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The Lakota

White Buffalo Calf Woman


Narrative:
A Cross-Literary Analysis



By:
(Tina) Theresa Hannah-Munns
Advisor:
Dr. Leona Anderson
and
Dr. Neal McLeod



200223487
RLST 499-O10
Honours Essay
August 29, 2005.


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In a western historical-critical context, such
(literary) variation (oI the White BuIIalo CalI
Woman narrative) would immediately create a
demand to know which story was true, and
as critical work on the Gospels testiIiesthe
discovery oI discrepancies in such stories
leads in this culture to the conclusion that
none oI them are true. But does anyone
seriously propose that the same kind oI
concern Ior the literal truth oI a text
characterizes a traditional oral culture? Are
we to assume that each storyteller regards his
version alone as true and the others as Ialse?
In a traditional culture, it is not that the
hearers oI diIIerent versions oI the story do
not realize that they are diIIerent. It is that
they assume that the truth conveyed is
symbolic, not literal. Within a traditional
context, the hearing oI two diIIerent stories oI
the White BuIIalo CalI Woman does not
create cognitive dissonance, but insight into
storytelling and the nature oI religious truth.
One might say that each story is regarded as
true in its own way, or as having some truth oI
its own.. The primary point oI the story oI
the White BuIIalo CalI Woman is not that she
came on such-and-such a day and said and did
such-and-such, but that we are related to her,
through this story, in a meaningIul way. Even
the dullest member oI a traditional culture
would probably grasp this point.
Clyde Holler in Black Elk`s Religion: The Sun
Dance and Lakota Catholicism.
1


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Table of Contents


Introduction
Three Primary Sources 6

The Researcher`s Voice 6

Literature Review 8

Contextual ProIiling 14

Methodological Voice 19


The Lakota White BuIIalo CalI Woman Narratives
Three Primary Sources
Lame Deer (Erdoes) 20

Lone Man (Densmore) 25

Fingers (Walker) 29

Cross-Literary Analysis
Opening Setting and Implications 33

The Use (Or Lack) oI Lakota Terminology 36

How White BuIIalo CalI Leaves 40


Conclusion
The Meeting oI Two Worlds: Process Meets Product Interpretation 43

The Voice oI the Researcher In Process 47

End Notes 50

Bibliography 63

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The Lakota White Buffalo Calf Woman (WBCW) Narrative: A
Cross-Literary Analysis

300-1000 years ago, (lived the) First keeper (of the White
Buffalo Calf Womans Pipe and Bundle that contains it, as given
in this narrative), Chief Standing Hollow Horn, also known as
Standing Walking Buffalo. Then 'Thinking While Walking, Many
Wounds, Strikes Fire, Red Earth, Sunrise, Buffalo Path, and Red
Hair. For a few generations, it was kept by members of the Elk
Head family. Old Man Elk Head died in 1916 at the age of
ninety-one. Then Red Eagle and, after him, Mrs. Bad Warrior
and Eli Bad Warrior became the keepers. The Pipe then passed
to Stanley Looking Horse who, a few years ago, relinquished it to
his son Arvol, the present keeper.
Archie Fire Lame Deer, John Fire Lame Deer`s son.
2


Many versions oI the Lakota White BuIIalo CalI Woman` narrative have appeared
in print and almost all oI these versions are interpreted in diverse ways. The result is a
body oI material that is conIusing at best and at worst has led to misleading
interpretations Ior those trying to sort through the multiple layers oI meaning embedded
within the study oI the Lakota Native American traditions. A cross-literary analysis oI
three popular versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative will help sort through
this conIusion, and hopeIully, help to clariIy the reading oI these texts. To this end, this
paper Iocuses on three versions oI narrative: Lame Deer`s 1967 storytelling version (his
second version told in 1972), the teaching version Irom Lone Man, and James R.
Walker`s academic interpretation. Three speciIic points oI variation in these texts will
anchor our discussion oI the insider (emic) and outsider (etic) perspectives that permeate
these primary sources and the academic literature about Lakota peoples. These three
points are: the opening setting and implications; the use, or lack, oI Lakota terminology;
and how White BuIIalo CalI Woman leaves. ReIerence will be made to select secondary
sources as they pertain to these three points as well as to the primary narratives. The
juxtaposition oI primary sources and the reIerence, where relevant, to secondary sources
is not intended to discover an original, or truthIul, version.
3
My intent is to elucidate the
discourse on the Lakota belieI system through the medium oI the White BuIIalo CalI
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Woman narrative and to articulate some oI the ways in which the voices oI the insider
(emic) and outsider (etic) have played a role in our understanding oI the Lakota peoples.
In academic circles, the etic voice has dominated the discourse, sometimes helping
us to understand Lakota traditions, but more oIten it has obscured, erased, and
misconstrued these traditions. The result is that this etic voice has constructed the Lakota
as an other` that is unrecognizable, except in scholarly circles. This other` keeps us
Irom Iully understanding the Lakota peoples within their own identity.
The voices (and worldviews) oI both the subjective` insider and the objective`
outsider will be brought into dialogue in order to understand how knowledge that leads
to misinterpretation and many times results in the discriminatory practices oI stereotyping
and the portrayal oI the Lakota as the exotic other` is produced.
4
Through analysis oI the
intentions and voices that relate within the academic research process oI collecting and
disseminating these narratives, the insider and outsider perspectives will be shown to be
important considerations in becoming aware oI the complex consequences oI our
research actions. It is with this awareness that we can map our own interpretative path
through the conIusing array oI printed versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman
narrative, and open us to the valuable contextual clues available in both the storytelling
process and the story itselI.

