White Buffalo Calf Woman

The story of White Buffalo Calf woman goes way back in time in Sioux Indian history.

Before the appearance of the buffalo calf woman the Indian people of the plains honoured the Great spirit.

The story begins when two young men were out hunting when they saw something coming towards them.

As the figure got closer, they observed a maiden clothed in a White buckskin carrying a bundle wrapped in Buffalo hide.

As she approached them, she sang out and repeated Behold me for in a sacred manner I am walking.

One of the men had evil thoughts about her he then became engulfed in a mist and when the  mist cleared, he was just bones lying on the ground.

To the other man who had been respectful to her she held forth the bundle and said in this bundle is a sacred pipe which must be treated in a holy way and no impure person should ever see it.

With  this pipe you will send voices to Waken Tanka the Great Spirit.

As you will walk on Mother Earth your steps should always be holy.

The bowl of the pipe is Redstone representing the earth.

In the centre of the pipe is calved a buffalo representing the four-legged ones who are your brothers.

The stem is wood representing all things that grow ,twelve feathers hang from where the stem fits the bowl from a spotted eagle, these represent the winged brothers of the air.

The Red stone represents Mother Earth that you live on.

There are seven circles on the stone which represent the Seven rites in which you will use the pipe.

The Buffalo Calf Woman then instructed the people to send messages to different bands of the Sioux nation.

This is done to bring in holey ones ,medicine people , and leaders of the Sioux.

She instructed them on the sacred ceremonies and then told them the first rite ,the keeping of the soul.

Then she informed them on the remaining six that they would be revealed through visions.

She reminded them how sacred this was and treat it in a most sacred manner and that the pipe will always be with you.

To this day a Sioux  family “ Keepers of Th e Sacred Bundle “ on one of the Sioux reservations.

To day other sacred ceromancies have supplanted some of the  original seven ceremonies ,the Sun dace, vision quests, The Sweat Lodges are now part of the celebration  when the sacred pipe is used to open special gatherings meetings and sweat lodges. Also, the pipe is used in naming ceremonies  one is given an Indian or Earth name.

The Buffalo woman also told the Sioux where to find the red stone to make the Peace pipe.

So today this practice still goes on and only Indian people are allowed to extract the  stone from the ground in the pipe stone quarries in Southwest Minnesota near the town of Pipe stone.

When the people travelled to and from quarries to dig and extract the red stone this was done in peace.

No War fare or disagreement was or is allowed at the site and was common for peace councils to be held there as well.

So, to conclude what are the seven sacred rites ?

  1. The keeping of the soul .
  2. The sweat lodge ceremony
  3. Vision quests
  4. The Sun dance
  5. Making relatives
  6. Preparing a  young girl or boy for adult hood
  7. Throwing the  ball.