Cactaceae (Cactus Family); Subfamily Cactoideae, Cereeae (= Cacteae) Tribe, Echinocacteinae (= Echinocactinae) Subtribe
Forms and Subspecies
The Huichol differentiate among several forms of the peyote cactus on the basis of their graphic structure. One form resembles the flower of a Solandra species and is consequently called kieri; another is reminiscent of maize (Zea mays). Both of these forms are especially useful for the shamans. Another form is referred to as “doors to the other world,” while the Native American Church refers to a form with twelve or fourteen segments as “chief.” A cactus afflicted by a virus (as sometimes happens) is known as culebra, “snake.”
One form with deep violet-pink flowers has been described botanically: Lophophora williamsii (Lem.) Coult. f. jordanniana.
Anhalonium lewinii Hennings
Anhalonium williamsii (Lem.) Lem.
Anhalonium williamsii (Lem.) Rümpler
Ariocarpus williamsii Voss
Echinocactus lewinii (Hennings) K. Schum.
Echinocactus williamsii Lem. ex Salm-Dyck
Lophophora echinata Croizat
Lophophora echinata var. lutea Croizat
Lophophora fricii Habermann
Lophophora lewinii (Hennings) Rusby
Lophophora lewinii (Hennings) Thompson
Lophophora lutea Backeb.
Lophophora williamsii var. decipiens
Lophophora williamsii var. lewinii (Hennings) Coult.
Mammillaria lewinii Karsten
Mammillaria williamsii Coult.
Azee (Navajo), bacánoc, bad seed, beyo (Otomí), biisung (Delaware), biote, biznaga, camaba (Tepehuano), challote, chaute, chiee (Cora), ciguri, devil’s root, diabolic root, divine herb, dry whiskey, dumpling cactus, hicouri, hículi, hikuli, híkuli (Tarahumara), híkuli walula saelíami, híkuli wanamé, hikuri, hikúri, ho (Mescalero), huatari (Cora), hunka (Winnebago), icuri, Indian dope, jícori, jicule (Huichol), jículi, jícuri, jicurite, kamaba, kamba, makan (Omaha), medicine of god, medizin, mescal,212 mescalito, mezcal buttons, moon, muscale, nezats (Wichita), P, pee-yot (Kickapoo), peiotl, pejori (Opata), pejote, pejuta (Dakota,“medicine”), pellote, peotl, peyote, peyote cactus, peyotekaktus, peyotl, péyotl (Aztec, “root that excites” [?]),213 peyotle zacatecensis, peyotlkaktus, piule,214 raíz diabólica (“devil’s root”), rauschgiftkaktus, schnapskopf, seni (Kiowa), señi, tuna de tierra (“earth cactus”), turnip cactus, uocoui, walena (Taos), white mule, wohoki, wokowi (Comanche), xicori
The flower of the peyote cactus, which the Huichol lovingly call tútu. (Botanical illustration from 1888)
In the region of Trans-Pecos, Texas, peyote buttons have been discovered in archaeological contexts approximately six thousand years old (Boyd and Dering 1996, 259*; Furst 1966*). In archaeological excavations in northeastern Mexico, remains of peyote have been recovered that have been dated to approximately 2500 to 3000 B.P. (Adovasio and Fry 1976*; Schultes and Hofmann 1995, 132*). A cave burial in Coahuila (810–1070 C.E.) yielded pieces of peyote that still contained alkaloids (Bruhn et al. 1978).
In Mexico, peyote was already being used as a ritual entheogen during the prehistoric period. In colonial times, Indians were forbidden to use peyote, and the Inquisition punished its use severely (Leonard 1942). The Huichol peyote cult, which has largely survived since the pre-Hispanic period and has been preserved in a relatively pure form, has been well studied (Schaefer and Furst 1996).
The ritual use of the peyote cactus presumably was spread into North America by the Mescalero Apache and apparently also by the Lipan of Mexico (Opler 1938). The first description of the use of peyote in the area that now is part of the United States dates to around 1760. During the American Civil War, peyote use was already established among many tribes of the Plains (Schultes 1970, 30*). The peyote cult is quite widespread in North America; its members can be found in almost every North American tribe. Most, however, are members of the tribes of the Southwest. The number of peyotists has been estimated to be over 250,000 (Evans 1989, 20). During the past one hundred years, the North American Indian peyote cult has been very well documented and the subject of numerous studies (Gerber 1980; Goggin 1938; Gusinde 1939; Hayes 1940; La Barre 1989; Opler 1940; Slotkin 1956; Stewart 1987; Wagner 1932).
The taxonomic history of this magical plant is rather confusing and reflects the scientific vanity often found among botanists (Schultes 1937a, 1937b; 1970, 32*). The first botanically accurate description comes from Hernández (1615), who used the name peyote zacatecensis (Schultes 1970, 30*). He also described a peyote xochimilcensis, which is likely Cacalia cordifolia (cf. Calea zacatechichi), an herbaceous plant that is still sold in Jalisco today as an aphrodisiac (Schultes 1966, 296*). The cactus was first described in terms of modern botanical taxonomy in the mid-nineteenth century by the French botanist and cactus aficionado Antoine Charles Lemaire (1800–1871), who gave it the name Echinocactus williamsii (1839). Later, the German botanist Paul Christoph Hennings (1841–1908) also described the cactus, which he named Anhalonium lewinii in honor of Louis Lewin (1850–1929) (Hennings 1888). It was long thought that these two names referred to different species or at least subspecies or varieties. Today they are regarded as synonyms for Lophophora williamsii. In 1894, the North American botanist John Merle Coulter (1851–1928) assigned the cactus to the genus Lophophora. The first chemical analyses were published by Louis Lewin (1888) and Arthur Heffter (1894).
Peyote is one of the best studied of all psychoactive plants (Bruhn and Holmstedt 1974). The mescaline that was isolated from it at the end of the nineteenth century revolutionized European psychiatry. At the beginning of the twentieth century, peyote became a drug of fashion in artistic and occult circles (Rouhier 1996). Tinctures of peyote were formerly available without restriction (Gartz 1995).
The peyote cactus occurs in desert areas from Texas to central Mexico (Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas). In Pecos (Texas), the peyote grows naturally under mesquite trees (Prosopis juliflora [SW.] DC.). North of Mexico, the most important natural occurrence of the cactus is in the Mustang Plains of Texas (Morgan 1983a, 1983b).
The peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), one of the classic plants of the gods, in flower.
Propagation occurs chiefly through the seeds. The seeds need only be pressed lightly into sandy or clayey cactus soil and moistened a little each day. Germination may take several weeks. Because the seedlings are very small, they are easily overlooked. Overly heavy watering may wash them away and consequently hamper their growth. The seeds can be planted throughout the year. The cactus does not tolerate any frost.
Peyote requires a porous, clayey soil rich in minerals and nutrients. Apart from this, it is not demanding and will survive even some withering. In the summer, it should be exposed to the sun and watered in moderation, but never kept moist. It requires almost no water in the winter (Hecht 1995, 60*).