ntroduction
The whole (White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe) Bundle is lovingly
and reverently cared for. It is kept on a tripod and every day is
turned to face to the Sacred Four Directions. The Calf Pipe is
brittle and fragile now and can no longer be smoked, but I have
been privileged to hold it and pray with it, and I have felt its
great power fill my whole being. I know that Wakan Tankas
spirit is in that Pipe. Only in times of hunger, distress, and
danger to the Lakota Tribes is the Bundle opened and the Pipe
unwrapped to be shown to the people and prayed over.
Archie Fire Lame Deer
5






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The Three Primary Sources oI the Lakota White BuIIalo CalI Woman
Narrative

From the variety oI White BuIIalo CalI Woman narratives available to us, the
Iollowing three versions oI the story have been selected: Lame Deer, Lone Man, and
James Walker`s. Lame Deer`s narrative was chosen because oI its popularity. Numerous
reIerences to it show us that it continues to pass Lakota teachings to both Native
American peoples, especially to those within the Lakota culture, and to scholars
interested in learning about the Lakota. Lone Man`s version was chosen because oI its
early dating and its similarity to Lame Deer, as well as the inclusion in it oI Christian
inIluences. Both oI these narratives represent an emic voice, although the etic voice is
also present in the recording and interpretation oI them. James R. Walker`s interpretation
is an example oI an early representation oI an educated outsider, who comes into contact
with the Lakota culture. The importance oI this latter narrative lies in the way in which it
is privileged in the study oI the Lakota culture, and the cultures oI other Indigenous
groups in the contemporary academic world. These stories will be included in Iull text,
excluding the introduction and concluding comments.

The Researcher`s
Voice The Person Behind the Scholarship

While researching the various interpretations oI this one sacred narrative oI the
Lakota peoples, it was obvious that the intentions, the background, and the perspective oI
the narrators are an important Iactor in our understanding oI the story. I Iound that I had
to be careIul to recognize the various voices interrelating within the context oI the
research process itselI, with subtle contextual clues pointing to the ability to better
recognize and analyze details within the Lakota narrative, thus avoiding the historical
practice oI trying to theoretically tie all the data`s loose ends up without the Iactual
means available. Rather than trying to reach universal truth claims,
6
or to construct
theoretical relationships oI spiritual relationships, this paper will show the complexity oI
the research process as it is today. Two cultures are meeting and trying to communicate
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with each other Irom diIIering worldviews and with diIIerent values.
7
In order to assist a
deeper understanding oI the Lakota peoples within this paper, I myselI must make my
contextual situation within the research process known.
For most oI my liIe I have walked two cultures. Being an Irish EuroCanadian
scholar allows me to Iit into the mainstream culture at University oI Regina, even though
I am a registered and active student at First Nations University oI Canada (FNUC). I Iit
into the FNUC culture since I am a mother in a blended cultural Iamily, and have been
acculturated in urban Indian living Ior over twenty years. I have also been ceremonially
acculturated in the nehiywak (Cree) worldview Ior over Iive years. My lineage (lineage
in oral traditional knowledge systems is like literary sourcing in academia) includes two
strands: as a woman askapyos (elder`s helper, a Iorm oI initiate) Ior Senator Margaret
Keewatin, who is also my adopted mother Irom the Okanese First Nations; the other
strand is through my partnership with Rick Favel Irom Kawakatoose First Nations, head
askapyos (elder`s helper) and knowledge keeper Ior many oI Southern Saskatchewan`s
lodgemakers and medicine practitioners, such as Piapot, Ironeagle, Ochohow, Shingoose,
BigkniIe, Manty, Kay, and more. Yet, my elementary-level experiences oI learning
8

within these two lineages show how much more I have to learn, both in academia and in
Indigenous knowledge systems.
Though I am nehiywak in training, I am not Indian. I walk a third space with one
Ioot in two worlds and write Irom this position. I write Ior myselI; as a scholar and as an
Irish woman who has indigenous roots in Europe. I also write Ior the Iuture oI my
children who carry their blended lineages as anchors oI identity. Yet, none oI my roots
are in the Lakota, Dakota, or Nakota cultures where the White BuIIalo CalI Woman
narrative belongs, making me a scholar with the background oI an outsider. Because oI
this, I consult and rely on two Dakota elders Irom Standing BuIIalo First Nations, Velma
GoodIeather and Ken Goodwill, to help me avoid projecting my own bi-cultural
assumptions onto the material. I hope that this is achieved, and iI not, the Iault lies with
this writer exclusively.




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Narrative Literature Review

The Iocus oI this section is to introduce some oI the issues important to the
understanding oI the Lakota oral tradition oI storytelling and the emergence oI these
stories in print. First I introduce the Lakota process oI storytelling and the European
process oI collecting the stories oI other cultures, speciIically those oI oral traditions`
around the world. This overview leads to the review oI printed literature Ior this paper.
The Lakota are academically categorized as belonging to oral traditions,`
9
which
emphasize the practice oI storytelling as a teaching tool that promotes the process oI
interpreting knowledge Ior oneselI in relationship with the environment. This designation
oI oral tradition in turn relates to the category oI other` in contrast to textual traditions.
Important to this latter category is its emphasis on individual details contained within the
narrative, and individual stories, which are in this context understood as isolated products
that stand on their own. These isolated stories are subsequently interpreted as complete
units, representative oI entire traditions. Marriott & Rachlin deconstruct this process,
noting that in oral traditions the emphasis is on the telling oI the tale as the primary
subject matter and is as important as the narrative itselI. They tell us Iurther that most
scholars, primarily Iolklorists, have not paid attention to this point and thus missed
important cultural inIormation oI both the story and its telling.
10
Echoing on this point,
Jack Goody inIorms us oI the importance oI relationship
11
as is emphasized in the
Lakotas belieI that learning is achieved only within interaction with the environment.
12

