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Peyote fan

Comanche peyote fan
ca. 1890
Wood, feathers, glass beads, hide, metal beads
57 x 9 cm
Gift of Don E. Meyer

This beautiful Comanche prayer fan is made with crested caracara tail and hyacinth macaw feathers. The handle is covered with a bead-weaving technique known as the gourd- or peyote-stitch. Finely twisted deer hide fringe hangs from the end of the handle. Such elaborate fans are used in prayer by adherents of the Native American Church, otherwise known as the Peyote Way. An ancient religion in Mexico, the Peyote Way came north into the Plains more than one hundred years ago. Today an important part of family and community life among many tribes, with an estimated 250,000 adherents, the Native American Church has generated a serious musical tradition and high quality artistry in objects, such as this fan, used during the service.

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