Aberle, David Friend, 1918-. The peyote religion among the Navaho

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part I The Peyote Cult

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 The Peyote Cult



Beliefs And Values


Part Ii The Navaho

Chapter 3 The Navaho: The Beginning To 1932

Early Navaho History, To 1868



Political Organization, 1868–1907

External Relations To 1904


Political Organization, 1908–1932




Chapter 4 Livestock Reduction, The First Phase: 1933–1936

General Summary


Government And Council Actions, 1933–1936

Livestock Numbers

Navaho Reactions

Chapter 5 Livestock Reduction, Three Phases: 1937–1951

Context, 1937–1941

Government And Council Actions, 1937–1941

Livestock Numbers, 1930–1959

Reactions To Reduction, 1936–1941

Context, 1942–1945

Government And Council Actions, 1942–1945

Livestock Numbers, 1942–1945

Navaho Reactions, 1942–1945

Context, 1946–1950

Government And Council Action, 1946–1950

Livestock Numbers

Reactions To Stock Reduction

Chapter 6 Stock Regulation: 1951–1962


Livestock Regulation, Government And Council Action

Livestock Numbers And Related Issues

Reactions To Livestock Reduction

Competing Theories Of Nature And Economics

Summary: Livestock Reduction And Livestock Control 1

Chapter 7 The Navahos In The 1950's

Part Iii The Peyote Cult Among The Navaho

Chapter 8 The Struggle Over Peyotism

Until The Ordinance Of 1940

Until The Hearings Of 1954

Further Council Hearings

State Action; Legal Cases

Summary Of Struggles


Church Organization

Chapter 9 The Ritual Of Navaho Peyotism

Purposes Of Meetings

Mike Kiyaani's Description Of Ritual

Ritual Idiom


Analysis Of Prayers

Chapter 10 Variations In Ritual: V-way And Others


Other Special Developments

Comparison Of Navaho And Other Rituals

Chapter 11 Symbolism; Beliefs And Values (i)

Chapter 12 Beliefs And Values (ii)

Reasons For First Using Peyote

Sustaining Appeals Of Peyotism

Areal Differences In Ideology

Summary: The Ostensible Appeals Of Peyotism

Chapter 13 Navaho And Peyote Religion Contrasted


Peyotism As A Meaningful Ideology For Some Navahos

Chapter 14 Bases Of Navaho Opposition To Peyotism

General Bases For Rejection Of Peyotism

Peyotism Viewed As Foreign

Peyotism Viewed As Injurious

Supposed Behavioral Effects

Peyote Viewed As Costly

Various Charges Regarding Behavior

Problems Of Kinship And Community Splits

Summary And Interpretation

Part Iv The Differential Appeal Of Peyotism In The Navaho Country

Chapter 15 The Course Of Research

Role Of The Anthropologist

Work, 1949–1950

Work, 1950–1951

Work, 1951–1952

Work, 1952–1953

Work, 1953–1954

Work, 1954–1956

Chapter 16 Some Negative Results

Chapter 17 Peyotism And Livestock

Basic Data

Navahos' Reported Livestock Vs. Official Records

Measures Of Deprivation

Deprivation And Date Of Joining The Cult

Horse Reduction


Psychological Variables

Peyotism And Livestock Deprivation: Summary

Wealth And Peyotism: An Alternative Hypothesis

Peyotism And The Management Of Property

A Note On Statistics

Summary: Peyotism And Livestock

Chapter 18 Community And District Differences And Peyotism

Initial Rationale Of Hypotheses

Data Collection


Data Processing

Data Elimination

Considerations Of Validity

Statistical Techniques

Results: Prediction Of Peyote Levels

Results: Predicting Disturbance Over Peyotism

Validity Again


Individual, Aggregate, And Unit Relationships


Trouble Measures

Political Organization

Variables That Have Little Predictive Value

Peyote Trouble


Acculturation Over Time

The Transition Theory: General Comments

District Differences


Part V Peyotism As A Redemptive Movement

Chapter 19 A Classification Of Social Movements 1

Constant Characteristics Of Transformative Movements

Variable Features Of Transformative Movements

Constant Characteristics Of Redemptive Movements

Variable Features Of Redemptive Movements

Relative Deprivation And Reference Field

A Typology Of Relative Deprivations

Context Of Social Movements

Chapter 20 Peyotism Re-examined

Chapter 21 Social Movements Among The Navaho: Peyotism Re-examined

Chapter 22 Conclusion

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The peyote religion among the Navaho

Published By: Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co., [1966]. xxvi, 454 p.: ill.

By line: by David F. Aberle. With field assistance by Harvey C. Moore and with an appendix on Navaho population and education by Denis F. Johnston

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2004. Computer File

Culture: Navajo (NT13)

Subjects: Recreational and non-therapeutic drugs (276); Congregations (794); Religious denominations (795); Magical and mental therapy (755); Ethnosociology (829); Organized ceremonial (796); Pastoral activities (233); Revelation and divination (787); Life history materials (159); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Organization and analysis of results of research (128); Sorcery (754); Religious intolerance and martyrs (798);

Abstract: This is an extremely thorough ethnographic source, concerned with the origins, development, and social functions of the peyote cult (Native American Church) among the Navajo. The author, who participated in the cult by eating peyote numerous times, attempts to explain membership vs. non-membership in it according to a 'theory of relative deprivation.' The relationship of membership to 'wealth' (measured in terms of livestock holdings) as well as to traditional attachments to Navajo religious ways are discussed.

Document Number: 191

Document ID: nt13-191

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: 1949-1953

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: M. A. Marcus ; 1985

Coverage Date: pre-1868-1965

Coverage Place: southwestern United States

LCSH: Navajo Indians


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