Register to the Papers of
Raoul Weston La Barre

By Anna Z. Thompson

National Anthropological Archives
Smithsonian Institution

October 1998


Scope and Content Note

Chronology of the Life of R. Weston La Barre

Series Descriptions and Container Lists

Kiowa Studies

Peyote Studies

Aymara Studies

Photographs and La Barre Term Papers



Weston La Barre donated his papers to the National Anthropological Archives in 1975. At that time, portions of the collection were covered by copyright.

The collection occupies approximately seven (7) linear feet of shelf space.


Scope and Content Note

This collection reflects part of the work and study of R. Weston La Barre (1911–1996), anthropologist and ethnologist. Included are field notes, research noteslips, correspondence, bound and unbound manuscripts, a scrapbook, materials on ethnobotany, photographs, special subject files, and miscellany consisting of publications, processed material and clippings.

The collection is divided into three broad subject areas. The Kiowa Studies and Peyote Studies relate to La Barre's field trips to Oklahoma in 1935 and 1936 and his study of peyotism and the ethnography of the Kiowa Indians. Considerable material relates to the Native American Church. The field notes are the result of interviews with informants among the Kiowas and have never been published. There is also some material on Kiowa linguistics. Related photographs (in Box 13) include portraits of Indians, many of whom were active in the Native American Church and peyotism.

Other Peyote Studies materials represent La Barre's interest in peyote and drug use during the 1960's. Much of this material relates to the Kiowa-Peyote Materials but with less emphasis on the Kiowas and more emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs. It is also of a later time period. Some attention is paid to legal aspects of religious use of peyote.

The Aymara Studies relate to La Barre's field trip to Bolivia, 1937-1938. Most of the material pertains to the culture of the Aymara Indians, with some lesser emphasis on the Uru and the Chipaya. Aymara linguistics, folklore and ethnobotany are included. Related photographs (in Box 14) cover a cross section of the cultures with an emphasis on the festivals and dancing of the Aymara.

The correspondence throughout the entire collection deals mainly with the editing and publication of La Barre's various manuscripts. Very little correspondence is of a professional nature. Among correspondents whose letters are included are Richard E. SCHULTES, Donald COLLIER, John COLLIER, Leslie SPIER, William BASCOM, Heinrich KLUVER, Julian H. STEWARD, Morris OPLER, Elsie Clues PARSONS, Alfred WILSON, Alfred METRAUX, Sol TAX and G. P. MURDOCK.

Duke University holds other R. Weston La Barre material.


Chronology of the Life of R. Weston La Barre

1911 Born December 13, Uniontown, Pennsylvania
1933 A. B. Princeton University
1935 Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology
Field work among Kiowas, Oklahoma
1936 Yale Institute of Human Relations
Field work among Plains Indians, Oklahoma, with R. E. Schultes
1937 Ph.D. (Anthropology), Yale University
1937–38 Sterling Fellowship
Field work among the Aymaras and Urus, Bolivia
1938 The Peyote Cult
1938–39 Research, the Menninger Clinic, Topeka, Kansas
1939 Married Maurine Boie, July 9
1939–43 Instructor, Rutgers University
1943 Community analyst, War Relocation Authority, Topaz, Utah
1943–45 Field work, China and India
1946 Professor, Duke University
1948 The Aymara Indians of the Lake Titicaca Plateau
1962 They Shall Take Up Serpents: Psychology of the Southern Snake-handling Cult.
1964 The Peyote Cult (3rd edition)
1970 James B. Duke Professor of Anthropology at Duke University
1970 The Ghost Dance: Origins of Religion.
1991 Shadow of Childhood: Neoteny and the Biology of Religion
1996 Died March 1996, Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Series Descriptions and Container Lists


This Series contains field notes from 1935 which deal with material gathered on the Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology field trip. Included are:

Three spiral steno notebooks with notes from conversations with Indian informants. They are arranged in a chronological sequence and contain, among many other items of interest, a diagram of the seating arrangement at peyote meetings and a pattern for buckskin garments; and:

Notes from the notebooks organized into typed copy for inclusion with the notes of other members of the field trip. Included is information on the sun dance ritual, women's societies, cults, names and naming.

