Cone Caps, Ya'nte, Ta'a'ya, Tamu

Conocybe siligineoides, commonly known as “Cone Caps” is a fungus from the Bolbitiaceae family. It has the typical “little brown mushroom” morphology presenting itself with a thin, delicate stature and a conic-shaped cap. Conocybe actually translates to cone head through Greek roots.

Though not much data is found on this specie, a sufficient number of mycological studies report it to be mildly to moderately active.

Literature also leads us to Mexico, where the Mazatec people call it “nti-shi-tho” or “ta’a’ya” which translates to sacred, and to the Ivory Coast of Africa where it is called “Tamu” by the Mao people, which means “the mushroom of knowledge”.

Both cultures consumed this mushroom in sacred ceremonies for both its hallucinogenic and medicinal properties.

This is yet another example that in the tradition of every culture, throughout the ages, plants have been valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative nature. By altering the minds of those who consumed them, they were believed to enable a bridge to the sacred. Their impact on history and culture to this day is in the process.

Visual Description

• Cap: 0.5-2 cm broad. Conical to bell-shaped when young becoming broadly conical with age. Surface smooth. Color yellowish-brownish fading to yellowish tan, lighter on edges, darker at umbo. Margin is even. • Gills: attached to the stem, close to crowded. Color similar to cap. • Stem: Thin, equal, fragile. Surface smooth

Habitat Origin

Saprobic, growing alone, scattered or gregarious on decaying woods, or disturbed terrain. Found in Mexico and Ivory Coast.

Strain Effects

Because Conocybe siligineoides is originally reported as a sacred mushroom, one tends to suppose its healing properties foster a deep spiritual journey. During his Velada (sacred healing ceremony) under the guidance of Maria Sabina (famous Mazatec healer), amateur ethno-mycologist Wasson reported visions, an out of body experience and a clear-headed coming-back the next day. When he questioned the other participants regarding their use, they all described it as “muy delicado”, meaning it was a delicate and perilous journey. The power of these mind-bending organisms must be treated with care and awareness. They are crushed, dried, and used in tea, and consumed fresh also.

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