After a five-year growing period, a peyote cactus is large enough to be harvested for use. In time, the stump will grow new heads. Peyote is one of the slowest growing of all cacti. There is, however, a gardening technique for accelerating its growth:
Since peyote grows so slowly, one can quadruple the growth rate by splicing a button to a similar diameter limb of a T[richocerus] pachanoi or any other Trichocereus. This is done by carefully cutting each surface perfectly flat and smooth before grafting them. Until the graft takes, the peyote button may be held to the surface of the Trichocereus by spreading multiple strings with small weights attached to them across the top of the button. A light ring of petroleum jelly should be painted around the cut to prevent desiccation of the contacting surfaces.
In four years the button will be very large. It may then be cut off, re-rooted and returned to the soil. (In DeKorne 1994, 87*)
The fleshy, thornless cactus can grow up to 20 cm in height. Although it usually appears as a single head, it can have numerous ribs and take on different shapes. Clusters of fine hairs grow along the ribs. The carrot-shaped root grows from 8 to 11 cm in length. The light pink flowers develop from the center of the head, reaching a diameter of up to 2.2 cm. They fade after a few days. The flowering period is from March to September. The fruit is a club-shaped pink berry that contains the black, coarse, 1 to 1.5 mm long seeds.
Lophophora diffusa (Croiz.) Bravo [syn. Lophophora echinata var. diffusa] is the only other species in the genus; in Mexican Spanish, it is known as peyote de Querétaro, “peyote from Queretaro” (the only place where it occurs) (Diaz 1979, 88*). It contains the alkaloid O-methylpellotine (Bruhn and Agurell 1975).
The peyote cactus has been repeatedly confused with other cacti (Schultes 1937b; see table on pages 337 and 338). Most similar is Turbinicarpus lophophoroides (Werderm.) Buxb. et Backeb. (Brenneisen and Helmlin 1993, 707). Peyote also can be confused with the African Euphorbia obesa Hook.
—Buttons (Lophophora williamsii shoot, Lophophora williamsii head, Lophophora williamsii crown, mescal buttons, peyote buttons)
The potency of the buttons decreases very little even when they are stored for long periods (Schultes 1970, 31*).
Preparation and Dosage
Peyote buttons are the heads of the cactus cut off above the root. The buttons can be either eaten fresh or dried and then chopped or powdered for later use. The fresh or dried buttons can be boiled or decocted in water. Both the buttons and the tea produced from them have an extremely bitter taste.
Dosages vary considerably, both between individuals and in rituals. Dosages ranging from four to thirty buttons may be ingested (Schultes 1970, 33*). Among the Kiowa, ten to twelve buttons are usually consumed per person per night (Havard 1896, 39*). Strong psychedelic effects and visions appear only when an amount corresponding to 200 to 500 mg mescaline is ingested (Ott 1996). Approximately 27 g dry weight corresponds to some 300 mg mescaline (DeKorne 1994, 88*). Antonin Artaud (1896–1948) made an interesting observation about dosages among the Tarahumara (1936):
It is with the peyotl as it is with all that is human. It is a wonderful magnetic and alchemical principle as long as one knows how it should be taken, that is, in the prescribed and then eventually larger dosages. . . . Anyone who has truly drunk ciguri [= peyote], the proper amount of ciguri, of the PEOPLE, not of the undetermined GHOST, he knows how the things are made, and can no longer lose his mind, because God is in his nerves and controls him from there. But ciguri drinking means in particular not to exceed the dosage, for ciguri is the infinite, and the secret of the therapeutic effects of medicines is tied to the extent to which our organism takes them in. To exceed what is necessary means to DISTURB the effects. (Artaud 1975, 19f.)
This peyote cactus has been grafted onto a stalk of Trichocereus pachanoi.
The African Euphorbia obesa is a perfect example of plant symmetry. This spurge is sometimes mistaken for the true peyote cactus.
The Tarahumara formerly produced an incense, “supposedly a resin [of Pinus sp.?] to which pieces of pejote had been mixed,” for use in their rituals (e.g., the Chumari Dance) (Zabel 1928, 264). Dried peyote pieces may be smoked, both by themselves and in smoking blends with other plants. Peyote powder is used as an additive in alcoholic beverages (beer, chicha, balche’ [?], pulque, and mescal [cf.Agave spp.]):
In Narárachi, dried jíkuri, i.e., peyote and other cactus species [Ariocarpus fissuratus, Coryphantha spp., Echinocereus spp., Mammillaria spp., Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum], are ground, mixed with water to make tesgüino [maize beer], and drunk; it was also formerly added as an additive to tesgüino so that it would be “more enjoyable.” (Deimel 1980, 78)
A tinctura de peyotl can be produced using 50 g of dried ground peyote. The powder is first moistened with a little water and then 100 ml of a spirit with a high percentage of alcohol is added. The mixture is allowed to stand in a sealed vessel for two days. The extract is then filtered. A medicinal dosage (e.g., for heart ailments) consists of thirty drops taken three times a day (Deimel 1986, 87).
The homeopathic mother tincture is obtained from fresh peyote buttons with alcohol:
Manufacture [of Lophophora williamsii hom. HPUS78]: To prepare 1000 ml of the mother tincture, add 754 ml of 94.9% alcohol (V/V) to a moist plant mass consisting of 50 g solid material and 283 ml of supplemented plant juice. . . . Medicinal content 1/20. (Brenneisen and Helmlin 1993, 711)
Approximately 31/2 tablespoons of the mother tincture will produce psychedelic effects.
The ritual use of peyote has its roots deep in prehistoric times and can be demonstrated for both Pecos (Texas) and Mexico (Furst 1965, 1996*). The Aztecs were well acquainted with the cactus and its effects. In the chapter “in which the names of the many plants that make one confused, crazy are named” (Sahagun), the following is said about peyote:
This peyote is white and grows only in the northern region known as Mictlan. It exerts an effect like a mushroom upon those who eat or drink of it. That person will also see many things that make him afraid or cause him to laugh. It influences one for perhaps a day, perhaps two days, but then it leaves in the very same way. And yet it still causes harm to one, stirs one up, inebriates one, exerts an influence upon one. I take peyote, I am stirred up. (Sahagun, Florentine Codex 11:7*)
In his Natural History of New Spain (1615), the Spanish physician Francisco Hernández wrote the following about peyote, which he called peyotl zacatecensis:
This root is attributed with wondrous properties, if you can believe the things that are said about it. Those who take it receive the divine gift of clairvoyance and are able to know future things, like prophets. . . . The Chichimec believe that the power of this root makes it possible.
The Aztecs generally referred to the nomadic tribes of the north as the Chichimec. Among these peoples were most likely the ancestors of the Huichol, who now live in the Sierra Madre, and the Tarahumara, from the high north. Both the Huichol and the Tarahumara (along with other cultures, such as the Yaqui and the Cora215) have preserved the peyote cult, which can be traced back to prehistoric times (Benzi 1972; Deimel 1980; Lumholtz 1902; Rouhier 1927). As a result of contact with the Spanish conquerors, however, some Catholic elements have made their way into the Huichol ceremonies (Zingg 1982).
