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Scientia fungorum

versión On-line ISSN 2594-1321


RUAN-SOTO, Felipe. Collection of wild edible fungi and strategies for the recognition of toxic species among the tsotsiles of Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico. Sci. fungorum [online]. 2018, vol.48, pp.1-13. ISSN 2594-1321.


In the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, wild edible mushrooms are a priced resource, especially among Tsotsil and Tseltal indigenous peoples. However, in recent years deathly intoxications by mushrooms have been frequent.


The collection practices of the Tsotsil of Chamula are described and analyzed, along with the ways in which they have changed over time and the strategies to identify toxic and edible species.


This study was carried out in Chamula, Chiapas, a mountainous zone with temperate forest and a Tsotsil Maya population. With an ethnographic approach and using qualitative methods, non-structured and semi-structured interviews were carried out along with collection of fungal specimens.


In the past, mushroom collection was a common practice. Around 21 species were cited as edible, most of them ectomycorrhizal. Currently, collection is not perceived as a frequent practice due to several factors, including forest reduction and the abandonment of these use practices. Several strategies to recognize edible species were mentioned.


Although mushroom collecting persists among Chamula Tsotsils, there is a risk to their health because of loss of traditional knowledge.

Palabras llave : Ethnomycology; Ethnobiology; Traditional Mycological Knowledge; Highlands of Chiapas; Non-timber Forest Products.

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