Here the personal interpretive process highlights the individual`s interpretations Ior
her/himselI while remaining respectIul oI other peoples` explanations.
13
Rather than any
one individual having knowledge, knowledge is seen as a process that constantly grows
and expands in relationship as one matures and comes into season` (with the elders being
the wisdom keepers oI the culture). For example, storytelling is a process: three seasons
oI every year, members oI oral traditions, such as the Lakota, learn through hands-on
activities that Iurther the group`s interests and well-being. Some oI these activities pass
on spiritual philosophies and knowledge oI liIe`s cycles through the practice oI rituals. As
Rappaport points out,
14
many oI the spiritual narratives are kept Ior winter. In the winter,
as O`Flaherty highlights, the evenings are longer and it is time Ior the more philosophical
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teachings through storytelling practices.
15
Thus interpretation oI knowledge in oral
traditions is anchored in both time and place, in process rather than in a single set time
and place, and these conditions allow Ior knowledge to be dynamic and process
orientated rather than static and absolute. Storytelling is a practice oI the social group,
diIIerent Irom the individualistic style oI philosophical discussion,
16
since the orators
interact with their audience and their situational environment
17
in sharing the process-
oriented stories oI their ancestors, as well as sharing the newer stories oI personal and
communal experiences more recently acquired, knitting together all into community. For
example, Black Elk shares the Iact that the seven rites attributed to White BuIIalo CalI
Woman were commonly believed to be oI this kind oI knowledge Iormation
18
; one or two
oI the rites are said, in most narratives, to be given directly Irom White BuIIalo CalI
Woman
19
, while the other Iive were told by White BuIIalo CalI Woman to be given later,
in ways that would be recognizable as coming Irom her. Yet, this insider (emic) detail is
lost in the academic interpretations, such as:
The rites oI the Hunkapi, the Making oI Relatives,` is also
considered by the Oglala to be one oI the seven rites originally
promised by the White BuIIalo Cow Woman. The history oI
these rites is complex, since obviously there have been intrusions
oI borrowed ritual elements. Among these are the presence oI the
special Ree twist tobacco,` and rites involving symbolism based
on botanixal processes in the Iertilization oI corn. In spite oI
these intrusions, there are well integrated core concepts based on
lore concerning bison. This is in complete accord with ancient
Lakota patterns.
20


This example shows how the stories become academic products separated Irom the
knowledge contained in the process oI connection between the narratives themselves, as
revealed in traditional storytelling procedures and protocol.
21
Severed Irom context, they
lose their meaning and their ability to transmit knowledge. Though the traditional stories
are based on a conclusive result, such as the White BuIIalo CalI Woman bringing the
Lakota the Pipe, the stories are anchored in the process oI relationship between elements
within the environment, including narratives about the spiritual entities and Lakota
peoples themselves in relationship with each other, or about the relationships with the
landscapes and objects in their environment. Between new and old, process and product,
the narratives share the communal identity
22
oI belonging to a complete cultural
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knowledge system, speciIically that oI the Lakota peoples.
23
We as scholars are only
beginning to understand what Holler states succinctly:

the Iundamental orientation oI an oral culture is to storytelling
Ior the transmission oI culture and to ritual Ior theological and
philosophical expression. Each tribe had its own religion (sic), its
own origin myth, and its own stories. Each holy man had his own
vision, which directed both his storytelling and his ritualizing.
Each holy man tells the old stories diIIerently, in accord with his
vision.
24


Traditions oI story collecting in Europe date to early times. European oral traditions
were absorbed and the cultural units that produced these narratives have been lost. The
stories came to be seen as novelties which captured the interest oI individuals who
organized them into collections oI Iolktales, legends, and myths. These collections oI
cultural narratives were seen as a way oI salvaging`
25
the relics: they were not collected
Ior the cultures that produced them, but Ior the curiosity oI the emerging dominant
culture.
26
The explorers and missionaries who participated in the colonial expansion into
the Americas were already well-versed in collecting stories oI this type as artiIacts,
recording their observations and the knowledge contained in the stories as relics. They
wrote down as many oI the Native American narratives as they could and located them
within systems oI categorizations that came Irom the collections oI European Iolklore
traditions. Like many oI the cultures represented in European Iolk literature, some oI
these cultures also died out, such as the groups in the Canadian east coast. The Native
American oral cultural knowledge thus became textual Euroculture curio-pieces, and this
body oI relics continues to be drawn on to categorize the diIIerent tribal nations,
including the Lakota sacred narratives, as deIinitively other.`
These writings were not seen as sacred texts, let alone texts that contained any type
oI knowledge. Rather they were seen as primitive, naive, and Iull oI imaginary notions, as
noted by Colin Taylor.
27
Even when the writings were published and demand Ior them
increased, these sacred narratives were oIten not taken seriously within academia until
various social science departments became established. Within the parameters oI social
science methodology, these narratives many times Iostered a particular and separate
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identity Ior Native Americans which in turn could be pitted against Euro-identity in the
cononial us versus them` context. As George Tinker, an Osage nation scholar, writes:
Racialized colonialism survives in academic texts just as clearly
as it services in New Age commodiIication. a means Ior
carving out careers based on the intellectual domination oI
aboriginal peoples in North America, posturing themselves as the
experts about the cultures oI the colonized victims.
28