The desert region the Aztecs called mictlan, “realm of the dead,” is the Huichol paradise that they know as wirikuta. In the Third Song of the Peyote, it is said, “In Wirikuta grows a flower that speaks, and you understand it” (Benítez 1975, 78).
Once a year, the mara’akame, the Huichol shamans, make a pilgrimage to wirikuta, traveling to their mythic origin and to the venerated peyote grounds. They undertake this journey “to find their lives” and to hunt the peyote they require for this purpose. For them, the peyote is fundamentally feminine. The peyote cactus is both the origin and the center of the universe. In the cosmology of the Huichol, it is symbolized as Grandfather Fire (= the sun), as a deer, and as a maize plant. This trinity reflects the foundation (diversity and integrity) of the Huichol culture: Gathering (peyote), hunting (deer), and agriculture (maize) form an inseparable mythical and practical unity (cf. Hell 1988).
An early colonial illustration of the Mexican peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), showing the root and flowers.
The journey to wirikuta is a journey to the origins of the world and of culture. Here inwirikuta, the gods created the world in all its manifestations; here is where time began, with all its consequences; here is where the peyote grows, which keeps alive the memory of creation by leading humans back to the source of all being, thereby enabling them to take part in the divine. Following the ritual preparations, during which the shamans consecrate the peyote fields with a muvieri (“fan,” a wooden staff with feathers), the peyote cactus is hunted with a small bow and arrows. The cactus is the blue deer of creation, and when the “flesh that has been hunted” is eaten, it opens the pilgrims’ eyes to the beginning of the world. The pilgrims travel together to the source and return from it like newborns. They collect large numbers of peyote buttons that they take back home with them (Myerhoff 1980). They need the peyote buttons for festivals and shamanic journeys, and to treat the sick, most of whom will take peyote either by themselves while under the supervision of the shaman or together with him or her (Berlin 1978).
The earliest botanical illustration of the peyote cactus, included in the article “Eine giftige Kaktee, Anhalonium Lewinii n. sp.” (Henning 1888)
The peyote altar in the form of a thunderbird. The flute at the top represents the beak, under which is Father Peyote, placed precisely in the middle of the half moon, symbolizing the peyote way. The long fire for lighting cigarettes (at the bottom) forms the tail of the thunderbird.
At the great peyote festivals (híkuri neirra), all Huichol, whether young or old—including even the elderly, small children (!), and pregnant women—ingest the sacred cactus (Haan 1988, 128ff.; Schaeffer 1997). While they consume the peyote, they also smoke great quantities of a smoking blend made of Nicotiana rustica and Tagetes lucida (see Tagetes spp.) (Schaefer and Furst 1996, 154).
The Tarahumara, who live in northern Mexico, once had an extensive peyote cult that apparently has disappeared in recent years (Deimel 1996). Peyote was consumed communally, especially at the tribal festivals (dances) (Artaud 1975; Zabel 1928). The legendary long-distance runners of the Tarahumara used peyote or chilitos (fruits of Mammillaria spp., Epithelantha micromeris) as a (ritual?) doping agent. In former times, the Tarahumara used peyote for divination, diagnosis, and treating the ill and as a protection from harmful magic, thieves, and enemies (Deimel 1980, 80ff.). The use of peyote among the Yaqui Indians of Sonora and Arizona was similar (e.g., in the Pascola or Deer Dance). The uses of peyote and the visions of mescalito described in Carlos Castaneda’s books (1973, 1975) have no connection to the Yaqui tradition, and anthropologists have raised serious doubts about their veracity (cf. Fikes 1993; La Barre 1989, 271–75, 307f.).
The Blackfeet, who did not become acquainted with the peyote cactus until the twentieth century, used it to support their vision quests (Johnston 1970*).
In North America, the most important use of peyote is as a sacrament in peyote meetings—ritual circles—of the Native American Church. The history and ritual forms of the Native American Church have been very well documented (Brave Bird 1993; Dustin 1962; Smith and Snake 1996; Wagner 1932). Today, most people call the Native American Church the peyote religion or the peyote way (Aberle 1991; Gerber 1980; Stewart 1987). The peyote religion, which transcends individual tribes, is a syncretic form of organized spirituality that combines elements of Indian traditions and ideas from Christianity (Steimmetz 1990).
North American peyotists offer so-called dream catchers before gathering the buttons in Texas peyote fields.216 The peyote ritual itself begins with the smoking of cigarettes made with homemade tobacco (preferred brand: Bull Durham; cf. Nicotiana tabacum) or sometimes with smooth sumac leaves (Rhus glabra L.; cf. kinnikinnick) that have been rolled in cigarette papers or corn husks (Schultes 1937a, 138f.). The branch tips of red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.; cf. Juniperus recurva) are the preferred ritual incense at peyote meetings. A variety of Artemisia species (see Artemisia spp.) may also be used for fumigation (Schultes 1937a). The Kiowa and neighboring tribes often wore necklaces of mescal beans (Sophora secundiflora) at the peyote rituals (Schultes 1937a, 148), a practice that has led some researchers to suggest that the North American peyote cult may have grown out of a prehistoric psychoactive mescal bean cult (cf. La Barre 1957, 1989).
Representation of peyote cacti, arranged like the four cardinal points. (Huichol yarn painting)
A wooden Huichol mask, decorated with colored woolen yarn. The mouth is a peyote cactus. Beneath the eyes are peyote symbols, which are worn as face paintings during the peyote hunt and at tribal festivals.
Representation of a peyotero or peyote pilgrim. (Huichol yarn painting)
The typical peyote meeting usually takes place in a tepee, less often in a hogan (Navajo round building), but always at night. The tepee symbolizes the entire universe; in its middle burns a fire, which is surrounded by the circle of people. In front of the fire, which must be maintained throughout the night, an altar in the shape of a half-moon is built. Upon this altar are placed the ritual objects: a talking stick, a gourd rattle, drums, and flutes. The talking stick symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth, between the Great Spirit and humans; the rattle or rattles are seen as direct prayers to God; and the drum is the heart and the drumbeat the heartbeat. A large, living peyote cactus is placed between the fire and the altar. This is addressed as Chief Peyote or Grandfather Peyote and is venerated as an incarnation of the Great Spirit. The participants (men, women, young people, children) sit in a circle around the fire and the altar. The leader of the ritual, who is usually known as a roadman (Brito 1989), first smokes and purifies the tepee with incense, offers prayers, may read something from the Bible, and sings songs. He distributes the fresh peyote buttons, the powder, or the tea. When possible, each participant determines his or her own dosage. The participants should not speak to one another and should not leave the circle until the following morning. They may step outside only if the roadman has given them permission to do so. As the cactus manifests its effects, the talking stick, rattles, and drums are passed around in a clockwise direction. Whoever holds the talking stick sings his own peyote songs. He accompanies himself with the rattle or the drum. Sometimes a special drummer accompanies the participants. The objects go around several times, interspersed with periods of silence. From time to time, more peyote may be ingested, incense burned, and water drunk. Sometimes, tobacco is also smoked and fanned with the peyote fan. The Sioux medicine man Leonard Crow Dog has described the meaning and purpose of the ritual:
Grandfather Peyote unites us all in love, but first he must separate us, cut us off from the outer world in order to bring us to look into ourselves. . . . A new understanding dawns within you—joyful and hot like the fire, or bitter like the peyote. . . . You will see people that bend themselves into a ball, as if they were still in the belly of their mother, remember things that happened before you were born. Time and space grow and shrink in an inexplicable manner—an entire lifetime of being, learning, understanding, compressed into a few seconds of insight, or time stands still, does not move at all, a minute becomes an entire lifetime. (Lame Deer and Erdoes 1979, 247f.)
