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religion of some Native North Americans in which the hallucinogenic peyotepeyote
, spineless cactus (Lophophora williamsii), ingested by indigenous people in Mexico and the United States to produce visions. The plant is native to the SW United States, particularly S Texas, and Mexico, where it grows in dry soil.
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 button is used as the sacramental food. It is the most widespread indigenous contemporary Native American religion. Peyotism teaches an ethical doctrine much like those of the monotheistic religions. However, it eschews specific Christian theology, its exponents often stating that while Christ came to the whites, peyote came to the Native Americans. The peyote rite lasts from sunset to sunrise and is usually held in a Plains-type tepee. The rite has four major elements: prayer, singing, eating the sacramental peyote, and contemplation. The religion probably originated among the Kiowa in Oklahoma about 1890 and reflects the influence of traditional peyote use among Mesoamerican groups such as the Huichol. In 1918 many peyotists were brought together as the Native American ChurchNative American Church,
Native American religious group whose beliefs blend fundamentalist Christian elements with pan–Native American moral principles. The movement began among the Kiowa about 1890 and, led by John Wilson (Big Moon), soon spread to other tribes.
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These health-seeking behaviors vary widely from culture to culture, and these essays reflect that diversity in their studies of health-seeking behaviors among Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, Africans located in Namibia, Nigerian-Americans, Arab-Americans, native Hawaiians, resettled refugees of Southeast Asian ethnicities, people in the health care system of India, practitioners of Big and Little Moon peyotism, Asians in Singapore, and the aforesaid affluent who seek healing and health on the Internet.
When their traditional world began to crumble in the wake of the Euro-American incursion, the Osage determined to retain their traditional faith and added Peyotism to it.
There is considerable controversy regarding the origins of peyotism and the content of the earlier cult from which it emerged (Slotkin 1955; Stewart 1987).
In a conference paper, one of us (Boyd 1995) argued that the Lower Pecos pictographs provide the earliest record of peyotism.
These three elements of Huichol peyotism provide insight into the motifs found in association in the Pecos River Style art.
Pictographic evidence of the peyotism in the Lower Pecos Archaic.
Mescalism and peyotism once again, Plains Anthropologist 5: 84-5.
Mescalism and peyotism, American Anthropologist 59: 708-11.