08 July 2005

Cante Pejuta- "Medicine Heart"

The Medicine Wheel continues to turn...

Many thanks to the Creator

Native Americans Hold Ceremony for Rare White Buffalo: "

06:11 PM EDT on Monday, July 4, 2005

Associated Press

BAGDAD -- A group of Native Americans held a ceremony honoring the recent birth in Shelby County of a white buffalo, considered a rare and sacred symbol.

David Stephenson / AP Photo
A white buffalo calf is nuzzled by her mother at Buffalo Crossing farm, Sunday near Bagdad.

The calf, named Medicine Heart, was born June 3 at Buffalo Crossing in Shelby County.

Steve McCullough, a Lakota Shawnee from Indiana, led the 90-minute ceremony on Sunday. The buffalo's Lakota name is Cante Pejuta.

'The white buffalo calf is still very sacred to us today,' McCullough said. 'It's still a part of our tradition. That's why we wanted to come when we heard about her birth.'

The white buffalo is tied to Lakota tradition, which says a spiritual being known as the White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the Lakota 19 generations ago and bestowed upon them their beliefs and traditions.

During the ceremony, men sat around a drum while others performed prayer songs. At the end of the ceremony, several of the 200 spectators tied prayer flags and other offerings around the fence to honor the buffalo calf.

McCullough said other tribes also believe in the spirituality of the white buffalo calf.

'This ceremony brings unity, peace and hope,' he said. 'It's for all nationalities -- red, yellow, black and white.'

Deborah Hennessey of Jeffersonville has attended other naming ceremonies for white calves in South Dakota and Arizona.

'It's all very spiritual to me,' she said. 'I feel I'm part Native American, if not in blood then in spirit.'

The owner of Buffalo Crossing, Bob Allen, said Medicine Heart is the first fully white calf born there.

The calf is the granddaughter of bull Chief Joseph, a buffalo Allen said he purchased in Denver. Chief Joseph was struck by lightning and died in 2003, Allen said.

Bob Pickering, a white buffalo expert in Cody, Wyo., said his research shows the incidence of white buffaloes at about 16 per million.

The last white buffalo was born in Wisconsin nine years ago, Pickering said.
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