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This animal lives at the Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, TN
American buffalo (technically bison) are normally brown in color. Rarely, white buffalo are born. White Buffalo are considered to be sacred signs in several Native American religions, and thus have great spiritual importance in those cultures and are visited for prayer and other religious ceremonies.
The following statements are excerpts from “The White Buffalo:
A Living Prophecy in Western Pennsylvania”, by Melanie J. Martin.
“At the small Woodland Zoo in Farmington, PA, on November 12, 2006, a prophecy was born, a living piece of a legend central to many Native spiritualities. It took the form of a buffalo calf that emerged into the world completely white, a one-in-ten-million occurrence that becomes even more miraculous when considering the scarcity of buffalo today. The Woodland Zoo, like the several other places where white, non-albino buffalo have been born in recent years, became a site of pilgrimage for throngs of visitors. The white buffalo calf holds enormous sacredness to many Native American tribes, but many of us who are not from Native cultures have felt drawn into its aura as well. We go to look, to wonder, to pay respect, to find out if it just might have a message for us—and perhaps to marvel that the very animal our society has taken such great lengths to conquer has brought forth a message with the power to save our society from itself. In Lakota spirituality, our survival as a people depends on believing in and heeding the white buffalo’s sacred message, which urges us to live the understanding that all living beings are linked and interdependent.
“It has come to speak to you…and it’s telling you something here…you have to listen,” says Lakota Sundance chief and medicine man David Swallow, Jr. “It’s not an Indian thing; it’s for humanity.” On April 14, 2007, Swallow spoke to a crowd of people at the Woodland Zoo, a surprisingly large crowd considering the out-of-the-way location and the cold, persistent rain. Many of us seemed to sense the urgency of Swallow’s message. He spoke of how the white buffalo has long been sacred to the Lakota and other Plains tribes such as the Kiowa, Apache, Cheyenne, Hadatsa, Pawnee, and other Siouxan tribes, whose existence depended on the herds of buffalo that darkened the land before the days of the transcontinental railroad. A white buffalo carries a message to the people to whom it appears, warning them that hard times, such as an epidemic of disease, will be arriving unless the people examine the way they’ve been living and learn to live in a way that is better for all.
The tribes of the Great Plains have traditionally shared a profound bond with all of the buffalo they depended on for survival. Like their relationship with the rest of the Earth, this relationship merges what Westerners think of as separate “physical” and “spiritual” worlds into one. The English language affords us no adequate way to describe this holistic way of life; we can only strive to intuit such a way of being in the world. Buffalo were central to the lives of the Great Plains tribes, used for food, clothing, tools, and other purposes. Hunting, to these cultures, is never mere sport; it is done out of necessity and with the utmost respect and gratitude. “Hunting is a spiritual thing,” says Swallow. “You never go hunting and just mount the head on the wall…you use every part of it.” He adds that the Lakota have always held a ceremony the night before a hunt, “because nothing belongs to us; it all belongs to the Great Spirit…through ceremony, we must ask permission from this four-legged.”
The following statements are excerpts from “White Buffalo Prophecy” by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe.
Since 1994, these kinds of signs have been coming, but it seems that people do not listen or want to see anything important from the animal nation’s messages. This has a lot to do with faith.
What was told is as follows: This is a very dangerous time we are in! The minds of the people on Unc’i Maka (Grandmother Earth) are choosing to focus on a new way of life that is hurting us all in the global community. This way of life chooses war, hurting one another physically and verbally, and continued desecration to Unc’i Maka in taking more then what we truly need in her resources. These decisions not only hurt our own People, but the animal nations are dying in large numbers to extinction by this new way of life we are accepting. Unc’i Maka is going to have a hard time to continue to bring food to all life. These decisions need to be changed very soon and are in each and every one of your hands more then ever. Respect to the spirit of life needs to be brought back; boundaries need to put back into place and faith needs to be present in everyone’s life once again.
I found the story of the White Buffalo to be a worthy read. I found myself reading other stories about the history of the white buffalo and what it meant to my ancestors of long ago.
What I found most interesting of all is the way this prophecy told by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, paralells to things the Holy Spirit of my religion has recently spoken to my heart.
Life is precious, whether human or animal. We should respect life. While some animals are needed to sustain the lives of humans, we should respect them by only taking what we need. We should take care of our animals and treat them with respect. Also, we should treat human life with honor and respect from conception to the end of life. And, we should love and respect one another, helping one another rather than engaging in hate and violence. The world I have known seems to be crumbling around me. Financial ruin and despair, greed, hatred,, all the sin I see on t.v., internet, and all around me seems to me exceedingly grave.
I think the Holy Scriptures can express it much better than I can, it comes down to this:
Matthew 22:36-40 (New American Standard Bible)“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”And He said to him, " YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’This is the great and foremost commandment.“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
And then there is the “Golden Rule”:
Matthew 7:12 (New American Standard Bible)“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NAS)
“and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”