In this definitive work-a product of more than half a century of research and close observation-the noted anthropologist Omer C. Stewart provides a sweeping reconstruction of the rise of peyotism and the Native American Church. Although it is commonly known that the modern peyote religion became formalized around 1880 in western Oklahoma, it had roots in precontact American Indian ritual. Today it is practiced by thousands upon thousands of American Indians throughout the West.
Long a subject of controversy, peyotism has become a unifying influence in Indian life, providing the basis for ceremonies, friendships, social gatherings, travel, marriage, and much more. As Stewart demonstrates, it has been a source of comfort and healing and a means of expression for a troubled people.
472 pp — ©1993