Daniel C. Swan
Division of Ethnology
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
2401 Chautauqua Ave
Norman, OK 73072-7029
dcswan (at) ou (dot) edu
Material culture, ritual performance, heritage construction, museum anthropology. Ethnohistory of the Peyote Religion in diverse tribal and community contexts, Osage Big Moon Peyotism, Peyote art and artists.
Dr. Daniel Swan received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma in 1990, where he received training and experience in intensive fieldwork techniques and the design of collaborative research projects with Native American communities. Dr. Swan is a ethnologist who has spent his career working in a variety of museum settings, including the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Gilcrease Museum. He joined the staff at the University of Memphis in 2003, as the Director of Chucalissa Museum. As a museum anthropologist, Dr. Swan has worked over the past 25 years to inform a broad public on topics and themes associated with Native American history, culture, and language through exhibitions and their associated publications and programs. In 2007 he joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma and the curatorial staff of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Swan’s research has focused on the history and expressive culture of the Peyote Religion in diverse tribal and community contexts. His dissertation research, conducted in collaboration with the Osage Indian community, provided the first comprehensive treatment of Peyotism from the point of initial trial and acceptance to its maximum geographic and demographic diffusion. In 1999, Dr. Swan curated the national traveling exhibition, “Symbols of Faith and Belief: The Art of the Native American Church,” that examined the traditional and fine art traditions associated with the religion. Dr. Swan’s current research is focused on the expressive culture of Navajo Peyotism. Working in Navajo communities in Arizona and New Mexico, he is documenting the creative processes associated with song composition and visual arts in the Peyote genre.