Thursday, December 18, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 7: Eastern Herds

On some of the early drafts of my novel, “The First Raven Mocker”, witch is book 1 of the “Cherokee Chronicles” series,  I was criticized for references to the ancient Cherokee using buffalo blankets.  Although, I am sure the Cherokee could have traded for buffalo hides,  the Woodland buffalo did thrive east of the Mississippi in pre-Columbian times.  In 1540, De Soto sent two soldiers to scout for gold in Cherokee territory.  They brought back a dressed buffalo skin, the first ever obtained by a white man.
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 6: Hunting White Buffalo

In previous articles, I have mentioned that a true white buffalo happens only once every ten million births, according to the National Bison Association.  But, today, white buffalo are not nearly so rare.  According to Aaron Bulkley, owner of Texas Hunt Lodge, “There are multiple breeding ranches all over the U.S. that breed white buffalo.  If you breed a white buffalo to a white buffalo you will have a white buffalo.”  He estimates there are over fifty white buffalo throughout the country.  Not all of the white buffalo are “true”, some are the product of breeding with cattle.  However, regardless of breeding, white buffalo are still sacred to many Native Americans as was demonstrated recently when the Texas Hunt Lodge advertised a “White Buffalo hunt package “.
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 5: Lone Star

Lone Star with calf
A true white buffalo happens only once every ten million births, according to the National Bison Association, but many white buffalo in North America result from breading a buffalo with cattle (sometimes referred to as bison hybrid,  beefalo or cattalo). Breeding the buffalo with cattle has been a serious setback to wild American bison conservation. Most current bison herds are genetically polluted or partly crossbred with cattle leaving only four genetically unmixed American bison herds left.   One of these herds is kept at the Fort Worth Nature Center near Fort Worth, Texas.  The crossbred herd vary in type and color, depending on the breed of cattle used [e.g. Herefords and Charolais (beef cattle), Holsteins (dairy) or Brahman (humped cattle)].  Buffalo bred with Charolais cattle produce a much lighter colored calf sometimes almost white.
 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 4: Mystery of Lightning Medicine Cloud

Lightning Medicine Cloud with mother
May 12, 2011, Arby Little Soldier, owner of the Lakota Buffalo Ranch in east Texas discovered that one of his buffalo cows (dams) had given birth to a genuine white buffalo calf.  A few months later during a celebration drawing over 2,000 admirers, the calf was named Lightning Medicine Cloud.  The white calf  represented the return of White Buffalo Woman and her promise to bring hope and help to the people.  Arby Little Soldier announced,  “The spiritual message behind this buffalo today is the hope of all nations to come together …”

Friday, November 21, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 3: Mystery of Lightning Medicine Cloud


Lightning Medicine Cloud with mother
Lightning Medicine Cloud with mother
When a white buffalo was born before 1830, it was born in the wild, a gift from White Buffalo Woman as a sacred reminder of her promise to return to help the people.  The calf was sacred and a gift to all of the people.  Today, the closest thing to a wild buffalo is found in National Parks like Yellowstone.  When a white buffalo calf is born in captivity it can bring great notoriety to the owner but can also bring great tragedy.  Take the case of “Lightning Medicine Cloud” born on the Lakota Ranch near Dallas, Texas owned by Arby Little Soldier.
 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 2: History

The White Buffalo has been the most sacred living thing to the Plains Indians for over 2,000 years.  Itsee White Buffalo, Part 1: The Legend).  The white buffalo calf brings the promise of great blessings to those who respect and adopt the ways taught by White Buffalo Woman.  But, the calf can also bring a curse to those who ignore the signs and make the wrong choices.
symbolizes the promised return of White Buffalo Woman (
 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

White Buffalo, Part 1: The Legend

The fantastic author, Margaret Coel, has a new book out titled “Night of the White Buffalo“.  In the book, a white buffalo calf is born on a white couple’s ranch in the middle of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.  Just the idea prompted many thoughts and questions, so here are the results of my research on the subject.
Big-Medicine 1933-1959 National Bison Range
Big Medicine 1933-1959