But the Native Americans did not die out nor were they assimilated Iully. Due to
assimilation eIIorts oI the residential school systems, Iollowed by the later inIluence oI
public education, more Native Americans became educated; the elders and leaders oI the
various Native American linguistic groups, including the Lakota, started to counsel their
people to become versatile in the ways oI the colonizer`s education while, at the same
time, retaining their language, voice, and culture.
29
Now publications by Native
Americans proliIerate, along with the minority voices oI groups oI Indigenous peoples
Irom around the world.
30
With the expansion oI the Internet, the voices oI Indigenous
peoples have more audience, calling in chorus Ior the re-education,`
31
the reassessment
oI the Euroculture`s understanding pertaining to Native Americans and their cultural
knowledge systems. This proliIeration oI Lakota and Indigenous voices has also created a
backlash oI racialized and discriminatory writings promoted on the Internet, along with
the more subtle yet invidious perpetuation oI the assimilation process that twists the
narratives and their symbols to resemble the Euroculture`s own narratives.
32
For example,
concepts oI a Iather god and the demonization oI women are two themes that emerge in
various current interpretations oI Native American stories. Some oI these interpretations
are promoted by voices Irom within the Native American communities themselves who
have been inIluenced by the mainstream media industries and New Age cultures. II we
look at some versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative itselI, we Iind, Ior
example, her taking on attributes oI the Iather god and punishing the Lakota people iI
they do not choose correctly. The result oI all these diIIerent inIluences merging into one
story is that the oral, written, and published narratives are intertwined in a web oI
conIusion and isolated Irom the contexts oI their speciIic cultural identities.

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The above examples just give us a taste oI the conIusion we encounter when
researching diIIerent versions oI one Native American sacred narrative. It would be easy
to simply choose one and label it as deIinitive and analyze its contents as iI it contained a
complete authentic truth that opens up a complete and speciIic understanding oI a cultural
worldview. Many scholars have attempted this in the past as will be shown in this paper.
It is oI primary importance Ior us to account Ior knowledge conveyed in these narratives
in its Iull diversity, and in so doing we must become aware oI the political consequences
that result Irom interpreting and disseminating other peoples` cultural knowledge.
In short, the diIIerent versions oI the Lakota White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative
must be acknowledged. As scholars, we must interact and relate to the diIIerent versions
in order to understand them. Sometimes recategorization is necessary since our old tropes
and labels are not always useIul in accessing Indigenous knowledge and its structures.
For example, sometimes this narrative is labeled as a myth and sometimes as a legend.
Although there are no set deIinitions Ior identiIying myths and legends, both are
generally acknowledged as having certain characteristics that set them apart. Mythic
narratives are oIten understood to relate to the deeds oI supernatural, transcendent powers
that create or intercede with the world in which we humans live,
33
as O`Flaherty, as well
as Campbell points out, while legends tend to Iocus on humans that utilize transpersonal
powers oI dynamic proportions,
34
as compared to the average person.
35
Though most
scholars reIer to the White BuIIalo CalI Woman as a legend, it is both; she shows herselI
as human but is a spiritual being that embodies herselI as a buIIalo/human shape shiIting
entity, recognized by the Lakota and most other Native American peoples
36
as a spiritual
entity.
37
Out oI respect Ior the Lakota`s selI-deIinitions oI the characteristics within this
story, in this paper I use the term narrative since many Native American peoples reIer to
it as a sacred narrative`
38
or sacred story`.
39

Two out oI the three chosen versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative,
Lame Deer and Lone Man, see this story as sacred, with both adding an emic voice to
their versions. Lame Deer is Lakota and recognized as being Irom the Rosebud
Reservation.
40
Though Lame Deer lived most oI his liIe on the Rosebud reservation, his
son, Archie Fire Lame Deer, states that he was born on the Cheyenne River reservation.
His Iather is known as a 'Mnikowoju, belonging to the Planters by the Water` who lived
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at Cheyenne River, while those belonging to the Rosebud Reservation were Brul,
known as Burned Thighs.`
41
Lame Deer, who is most oIten quoted, especially with the
high volume oI versions on the Internet,
42
represents a more contemporary version oI the
Ptesan Wi (White BuIIalo CalI Woman) narrative.
While Lame Deer is more contemporary, Lone Man was Iirst introduced by
Densmore at the start oI the twentieth century.
43
There are many similarities between the
well-known Lakota Black Elk`s versions and Lone Man`s. Lone Man (Isnalawica,
1850-1918), an Oglala Lakota, Iought in the Little Big Horn battle; his version oI the
White BuIIalo CalI Woman was recorded during an interview with Frances Densmore
through the interpretation oI a man named Robert High Eagle.
44

While Lame Deer and Lone Man give emic voice to the narrative, James R. Walker
was a physician assigned to the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1896 who observed and
utilized Lakota traditional ways oI healing to supplement his knowledge in dealing with
the tuberculosis epidemic that was sweeping through the reservation.
45
Walker stayed at
Pine Ridge until his retirement in 1914, which is when he started to write academically.
Walker is known to have had a close relationship with George Sword, a Lakota writer
who was inIluenced by his Iriendship with Walker, and vice versa. Within Sword`s own
writing, his characters developed into 'more psychologically realistic personas unlike
any Iound in other traditional stories collected around this time period.
46
This inIluence
oI Sword`s writing is important in understanding changes within Sword`s own
interpretative outlook as translator Ior Walker`s interviews with the Lakota people. The
White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative was transcribed in the Iinal year oI Walker`s stay
on the reservation, aIter 'Walker and Sword speculated on connections among
ceremonies, customs, and stories, and they sought out various individuals who might
possess such knowledge.
47
Dooling states in the aIterward to his collection oI Walker
narratives that 'the Lakota versions oI Sword`s stories have been lost, possibly even
destroyed.
48
There is no material available to support Walker`s translation, or more
likely his adaptation, oI his White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative, as will be shown below.
The secondary sources and the scholarly discourse are Irom published manuscripts
and Internet resources. I included Internet resources since both insider and outsider
perspectives are represented in this medium; as will be shown, the credible` scholarly
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sites sometimes contain more imaginary or Iactually incorrect inIormation than the
personal sites. Some personal sites are included since many Native Americans utilize this
media in order to have their voices heard, especially in light oI the limited access they
have to educational and publication resources. Many Native Americans are showcasing
their writings on the net, either to promote Indigenous knowledge as its own complete
system, to support humanitarian eIIorts, or to work towards publication. Also, there are
now more e-zines (electronic magazines) and journal databases available that can be
critically utilized. Some oI these versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative add
interesting details to the stories oI Walker, Lame Deer, and Lone Man, and will be
reIerred to periodically in my analysis oI the Iormer. A more substantial analysis oI the
individual versions Iound on the Internet, along with the evolutionary direction the
interpretations are taking, would prove beneIicial to the study oI Lakota culture, but is
outside the scope oI this paper.

