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PREFACE PDF Print E-mail
Written by Weston La Barre   
Sunday, 02 January 2011 00:00


The field work which is a partial basis of this study was begun in the summer of 1935, when the writer was a member of the Laboratory of Anthropology at Santa Fé ethnological group which worked with the Kiowa under Dr. Alexander Lesser of Columbia University. The field work was continued alone in the summer of 1936 with funds granted by Yale University and the American Museum of Natural History. Field data were gathered with varying completeness from fifteen tribes: Kiowa, Comanche, Shawnee, Kickapoo, Osage, Quapaw, Seminole, Delaware, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Caddo, Oto, Ponca, Kiowa Apache and Wichita; in the case of the Kiowa, Oto, and Wichita two peyote meetings each were attended.

The debt to my almost constant field companion, Charles Apekaum (Kiowa), game warden, ex-Navy man, graduate of Chilocco, Haskell, and Carlisle, and my chief interpreter, is such that I may say my work could not have been carried out with such comparative facility and speed without his aid. His knowledge of people and places was invaluable to me. Special appreciation is expressed to Mr. Alfred Wilson (Cheyenne) of Thomas, Oklahoma, several times state president of the Native American Church, for lending me numerous letters and other documents from the official files of the organization, and to Jim Waldo (Kiowa) and Kiowa Charley for similar documents, including the articles of incorporation and state charter. To Jim Pettit (Oto) of Red Rock, local president of the Native American Church, and Charles Tyner (Quapaw) of Miami, the added debt of personal hospitality was incurred. The following informants were of particular help in gathering data: Cecil and Henry Murdock (Kickapoo); Sly Picard, George May and Henry Hunt (Wichita); Jim Aton, Belo Kozad and Homer Buffalo (Kiowa); Howard White Wolf (Comanche); Carl Pettit, Murray Little-crow, and Mrs. George Pipestem (Oto); Albert Stamp (Seminole); Tom and Collins Panther (Shawnee); Tennyson Berry (Kiowa Apache); Robert Little-dance and Louis MacDonald (Ponca); Mack Haag (Cheyenne); Elijah Reynolds (Delaware); and Sun Chief and James Sun-eagle (Pawnee). To Jonathan Koshiway (Oto), founder of the Church of the First-born, I wish to express appreciation for his painstaking efforts at completeness of information made on my behalf.

In a study of this scope one necessarily incurs considerable debts to colleagues for aid generously given and gratefully received. The notes of James Mooney on Kiowa, Comanche, and Tarahumari peyote, deposited in the Bureau of American Ethnology, as well as manuscripts by Frances Densmore on Winnebago, and Dr. Truman Michelson on Sauk and Fox peyote, were made available through the generosity of Dr. Matthew Stirling, to whom I express particular thanks. Mrs. Elna Smith very kindly lent further Bureau of American Ethnology material which had been in her care. Mr. D. F. Murphy of the Indian Office amplified my Osage notes, and Mr. John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, has been generous with information of legal and administrative nature. To Donald Collier, student at the University of Chicago, and Ing. Luis Hijar y Haro of Mexico City, I express appreciation for bibliographic items, as well as to Dr. Ralph Beals of the University of California at Los Angeles. Richard Schultes, student at Harvard University, who was with me for an ethnobotanical study during several weeks of my second summer of work, has also been generous in giving help on bibliographic as well as botanical and pharmaceutical matters. Dr. E. A. Hoebel of New York University made available his notes on Northern Cheyenne and Comanche peyote. Dr. Ruth Benedict of Columbia University and Dr. M. E. Opler of the University of Chicago have aided with Mescalero Apache notes, and the latter has very generously lent valuable manuscript notes on Tonkawa, Carrizo and Lipan peyotism. Dr. Frank Speck of the University of Pennsylvania was fertile with suggestions during the second period of field work, and since its completion has contributed important Delaware material. Mrs. Erminie Voegelin, student at Yale University, kindly lent her voluminous notes on Shawnee peyote, as did Mrs. Anne Cooke for the Ute, and John Noon, student at the University of Pennsylvania, for the Kickapoo. Dr. A. H. Gayton kindly lent an interesting paper on datura. While the present paper was still in proof form, Dr. Leslie A. White of the University of Michigan and Dr. Fred Eggan of the University of Chicago generously lent material on Taos and Northern Cheyenne peyotism respectively.

To Dr. Edward Sapir of Yale University, to the Laboratory of Anthropology at Santa F 6, and to Dr. Clark Wissler of the American Museum of Natural History, I wish to express my thanks for making available the funds on which field work was undertaken. To Dr. Sapir and to Dr. John Dollard of the Institute of Human Relations at Yale University I owe the warm personal debt of founding a knowledge and an interest in matters of psychological import herein treated. And to Dr. Leslie Spier, my dissertation adviser, I express gratitude for his constant stimulating interest, valuable bibliographic help, and leads of considerable ethnographic significance.


Last Updated on Sunday, 09 January 2011 17:41

Our valuable member Weston La Barre has been with us since Sunday, 09 January 2011.

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