Buffalo stretched to the horizon across the grassy hills. Two brothers were walking towards them. As they walked, they saw
within the herd a white buffalo calf, something neither one of them had seen before. The apparition began to move slowly towards them, becoming more and more visible as they stood there watching. Anxiously, the brothers waited and at last over the crest of a hill came a
beautiful woman. She was wearing a white buckskin dress decorated with dark porcupine quills. At her side she carried a pipe bag which had on it the symbol of the four directions.
Remarking on her extraordinary beauty, the first brother said that he would like to lay with her in the grass. "Put aside such thoughts," said the second brother. "This woman is sacred, perhaps a vision, but certainly not one to be approached in a way that is not respectable." But
as he spoke, the woman walked past him into the arms of his brother and said, "Come to me - you shall have what you desire." As they fell into the grass, they disappeared in a cloud-like mist and the sounds of their lovemaking could be heard. When the mist
settled, the woman was standing. At her feet lay the decomposing corpse of the brother. As the other brother's eyes fell upon the body he was filled with fear, but before he could move the woman said, "Don't be afraid. While you stood there, your brother lived a lifetime getting what he wanted, but because he looked only to my outer beauty he never knew my spirit. You wanted to know my spirit, so I will go with you now and teach your people."
White Buffalo Calf Woman was God incarnated for the people she came to. She taught them how to call the buffalo with their dance and their songs so they would not go hungry. She gave the people the sacred pipe and taught them the power of the four directions. Her message for all the people of the world was: "Any man who takes a woman for physical beauty will never know her spirit, but a man who knows her mind and spirit will also know God." White Buffalo Calf Woman Painting by Keith Powell
About Keith Powell: Born in 1950, Keith Powell, developed an early interest in his native central Washington state and its wildlife. This keen interest and a natural ability in art quickly evolved into a talent in realistic design. He now endeavors to depict how nature intertwines with man's quest for enlightenment. Throughout his life, he has moved around the United States and has been exposed to a variety of animals, country and cultural experiences. This helped nurture a hunger for understanding the world around him. Dissatisfied with incomplete answers, he would explore and study his environment, seeking to fill gaps in the information he read in books. Early in his career his interest turned to tribal life and philosophy. He began making brain tan leather, and from these hides, his own clothes, moccasins and horse gear. He also made all the articles needed in a
functioning teepee, as well as his own sinew backed bows and arrows. Learning the old ways had a profound effect on his art. By learning to live from the land he was born to, his art has a sense of the present. He wants the viewer not just to observe history, but to feel a unity with his work.
Original Painted on Mother Earth Canvas "Lakota Sioux White Buffalo" by Campy
The White Buffalo are sacred to many Native Americans. The Lakota (Sioux) Nation has passed down the The Legend of the White Buffalo--a story now approximately 2,000 years old--at many council meetings, sacred ceremonies, and through the tribe's storytellers. There are several variations, but all are meaningful, and tell of the same outcome. Have communication with the Creator through prayer with clear intent for Peace, Harmony and Balance for all life living in the Earth Mother.
Spirituality among Natives Americans and non-Native Americans has been a strong force for those who believe in the power of the Great Spirit or God.
The legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman tells how the People had lost the ability to communicate with the Creator. The Creator sent the sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman to teach the People how to pray with the Pipe. With that Pipe, seven sacred ceremonies were given for the people to abide in order to ensure a future with harmony, peace, and balance.
Legend says that long ago, two young men were out hunting when from out of nowhere came a beautiful maiden dressed in white buckskin. One of the hunters looked upon her and recognizing her as a wakan, or sacred being, lowered his eyes. The second hunter approached her with lust in his eyes desiring her for his woman. White Buffalo Calf Woman beckoned the lustful warrior to her, and as he approached a cloud of dust arose around them causing them to be hidden from view. When the dust settled, nothing but a pile of bones lay next to her. As she walked toward the respectful young hunter, she explained to him that she had merely fulfilled the other man's desire, allowing him, within that brief moment, to live a lifetime, die and decay. White Buffalo Calf Woman instructed the young man to go back to the People and tell them to prepare for her arrival to teach them of the way to pray. The young hunter obeyed. When White Buffalo Calf woman arrived with the sacred bundle (the prayer pipe) she taught the People of the seven sacred ways to pray. These prayers are through ceremonies that include the Sweat Lodge for purification; the Naming Ceremony for child naming; the Healing Ceremony to restore health to the body, mind and spirit; the adoption ceremony for making of relatives; the marriage ceremony for uniting male and female; the Vision Quest for communing with the Creator for direction and answers to one's life; and the Sundance Ceremony to pray for the well-being of all the People.
When the teaching of the sacred ways was complete, White Buffalo Calf Woman told the people she would again return for the sacred bundle that she left with them. Before leaving, she told them that within her were the four ages, and that she would look back upon the People in each age, returning at the end of the fourth age, to restore harmony and spirituality to a troubled land. She walked a short distance, she looked back towards the people and sat down. When she arose they were amazed to see she had become a black buffalo. Walking a little further, the buffalo laid down, this time arising as a yellow buffalo. The third time the buffalo walked a little further and this time arose as a red buffalo. Walking a little further it rolled on the ground and rose one last time as a white buffalo calf signaling the fulfillment of the White Buffalo Calf prophecy,
The changing of the four colors of the White Buffalo Calf Woman represents the four colors of man--white, yellow, red and black. These colors also represent the four directions, north, east, south and west. The sacred bundle that was left to the Lakota people is still with the People in a sacred place on the Cheyenne River Indian reservation in South Dakota. It is kept by a man known as the Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, Arvol Looking Horse.
The legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman remains ever promising in this age of spiritual enlightenment and conscious awareness. In today's world of confusion and war many of us are looking for signs of peace.
"With the return of the White Buffalo it is a sign that prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe is being honored, and that the promises of prophecy are being fulfilled. White Buffalo signals a time of abundance and plenty." (from Sams and Carson, Medicine cards)
Though harsh as the world we live in may be throughout recorded history there have been spiritual leaders teaching peace, hope and balance (synergy) amongst all life. This was taught by great teachers such as Jesus, Buddha, the Dali Lama's, and Native American leaders.
It matters not what you call the Creator. What matters is that you pray to give thanks for your blessings and trust the guidance given to you from the world of Spirit. Many truths about Spirit are told and handed down from one generation to the next. Mother Earth Canvas "Lakota Sioux White Buffalo" by Campy
|Painting by Gretchen Del Rio|