Contextual ProIiling The Cross-cultural Use oI the Lakota White
BuIIalo CalI Woman Narrative

Almost all oI the variants oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narratives revolve
around the same plotline and contain many oI the same details. Very Iew oI the versions
rewrite the story oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman. The insider (emic) view oI the
Lakota storytellers mold their interpretations around their audience and the situation oI
the telling, with details that show us their intentions contained within the narrative body
itselI. While the emic intentions reveal the process oI storytelling, the researchers etic
intention is usually to produce a paper or teach a class, both products that are the end
results oI our research. These diIIering intentions produce diIIerent Ioci deIining how
knowledge is used, with both present (in diIIerent degrees) within published material.
Many oI the versions on the net promote diIIerent intentions, with the emic and etic
voices competing rather than interacting, occupying isolated positions in space, only
Iused together under the search engine commands oI the viewer`s request. The net
produces a completely diIIerent dimension to the isolation oI stories, with some Lakota
trying to communicate their knowledge oI liIe processes that originated with the White
BuIIalo CalI Woman`s visit and her giIt oI the Pipe, while academic sources highlight the
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origins oI the pipe as the product oI the Lakota narrative. The narrative itselI is isolated
as a Lakota product becoming exclusively Iocused on the origin oI the Lakota pipe, rather
than seeing the multiple teachings included along with the pipe`s origins.To understand
why the White BuIIalo CalI Woman oral narrative is so diversely popular in print,
49
both
Native American versions and academic versions will be analyzed through the use oI
emic/etic analysis and by understanding the process oI Othering`.
Emic-analysis is the insider`s perspective, the Lakota`s 'reception, organization and
use oI inIormation gained through contact with the world.
50
In emic-analysis, the pivotal
element is to understand culturally speciIic knowledge Irom within a culture`s own
worldview, with Iull awareness that the construction oI meaning, values and symbols is
interpreted diIIerently between cultures. The impact oI speciIic symbols, Ior example,
can be understood only when the symbol is in relationship with the speciIic cultural
context it arose Irom.
51
These internal interpretations have been seen in academia as
being subjective and unscientiIic, and to some extent continue to be viewed (in this way).
At this junctive, some comment on objectivity and subjectivity in the context oI
academic research is in order. Currently there is much debate on the subjectivity oI
science, the Ioundational method oI academic scholarship, revolving around the way in
which science embeds particular Eurocultural values and deIinitions.
52
According to
Michael Talbot and others within the Iield, quantum physics has rendered this objectivity
as deIunct. Talbot explains the there is an 'absence oI division between the physical
world and our inner psychological reality
53
resulting in the observer eIIect where the
intentions oI the observer inIluence the observed. An example oI this is given in the
movie, 'What the Bleep Do we (k)now!?, where one scientist explains how one
generations truth becomes another generations Iallacy; at one point we thought the world
was Ilat which was later disproved when the world was discovered to be round, and then
spherical.
54
At each oI these historical time Irames, the interpreters had their perceptual
worldview oI truth, which science has described as objective. Currently, the recognition
that there can be no true objectivity obtained is part oI our intellectual understanding, but
not always present in our practice oI perceiving others.` In other words, objectivity is the
worldview that dominates Euroculture`s emic-analysis oI the world.
THM16
While emic-analysis is the view we share in group, when one views another culture
Irom the outside, this is an etic-analysis. II I encounter a strange religion as an Irish
woman, I Iilter my experience through the Christian upbringing that inIluences my
Eurocultural development.
55
This natural process oI seeing others through the
interpretive lens oI my past experience is only damaging when the process prevents any
new contextual inIormation Irom entering the paradigm oI my cognitive processes. For
example, the colonial powers oI the Eurocultural societies viewed other cultures Irom the
outside that consists oI a speciIic Iorm oI etic-analysis called imposed etics.
56

Observations are then translated through their privileged Eurocultural value systems and
intentions, backed by the political power oI the colonial process. During this time, there
was no impelling need to understand the cultural context Irom which the observed subject
arises.
57
Since most research and observation oI Native American traditions have been
recorded in such ethnocentric terms, processes and structures only in order to aid
Eurocultural processes, emic-analysis is needed to help Iacilitate a Iuller, and possibly
deeper, understanding between cultures. When this occurs, a 'derived etic results, which
brings 'together the researcher`s own emic, and the alien culture emic, and seek(s) the
Ieatures they have in common while holding respectIul regard Ior the diIIerences.
58

