The significance of pharmacological and biological indicators in
identifying historical uses of Amanita muscaria
(Click on numbers below to view images
connected to this chapter.)
Figure 1 – The above statuette comes from Nayarit, Mexico, and is believed to date back to 100 CE. Here a man, perhaps a curandero, is seated beneath a giant Amanita muscaria. (Illustration by Laura Boergadine Sapp ©).
Figure 2 – This panel taken from the Madrid Codex features God M (right) presenting what appears to be an Amanita muscaria to a seated figure. Alternatively, it has been speculated that the object represents an incense burner. (Illustration by Laura Boergadine Sapp ©).
Figure 3 – This stone sculpture represents the Wind God, Ehecatl, and prominently features his dangling eyeballs, generally considered to be tears. Upon closer inspection, however, the tears can easily be seen as the stalk and bulbous base of an Amanita, with the eyelids providing the cap of the mushroom. Only the characteristic warts are missing. (Photo by Jacques VanKirk ©).
Figure 4 – This panel taken from the Codex Borgia features the God of Twins, Xólotl. Here, and elsewhere in the Codex, he is featured with a dangling eyeball, or what appears to be a mushroom. The similarities between this stylized “eye” in the Codex and those in the sculpture of Ehecatl are noteworthy and require further investigation. (Illustration © by Laura Boergadine Sapp).