White Buffalo by Lisa G. Putman

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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.

The Rest of the Story and Here

“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.”


  • Auntymazza
    Auntymazzaabout 6 years ago

    Beautiful Lisa

  • Rosemaree
    Rosemareeabout 6 years ago

    Very beautiful animal Lisa/

  • hardhhhat
    hardhhhatabout 6 years ago

    Unusual to see – I did see a few white buffalo in my recent trip to Thailand – nice shot.

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkabout 6 years ago

    This is an awesome capture Lisa. I have heard about the white buffalo before and read an article about it when it was born. I am amazed by this and the references to the association is has with scriptures in the Bible. Your story is great. Hopefully lots of people will read it and understand it’s message. I agree with you and the Indian people. All life is precious and should be treated with respect. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful image and story here. Ginny

  • mlynnd
    mlynndabout 6 years ago

    Beautiful animal.

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsabout 6 years ago

    Very unusual and a wonderful image and narrative..I found it very interesting..well done!!

  • Rick  Todaro
    Rick Todaroabout 6 years ago

    Amazing Work ! Its So wonderful To see this magnificent animal … excellent back story & the holy scriptures , lets ask God’s grace.. to enable us all to live completely by them !!

  • Scott Denny
    Scott Dennyabout 6 years ago

    I am Native. I am a member of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin. The Oneida are not from the midwest orginally. The majority of Oneidas settled in WI due to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and being led away from our eastcoast homelands.

    I can appreciate Native culture. There is much non-Indians learned and can still learn from Native people. When it comes to spirituality, no matter what the belief system, I am always careful.

    I like what you have done here Lisa, you brought everything back to the Bible. There is only One Truth and the BIble is Gods written Word for us.

    The world and the Enemy has sought to water down and distract mankind from the One Truth, the Word of God, form the very beginning. Regardless of my heritage I am careful to only look to the Word of God to clarify my purpose here on earth, Gods guidelines and policies as to how I need to live, and support in my belief of the Trinity.

    I dont belive in Mother Earth, wind spirits, or any other reference to a spiritual being other than those identified in the Bible. (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Angels, Satan, Demons)

    I do believe that the world we live in is in a time of peril. Histocially many generations could say the same. The difference is that the time we live in countless prophecies have come to pass related to the end times. The next thing on Gods calendar is the Second Coming.

    God desires that all will not perish. He is demonstrating patience and giving Believers a chance to spread the Word and give non-believers a chance. I dont believe he is stalling, I just believe he is drawing things out because of his love for mankind.

    I totally appreciate and commend you for taking a message like the White Buffalo and bringing it back to the BIble. That is the kind of spreading of Gods Word we must do. We cannot hide our Light.

    Great job!!!

  • Lisa G. Putman
    Lisa G. Putmanabout 6 years ago

    Scott, you are correct, there is only one way to eternal life, believing in Jesus Christ for the attonement of our sins. God’s plan is to see all people who will accept Him, to come to know Him and love Him through Jesus. I do believe the Second Coming is near, and we all need to do everything we can to get the message out, everyone will have the opportunity to either accept HIm or reject HIm.

    I do believe God can use any person, any situation to accomplish His plan. I have seen evidence that God has used the White Buffalo prophecy and other prophecie’s of the Hopi tribe to get the attention of the Native American People. There is a carving in stone hidden in the desert believed to be a secret prophecy for the Hopi tribe I watched an interview with Thomas Banyaya, named “Keeper of the Carvings” in a 1948 tribunal. The prophecy says that only if man follows the spiritual path will he enjoy the sacred circle of harmony and abundance, and that if man strays off this path, there will be a Great Purification in which all mankind will be destroyed by fire. And that is the end of the story, boom, everyone is gone. Such a sad end to the story.

    But, then there is Chief Guillermo BLack Hawk who is a Cherokee Indian, who is spreading hope for eternal life through the gospel of Jesus Christ. He uses prophecies such as the White Buffalo to reach the Native Americans for Christ. His interpretation of end times prophecy is very interesting. Although, I’m not sure I believe he has it all right, I know the Lord is using Him to fulfill His purpose, and this excites me.

    You can watch his very long video if you are interested in hearing more. I have a Cherokee Indian connection in my ancestory, so, I was very interested to see what he had to say.


  • Brenda Sikes
    Brenda Sikesabout 6 years ago

    He is so cute! Very interesting story!

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