Greetings From the White Buffalo Calf Woman

A long ago, in a time of famine, it is told that the chief of the Lakota sent out two scouts to hunt for food. While the young men traveled, they saw a figure in the distance. As they approached, they saw that it was a beautiful young woman with dark hair and dark eyes. One scout realized her importance and respected her. The other did not. So the woman turned him into a pile of bones. To the one who respected her, she explained that she was wakȟáŋ (holy, having spiritual and supernatural powers). She further explained that if he did as she instructed, his people would rise again.

The scout returned to his encampment, called the Council, and they prepared a feast for her arrival. She came and taught the Lakota seven sacred ceremonies and gave them the čhaŋnúŋpa, the sacred ceremonial pipe which shows how all things are connected. She taught them the mysteries of the earth, and she taught them to pray and follow the proper path. Before she left, she rolled upon the earth four times, changing color each time, and finally turning into a white buffalo calf. Then she disappeared.

Almost at the same time as her leaving, great herds of buffalo could be seen surrounding the camps. It is said that after that day, the Lakota honored their pipe, and buffalo were plentiful.

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