The peyote meetings do not take place according to any calendrical schedule but rather at agreed-upon times.
Westerners have drawn upon the North American peyote meeting as a model for modern ritual circles in which a variety of psychoactive substances (MDMA [cf. herbal ecstasy]; Psilocybe cyanescens,Psilocybe semilanceata, LSD [cf. ergot alkaloids]) may be used (Müller-Ebeling and Rätsch n.d.; Rätsch 1995d).
Numerous artifacts, especially several clay figurines, discovered in western Mexico (Colima, Nayarit, Guerrero) are clearly related to the pre-Columbian shamanic peyote cult. Many clay figurines from shaft-and-chamber tombs (200 B.C.E. to 500 C.E.) in northwestern Mexico depict shamans in ritual positions and gestures (Furst 1965, 1969). One of these figurines shows a man putting a peyote-like object into his mouth (Gerard 1986, fig. 78). A ceramic object from Colima (first century C.E.) shows a child holding a peyote cactus in each hand (cf. Guerra 1990, 125*). A vessel decorated with plants, including what are clearly ten peyote roots, was recovered in the same area (Gerard 1986, fig. 88; a similar piece can be seen in Kan et al. 1989, 163). A ceramic vessel (ca. fifth century B.C.E.) found in Monte Albán (Oaxaca) apparently was used as a pipe for ingesting snuff; it represents a little deer with a peyote button in its mouth (Furst 1976b, 155*; Schultes and Hofmann 1992, 133*).
In Aztec poetry, peyote cacti are metaphorically referred to as “flowers” (Brinton 1887*), and their praises are sung often (Quezada 1989*). In Aztec magical formulas, the cactus is invoked as the “green woman” (Ruiz de Alarcón 1984*).
Most of the modern artifacts that have been inspired by peyote experiences or allude to the cactus and its magical effects are from the Huichol Indians of Mexico.
After the peyote festival, and after peyote experiences in general, the Huichol manufacture offering gifts as thanks for the visions they received and the healings those visions brought. The gifts are offered at mountain shrines (piles of rocks), at sacred places, on the “tree of the wind” (Solandra spp.), et cetera. The most important offerings are nierika (votive offerings), rukuri (prayer cups, votive snakes), and tsikuri (“god’s eyes”). The word nierika (= nearika) refers to “the entrance to the other world, where after the dark passage it becomes light again” (Bollhardt 1985, 30). Nierika originally were simple disks of wood with a hole (shields) or carved wooden objects, e.g., animals (snakes) or humans (such as the earth goddess Nakawé or the peyote goddess Wuili Uvi), covered with glue and decorated with colorful threads (wool yarn) or glass beads (Lumholtz 1989). The most common ornamentations are representations of peyote in various degrees of abstraction or symbols of the peyote cactus (stylized deer, maize plants, birds, et cetera). Like the visions (which because of their personal nature should not be discussed), the nierikaoften were very personal and were utilized only as votive offerings.
In their ritual importance, nierikas are faces as well as mirrors with two sides. They represent the external appearance of humans, things, or even elements. The hole that every nierika has in its center symbolizes a magical eye through which gods and humans look at one another. It also enables one to see things from a great distance. Nierikas can be found in temples, caves, and at springs. Like all other articles of offering, these too are carried to wirikuta. (Haan 1988, 162)
The rukuri are made from the lower portion of gourds and are decorated in the same very colorful manner as the nierika. The tsikuri are yarn crosses that symbolize mystical or visionary sight and are used as magical protection for the house and farm, for example to ward off the “evil eye” (Haan 1988, 160ff.). Similar offerings to the peyote deity were being made during the colonial period, as Ruiz de Alarcón has described (1984, 50*).
Among the Huichol, these offering goods have developed into a highly unusual art form. Visions perceived while under the influence of peyote are represented by colorful woolen yarn glued onto large, flat pieces of wood (Berrin 1978; Straatman 1988; Valadez 1992). These yarn paintings, which are now sold throughout the world under the name nierika, can be characterized as true psychedelic art, for they are the products of psychedelic experiences. “The yarn paintings reproduce the visions in both color and idea. Looking at them takes one into the other world” (Müller-Ebeling 1986, 290*). According to the Huichol, there are two types of yarn paintings being produced today: those that “are produced for purely commercial reasons and have only a decorative value, and those that express the personal spiritual experience of the invisible made visible and are of profound magico-religious significance” (Haan 1988, 169).
The Huichol also manufacture a variety of jewelry pieces (armbands, necklaces, chains for amulet bags, earrings) from woven yarn or glass beads. These pieces are largely and sometimes exclusively decorated with more or less abstract representations or symbols (deer) of peyote. The Huichol also weave images of peyote in varying degrees of abstraction into their festive and ritual clothing (Schaefer 1989, 1993a, 1993b).
The silver jewelry of the tribes of the Southwest shows the peyote bird in a variety of forms, styles, and interpretations. This long-necked bird is known as anhinga or, in the regional English, as snake bird, water bird, or water turkey. It is a cormorant-like bird (Anhinga anhinga; Anhingidae) from the Gulf Coast whose feathers are very desired for the production of peyote fans (Bahti 1974, 61), which apparently are used to induce hallucinations or visions. The first peyote birds appeared in Navajo silver work around 1940 (Bahti 1974, 61).
A great deal of paraphernalia is used in the North American peyote cult, including staffs, fans, rattles, and drums. Over the years, a particular, recognizable (i.e., standardized) style has evolved in the production of these artistic objects that immediately reveals their association with the peyote cult (Wiedman 1985).
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, North American Indians began to paint pictures of peyote ceremonies and the visions they experienced there. One of the first to do so was the Kiowa Silverhorn, also known as Haungooah (Wiedman and Greene 1988). The peyote cult is an important theme in the paintings of many modern Indian artists (e.g., Archie Blackowl, Peyote Mother; Woody Crumbo, Religious Peyote Ceremony; Jerry Ingram, Peyote Dream; Al Momaday, The Peyote Dreamers; Alfred Whiteman, Peyote Chief).