Additional notes on Kiowa ethnography which are typed and bound. All of the daily notes of all of the members of the 1935 Santa Fe Lab are included. Subjects are arranged with most entries recorded with the interviewer's and informant's names as well as the date. There is also a partial index and a genealogical chart.

Chapters written by La Barre for a proposed general ethnography of the Kiowa Indians to be written by William Bascom, Donald Collier, R. Weston La Barre, Bernard Mishkin and Jane Richardson (Hanks) are included. The document was never published.

The Series also includes 3 x 5 noteslips containing bibliographic and research notes which represent much of the material used by La Barre in his early study of the Kiowa Indians. The noteslips consist of broad general subgroups pertaining to the Kiowa. Research notes are arranged alphabetically by subject and bibliographic notes are arranged alphabetically by author.

Additionally, the Series contains a bound manuscript entitled, "The Autobiography of a Kiowa Indian". This autobiography of Charles E. Apekaum, an interpreter for the 1935 Santa Fe Lab, was recorded by La Barre in Anadarko, Oklahoma in 1936. It was reproduced by Microcard Publications in 1957.

Finally, the Series includes a small booklet on ethnobotany of the Kiowa which contains fourteen leaves of dried specimens. The samples are generally labeled with the common and scientific names, the name in the Kiowa language and the local Kiowa usage.

Box 1

Field Notes - Paste-ups of Students' Field Notes

Notebook One

Notebook Two

Notebook Three

Kiowa Field Trip, 1935, #1

Kiowa Field Trip, 1935, #2

Kiowa Field Trip, 1935, #3

Box 2

Typescript of Students' Notes on Kiowa Ethnography - all of the daily notes of all of the members of the 1935 field training party of the Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology led by A. Lesser of Columbia University. Members of the party were William Bascom, Donald Collier, R. Weston La Barre, Bernard Mishkin and Jane Richardson (Hanks). The document is bound and has 1314 pages. Some of the chapters were written by La Barre. (There are three Box 2's. One contains the original papers and the other two contain copies of typescripts of students' compiled notes which are to be used for Xeroxing.)

Box 3


Kiowa Bibliography

Kiowa Notes

Kiowa Vocabulary

Box 4


"The Autobiography of a Kiowa Indian," 184 pages.

Miscellaneous Manuscripts

Plant Specimens

Genealogical Chart (in oversized)


This Series includes correspondence (1959-1968) which is arranged alphabetically. Most of the material is filed under the name of the correspondent. Other material is filed under the name of the institution with which the correspondent was affiliated. Some of the material is related to La Barre's continued study of and interest in peyotism. Additional materials refer to his interest in the "drug culture" of the 1960's. Much of the material concerns problems, editorial and otherwise, encountered in publishing various manuscripts, especially the third edition of "The Peyote Cult". There is substantial correspondence with and involving the Shoe String Press.

Other correspondence (1941-1957) is also arranged alphabetically, filed under the name of the correspondent or under the name of the institution with which the correspondent was affiliated. Material of a professional nature dealing with peyote in general and its relationship to the Native American Church in particular is included. Also included is correspondence from/to acquaintances made on field trips in Oklahoma and material on publishing issues.

The Series also contains unbound manuscripts in the form of typewritten texts dealing with peyote and the Native American Church. The manuscripts include academic papers by Richard E. Schultes, descriptions of peyote meetings and position statements on the use of peyote.

Bound manuscripts include "The Peyote Cult," La Barre's doctoral dissertation presented at Yale University in 1937 which was the result of two summers of field work. It contains appendices not in any published form of the thesis, a bibliography, photographs and illustrations.

Various miscellaneous materials such as reprints, pamphlets, and newspaper and magazine clippings emphasize the use of drugs in contemporary society (the 1960's), hallucinogenic drugs in general and mescal and peyote in particular are included in this Series. There is also a "Ku Kluck Klan" broadside warning against the use of "peyota". Other materials include listings of expenses for the summers of 1935 and 1936, sample questionnaires for gathering information about peyote meetings, diagrams of peyote altars, and a resolution of the Native American Church denouncing treatment by the press dated October 2, 1932.

The Series also includes 3 x 5 noteslips containing bibliographic and research notes which represent much of the material used by La Barre in his early study of peyotism. The noteslips consist of broad general subgroups pertaining to peyote. Research notes are arranged alphabetically by subject and bibliographic notes are arranged alphabetically by author. There is some material relating directly to the 3rd edition of "The Peyote Cult".

