Mike Jay

This photograph is one of hundreds in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution that record people of the Plains tribes in their forced captivity on the reservations in the 1890s. The information attached to it is minimal: “Ceremony, Peyote, gelatin glass negative, no date.” But this one captures a remarkable and historic moment. It was taken in the chill of a November morning in 1893 after an all-night meeting that brought the two great champions of the emerging peyote religion— one Indian, one White—together for the first time. Later that morning, a burlap sack of dried peyote buttons was exchanged between them. These would be carried back east to Washington DC, where peyote’s visions would be scientifically investigated for the first time… continue reading.

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