Peyote and experiences with peyote have been worked into numerous comic stories. Magical rituals with the peyote cactus were featured in the issue “Jikuri” (no. 3 in the series Julian B.) by Plessix and Dieter (1993). Jeronaton used an Aztec story as the basis of his comic Im Reich Peyotls [In the Kingdom of Peyotl] (1982). Gilbert Shelton (born 1940) has his Freak Brothers encounter Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan in the parody Die mexikanische Odyssee[The Mexican Odyssey] (Berlin: Rotbuch Verlag, 1990). The Freak Brothers take peyote with Don Juan and see Mescalito, the peyote spirit. In Shelton’s comic short “Ein Indianer kommt zu Essen” [“An Indian Comes to Dinner”] (in U-Comix no. 45 (1984): 58-59), an Indian visits an average American family. The television is broken—the picture is only in black and white—and needs repair. The Indian pulls a couple of peyote buttons from his pocket. After he and the two white people have eaten four buttons each, the pictures appear in color once more. The whites, filled with enthusiasm, decide to quit their jobs.
The picture story Im Reiche des Mescal [In the Kingdom of Mescal] describes an Indian boy’s first experience in the visionary world of peyote (Schäfer and Cuz 1968).
The Sirens of Titan (1959), the lovingly sarcastic novel of the future by American cult author Kurt Vonnegut, appears to have been influenced by peyote experiences. In the book, the hero repeatedly states that he thinks he is on a peyote trip. Richard Wilson wrote a science-fiction book about peyote, Der Sonnentanz [The Sun Dance], in which one can read, “Stick to the peyote” (Wilson 1981, 10). The Beat poet Allen Ginsberg wrote numerous poems while under the influence of peyote and referred to the cactus itself in some of them: “Peyote is certainly one of the world’s great drugs” (Ginsberg 1982, 43). Peyote generally appears to have been one of the more important sources of inspiration for the poets of the Beat generation (e.g., Michael McClure, Ken Kesey). The best-selling Indian author Natachee Scott Momaday (born 1934) incorporated a peyote experience into his novel House Made of Dawn(Momaday 1968). The peyote cactus also peers from between the lines in some of his other works (Momaday 1969).
The peyote bird has become the symbol of the peyote religion or cult. Its appearance is taken from the water bird Anhinga anhinga. The peyote bird is regarded as the bringer of visions.
“The gods were already present in the head of the mara’akame when he took the peyote, but the drug caused their voices to appear to sing down directly from heaven.”
HALLUCINATIONS (1995b, 39*)
“The peyotl leads the self back to its true source. When someone has experienced such a visionary state, it is impossible for one to confuse the lie with the truth as before.”
DIE TARAHUMARAS [THE TARAHUMARAS]
“This small, wooly rascal turns on like a lamp. Daddy Peyote is the plant representation of the sun.”
NATACHEE SCOTT MOMADAY
HOUSE MADE OF DAWN (1968)
Peyote has also provided a great deal of musical inspiration (see the box on page 334). Mexican Indians have traditionally used and passed down tribal and healing peyote songs. And singing plays a central role in the modern North American peyote cult. Songs are the primary means by which participants communicate with one another during the ceremonies so that they can bond together and open themselves to the world of visions. These ritual peyote songs are not folk songs in our sense of the phrase but are individual works of art that serve to control altered states of consciousness. Many Indians who follow the peyote road say that the cactus teaches each person his or her own songs. These songs have power and function as “medicine.” Only rarely are the songs composed of text (words); instead, the songs usually consist of a series of sounds and notes to which certain meanings are attributed (Merriam and d’Azevedo 1957). In most cases, the songs are accompanied by drums and/or rattles. The monotonous rhythm usually has about two hundred beats per minute.217 A comparative ethnomusical study containing transcriptions of numerous peyote songs was produced in the late 1940s (McAllester 1949).
Peyote has appeared in the music world many times, often in very different forms. The contemporary composer Györgi Ligeti (born 1923) wrote the opera Le Grand Macabre during the years 1974 to 1977. The main role is sung by a female character named Mescalina. Unfortunately, the composer has not let it be known whether he was influenced by the soul of the cactus.
The Seattle grunge band Pearl Jam, the most successful “alternative music” group of the mid-1990s, took its unusual name from the jam that lead singer Eddie Vedder’s grandmother (Pearl) used to make from peyote and other magical plants. During the mid-1990s, a psychedelic band named The Wild Peyotes appeared in San Francisco. The country rock singer Calvin Russell issued an album entitled Dream of the Dog, the cover of which is decorated with a picture of peyote in the style of the Huichol. The singer, who is of Indian descent and whose grandmother was a Comanche peyote woman, makes direct reference to the Indian “medicine.” Other musicians and bands have also used Huichol peyote images as cover art, both to demonstrate their ties to Indian culture and spirituality and to give expression to their own psychedelic experiences (e.g., Santana, Shangó, 1982 CBS).
To the Indians, peyote is the medicine per se, a kind of all-purpose remedy, especially for the body and spirit (Crow Dog 1993). The Indian uses of the cactus for medicinal purposes are correspondingly numerous (Anderson 1996a; Deimel 1985; Schultes 1938):
Without a doubt, peyote is the most important medicine now being used by the North American Indians. It has replaced the older, less spectacular plant medicines [e.g., Sophora secundiflora]. It is used in daily life as a home remedy. And all peyote ceremonies, whether by Mexican or by North American Indians, are definitively healing rituals in which the sick are given high dosages of the cactus. (Schultes 1938)
The cactus was already being used for medicinal purposes during Aztec times: “Peyotl. It is a fever medicine. It is eaten, it is moderately drunk, only some” (Sahagun, Florentine Codex 11:5, 30*). Decoctions of peyote were administered as enemas to treat high fever, a method that is still in use among the Huichol today. They utilize a cold-water decoction made from dried, powdered peyote.
The Kickapoo Indians of northern Mexico use freshly cut slices of peyote to treat headaches or sunstroke. They use a linen cloth to tie the cactus slice to the head of the afflicted person. A decoction of peyote is drunk for arthritis (Latorre and Latorre 1977, 350*). In Mexico, peyote also is used to treat overdoses of toloache (Datura innoxia) (Nadler 1991, 95*). It also finds use in Mexican folk medicine. The local Spanish term empeyotizarse means “to treat oneself with peyote.”
The Native American Church has used peyote with success to treat alcoholism (cf. alcohol) (Albaugh and Anderson 1974; Pascarosa and Futterman 1976).
In homeopathy, Anhalonium (Anhalonium lewinii hom. HAB34, Lophophora williamsii hom. HPUS78) is used in the dilutions D3 to 6 to treat depression and other disorders (Boericke 1992, 62 f.*; Brenneisen and Helmlin 1993, 710f.):
Discography: Peyote Music
Denny, Bill, Jr.
