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White Buffalo Calf Woman

While two warriors were out hunting buffalo, a white buffalo calf appeared. As she approached them she changed into a beautiful young woman . . . which is how she came to be called the White Buffalo Calf Woman.

 

One of the young warriors offended her with his lustful thoughts, and White Buffalo Calf Woman asked him to approach. As he stepped forward, a black cloud descended over him and when it dissipated all that was left of him was his bones.

 

The other warrior fell to his knees and began to pray. The White Buffalo Calf Woman told him to return to his people, telling them she would appear to them in four days, bringing with her a sacred bundle.

 

And this she did, appearing to them as a white buffalo calf descending on a cloud. Stepping down, she rolled over on the ground, changing from white to black, then yellow, then red.

When White Buffalo Calf Woman arose she was once again the beautiful woman, cradling the sacred bundle in her arms.

 

Spending four days with the people, White Buffalo Calf Woman taught them sacred songs, dances, and ceremonies as well as the traditional ways.

White Buffalo Calf Woman instructed them to be responsible caretakers of the land and to be always mindful that the children are the future of the people.

 

On the fourth day White Buffalo Calf Woman left in the same manner she had arrived, telling the people she was leaving the sacred bundle, the White Buffalo Calf Woman pipe, in their care. She promised to one day return for it and to bring harmony and spiritual balance to the world.

 

White Buffalo Calf Woman prophesied that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it was near the time of her return.

Later she appeared as White Buffalo Calf Woman to a young warrior whose troubled heart yearned for a good future for the children, a future without the prospect of continual war and divisiveness, a future of peace. White Buffalo Calf Woman advised him "to seek the vision of a mother's heart for the love of her children".

White Buffalo Calf Woman gave the pipe into his care, detailing the ways in which the people could learn to grow into responsible keepers of the pipe, cultivating peace and understanding.

One of her gifts was the suggestion that all children be taught to hold baby animals with love and caring, so that as they grow they will learn to love all the other babies of the world.

As she gave her instructions, the white buffalo calf that accompanied the woman rolled over four times, each time changing colours . . . once for each race, first white, then yellow, then red, the black, signifying that we are all members of the same family.


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