Toward the Origins of Peyote Beadwork
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Peyote beadwork is a nuanced and elegant art form. Hundreds of thousands of people today use peyote beadwork, including the Native American Church, powwow people, gourd dancers and Native Americans wanting a marker of Native Identity. Mainstream society has relegated this art form to the status of craft. It is virtually unstudied in the academic world. This paper accepts that objects so decorated are art, that is, expressions that are a means of communication among humans, and both a sacred art as well as a means of establishing cultural identity. The lack of academic study has led to hypotheses about its origin that obscure rather than reveal how it began. This paper aims to describe when and by whom the beadwork began, as well as how it was first disseminated.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Methodology and evidence -- Origin theories -- Conclusions -- Appendix