While emic/etic-analysis is the theory, or the intention behind the interpretations, it
is not dialectic in practice. This theory contains a continuum oI relational degrees
between the polarized extremes.
59
Some Lakotas are heavily inIluenced by Christianity
through their enIorced experienced with the residential school systems and have more oI
an etic voice than the emic sense oI their biological background.
60
This theory only helps
to Ilesh out the intentions unstated behind the various interpretations oI the White BuIIalo
CalI Woman narrative, but does not make aware the political implications oI the
privileged etic voice that disseminates the emic sourced material.
It is within the printed narrative that the concept oI the othering` practice becomes
a tool to recognize the Iormation oI stereotypes through the misinterpretation oI the emic
voice the evolutes into even harsher discriminatory practices. Together, imposed etic
interpretations and the process oI othering` promote the Euroculture`s worldview as the
social norm, seen as both superior and universal.
61
Othering is the process that every
culture utilizes to Iorm a group identity and to understand others, but becomes insidious
THM17
when the authoritative power lies with the privileged (the culture in power to deIine and
set ideologies, both Ior themselves and Ior others).
62

Examples oI emic/etic-analysis and the process oI othering` are best seen within
the scholarly etic practice oI applying the term religion` to Indigenous cultures. While
the term religion is a construct designed and Iavoured by the academic world, the Native
American groups seem to preIer the term spirituality to represent the process orientation
oI their traditions. In the etic-analysis oI the eurocentric concept oI religion oIIered by
many Native American authors, such as Paula Gunn Allen and Rupert Ross, religion is
seen as a once-a-week event where spirituality Iound in group dynamics is replaced by
the reading oI the Bible.
63
The English deIinition is: a 'particular system oI Iaith and
worship; 'human recognition oI superhuman controlling power and esp. oI a personal
God or gods entitled to obedience and worship eIIect oI such recognition on conduct
and mental attitude; and 'thing that one is devoted to or is bound to do.
64
The
nehiyawak (Cree) have many words Ior prayer, with two being the most widely
understood: one Iorm oI prayer is ayamihawin, or prayer that comes Irom a book, or
known as the moniyawak (white people`s) way; another is kakisimow, or to plead, to
make oneselI humble, as associated with the pipe ceremony.
65
My derived etic-analysis
on this subject is that religion is a construct deIining the social aIIiliations oI like-minded
individuals who come together to create the environments oI ritual. Religion is a category
oI institution that is imposed on Indigenous peoples around the world.
66
Because the
rituals oI Indigenous peoples are observable events, thus open to be researched and
written up, the value oI rituals Irom within the Euroculture`s worldview is projected onto
the rituals oI Indigenous people.
67

Rituals can be interpreted as the ecological conditions and activities that can be
viewed as a whole by observers, but without the spiritual components oI psychological
attributes (such as prayer, intent, memory, and consciousness, to name a Iew) that make
rituals into ceremonies.
68
In other words, rituals are the outside emulations and
maniIestations oI the ceremonial and psychological relationships oI inner connections to
the higher processes oI liIe.
69

THM18
Since liIe seems to be a process open to interpretation, which is a psychological
capacity, spirituality can be seen as the inner identity that consists oI psychological
attributes compared to the social attributes in the institution oI religion:
(spirituality is seen as a) natural process akin to physical growth
or development. Its chieI impetus thus comes Irom within,
sometimes in the Iorm oI a sensed capacity or yearning, other
times out oI a deeply negative Ieeling oI emptiness and
conIlict.
70


Traditional oral cultures
71
incorporate the social in all its dimensions within every
action and institutional setting,
72
with religion viewed as an unnecessary categorization
Ior their culture as deIined by the Eurocultural insistence oI it being a distinct and
separate social institution. It is on this diIIerence oI deIinition that the debate over
traditional spiritual knowledge not being a religion remains strongly supported by
traditionalists within Native American groups.
73

An imposed etic-analysis makes no room Ior interpretation oI the observable
activities and phenomena to have their own identity and deIinitions, except Ior seeing
either similarities, even iI they are imposed, or diIIerences, which are usually expanded
into stereotyped tropes oI classiIication, such as primitive religion`
74
or nature
religion`
75
. This is when othering` becomes most treacherous. Complications arise in the
analysis oI the othering process since there are many Iorms oI this discriminatory tool:
one is that oI othering that usually allows only generalized and universal data to be
handled (such as pan-Indianism in academic material and produced by academic
methodology
76
); othering that implies that the process oI knowledge is aimed toward
understanding, while speciIic data is clumped together to create an intimidating amount
oI work to retrieve certain data among a generalized body oI comparisons and contrasts,
such as White BuIIalo CalI Woman being White Shell Woman and Mother Mary and
other goddesses and/or Iemale deities Irom other cultures, etc.; the othering process that
connects various Native American knowledge and stories in imaginative connections in
order to achieve an interpretations that allow no logical understanding oI Lakota culture
to be obtained Irom the knowledge, but to see the Lakota as being structurally similar to
Christian belieIs (as will be shown in Walker`s interpretation oI the White BuIIalo CalI
Woman narrative); another Iorm oI othering occurs when data is leIt out without any clue
THM19
Ior the reader to know that the extra data is needed in order to achieve understanding
(such as the diverse goals and worldviews oI diIIerent Native American groups within the
trope oI Native American Traditions, or in a pan-Indian worldview); one oI the most
toxic Iorms oI othering involves a hidden, political agenda covertly at work behind the
data collection process and is presented with the intention oI evoking an us versus
them`
77
perspective in the readers (such as the propaganda at war times or during the
Irontier phase oI colonialism), thus hiding the political interests behind the academic
process; and lastly, on a more subtle and seductive level, appropriates admirable qualities
into stereotypes oI unachievable identity through romanticizing the data (as in the
warrior`
78
or the women as beasts oI burden`
79
stereotype), so that the average
individual Irom within the culture being studied can only Iall short oI the expectations the
Eurocultures hold Ior them. With so many diIIering ways that academia have
manipulated other culture`s knowledges, this analysis is only a small part oI a much
needed intensive investigation into the scholarly discourse that utilizes Indigenous
knowledges, especially concerning Native Americans.

