Apr 12, 2018 - Sale 2473

Sale 2473 - Lot 271

Price Realized: $ 25,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
DECREE BY THE INQUISITION PROHIBITING THE USE OF PEYOTE (MEXICAN IMPRINT--1620.) Nos los inquisidores . . . por quanto el uso de la yerba o raiz llamada peyote. Letterpress broadside, 17 x 12 1/4 inches, signed by 3 inquisitors including Francisco Bazán de Albornoz and Juan de la Paraya; folds, moderate worming, extensive manuscript notes on verso. [Mexico], 19 June 1620

Additional Details

This very early Mexican Inquisition broadside forbids the use of peyote, a hallucinogenic cactus which had been part of indigenous religious rituals for millennia. It described peyote use as "accion supersticiosa y reprovada oppouesta á lapureza y sinceridad de nuestra Santa Fee Catholica . . . notoriamernte la sugestion y asistencia del demonio"--an act of superstition condemned as opposed in the purity and integrity of our Holy Catholic Faith, plainly perceived to be the suggestion and intervention of the Devil. Rather than print a copy for every congregation, this broadside was read aloud at 18 different churches as directed, with each one confirming on verso. The churches were located in Yucatan province (including what is now Campeche). See Irving A. Leonard, "Peyote and the Mexican Inquisition, 1620," in American Anthropologist 44:2 (April 1942), pages 324-6, which includes a full transcript and translation. Not in Medina, Mexico; one copy in OCLC, and none traced at auction.