Intertribal Peyote Chants (Canyon Records, 1984)
Guy & Allen
Peyote Canyon (Soar Sound of America Records, 1991)
Peyote Brothers (Soar Sound of America Records, 1993)
Peyote Strength (Soar Sound of America Records, 1994)
Mother Eagle Kaili
Huichol Sacred Music/Musica y Canto Ceremonial Huichol (Paraiso, 1995)
Peyote Songs from Navaholand (Soar Sound of America Records, 1992; Spalax Music, 1993)
Primeaux and Mike
Walk in Beauty: Healing Songs of the Native American Church (Canyon Records, 1995)
Primeaux, Mike, and Attson
Healing and Peyote Songs in Sioux and Navajo (Canyon Records, 1994)
Turtle, Grover, and Sam Sweezy
32 Cheyenne Peyote Songs (Indian Records, 1979)
Cheyenne Peyote Songs (Indian House, 1975)
Indiens Yaquis: Musique et dances rituelles (Arion, 1978)
The Kiowa Peyote Meeting (Ethnic Folkways Records, 1973)
Musical Atlas: Mexico (EMI Records, 1982)
Music of the Plains: Apache (Asch Records, 1969)
Musiques Mexicaines (Ocora Disques, n.d.)
Navajo Peyote Ceremonial Songs, vol. 1 (Indian House, 1981)
Peyote Songs from Rocky Boy (Montana), vols. 1–3 (Canyon Records, 1978ff.)
Yankton Sioux Peyote Songs (Indian House, 1976)
Le Grand Macabre (Wergo Schallplatten, 1991)
Alcatraz/I Will Fight No More (RundS Records, ca. 1994)
Dream of the Dog (SPV Recordings, 1995)
In homeopathic therapy, it has been in use for several decades. . . . In addition to circulatory problems, the following therapeutic indications are given for Anhalonium: clouded consciousness, headaches, migraines, hallucinations, sleeplessness, emotional disease states, weak nerves, and brain exhaustion. . . . Yet how modest these areas of application are in contrast to the transdimensional and exotic otherworldliness of the peyotl inebriation. A little bottle of the agent is a part of that power that can take the earth out of its course and lift our spirit to the heavens, and also a part of that guiding hand without which life and law are impossible. (Gäbler 1965, 199, 204f.)
To date, more than fifty alkaloids have been isolated from the peyote cactus and described. A fresh cactus that has been well watered has a total alkaloid content of approximately 0.4%, while specimens that live under extremely dry conditions have as much as 2.74% and dried buttons up to 3.7% (Brenneisen and Helmlin 1993, 708f.). The alkaloid concentration can exhibit considerable variation (Todd 1969).
In addition to mescaline, the primary alkaloid, peyote also contains the β-phenethylamines tyra-mine, N-methyltyramine, hordenine, candicine, anhalamine, lophophorine, pellotine, O-methylpellotine, N,N-dimethyl-3-methoxytyramine, dopamine, epinine, 3-methoxytyramine, N-methyl-mescaline, N-formylmescaline, N-acetylmescaline, N-formylanhalamine, N-acetylanahalamine, isoanhalamine, anhalinine, anhalidine, anhalotine, isoanhalidine, anhalonidine, and various derivatives (Mata and McLaughlin 1982, 105f.*). Apparently only mescaline has definite psychoactive effects (McLaughlin and Paul 1966). In spite of the popular misconception, the cactus’s hairs do notcontain strychine.
Lophophora diffusa contains pellotine, lophophorine, anhalamine, anhalonidine, mescaline, and O-methylpellotine (Mata and McLaughlin 1982, 105f.*).
Depending upon the dosage used, peyote can have healing, aphrodisiac, or psychedelic/visionary effects. The psychedelic effects typically begin some 45 to 120 minutes after ingestion. Nausea and vomiting commonly occur prior to the onset of the visions; for this reason it is said that with peyote, the hangover comes before the effects. The psychedelic effects last for six to nine hours. Aftereffects are rare; there are a few reports of headaches the following day. The visionary world opened by peyote is very similar to the “other reality” induced by psilocybin, Psilocybe spp., LSD (cf. ergot alkaloids), and mescaline.
Among the Huichol, the visions peyote induces appear to exhibit many constants and are all of a mystical nature (Myerhoff 1975). The late renowned Huichol shaman Ramón Media Silva gave a very precise description of the effects of peyote and the special nature of the effects upon shamans:
The first time one puts the peyote into one’s mouth, one feels it going down into the stomach. It feels very cold, like ice. And the inside of one’s mouth becomes dry, very dry. And then it becomes wet, very wet. One has much saliva then. And then, a while later one feels as if one were fainting. The body begins to feel weak. It begins to feel faint. And one begins to yawn, to feel very tired. And after a while one feels very light. The whole body begins to feel light, without sleep, without anything.
And then, when one takes enough of this, one looks upward and what does one see? One sees darkness. Only darkness. It is very dark, very black. And one feels drunk with the peyote. And when one looks up again it is total darkness except for a little bit of light, a tiny bit of light, brilliant yellow. It comes there, a brilliant yellow. And one looks into the fire. One sits there, looking into the fire which is Tatewarí. One sees the fire in colors, very many colors, five colors, different colors. The flames divide—it is all brilliant, very brilliant and very beautiful. The beauty is very great, very great. It is a beauty such as one never sees without the peyote. The flames come up, they shoot up, and each flame divides into those colors and each color is multicolored—blue, green, yellow, all those colors. The yellow appears on the tip of the flames as the flame shoots upward. And on the tips you can see little sparks in many colors coming out. And the smoke which rises from the fire, it also looks more and more yellow, more and more brilliant.
Then one sees the fire, very bright, one sees the offerings there, many arrows with feathers and they are full of color, shimmering, shimmering. That is what one sees.
But the mara’akame [= shaman], what does he see? He sees Tatewarí, if he is chief of those who go to hunt the peyote. And he sees the Sun. He sees the mara’akame venerating the fire and he hears those prayers, like music. He hears praying and singing.
All this is necessary to understand, to comprehend, to have one’s life. This we must do so that we can see what Tatewarí lets go from his heart for us. One goes understanding all that which Tatewarí has given one. That is when we understand all that, when we find our life over there. But many do not take good care. That is why they know nothing. That is why they do not understand anything. One must be attentive so that one understands that which is the Fire and the Sun. That is why one sits like that, to listen and see all of that, to understand. (Myerhoff 1974, 219–220)
For many North American Indians, it is particularly important that they receive a vision through the peyote that will provide them with direction for their lives (Anderson 1996b, 92 ff.). Navajos have reported that their dream experiences are disturbed by frequent peyote use (Dittmann and Moore 1957). There are many reports of mystical experiences, which are valued even more highly than visions:
Peyotists seldom have visions and regard them as mere distractions from what is important. It can perhaps be said that mystical experience consists in the harmony of all immediate experience with that which the individual regards as the highest good. Peyote has the remarkable ability to provide a person with a mystical experience of unlimited duration. (Tedlock and Tedlock 1978, 107)
Western peyote users have compared the visionary or psychedelic effects of peyote with the higher yogic states of consciousness described in the literature of India (e.g., James 1964) but have also disparaged it as “drunkenness” or characterized it as an artificial psychosis (cf. mescaline). It has repeatedly been reported that the psychoactive effects of peyote are much more significant, more profound, and more spiritual when they are experienced as part of an Indian ritual (Ammon and Patterson 1971).
