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White Buffalo Calf Woman

White Buffalo Calf Woman is a sacred woman of supernatural origin, central to the Lakota religion as the primary cultural prophet. Oral traditions relate that she brought the "Seven Sacred Rites" to the Lakota people. Wikipedia

In brief, - - One summer a long time ago, the seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Sioux came together and camped. The sun was strong, and the people were starving for there was no game. Two young men went out to hunt.

Along the way, the two men met a beautiful young woman dressed in white; she floated as she walked. One man had bad desires for the woman and tried to touch her. But, as he did this, the man was consumed by a huge cloud and turned into a pile of bones. The woman spoke to the second young man and told him, "Return to your people, and tell them I am coming."

This holy - 'wakan' - woman brought a wrapped bundle to the people. She unwrapped the bundle, giving the people a sacred pipe and teaching them how to use it for prayer. "With this holy pipe, you will walk like a living prayer," she said.

The woman told the Lakota about the value of the buffalo, the women and the children. "You are from Mother Earth," she told the women. "What you are doing is as great as the warriors do."

Before she left, she told the people she would return. As she walked away, she rolled over four times. Then, she turned into a white female buffalo calf; hence the name White Buffalo Woman or White Buffalo Calf Woman.

It is said, after this important day, the Lakota honored their pipe, and buffalo were plentiful (from John Lame Deer's telling in 1967). Many believe the birth of the buffalo calf Miracle in the United States on August 20, 1994 symbolizes the coming together of humanity into a oneness of heart, mind and spirit.

Better yet, listen to this rendering of the story as told by elder Chief Arvol Looking Horse.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. At the age of 12, he was given the responsibility of becoming the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest ever. He is widely recognized as a chief and the spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe.

He is the author of White Buffalo Teachings and a guest columnist for Indian Country Today. A tireless advocate of maintaining traditional spiritual practices, Chief Looking Horse is the founder of Big Foot Riders which memorializes the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee.

Cheif Looking Horse's prayers have opened numerous sessions of the United Nations and his many awards include the Juliet Hollister Award from the Temple of Understanding, a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultation Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.

"In 1995 I travelled to Arizona and visited the sacred ground of the white buffalo located north of Sedona in the foothills south of Flagstaff.  I was gifted hair from the white buffalo by the caretakers of the sanctuary to put in my medicine bundle.  I am extremely honoured and grateful for this gift that I carry with me, along with the teachings of White Buffalo Calf Woman." ~ Kathryn Aunger

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