An Ethnobotany of Firewood in Osage Big Moon Peyotism: Practical knowledge, ritual participation, and aesthetic preference

Date
2014
Authors
Swan, Daniel
Simons, Lauren
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Volume Title
Publisher
Botany Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
This article examines firewood in the context of the modern practice of the Big Moon Peyote Religion by the Osage Indian community of Osage County, in northeastern Oklahoma, U.S.A. The fire and its ritual maintenance is a major component of the all night ceremony of Peyotism. The selection and preparation of the wood used in the ritual fire incorporates botanical knowledge, ceremonial experience, and aesthetic considerations to satisfy a range of preferences and criteria. We also discuss the manners in which firewood, through its ritual use and sacred properties, extends the spiritual benefit and social relationships of Peyotism to the greater Osage community.
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Citation
Swan, D., Simons, L. 2014. An Ethnobotany of Firewood in Osage Big Moon Peyotism: Practical knowledge, ritual participation, and aesthetic preference. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 12: 325-339.
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