The White Calf

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One version of the story from John Lame Deer in tells us that two young men went out to hunt. Along the way, the two men met a beautiful young woman dressed in white who floated as she walked. One man had bad desires for the woman and tried to touch her, but was consumed by a cloud and turned into a pile of bones.

“This is the only place I’ve ever found peace.” – Tony Tacan

She unwrapped the bundle giving to the people a sacred pipe and teaching them how to use it to pray. The holy woman told the Sioux about the value of the buffalo, the women and the children. Before she left, she told the people she would return. As she walked away, she rolled over four times, turning into a white female buffalo calf.

It is said after that day the Lakota honored their pipe, and buffalo were plentiful. As she went, she stopped and rolled over four times. The first time, she turned into a black buffalo; the second into a brown one; the third into a red one; and finally, the fourth time she rolled over, she turned into a white female buffalo calf before disappearing. She said she would send a sign her return was near in the form of four unusual buffalo, which would be born white, then during their lifetime, they would cycle through the four colors of the medicine wheel which, among other things, represent the races of the world: red, yellow, black, and white.

Some people say the prophesy said they would do this in reverse order from the way she took her leave from the Earth as she traced her way back to our spiritual realm. She said when all four sacred white buffalo had returned, the people would be at a crossroads and if they took the right path, there would be a renewal of the Earth.


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If they chose the wrong path, the Earth would be destroyed, and there would be no hope of restoring harmony beyond that point. If these sacred white buffalo signs were recognized and heeded, a period of peace and harmony in the world would be restored before her return, when the Mother Earth would heal herself and men would live in harmony with each other, nature, and the natural world, but only if the right choices were chosen. If the wrong choices were made in these days, and man chose to ignore these signs, the Earth would be destroyed. Several white buffalo have been born, documented from Miracle was believed by many to be the prophesied Sacred White Buffalo.

Miracle died in but not before giving birth to other white buffalo calves. The Heider family who owned Miracle and own the farm where she, and other white buffalo born since, have lived, have always been very careful not to allow commercialization of Miracle or the other calves. Thank you for the information on White Buffalo.

Important Message from Keeper of Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

I have only heard bits and pieces so it was good to read the story. I found it fascinating. I am Lakota,and Dakota, I would happily email you any stories you would like to know about my people. I love the legend of the white buffalo and White Buffalo Calf Woman. I googled the legend and it makes sense to me!

White Buffalo Calf Woman - Crystalinks

She appeared years ago! It reminds me of parts of the Bible! Replenishment of the Earth! You are commenting using your WordPress.

You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. As a result, the animal will have white fur and blue eyes. Another recessive genetic condition causes buffalo to be born white, but to become brown within a year or two as it grows older.

Also, the buffalo could be a fertile hybrid offspring of domestic cattle and buffalo. In this case, it is possible for an animal that looks like a buffalo to possess white or other coloration from their cattle ancestry.


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Hold your horses, folks. Once plentiful in the northern plains, the buffalo nearly went extinct as a species in the late s. The population crash was due to overhunting by non-Indians.

Buffalo were slaughtered by the thousands. While buffalo have survived, the catastrophe of near extinction is not without its consequences. When organisms like the buffalo suffer a huge die-off and must repopulate from a small pool of surviving individuals, a population bottleneck is created. Population bottlenecks reduce genetic variation because it changes the frequency of gene variants, called alleles.


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  • Here, we are discussing the dominant allele gene variant for fur color in buffalo, which is brown. Alleles in the offspring are a sample of those in the parents. In other words, the only genes available to a given organism are the ones found within its parents.

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    If there are less available parents, there are less genes in the proverbial gene pool. The effect of genetic drift is larger in small populations, and smaller in large populations. As a result, recessive genetic conditions that are rare in large populations become more pronounced after a population bottleneck, which is created when organisms must repopulate based on a small population of reproducing individuals.

    As hunter-gatherers, indigenous peoples of the northern plains followed buffalo herds and hunted them. Every part of the buffalo was used. The survival of these Tribes was dependent upon the buffalo. In other words, according to the cultural beliefs of the Oceti Sakowin and other Tribes who hunted the buffalo for sustenance, the fates of the buffalo and the Native people who hunted them were intertwined.