Omer Stewart is most noted for his career-long study of the Peyote religion. His mentor, A L Kroeber, instilled in him an abiding respect for cultural variation. Applying this fundamental principle to his work in the 1930s, Omer was surprised to find himself at odds with many notable colleagues. With characteristic self-confidence, he was undeterred in his effort to document the religion, defend its practice, and push open the door to applied anthropology. In CANNIBALISM IS AN ACQUIRED TASTE, Carol L Howell weaves together taped interviews with Stewart; excerpts from his letters, notes, and papers; and recollections of family members and others. The result is a fascinating sketch not only of Omer Stewart as a person but also of his contributions to the field of anthropology and the academic and social milieu in which he participated. A must for anthropologists and anyone interested in the art of biography.
Carol L. Howell is an archaeological photographer based in Mesa, Arizona.