Peyote Veneration in Challenging Times: Issues of Land and Access in South Texas



Members of the Native American Church in the United States need reliable supplies of peyote, an entheogenic plant that they can today only obtain from licensed peyote dealers in South Texas. These dealers have supplied church members with their sacrament since the early twentieth century. Their predecessors, meanwhile, harvested peyote for Native Americans since before the mid-nineteenth century. In recent decades, though, issues of land access and plant scarcity have made it more difficult to acquire peyote. Better handling of peyote habitat and better harvesting methods are needed to meet increasing demand for peyote.

Author Biography

Servando Z. Hinojosa, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA

Servando Z. Hinojosa is a professor of anthropology who researches Mexican-American peyote dealers, Mexican-American folk-medicine practitioners, and Kaqchikel Maya ritualists and healers. He holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, University of California, Los Angeles, and Tulane University. Servando has taught anthropology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, formerly University of Texas-Pan American, since 1998.