Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

October 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:2 (Fall 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


The explanation of peyote, the hallucinogenic cactus central to several American Indian ceremonies, requires forays into many diverse fields, from chemistry and botany to ethnomusicology, frontier history, and legal studies. Other books approach peyote via the anthropology of ritual, appending material about the cactus itself. Anderson's work, which first appeared in 1980, places the plant at the heart of inquiry. This new edition offers minor reorganization and a major updating in style and content.