This installation/performance has been inspired by the life of María Sabina García (1888 - November 23, 1985), a Mazatec medicine woman who lived her whole life
in a modest dwelling in southern Mexico. Her practice was based on the use of the various species of native psilocybe mushrooms.
Sabina was the first contemporary Mexican curandera (shaman) to allow Westerners to participate in the healing ritual known as the velada,
where all participants partake of the psilocybe 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.
She revealed the long kept secrets of her tribe to the world (a western anthropologist called Gordon Wasson.
By doing so she accidentally attracted huge crowds of hippy magic mushroom tourists and travellers to her village,
who treated it „as a little rural Disney land for New-agers“ * and who were seeking a personal short cut trip to god/spiritual enlightenment.
While she was initially hospitable to the truth seekers, their lack of respect for the sacred and traditional purposes caused Sabina to remark:
"Before Wasson, nobody took los niños (the mushrooms) simply to find God. They were always taken to cure the sick."
She also felt that the ceremony of the velada had been desecrated and irremediably polluted by the hedonistic use of the mushrooms:
"From the moment the foreigners arrived, the 'holy children' lost their purity. They lost their force, they ruined them. Henceforth they will no longer work.
There is no remedy for it."
(*„Clock Woman in the land of mixed feelings: the place of Maria Sabina in mexican culture“
Heriberto Yépez, ubu-web)
Another inspiration for the project had been my visit to the famous anthropological museum in Mexico D.F.
|onion costume test