An extract of the cactus has antibiotic properties (McCleary et al. 1960). Huichol women claim that peyote stimulates lactation.
The peyote cult, which has spread like wildfire among the Indians of North America, has also generated numerous recordings of peyote songs. This movement can be seen as a Western, high-technology manifestation of Indian medicine. (CD cover, 1994, Soar Sound of America Records)
“Peyote is for learning; those with strong hearts will receive messages from the gods.”
A HUICHOL INDIAN
IN “THE CROSSING OF THE SOULS” (SCHAEFER 1995, 45)
“We will fly over this little mountain. We will travel to Wirikuta, where the sacred water is, where the peyote is, where Our Father comes up.”
FROM A HUICHOL STORY IN
PEYOTE HUNT (MYERHOFF 1974, 179)
Commercial Forms and Regulations
During the colonial period (seventeenth century), the Inquisition forbade the Indians of Mexico to use peyote for ritual and religious purposes and threatened them with severe penalties if they were caught using it (Leonard 1942). The Indians of North America were also long forbidden to use peyote (Bullis 1990; Camino 1992). In the United States, the members of the Native American Church have been allowed to use peyote for religious and sacramental purposes since 1995. They are permitted to collect the cactus in the peyote fields of Texas and to buy peyote powder in prepackaged tea bags. The cactus, which is becoming increasingly rare, is covered by the Washington treaty on endangered species (Deimel 1996, 24).
In Germany, live peyote cacti are not covered by the current drug laws, so it is permitted to buy and sell the cactus (Körner 1994*). But the main active constituent, mescaline (as well as preparations containing mescaline), is included among the “narcotic drugs for which trafficking is not allowed” in Appendix I of the German drug laws. If the cactus was not subject to the drug laws because of its mescaline content, then it would be a medicine requiring a prescription (Brenneisen and Helmlin 1993, 710). Only those homeopathic preparations diluted at D4 or greater are allowed to be sold. Recently, the mother tincture has become available through pharmacies, but it is difficult to obtain.
Nevertheless, living peyote plants do occasionally make their way into cactus and flower shops (sometimes under the name living rocks). Seeds are available from ethnobotanical specialty sources.
This richly illustrated children’s book, Im Reiche des Mescál [In the Realm of Mescál], is based upon an Indian story in which a child has a peyote experience that teaches him about the other reality, the “realm of mescál.” (Title page, Synthesis Verlag, 1968)
Cactus aficionados consider the North American sand dollar cactus (Astrophytum asterias) to be the most beautiful star cactus. Members of the Native American Church regard it as a symbol for the peyote cactus.
Astrophytum myriostigma, known in Germany as bischofsmütze (“bishop’s miter”), is called peyote cimarrón (“feral peyote” or “wild peyote”) in northern Mexico.
The very rare ball cactus Aztekium riterii occurs only in the Mexican state of Nuevo León.
The red fruit of the small ball cactus Epithelantha micromeris is used as a doping agent.
In Mexico, some species of the genus Ferocactus are called biznaga, a name also given to the peyote cactus. Several species contain β-phenethylamines.
Mammillaria heyderi, known by the name híkuli or peyote, produces edible red fruits (so-called chilitos) that have a wonderful taste. (Photographed in Teotihuacan)
The rare cactus Obregonia denegrii is from Tamaulipas.
Peyote Substitutes and Plants with the Name Peyote
(From Anderson 1996b, 162f; Bruhn and Bruhn 1973; Bye 1979b*; Deimel 1996, 22; Díaz 1979*; Martínez 1987*; Ott 1993*; Schultes 1937a, 1937b, 1966*; Shulgin 1995*; expanded.)
An Oncidium species from northern Mexico. Several Mexican species of Oncidium bear a strong resemblance to Oncidium cebolleta, known as híkuli (“peyote”). Whether this or a closely related species does in fact have psychoactive effects is a subject for future research.
In the future, bromeliads of the genus Tillandsia, which live on trees and branches, may become important as psychoactive plants. One species in northern Mexico is regarded as a peyote substitute and is said to produce psychoactive effects.
“The ocean drew itself out of the ocean,
and after the ocean
came the gods.
The gods stepped forth
In the way of the flowers
they followed the ocean
and they came to the womb
to the place of origin
to the place of birth.”
HUICHOL PEYOTE SONG
IN RAUSCH UND ERKENNTNIS [INEBRIATION AND KNOWLEDGE] (HÖHLE ET AL. 1986, 53*)
“I speak to the peyote as if to a mother. She praises me and she rebukes me. She strengthens me and gives me good advice.”
IN NUR DER ADLER SPRACH ZU MIR [ONLY THE EAGLE SPOKE TO ME]
(F. ABEL 1983, 85)
The Mexican peyote cactus has inspired numerous comic book artists such as Jeronaton and stimulated them to develop fantastic stories about the magical effects of this plant of the gods. (Title page, Edition Becker & Knigge, 1982)
Facsimile title page of Rouhier 1927.
See also the entries for Ariocarpus fissuratus and mescaline.
Since the summer of 1996, The Peyote Foundation has published a periodical entitled The Peyote Awareness Journal (Kearny, Arizona).
Aberle, David F. 1982. The peyote religion among the Navaho. 2nd ed. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Albaugh, B. J., and P. O. Anderson. 1974. Peyote in the treatment of alcoholism among American Indians. American Journal of Psychiatry 131:1247–50.
Ammon, Günter, and Paul G. R. Patterson. 1971. Peyote: Zwei verschiedene Ich-Erfahrungen. In Bewußtseinserweiternde Drogen aus psychoanalytischer Sicht, special issue, Dynamische Psychiatrie: 47–71. Berlin.
Anderson, Edward F. 1980. Peyote: The divine cactus. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.
———. 1996a. Peyote and its derivatives as medicine. Jahrbuch für Transkulturelle Medizin und Psychotherapie 6 (1995): 369–79.
———. 1996b. Peyote: The divine cactus. 2nd ed. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press. (Very good, up-to-date bibliography.)
Artaud, Antonin. 1975. Die Tarahumaras. Hamburg: Rogner und Bernhard.
Bahti, Tom. 1974. Southwestern Indian ceremonials. Las Vegas: KC Publications.
Benítez, Fernando. 1975. In the magic land of peyote. Austin and London: University of Texas Press.
Benzi, Marino. 1972. Les derniers adorateurs du peyotl. Paris: Gallimard.
Berrin, Kathleen, ed. 1978. Art of the Huichol Indians. San Francisco: The Fine Arts Museum.
Blanco Labra, Víctor. 1992. Wirikuta: La tierra sagrada de los huicholes. Mexico City: Daimon.
Bollhardt, Thomas Benno. 1985. Nearika: Visionen der Huichol. In Umgarnte Mythen, 9–75.
Freiburg: Völkerkundemuseum Freiburg. (An exhibition catalogue.)