Box 5

Correspondence A - H

Aberle, David

Anderson, Edward

"American Anthropologist" (Ralph Linton)

American Nature Association (Richard Westwood)

Armstrong, Robert

Arons, Myron

George Banta Publishing Company

Barber, Carroll

Bascom, William

Chief Big Elk

Blum, Ralph

Bruman, Henry J.

Collier, Donald

Curtis, Luke

Desmonde, W. H.

Devereux, George

Doubleday, Doran & Co.

Eggan, Fred

Ericson, Keith

Finkelstein, Nat

Fischer, Roland

Fugle, Eugene

Gebhard, Paul

Ginsberg, Allen

Goggin, John M.

Health, Education and Welfare, U.S. Department of (George Cosmides, Gordon Macgregor, W.B. Rankin)

Heifetz, Harold

Hijaf, Luis

Hoebel, E. Adamson

Howard, James

Human Relations Area Files

Hume, C. Ross

Hunt, Henry

Correspondence I - R

Interior, U.S. Department of the (John Collier, Alice L. Marriott, H. Scudder Mekeel)

Ishikawa, Motosuke

John, Peter

Jones, Volney H.

Kahan, F. H. (Mrs.)

Kamen-Kaye, Dorothy

Kiev, Ari

Kiraly, Josef

Kirk, Ruth

Kluver, Heinrich

La Farge, Oliver

Leary, Timothy

Legman, G.

Levy, Jerrold

Little Crow, Murray

McAllister, J. Gilbert

MacGregor, Gordon

Machel, Albert

Malouf, Carling

Mead, John A.

Meyers, Edward

Miller. Peter S.

Mirel, Elizabeth

Monro, John U.

Moore, Barrington, Jr.

Opler, Morris E.

Osmond, Humphrey

Parker, Kenneth

Parsons, Elsie Clues

Pettit, James

Prince, Raymond

Rascle, Maurice

Ravicz, Robert

Rebell, Jane M.

Reko, B. P.

Redfield, Robert

Rhodes, Willard

Correspondence S - Z

Schultes, R. E.

Shaeffer, James B.

Shoe String Press (A. S. Bittker, Frances T. Ottemiller, Clyde Rykken)

Soustelle, Jacques

Smith, Elna

Speck, F. G.

Spier, Leslie

Spindler, George D.

Stewart, Omer

Tax, Sol

"Time," the weekly newsmagazine

Texas Cactus Growers

Vestal, Paul A.

Wallis, Mrs. Wilson (Ruth)

Wasson, R. G.

White, Leslie A.

Wilson, Alfred

Zenner, Walter


"The Last Five Years of Peyote Study" anthology with students' criticisms (ca. 1964. Includes an updated section written especially for the 3rd edition, the index and bibliography, and an anthology on drugs and drug use for parents and physicians with historical notes and a descriptive and annotated bibliography).


"Statement," R. Weston La Barre, 1937

"Working Paper - Navajo Use of Native Psychoactive Drugs," Jerrold E. Levy, 1963

"The Chapter La Barre Didn't Write," Camille Orso

"Plantae Mexicanae VIII," Robert E. Schultes

Untitled paper on peyote by Robert E. Schultes

"The Peyote Cult," R. Weston La Barre, 1964

"Statement on Peyote As Presented to the Ecclesiastical Superiors," The Father of the Saint LaBre Indian Mission, Northern Cheyenne Indians, Tongue River Reservation, June, 1939 (includes sermons given on the subject).

"Statement on Peyote," J. S. Slotkin and Sol Tax

"Psychological Aspects of Menomini Peyotism," J. S. Slotkin, 1951

"Peyote Ritual of the Northern Cheyenne"


"Preservation of Aboriginal Values as Evidenced by Crow Peyote Leaders," Robert Kiste

"Drug Use: A Manual for Parents and Physicians," R. Weston La Barre

Box 6

Bound Manuscript, "The Peyote Cult," clxxix pages. (Numbers following photograph captions in the box list in Series 4 refer to corresponding photographs in this thesis, "The Peyote Cult".)

