The Story Of The White Buffalo Is A Symbol Of Rebirth And World Harmony

The Story Of The White Buffalo Is A Symbol Of Rebirth And World Harmony

These Beaded Earrings Represent The  White Buffalo story.

Only two pair of these beauties are currently available. They are Native American beaded in tiny cut beads, one with black accents, and the other with brown. They are available at Native Art Gift Shop.

Technically, Bison is the correct word, but Buffalo has been in use for a very long time. Bison are only in North America, while the two main “buffalo” species reside in Africa and Asia. There is also a small population of bison relatives called the European Bison living in isolated parts of Poland.

There are different stories of the White Buffalo but the Lakota people say that a sacred bundle was brought to them about 2,000 years ago by what is known as the White Buffalo Calf Woman. She appeared to two warriors. These two warriors were hunting buffalo for food in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota when they saw a large white buffalo calf. As it came closer, the calf turned into a beautiful young woman. One warrior was disrespectful to the woman and she turned him into a pile of bones. The other warrior fell to his knees and started praying. The White Buffalo Calf Woman told the warrior to go back to his people and tell them she would bring them a sacred bundle in four days. The warrior went back to his people and told them what the White Buffalo Calf Woman had said. On the fourth day she returned as promised. A cloud came down from the sky and a White Buffalo Calf came off and turned into the White Buffalo Calf Woman, who was holding the sacred bundle. She took the bundle to the people and sang a song and spent four days with the people, teaching them about the sacred bundle, the meaning of it and seven sacred ceremonies. The seven ceremonies were:

  • The Sweat Lodge (purification ceremony)
  • The Naming Ceremony (child naming)
  • The Healing Ceremony
  • The Adoption Ceremony (making of relatives)
  • The Marriage Ceremony
  • The Vision Quest
  • The Sundance Ceremony

After White Buffalo Calf Woman completed her teaching of the people, she left the same way she appeared, telling the people that she would return one day for the sacred bundle. The sacred bundle is called the White Buffalo Calf Pipe because it was brought by the White Buffalo Calf Woman. It is kept in Green Grass on the Cheyenne River Indian reservation in South Dakota by Dr. Arvol Looking Horse He is a 19th generation Lakota known as the keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe.

White Buffalo Calf Woman made some prophecies, one of which was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that she would return again to purify the world by bringing back spiritual harmony and balance to the world. Several White Buffalo have been born in the past few years.

The buffalo (bison) was a much respected part of Native American life. Every part of the animal was used to provide food, shelter, clothing, tools and weapons; it was considered disrespectful to waste any part of the buffalo or to kill it just for the sport of it, as many of the non-native men did. Indiscriminate and excessive hunting by non-natives caused the buffalo in North America to nearly die out. President Grover Cleveland made hunting buffalo illegal in 1893; at that point in time only about 300 remained. Today bison have emerged as a popular food source with ranchers raising them for consumption, with buffalo steaks, burgers and jerky being considered a healthy alternative to beef.

A few suggested links about White Buffalo:



Categories: Arts & Crafts, Culture

About Author

Becky Olvera Schultz

Becky Olvera Schultz is an artist and photographer whose background includes journalism, advertising and marketing. She has been in involved with the powwow circuit for several years, participating as a vendor and as a member of powwow planning committees. For more information on Becky, visit her art site at