Folk classification of wild mushrooms from San Isidro Buensuceso, Tlaxcala, Central Mexico

J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2020 Sep 14;16(1):53. doi: 10.1186/s13002-020-00408-x.


Background: An ethnomycological study was conducted to describe the fungus concept and the traditional fungus classification system for the Nahuas of San Isidro Buensuceso, in central Mexico. The study which provides information on the co-existence of various forms of classification, based on both cultural and biological characteristics.

Methods: The research included conducting community interviews and forest forays in the company of mushroom pickers. The triad technique, pile sorting, and fresh mushroom sampling methods were used. Traditional names were analyzed to describe the Nahua classification system for fungi.

Results and conclusion: The triad technique with non-utilitarian stimuli allowed the fungi to be identified as an independent group of plants and animals. The Nahua people of San Isidro classify fungi primarily based on their use, where they grow, and by humoral characteristics. The analysis of the names revealed a classification based on the criteria proposed by Brent Berlin. This study identified the detailed knowledge of fungi in this Nahua community. The criteria used for the recognition of the species are very reliable, since they use organoleptic, ecological, phenological, and morphological characteristics.

Keywords: Ethnomycology; Fungi; Macromycetes; Nahuas; Temperate forests; Traditional knowledge.

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / classification*
  • Classification / methods*
  • Ethnicity
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Mexico
  • Mycology
  • Terminology as Topic