Box 7


Peyote - 1935

Datura - Bibliography

Peyote - Miscellaneous References

Peyote - Bibliographical Items Not Used

Peyote by Tribes

Notes on the 3rd edition of "The Peyote Cult"

Box 8

Smithsonian Drug Conference, June 7-8, 1970. (includes correspondence, processed and other materials collected as a member of the Smithsonian's Advisory Panel for Drug Exhibit - Anthropological Aspects, 1970. The principal correspondent is William G. Wing; others are S. Dillon Ripley, Ander Richter, Walter Modell, A. R. Lindesmith and P. C. Ritterbush).

Legal File, 1960's (includes government documents on the subject of peyote and its religious use as well as correspondence with Barron Bruchlos, a New York City coffee house owner who publicly sold peyote).

Printed and Processed Material - "Peyote Cult," 3rd ed.

Printed and Processed Material - "Twenty Years of Peyote Studies" (ca. 1959, various materials used in the update "Twenty Years...")

Printed and Processed Material (2 files)

Printed and Processed Material - Used in "The Peyote Cult" - empty file

Box 9

Miscellany - Expenses, etc.

Printed and Processed (2 folders)


This Series contains correspondence (1937-1952, 1959) which is arranged alphabetically. Most of the material is filed under the name of the correspondent, with the rest filed under the name of the institution with which the correspondent was affiliated. Most of the material pertains to the funding and sponsorship for publication of La Barre's various manuscripts and of editorial matters arising from the publication of these texts. There are also materials to and from South American governments concerning the 1937-1938 field trips; inventory lists concerning material lent to the Newark, New Jersey Museum for an exhibition in 1941; and four spiral-bound notebooks (1937-1938; 4x6) which contain notes on vocabulary and linguistics, with some material in prose form and in the vernacular.

Additionally, the Series includes 3x5 noteslips of bibliographic and research notes which represent much of the material La Barre used in his early studies of the Aymara. In addition to the main body of notes, there is also a bibliography and a number of special subgroups. Research notes are arranged alphabetically by subject and bibliographic notes by author. There is also some material on the Uru and Chipaya Indians of Bolivia.

This Series also includes typewritten manuscripts (ca. 1948-1949) which show the results of La Barre's field work in South America and his study of the Aymara Indians. The manuscripts deal broadly with the ethnological and cultural aspects of the Aymara and, more specifically, with their vocabulary and ethnobotany. Included are musical scores and a bound volume of "The Aymara Indians of the Lake Titicaca Plateau, Bolivia" which was the original manuscript for the American Anthropological Association's "Memoirs", #68, 1948. It is edited throughout.

Also included are three published maps of Bolivia and southern Peru (ca. 1910-1919) showing political and ethnological aspects of the area and two photostat copied maps detailing the physical characteristics of the area.

Lastly, the Series includes miscellaneous notes in various forms pertaining to the Aymara and South America. They are recorded in several languages, some of which is in the vernacular. There are also pamphlets, magazine and newspaper clippings, journal articles and processed materials which cover a wide range of Bolivian and South American topics such as potatoes, llamas, and Incas. The material is in several languages.

Box 10

South American Correspondence


"American Anthropologist" (Ralph Linton, J. Alden Mason)

American Museum of Natural History (H. L. Shapiro, G. G. Simpson)

American Philosophical Society (E. G. Conklin)

Angel, Laurence

Argentina, Museo de La Plata


Beck, Frank

Bolivia, Republic of

Brooks, Ernest Jr.

Botanical Museum, Harvard (H. C. Cutler, F. T. Hubbard)

Bureau of American Ethnology (G. P. Murdock, F. H. H. Roberts, J. H. Steward, Alfred Metraux)

"Chronica Botanica" (Frans Verdoorn)

Duke University Research Council (J. T. Lanning, P. Gross, N. I. White, W. H. Wannamaker)


Fortuny's Publishers, Inc.

Ginn & Co.

Hodge, W. H.

"International Journal of American Linguistics" (Karl F. and Erminie W. Voegelin)

International Missionary Council (J. M. Davis)


Kroeber Anthropological Society (Sally Martin)

Moreno, H.

The Newark Museum

Newman, M.

Osborne, D.

Potato Association of America, (W. H. Martin)

Raymond, N.

Richardson, Jane

Robinson, M.

Roovers Bros., inc.


