This is the story of an anthropologist's encounter with a Huichol Indian known as "Mad Jesus." Jesús was an artisan, a shaman, a self-styled prophet, a mad messiah, and a murderous mystic. Timothy J. Knab was a young anthropologist soliciting life histories from Huichols in Mexico City when they met. The life story of Jesús may have been the ravings of a madman, but it also embodied the Huichol anticipation of the return of Santo Cristo, the savior who will restore the Huichol to their place as masters of the world around them. Neither Knab's studies in anthropology nor his experiences in the world of counterculture prepared him to understand this strange Indian and his violent history and behavior.