Native American Church


Native American Church

Religious movement among North American Indians involving the drug peyote. Peyote was first used to induce supernatural visions in Mexico in pre-Columbian times; its use extended north into the Great Plains in the 19th century, and peyotism is now practiced among more than 50 tribes. Peyotist beliefs, which combine Indian and Christian elements, vary from tribe to tribe. They involve worship of the Great Spirit, a supreme deity who deals with humans through various other spirits. In many tribes peyote is personified as Peyote Spirit and is associated with Jesus. The rite often begins on Saturday evening and continues through the night. The Peyote Road is a way of life calling for brotherly love, family care, self-support through work, and avoidance of alcohol.

Variants of NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH

Native American Church or peyotism

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Native American Church, visit Britannica.com.

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