We investigate the group velocity of light in a one-dimensional volume-index grating inside a photorefractive LiNbO3 crystal. The slowdown of the group electromagnetic propagation is observed experimentally by tuning of the wave number of the optical beam close to the outside edge of the forbidden bandgap. We obtain a large group index of up to 7.5 in a 3.5-cm crystal sample. The group index is compared with the result of a theoretical derivation. The results are presented and discussed.