Methodological Voice The Scholar`s Path and Destination

Throughout this cross-literary analysis oI the various versions oI the Lakota White
BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative, the voice oI the deconstructionist will be heard through
the structure oI emic/etic-analysis oI three speciIics points oI variation within the
structure oI the story itselI: Iirst, the historical setting and implications that open the
White BuIIalo CalI Woman storyline; second, the use (or lack) oI Lakota terminology
and details throughout the whole narrative; and third, how White BuIIalo CalI Woman
leaves the encampment. Being a woman scholar researching a powerIul Iemale narrative
is enough evidence oI my Ieminist involvement; innately my thoughts and interpretive
skills on this subject will be included. Patriarchal inclusions are evident in many oI the
versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman. There is much to be analyzed here on this
speciIic point and requires an in-depth Iocus oI Ieminist analysis that is larger than can be
accommodated in this paper, but can be an area oI Iurther research. More importantly Ior
this paper is a deconstructionist tendency resulting Irom my living in a bi-cultural
liIestyle, which tears at the walls set up by past and present miscommunications through
THM20
Iaulty intentions and practices. Lastly, the constructionist in me aims to see the bridging
capabilities between the two cultures and the capacity Ior knowledge and understanding
to empower both cultures
80
; through exhibiting the multi-dynamic knowledge base Iound
within the varying versions oI the Lakota White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative, both
worldviews hopeIully will see that interaction can achieve communication that allows Ior
deeper understandings oI each other. This can only be achieved through allowing
diversity to have its rightIul place in deIining knowledge at a higher level, with no
particular cultural knowledge requirements being dismissed. Now that we are Iully
equipped with the issues and intentions oI reading and interpreting the narratives, let us
get to reading the three versions in Iull text.

The Lakota White Buffalo Calf Woman Narratives

In myth it is the woman who brings the sacred pipe and the
seven sacred rites and thereby guarantees that the people
will live long with relations. She and the buffalo are one
that is, there is an equation between nourishment and
reproduction, symboli:ed in the manifestation of the buffalo
that is at the same time female. The men in the myth defer to
the womans wishes, and the penalty for disobeying is
deaththe extinction of the peopleso dramatically
expressed in the episode when the hunter who lusts for the
White Buffalo Calf Woman, the source of life and hope, is
enveloped by the fog of ignorance and reduced to a pile of
bones.
Marla Powers in Oglala Women
81


Told by Lame Deer at Winner, Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota,
1967


