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The Peyote Ritual: Visions and Descriptions of Monroe Tsa Toke
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Of all the religions produced by the interaction of Cau-

casions and United States Indians, the Peyote Cult has

been the most enduring and influential. In fact, it has

been institutionalized in "The Native American

Church," and is still winning converts and spreading to

new tribes.

It has made some absorptions from Christianity, mainly

ethical and ideological; but its central, distinctive and

native features are the visions produced by the eating

of Peyote, and the profound significance which these

visions have for the members.

The Peyote is a small disc-shaped cactus growing only

in the desert of northeastern Mexico, and reputed in

aboriginal Mexico for its vision-producing powers.

These are due to a series of alkaloids, ranging from stim-

ulative to sedative, the varying blend producing some-

what variable effects; and the eating of peyote seems to

be non-habit forming. It has exercised a powerful appeal

on Indians of many tribes, and led to the building

around it of an inter-tribal night-long ritual.

From the Mexican Indians, the Lipan and Mescalero


Visions and Descriptions of Monroe Tsa Toke assumes no religious or political affiliations
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