Sabina: Mujer Espíritu, 1979
Maria Sabina
From María Sabina: Mujer Espíritu, 1979
Erowid Character Vaults
María Sabina
Summary
María Sabina was the Mazatec curandera from Oaxaca, Mexico who encountered R. Gordon Wasson on his trip to Mexico in 1955. On June 19th, 1955 she introduced him to psilocybin mushrooms during a healing ceremony. He became the first Westerner to experience the effects of these psychedelic fungi, followed shortly thereafter by Valentina Wasson. Wasson wrote about his experience with María and the psilocybin mushrooms in an article for Life Magazine in 1957.

In the Life Magazine article, Wasson referred to María Sabina as "Eva Mendez" in an attempt to protect her privacy, but the attempt failed. Over the coming years, María Sabina was inundated with visitors from the United States. The onslaught of "young people with long hair who came in search of God" disrupted her village and led to her arrest on more than one occasion by local federales. She sometimes turned visitors away, and sometimes introduced them to the mushrooms they sought, occasionally charging a fee, and often not.

María Sabina died in 1985 at the age of 91.
Books
  • María Sabina: Selections, by J. Rothenberg (2003)
  • María Sabina, Her Life and Chants, by Álvaro Estrada (1981)
  • Vida de María Sabina: la sabia de los hongos, by Álvaro Estrada (1977) (español)
  • María Sabina and her Mazatec Mushroom Valeda, by Wasson, Cowan, Cowan, & Rhodes (1974)
  • Conversaciones con María Sabina, by Enrique González Rubio (1992) (español)