Brave Bird, Mary. 1993. Ohitika woman. New York: Grove Press.
Brenneisen, Rudolf, and Hans-Jörg Helmlin. 1993. Lophophora. In Hagers Handbuch der pharmazeutischen Praxis, 5th ed., 5:707–12. Berlin: Springer.
Brito, Silvester J. 1989. The way of a peyote roadman. New York: Peter Lang.
Bruhn, Jan G., and Stig Agurell. 1975. O-methylpellotine, a new peyote alkaloid from Lophophora diffusa. Phytochemistry 14:1442–43.
Bruhn, Jan G., and Catarina Bruhn. 1973. Alkaloids and ethnobotany of Mexican peyote cacti and related species. Economic Botany 27:241–51.
Bruhn, Jan G., and Bo Holmstedt. 1974. Early peyote research: An interdisciplinary study. Economic Botany 28:353–90.
Bruhn, Jan G., J.-E. Lindgren, and Bo Holmstedt. 1978. Peyote alkaloids: Identification in a prehistoric specimen of Lophophora from Coahuila, Mexico. Science 199:1437–38.
Bullis, Ronald K. 1990. Swallowing the scroll: Legal implications of the recent Supreme Court peyote cases. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 22 (3): 325–32.
Camino, Alejandro. 1992. El peyote: Derecho histórico de los pueblos indios. Takiwasi 1 (1): 99–109.
Casillas Romo, Armando. 1990. Nosología mítica de un pueblo: Medicina tradicional huichola. Guadalajara: Editorial Universidad de Guadalajara.
Crow Dog, Mary (= Mary Brave Bird). 1994. Lakota woman: Die Geschichte einer Sioux-Frau. Munich: dtv.
d’Azevedo, Warren L. 1985. Straight with the medicine: Narratives of Washo followers of the Tipi Way. Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday Books.
Deimel, Claus. 1980. Tarahumara. Frankfurt/M.: Syndikat.
———. 1985. Die Peyoteheilung der Tarahumara. Schreibheft 25:155–63.
———. 1986. Der heilsame Rausch. In “Mexiko,” special issue, Geo Special, no. 2:86–87.
———. 1996. Híkuri ba—Peyoteriten der Tarahumara. Ansichten der Ethnologie 1. Hannover: Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum.
Dittmann, Allen T., and Harvey C. Moore. 1957. Disturbance in dreams as related to peyotism among the Navaho. American Anthropologist 59:642–49.
Dustin, C. Burton. 1962. Peyotism and New Mexico. Albuquerque, N.M.: self-published.
Ellis, Havelock. 1897. A note on the phenomenon of mescal intoxication. The Lancet 75 (1): 1540–42.
———. 1902. Mescal—a study of a divine plant. Popular Science Monthly 61:52–71.
Evans, A. Don. 1989. The purpose and meaning of peyote as a sacred material for Native Americans. In The concept of sacred materials and their place in the world, ed. George P. Horse Capture, 20–35. Cody, Wyo.: The Plains Indian Museum.
Fikes, Jay Courtney. 1993. Carlos Castaneda, academic opportunism and the psychedelic sixties. Victoria, B.C.: Millennia Press.
Furst, Peter T. 1965. West Mexican tomb art as evidence for shamanism in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. Antropológica 15:29–80.
———. 1969. A possible symbolic manifestation of funerary endo-cannibalism in Mexico. In Verhandlungen des XXXVIII. Internationalen Amerikanistenkongresses, 2:385–99. Munich: Klaus Renner.
———. 1981. Peyote und die Huichol-Indianer in Mexiko. In Rausch und Realität, ed. G. Völger, 2:468–75. Cologne: Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum für Völkerkunde.
Furst, Peter T., and M. Anguiano. 1977. “To fly as birds”: Myth and ritual as agents of enculturation among Huichol Indians of Mexico. In Enculturation in Latin America: An anthology, ed. Johannes Wilbert, 95–181. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center Publications.
Furst, Peter T., and Salomón Nahmad. 1972. Mitos y arte huicholes. Mexico City: SepSetentas.
Gäbler, Hartwig. 1965. Aus dem Heilschatz der Natur. Stuttgart: Paracelsus Verlag.
Gartz, Jochen. 1995. Ein früher Versuch der Kommerzialisierung von Peyotl in Deutschland. Integration 6:45.
Gerber, Peter. 1980. Die Peyote-Religion. Zurich: Völkerkundemuseum der Universität.
Ginsberg, Allen. 1982. Notizbücher 1952–1962. Reinbek, Germany: Rowohlt.
Gerard, John. Glanz und Untergang des Alten Mexiko. 1986. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. (An exhibition catalogue.)
Goggin, John M. 1938. A note on Cheyenne peyote. New Mexico Anthropologist 3 (2): 26–32. Gusinde, Martin. 1939. Der Peyote-Kult: Entstehung und Verbreitung. Vienna-Mödling: Missionsdruckerei. [Cf. the book review by Marvin K. Opler in American Anthropologist 42 (1940): 667–69.]
Haan, Prem Lélia de. 1988. Bei Schamanen. Frankfurt/M.: Ullstein.
Hayes, Alden. 1940. Peyote cult on the Goshiute Reservation at Deep Creek, Utah. New Mexico Anthropologist 4(2): 34–36.
Heffter, Arthur. 1894. Über Pellote: Ein Beitrag zur pharmakologischen Kenntnis der Kakteen. Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Archiv für experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 34:65.
Hell, Christina. 1988. Hirsch, Mais, Peyote in der Konzeption der Huichol. Hohenschäftlarn, Germany: Klaus Renner Verlag.
Hennings, Paul. 1888. Eine giftige Kaktee, Anhalonium lewinii n. spp.. Gartenflora 37:410–12.
James, Joyce. 1964. Shouted from the housetops: A peyote awakening. Psychedelic Review 1 (4): 459–83.
Kan, Michael, Clement Meighan, and H. B. Nicholson. 1989. Sculpture of ancient West Mexico. Los Angeles: County Museum of Art.
La Barre, Weston. 1957. Mescalism and peyotism. American Anthropologist 59:708–11.
———. 1960. Twenty years of peyote studies. Current Anthropology 1 (1): 45–60.
———. 1979. The peyote cult. 5th ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
———. 1981. Peyotegebrauch bei nordamerikanischen Indianern. In Rausch und Realität, ed. G. Völger, 2:476–78. Cologne: Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum für Völkerkunde.
Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes. 1979. Tahca Ushte—Medizinmann der Sioux. Munich: List.
Leonard, Irving A. 1942. Peyote and the Mexican Inquisition, 1620. American Anthropologist, n.s., 44:324–26.
Lewin, Louis. 1888. Ueber Anhalonium lewinii. Archiv für experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 24:401–11.
Lumholtz, Carl. 1902. Unknown Mexico. 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
———. 1989. A nation of shamans: The Huichols of the Sierra Madre. The Shamanic Library, no. 1. Oakland, Calif.: Bruce I. Finson. (Orig. pub. 1900 as Symbolism of the Huichol Indians.)
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