Schmidt, Karl P.

Schultes, Richard Evans

Social Science Research Council (Pomfret, John E.)

Spier, Leslie

The Torrey Botanical Club (Rickett, H. W.)

Tschopik, Harry

The Viking Fund (Fejos, Paul; Osgood, Cornelius)

Wagley, Charles

Wright, Harry B.

Yale University, Office of the Provost

Field Notes

Four small spiral bound notebooks on the Aymara

Box 11


Aymara Bibliography

Aymara Notes

Botanical Identification

Aymara Materia Medica

Animal Materia Medica

Mineral Materia Medica

Bibliography for Materia Medica



Notes and Bibliography on the Uru Indians

Notes on the Chipaya Indians

Box 12


"Aymara Biologicals and Other Medicines"

"Aymara Folktales"

"Aymara Texts"

"Aymara Texts, Pacasa Dialect"

Index - The Aymara of the Lake Titicaca Plateau

Music (a-h)

"The Aymara Indians of Lake Titicaca Plateau, Bolivia," bound.

Miscellaneous Maps (See "Oversize")

Printed Material

Miscellaneous Notes


The Kiowa - Peyote photographs, taken between 1935 and 1936, are arranged by subject. The majority of the photographs were taken on La Barre's two field trips to Oklahoma. Many are of Indians whom La Barre had met and with whom he attended peyote meetings. There are no photographs of actual peyote meetings. There are some photographs of the Santa Fe Lab group. Other subjects covered include ceremonial altars, ashes and other paraphernalia as well as ceremonial structures. Included with the ceremonial structures are photographs of the museum-meeting room of the Native American Church in El Reno, Oklahoma. Most photographs are also presented or referred to with captions in the scrapbook, "Kiowa Indian Snapshots, 1935, Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology" (in this Series, Box 13) and in "The Peyote Cult," La Barre's doctoral dissertation (Series 2, Box 6). Numbers following photograph captions in the box list refer to corresponding photographs in the thesis copy of "The Peyote Cult".

The scrapbook, in addition to the 1935 photographs from the Santa Fe Lab field trip to the Kiowa, also contains pictures from the 1936 Yale Institute of Human Relations and American Museum of Natural History peyote field trip. Most of the photos have captions. Subjects include portraits of Indians in Oklahoma whom La Barre knew, members of the field trips, and various objects of the peyote ritual.

The last box in this series contains photographs from 1937-1938, arranged by subject of the Aymara and Uru Indians of Bolivia which were taken by La Barre or a member of his party. Included are a few photographs of Amazon (Bororo) Indians given to La Barre.

The Aymara pictures deal with a number of cultural aspects with an emphasis on festivals and dancing. There are a number of portraits of Indians, none identified. Other subjects addressed include agriculture, boats and fishing, habitations and markets. Religious processions are included under ceremonials. There are three sheets of contact prints which have not been sorted by subject as well as twenty-two color negatives depicting objects in the La Barre Aymara Collection at Duke University. The Uru photographs also cover cultural aspects of their life, but are fewer in number and more limited in scope than the Aymara pictures.

The two La Barre term papers in the Series (ca. 1934-1935) were written while he was at Yale University. Both are bound. They are "Psychology and Ethnology," 1934 which details "an experiment in the psychological historical method of interpretation of Edward Sapir" and "Sleds and Toboggans, A Distributive Study," 1935.

Box 13

Kiowa - Peyote

People - Indian, identified (neg)

Homer Barnett (Buffalo)

Bert and Rebecca Buffalo

Alice-Take-It-Out and Lily Buffalo

Mary Buffalo and Grandchildren

Mary Buffalo, seated

Mary Buffalo, tipi poles in background

Mary and Lily Buffalo on horses

Lily Buffalo

Charley Apekaum and Jonathan Koshiway (62)

Ned Brace (81)

Old Lady Kintadl

Little Henry in ceremonial dress - backview

Little Henry ("Packing Stone") and wife

Peyote Boys (Kickapoo) (19)

Peyote Boys (63)

Peyote Boys

Ponca Peyote Leaders (33)

Tom Panther (Shawnee) (27)

James Sun-Eagle (Pawnee) (Sun-Chief) (32)

Bert Crowlance

Sam Bassett, Jim Pettit, Ralph Dent (34)

