A Brief History of the Native American Church

Veneration of the small spineless cactus called peyote probably began immediately after the first hunter-gatherers discovered its remarkable effects. The Native American deification of the plant is estimated to be about 10,000 years old. Peyote buttons uncovered in Shumla Cave in southern Texas have been radiocarbon dated to 5,000 B.C. The Huichol Indians of northwestern Mexico still use peyote sacramentaly. Their peyote pilgrimage may have been in place by 200 A.D. Scholars consider it the oldest sacramental use of peyote in North America.


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