Last month in Goshen, Connecticut and event occurred that may not seem special to most of us, but to the Lakota it is viewed as a rare and sacred event. A White Buffalo has been born. The sacredness of this event emerges from the history of the Lakota. The elders tell of a time in history during a great famine that a beautiful women dressed in white appeared to the Lakota. She taught them the seven sacred rituals which are still practiced today.
The seven rituals of the Lakota are:
The keeping of the soul – a ceremony of spiritual healing performed after the death of a loved one.
The rite of purification -the sweat lodge used to cleanse the spirit and bring the person closer to the Great Spirit.
Crying for a vision – brings the person to a new level of awareness.
The Sun Dance – involves fasting and dancing for four days to help relieve suffering within the community.
The Making of Relatives – this is a bonding ritual.
Preparing for womanhood – ceremony occurs after the first menstrual period.
Throwing of the ball – no longer practiced.
The healing – this is a modern addition to the list. It is designed for healing and helping to see the way.
According to history this woman revealed the mysteries of the earth to them, and then laid down on the ground and turned into a black buffalo, then red, then yellow, and finally white. To the Lakota these represent the four colors of the wind. As she left she promised to return. Now an event that has a one in ten million chance of occurring has happened. Maybe, just maybe, this event is the catalyst that will change the current situation on the Res.
The owner of the Bison herd has extended an invitation to the Lakota to attend the naming ceremony for this little white Buffalo. According to the Economist “as many as 500 American Indians were expected to attend the ceremony which occurred July 28th.
A once proud people have degenerated into a negative demographic. White Clay, Nebraska sells about 4.5 million cans of beer a year. White Clay is located just outside of the PineRidge Reservation where alcoholism runs at 80% of the people. This problem results in many deaths each year due to car accidents. Tribal gangs and drugs are now becoming even bigger problems.
In 2007 at a prom banquet in PineRidge, Robert Ten Fingers reminds the young people of the Black Elk prophecy concerning the 7th generation of Lakota. That generation would mend the scared hoop, “the continuity of the Lakota people,” severed by the murder of innocents at Wounded Knee in 1890. It is believed by the Lakota that the current group of young people on the Res is the seventh generation.
So maybe the birth of a white buffalo and this group of Lakota millennials can make a difference. Maybe leaders will come out of this group of people that can provide spiritual, economic, and social renewal. The current system has done nothing but destroy the Lakota people, it is time to change the system and create a new hope. They are the only ones who can respond to the need.
And that is my thought for the day!