Sam Bassett, Jim Pettit, Ralph Dent

Henry Murdock (Kickapoo) (18)

Jim Aton (57)

White Fox

Kitty Kyabi, Estelle Moonlight-Maiden

Miss Yale Spotted Bird

Lynn Ware (part Yaqui)

Heap o' Bears

Mack Haag (Cheyenne) (76)


Jonathan Kashiway (Oto) (77)

Albert Stamp (Seminole) and wife (20)

Group at Oto meeting (35)

Alfred Wilson (Cheyenne) (75)

Old Man Horse, Monroe Huntinghorse, Pitma

Charley Apekaum

Monroe Huntinghorse (?), Pitma (?)

Ceremonial, structures (neg)

Three unidentified persons in front of tipi

Museum-meeting room - El Reno (exterior) (79)

Meeting room (interior) (80)

1928 Studebaker

Kickapoo Bark House

Wichita Grass House (21)

Wichita Grass House

Nearly finished "shade" (26)


"Shade" being built (25)

"Sweat-bath lodge" (7)

Ceremonials (prints)

Wood placed in ritual position, Wichita moon (50)

Wichita grass house (21)

Meeting room (interior) (80)

Sash, "Dai Be Ga"

Thunderbird (ashes) (54)

Ponca - white eagle (ashes)

"Scissors-tail" bird (ashes) (47)

Quawpaw altar (85)

Peyote kerchief (altar cloth) (8)

Parade (neg)

Indians mounted on horses in parade

Indian dancers - parade, Anadarko, OK

Dancer with feather mask

Young dancer

Indian girls riding on car in parade

Indians walking in parade

Miscellany (prints)

Envelope of miscellaneous negatives and contact sheets

1916 Ford

Some mescaline visions

Young Indian boy dancer, Miami, OK

Little Henry and wife (also known as Packing Stone) Kiowa (33)

Painting showing "father peyote"

Headquarters of Native American Church in 1935

Sam Bassett, Jim Pettit, Ralph Dent

Tennyson Berry

Peyote boys

Lily Buffalo

Victor Griffin (Quapaw)

Old Lady Kintadl

Jonathan Koshiway (Oto)

Dancer with feather mask

Miscellany - Non-Indian (neg)

Two men on horseback

Two unidentified persons

Donald Collier

Donald Collier, Jane Richardson Hanks, William Bascom

Farm near Redstone, OK

1916 Ford

Five unidentified persons: (?) Charley Tyner far left; (?) Collins Panther second on right

Jane Richardson Hanks

Hubert Mason

Prairie Dwelling

Double Exposure

Three unidentified persons

Mt. Sheridan

Parade - People, Indian (prints) (empty file)

Ceremonials (neg)

Altar, cement - Quapaw (85)

Ashes, "Scissors-tail" bird (47)

Wood placed in ritual position (50)

Altar cloth, Kiowa (8)

Ashes, waterbird (48)

Ashes, Ponca-White eagle

Quapaw Church group (87)

Quapaw Peyote church (86)

Victor Griffin (Quapaw) (36)

"Nigger Jim" (83)

The inside of dismantled Seminole altar (65)

Dismantling tipi (53)

Ashes, thunderbird (54)

Ashes, thunderbird (51)

Ashes, thunderbird

Painting, symbolic peyote (frontispiece)

Sash, "Dai Be Ga"

Ashes, crescent arrangement (49)

Dismantled Seminole altar

Scrapbook - "Kiowa Indian Snapshots, 1935, Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology" (also contains photos from the peyote field trip of 1936, sponsored by the Yale Institute of Human Relations and the American Museum of Natural History)

La Barre Term Papers

"Psychology and Ethnology, An Experiment in the Psychologico- Historical Method of Interpretation of Edward Sapir"

"Sleds and Toboggans, A Distribution Study"

Box 14



Boats and fishing




Dress, festivals and marriage



Markets, outdoor

People - Indian, unidentified

People - Non-Indian

Scenic Views


Transportation, burden carrying



Aymara/Negatives (same subject areas as above; nitrate negatives out to copy in 1988)

La Barre Aymara Collection at Duke University (color negatives)

Contact Prints




People - Indians, unidentified



Amazon (Bororo) Indians


Last updated: May 25, 2000
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