Wednesday, June 13, 2012


White Buffalo Calf Nursing
Fair warning: Today I don’t have a happy or cheerful blog. Regular readers of this blog may remember last year when I reported the birth of a white buffalo calf to a Lakota Sioux-owned buffalo herd in Hunt County, Texas.  The chance of a white buffalo birth is reported to be 1 in 10,000,000. This white buffalo was heralded as a symbol of unity and understanding, a gift from the Great Spirit and celebrated with a pow wow worthy of a spiritual symbol. It was a joyous event for the Lakota and others alike.

The buffalo herd is owned Harvey Little Soldier, who says he is the great-great-grandson of Sitting Bull. However, Little Soldier said that while he owns the herd, the white buffalo belonged to people everywhere. Members of the herd circled the white calf when strangers were near, protecting this special calf in a way they did not act toward other calves.

This spring while the Little Soldier was away for three days, a person or persons viciously shot the calf and his mother. Not for meat, but left to be discovered by Little Soldier on his return. These animals were kept in a back pasture for their protection, yet someone knew where they were grazing. Because the Lakota Sioux owner was only away a short time, someone must have premeditated this hateful crime. Whether it was personal against Little Soldier, against Native Americans, or an act of stupid vandalism is unknown. However, the Hunt Count Sheriff and his deputies and Homeland Security agents are treating it as a racist hate crime. To date, $55,000 reward is offered for clues leading to conviction of the perpetrators.  Because some of your have commented on this terrible event, I decided to include the information in a blog.

Painting of White Buffalo Calf Woman

                             Legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman

The story goes that she appeared to two Lakota warriors. These two warriors were out hunting buffalo, hunting for food in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, and they saw a big body coming toward them. And they saw that it was a white buffalo calf. As it came closer to them, it turned into a beautiful young Indian girl.

That time one of the warriors thought bad in his mind, and so the young girl told him to step forward. And when he did step forward, a black cloud came over his body, and when the black cloud disappeared, the warrior who had bad thoughts was left with no flesh or blood on his bones. The other warrior kneeled and began to pray.

And when he prayed, the white buffalo calf who was now an Indian girl told him to go back to his people and warn them that in four days she was going to bring a sacred bundle.

So the warrior did as he was told. He went back to his people and he gathered all the elders and all the leaders and all the people in a circle and told them what she had instructed him to do. And sure enough, just as she said she would, on the fourth day she came.

They say a cloud came down from the sky, and off of the cloud stepped the white buffalo calf. As it rolled onto the earth, the calf stood up and became this beautiful young woman who was carrying the sacred bundle in her hand.

As she entered into the circle of the nation, she sang a sacred song and took the sacred bundle to the people who were there to take of her. She spent four days among our people and taught them about the sacred bundle, the meaning of it.

She taught them seven sacred ceremonies.

One of them was the sweat lodge, or the purification ceremony. One of them was the naming ceremony, child naming. The third was the healing ceremony. The fourth one was the making of relatives or the adoption ceremony. The fifth one was the marriage ceremony. The sixth was the vision quest. And the seventh was the sundance ceremony, the people's ceremony for all of the nation.

She brought us these seven sacred ceremonies and taught our people the songs and the traditional ways. And she instructed our people that as long as we performed these ceremonies we would always remain caretakers and guardians of sacred land. She told us that as long as we took care of it and respected it that our people would never die and would always live.

When she was done teaching all our people, she left the way she came. She went out of the circle, and as she was leaving she turned and told our people that she would return one day for the sacred bundle. And she left the sacred bundle, which we still have to this very day.

The sacred bundle is known as the White Buffalo Calf Pipe because it was brought by the White Buffalo Calf Woman. It is kept in a sacred place (Green Grass) on the Cheyenne River Indian reservation in South Dakota. It's kept by Dr. Arvol Looking Horse, a 19th generation Lakota Indian who is known as the keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe.

When White Buffalo Calf Woman promised to return again, she made some prophecies at that time.

One of those prophesies was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to purify the world. What she meant by that was that she would bring back harmony again and balance, spiritually.

Joseph Chasing Horse says the birth of a white buffalo is a sign from the Great Spirit and the ensuing age of harmony and balance it represents cannot be revoked. That doesn't mean, of course, that the severe trials Native Americans have endured since the arrival of Europeans on these shores are over.

"Mention that we are praying, many of the medicine people, the spiritual leaders, the elders, are praying for the world," says Joseph Chasing Horse. "We are praying that mankind does wake up and think about the future, for we haven't just inherited this earth from our ancestors, but we are borrowing it from our unborn children."  

I know the last line is not original with Joseph Chasing Horse, but isn't it true nonetheless?

White Buffalo Statue, Snyder Texas

What should have been a symbol of unity and understanding was destroyed by callous men. Senseless waste and pointless killing are always abhorrent. I cannot fathom the hatred and disrespect of someone willing to destroy something simply because it holds meaning for another person. I hope the culprits are caught and suitably punished. 

I promise to be cheerful on Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!


Cathie Dunn said...

Oh God, that's so sad! I just don't get people like that. Why shoot a defenceless animal? It sounds like it was specifically targeted, which I agree makes it a hate crime. I hope they find the perpetrators and they won't escape with a slap on the wrist.

A similar incident happened in the Highlands a couple of years ago where a gorgeous stag stayed close to a WWII memorial car park and was almost tame (we took pics of him) - until some thugs shot it in the head with an air rifle. I don't think they were ever found.

Such cases make me ashamed to be human. It must be a thrill for these thugs of killing an animal that means something to some people. Sick! :(

My thoughts are with the owner of the white calf and its mother.

katsrus said...

I just don't understand how anyone could do that? That is awful. Hope they find whomever did it and put them away for a long time.
Sue B

Tam said...

Did you hear about the white buffalo calf just born in Connecticut?