Rare first edition, printed for the Yale Anthropology Department, of La Barre's landmark study of ritual peyote use among the Plains Indians, built on his doctoral research and field work.
The anthropologist's first book, and his most influential, covering "the history of the study of the cult, the various botanical questions surrounding peyote, its physiological action and the various ethnological, psychological and historical questions involved in its diffusion." A student of Edward Sapir (of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis; then head of the Yale Anthropology Department), La Barre was part of the first generation of anthropologists to be trained in psychology and to incorporate psychological and psychoanalytic theory into his ethnographic studies. Groundbreaking in scope, republished and expanded several times, THE PEYOTE CULT received continued acclaim as research into psychedelics continued and public awareness grew: decades later, reviewers would confirm that "The full geographic spread, from Mexico to Canada, and the full historic perspective from Sahagún in 1560 were appreciated and understood only with La Barre's monograph" (Stewart), and that the work was "still considered to be the outstanding work on peyote" (Schultes). A nearly spotless copy of this classic monograph.
Read more: Richard Evans Schultes, The Peyote Cult, The Psychedelic Review; Omer Stewart, The Peyote Cult, Hispanic American Historical Review.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938. 9.75'' x 7''. Yale University Publications in Anthropology Number Nineteen. Original printed sienna wrappers. Illustrated with black and white drawings in text and two black and white photographic plates. 188,  pages. Faint wear, suggestion of scuffing to corners and fore-edge. Owner's name in pen to front cover.
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