buffalo calves bring hope
In August 2002, a white buffalo
calf was born on a ranch in north central North Dakota. By early September,
three more white buffalo calves had
been born on the same ranch. Since the calves' birth, Dakota Native American
elders have visited the ranch, owned by Dwaine and Debbie Kirk. "The
Elders have such a great respect for the animals," said Debbie Kirk.
"They sing to the calves, and leave their sacred tobacco to honor
the spirit of White Buffalo Calf Woman."
According to Dakota tradition, the White Buffalo Calf Woman is a spirit
who appeared to the Dakota Native American people 2,000 years ago, and
foretold a time when she would return and the people would know peace,
happiness and prosperity. Her return would be heralded by the birth of
white buffalo calf.
"The traditional people, the spiritual people, are really excited
about this," said Merry Ketterling, a Native American from the Standing
Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. "With all the problems with
drugs, alcohol, poverty and broken treaties, Indian people have held onto
this hope that things will get better."
Bison have made a comeback on the Great Plains, where millions once roamed.
They were hunted almost to extinction, but ranchers and farmers have lately
developed herds. A female calf born on a farm in Wisconsin in 1994 is
believed to be the first white buffalo born in more than 60 years. This
calf, named Miracle, has become a tourist attraction, as has White Cloud,
an albino calf born in 1996 in North Dakota.
Several more white calves have arrived since, including a bull born in
August 2001 in Michigan. It was given the name Wahos'i Messenger by Chief
Arvol Looking Horse of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota,
current keeper of the sacred pipe. "White Buffalo Calf Woman's spirit
has announced her message of support in this time of great danger,"
he said at the time of Messenger's birth, "and she continues to announce
the message in the birth of each white buffalo - each one of them a sign."
"The birth of four white calves is a sign of great urgency,"
Looking Horse said recently. "This is telling us we are at a crossroads."
(Source: Star Tribune, North Dakota, USA)
from: Share International December 2002
by courtesy of © Share