WHITE BUFFALO CALF WOMAN
As a beautiful young maiden I appeared bearing a sacred pipe,
And inside the village’s big medicine tipi,
together we conducted ceremony.
I showed the people
How to lift the pipe up to the sky,
And down to the earth,
And to the four directions of the universe.
I told them the smoke rising from the bowl
Was the living breath
of the great Grandfather Mystery.
“With this pipe,” I said,“Walk a living prayer.
With your feet resting upon the earth
And the pipestem reaching into the sky,
Your body forms a living bridge between
The Sacred Beneath and the Sacred Above.
Now we are one:
Earth, sky, man, woman,
And all living things.
We are all relations,
The pipe holds them all together.”
Next I instructed
In the seven sacred ceremonies of the pipe:
The first was the sweat lodge purification ceremony.
The next was for naming the children.
The third was for healing,
The fourth was the adoption ceremony.
The fifth the marriage ceremony.
The sixth was the vision quest.
And the seventh was the sundance ceremony.
As I walked away, I became a Buffalo, and I rolled over four times:
First I turned into a black buffalo;
Second into a brown buffalo;
The third into a red buffalo;
And the fourth time I became a white buffalo calf.
As soon as I departed that day
Great buffalo herds appeared from beyond the horizon
And some of their number allowed themselves to be killed
So the people might live.
I have not forgotten you.
That white buffalo calf born not so long ago,
Is but one glimmer from the beyond
Of My imminent return.
To grant your people
who are My people
To knit the world above
And the earth below
by Mary Kay Landon
"White Buffalo Calf Woman and the Sacred Pipe" By Marcene Quenzer
Long, long ago two young men were part of a hunting encampment in the rolling hills of the great prairies. As they scanned the horizon, among the long, waving grasses, they saw in the distance a light approaching. As the light drew nearer, they it became the figure of a luminous woman, walking through the prairie grass with long, flowing hair, carrying a bundle on her back.
These men were of two very different natures. The first man who saw her approaching looked upon her only with lust. He saw that she was a beautiful woman, alone and undefended in the wilderness, and he went toward her with intent to take advantage of her. As he approached, the mysterious woman opened her arms and her cloak, and drew him to her. As the other young man watched, he saw a brilliant light surround them. And after a short while, the woman opened her arms. From her shawls fell the bones of his companion. They fell from her arms, and crumbled to dust, quickly scattered to the four directions by the prairie winds.
The second young man was what was called a True Warrior. His desire was only to serve the greater needs of All Our Relations, to align himself in his intentions with the sacred Hoop. He spoke to this radiant woman with awe, and begged her to come to his people, to teach them. "Yes", she said to this good man, "I will come if you will go before me and prepare a lodge."
A great lodge was made. When all were gathered, the woman walked into the village, entered the lodge, and opened her bundle, revealing a catlinite pipe with a long feathered wooden stem. And then she taught them the sacred pipe ceremony.
"The bowl of this pipe" she told them, "is of red stone, and it represents the Earth, our Mother and Grandmother. And carved into the bowl is a buffalo calf, who represents all the four-leggeds who live upon our Mother, and who sustain us. The stem of this pipe is wood, which represents all the growing beings upon the Earth. And the feathers which adorn the stem are the feathers of the great Eagle, and they represent the winged ones. All these peoples are united in the pipe ceremony. When you pray with this pipe, all send their prayers with you to Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit."
When she had given her teachings, the holy woman left the village, and walked out into the prairies alone. As they watched, in the far distance she stopped at a buffalo wallow. There, she rolled on the earth, and as the dust cleared, there stood a white buffalo calf, a white buffalo calf that disappeared as it ran into the distance. And the people named her "White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman".
from BUFFALO WOMAN COMES SINGING
by Brooke Medicine Eagle, 1991