Unusual Destinations Reviews from Not Ordinary People

Sierra Mazateca, Mexico

Author Richard Summers
Thu 20 Sep 12
/ 5
Huautla Jimenez

The Sierra Mazateca is a mountaineous area, part of the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, located in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico.

Its western part is within the district of Teotitlan del Camino in the Cañada and its eastern part is within the district of Tuxtepec, in the region of Papaloapan.

It is named after its main indigenous population, the Mazatec people. The main towns of the area are Huautla de Jimenez, Eloxochitlán de Flores Magón and Jalapa de Díaz.

In 1954 the eastern part of the MAzatec area was flooded by the construction of the Miguel Alemán Dam and turned into the Miguel Alemán Lake.

María Sabina (ca. 1894? - November 23, 1985) was a Mazatec curandera who lived her entire life in a modest dwelling here, in Huautla de Jimenez, Oaxaca. Her practice was based on the use of the various species of native psilocybe mushrooms, such as Psilocybe mexicana.

She was the first contemporary Mexican curandera, defined as a native shaman, to allow Westerners to participate in the healing vigil that became known as the velada, where all participants partake of the psilocybin mushroom as a sacrament to open the gates of the mind. The velada is seen as a purification and as a communion with the sacred.

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