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Conspectus of World Ethnomycology: Fungi in Ceremonies, Crafts, Diets, Medicines, and Myths

By: Frank Matthew Dugan (Author)

151 pages, 18 colour & 9 b/w photos, 6 tables

American Phytopathological Society

Paperback | Jan 2011 | #205021 | ISBN-13: 9780890543955
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-4 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £87.50 $107/€98 approx

About this book

Conspectus of World Ethnomycology surveys the folk usage of fungi worldwide from the perspective of a specialist in germplasm conservation and research. It catalogs the scientific names of fungi used for food, medicine, and other miscellaneous applications by indigen­ous peoples, peasant farmers, hunter-gatherers, and others commonly referred to as "folk" in ethnographic literature.

The origins of the discipline of ethnomycology are sketched, and an argument is made for the origins of scientific mycology from the herb-wives and other "wise-women" of premodern Europe. The evolution of ethnomycology is traced from a focus on "entheogenic" fungi to broader folk prac­tices and applications. Synopses are provided of the most important groups and species of fungi used for food or medicine or in craft production on each habitable continent or major geographic region, and a sampling of folklore pertinent to fungi in each such region is given. Multiple examples are provided of the cultivation or harvest of edible or medicinal fungi, especially when such activities sustain sea­sonally employed or underemployed people, such as Roma in Europe, certain immigrant groups in North America, and peasant farmers in various geographic regions.

Liter­ature is cited to guide readers toward in situ and ex situ sources of fungal germ­plasm and to broader appreciation of folk uses ("primitive" biotechnology) of fungi and other anthropological aspects involving the fungal kingdom.

" [...] an excellent and recommended pick for collections focusing on the plants and fungi of the world as well as world cultures."
–  Midwest Book Review

" [...] an absorbing read [...] can heartily commend it."
–  Inoculum


The Present Scope of Ethnomycology: From Entheogens to Biotechnology
Tradition and change
In Wasson’s footsteps (sort of)
Documentation and conservation of fungal germplasm
Food and nutrition
Folk medicine and medicinal mushrooms
Ethical and legal issues
Some global perspectives

Ethnomycological Knowledge in the Premodern Western Tradition:
The Herb-wives of Reformation Europe as Midwives to the Birth
of Mycology
Highlights and summary
Archives and archetypes
Herb-women, root-women, wise-women, and witches
The market-women of Europe
Ethnobotanical and ethnomycological studies
Carolus Clusius, Franciscus van Sterbeeck, and the beginnings of mycology
Some important caveats
Women and mycology in the Enlightenment and beyond

Europe and the Mediterranean
Highlights and summary
Mycophilia and mycophobia
Magic and folklore
Edible fungi
Medicinal uses
Miscellaneous uses

Asia and the Pacific
Highlights and summary
Asian and Pacific ethnomycology sensu Wasson
Fungi in myths and folklore of Asia and Oceania
Indigenous uses of fungi for food, medicine, and crafts in Asia and Oceania
Asian use of fungi for fermented foods

Sub-Saharan Africa
Highlights and summary
Psychoactive fungi
Fungi in myths and folklore
Culinary and medicinal uses of fungi

Latin America and the Caribbean
Highlights and summary
Ethnographic studies on psychoactive species
Mythology and folklore
Culinary and medicinal uses, emphasizing commercial harvest of wild mushrooms and cultivation by farmers

North America
Highlights and summary
Folklore and mythology, with emphasis on Native Americans
Fungi as food, medicine, craft supplies, or other uses, with emphasis on Native Americans
Fungi commercially harvested from the wild or recently cultivated for profit

Summary and Conclusions
Literature Cited

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Frank Dugan is a Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA-ARS Western Regional Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research Station at Washington State University. He was formerly a Collection Scientist for Mycology and Botany at American Type Culture Collections, and spent his career managing and researching diverse collections of fungal and higher plant germplasm. Dr. Dugan is also the author of the best-selling, critically acclaimed APS PRESS book The Identification of Fungi: An Illustrated Introduction with Keys, Glossary, and Guide to Literature and Fungi in the Ancient World.

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