One summer so long ago that nobody knows how long, the Oceti
Shakowinthe seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Oyatethe
nation, came together and camped. The sun shone all the time,
but there was no game and the people were starving. Every day
they sent scouts to look for game, but the scouts found nothing.
Among the bands assembled were the tazipcho the Without-
Bows, who had their own camp circle under their chief, Standing
Hollow Horn. Early one morning the chief sent two of his young
men to hunt for game. They went on foot, because at that time the
THM21
Sioux didn't yet have horses. They searched everywhere but
could find nothing. Seeing a high hill, they decided to climb it in
order to look over the whole country. Halfway up, they saw
something coming toward them from far off, but the figure was
floating instead of walking. From this they knew that the person
was wakanholy.
At first they could make out only a small moving speck and had to
squint to see that it was a human form. But as it came nearer,
they realized that it was a beautiful young woman, more beautiful
than any they had ever seen, with two round, red dots of face
paint on her cheeks. She wore a wonderful white buckskin outfit,
tanned until it shone a long way in the sun. t was embroidered
with sacred and marvelous designs of porcupine quill, in radiant
colors no ordinary woman could have made. This wakanstranger
was Ptesan-WiWhite Buffalo Woman. n her hands she carried a
large bundle and a fan of sage leaves. She wore her blueblack
hair loose except for a strand at the left side, which was tied up
with buffalo fur. Her eyes shone dark and sparkling, with great
power in them.
The two young men looked at her openmouthed. One was
overawed, but the other desired her body and stretched his hand
out to touch her. This woman was a wakan, very sacred, and
could not be treated with disrespect. Lightning instantly struck the
brash young man and burned him up, so that only a small heap of
blackened bones was left. Or as some say that he was suddenly
covered by a cloud, and within it he was eaten up by snakes that
left only his skeleton, just as a man can be eaten up by lust.
To the other scout who had behaved rightly, the White Buffalo
Woman said: "Good things am bringing, something holy to your
nation. A message carry for your people from the buffalo nation.
Go back to the camp and tell the people to prepare for my arrival.
Tell your chief to put up a medicine lodge with twenty-four poles.
Let it be made holy for my coming."
This young hunter returned to the camp. He told the chief, he told
the people, what the sacred woman had commanded. The chief
told the eyapaha the crier, and the crier went through the camp
circle calling: "Someone sacred is coming. A holy woman
approaches. Make all things ready for her." So the people put up
the big medicine tipi and waited. After four days they saw the
White Buffalo Woman approaching, carrying her bundle before
her. Her wonderful white buckskin dress shone from afar. The
chief, Standing Hollow Horn, invited her to enter the medicine
THM22
lodge. She went in and circled the interior sunwise. The chief
addressed her respectfully, saying: "Sister, we are glad you have
come to instruct us."
She told him what she wanted done. n the center of the tipi they
were to put up an 4wanka wakan a sacred altar, made of red
earth, with a buffalo skull and a three-stick rack for a holy thing
she was bringing. They did what she directed, and she traced a
design with her finger on the smoothed earth of the altar. She
showed them how to do all this, then circled the lodge again
sunwise. Halting before the chief, she now opened the bundle.
The holy thing it contained was the .hanunpa the sacred pipe.
She held it out to the people and let them look at it. She was
grasping the stem with her right hand and the bowl with her left,
and thus the pipe has been held ever since.
Again the chief spoke, saying: "Sister, we are glad. We have had
no meat for some time. All we can give you is water." They dipped
some wa.anga, sweet grass, into a skin bag of water and gave it
to her, and to this day the people dip sweet grass or an eagle
wing in water and sprinkle it on a person to be purified.
The White Buffalo Woman showed the people how to use the
pipe. She filled it with .han-shashared willowbark tobacco. She
walked around the lodge four times after the manner of Anpetu-Wi
the great sun. This represented the circle without end, the sacred
hoop, the road of life. The woman placed a dry buffalo chip on the
fire and lit the pipe with it. This was peta4whankeshn the fire
without end, the flame to be passed on from generation to
generation. She told them that the smoke rising from the bowl
was Tunkashila's breath, the living breath of the great
Grandfather Mystery.
The White Buffalo Woman showed the people the right way to
pray, the right words and the right gestures. She taught them how
to sing the pipe-filling song and how to lift the pipe up to the sky,
toward Grandfather, and down toward Grandmother Earth, to
Unciand then to the four directions of the universe.
"With this holy pipe," she said, "you will walk like a living prayer.
With your feet resting upon the earth and the pipestem reaching
into the sky, your body forms a living bridge between the Sacred
Beneath and the Sacred Above. Wakan Tanka smiles upon us,
because now we are as one: earth, sky, all living things, the two
legged, the fourlegged, the winged ones, the trees, the grasses.
THM23
Together with the people, they are all related, one family. The
pipe holds them all together."
"Look at this bowl," said the White Buffalo Woman. "ts stone
represents the buffalo, but also the flesh and blood of the red man.
The buffalo represents the universe and the four directions,
because he stands on four legs, for the four ages of man. The
buffalo was put in the west by Wakan Tanka at the making of the
world, to hold back the waters. Every year he loses one hair, and
in every one of the four ages he loses a leg. The Sacred Hoop will
end when all the hair and legs of the great buffalo are gone, and
the water comes back to cover the Earth.
The wooden stem of this .hanunpa stands for all that grows on
the earth. Twelve feathers hanging from where the stem, the
backbone joins the bowl, the skull are from Wanblee Galeshka
the spotted eagle, the very sacred who is the Great Spirit's
messenger and the wisest of all who cry out to TunkashilaLook
at the bowl: engraved in it are seven circles of various sizes. They
stand for the seven ceremonies you will practice with this pipe,
and for the OchetiShakowinthe seven sacred campfires of our
Lakota nation."
The White Buffalo Woman then spoke to the women, telling them
that it was the work of their hands and the fruit of their bodies
which kept the people alive. "You are from the mother earth," she
told them. "What you are doing is as great as what warriors do."
And therefore the sacred pipe is also something that binds men
and women together in a circle of love. t is the one holy object in
the making of which both men and women have a hand. The men
carve the bowl and make the stem; the women decorate it with
bands of colored porcupine quills. When a man takes a wife, they
both hold the pipe at the same time and red cloth is wound
around their hands, thus tying them together for life.
The White Buffalo Woman had many things for her Lakota sisters
in her sacred womb bag; corn, wasna (pemmican), wild turnip.
She taught how to make the hearth fire. She filled a buffalo
paunch with cold water and dropped a redhot stone into it. "This
way you shall cook the corn and the meat," she told them.
The White Buffalo Woman also talked to the children, because
they have an understanding beyond their years. She told them
that what their fathers and mothers did was for them, that their
parents could remember being little once, and that they, the
THM24
children, would grow up to have little ones of their own. She told
them: "You are the coming generation, that's why you are the
most important and precious ones. Some day you will hold this
pipe and smoke it. Some day you will pray with it."
She spoke once more to all the people: "The pipe is alive; it is a
red being showing you a red life and a red road. And this is the
first ceremony for which you will use the pipe. You will use it to
Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery Spirit. The day a human dies is
always a sacred day. The day when the soul is released to the
Great Spirit is another. Four women will become sacred on such a
day. They will be the ones to cut the sacred tree, the .an-wakan
for the sun dance."
She told the Lakota that they were the purest among the tribes,
and for that reason Tunkashila had bestowed upon them the holy
chanunpa. They had been chosen to take care of it for all the
ndian people on this turtle continent.
She spoke one last time to Standing Hollow Horn, the chief,
saying, "Remember: this pipe is very sacred. Respect it and it will
take you to the end of the road. The four ages of creation are in
me; am the four ages. will come to see you in every generation
cycle. shall come back to you."
The sacred woman then took leave of the people, saying: "%4ksha
akewa.nyantnkte4shall see you again."
The people saw her walking off in the same direction from which
she had come, outlined against the red ball of the setting sun. 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. A white buffalo is the
most sacred living thing you could ever encounter.
The White Buffalo Woman disappeared over the horizon.
Sometime she might come back. As soon as she had vanished,
buffalo in great herds appeared, allowing themselves to be killed
so the people might survive. And from that day on, our relations,
the buffalo, furnished the people with everything they needed,
meat for their food, skins for their clothes and tipis, bones for their
many tools.
*****

THM25

The White Buffalo Calf Pipe (PTEHN`CALA CANODPA) as told by na`la-
wica` (Lone Man) and interpreted by Mr. Robert P. Higheagle before 1918.
83


In the olden times it was a general custom Ior the Sioux tribe (especially
the Teton band oI Sioux) to assemble in a body once at least during the
year. This gathering took place usually about that time oI midsummer
when everything looked beautiIul and everybody rejoiced to live to see
nature at its best that was the season when the Sun-dance ceremony
took place and vows were made and IulIilled. Sometimes the tribal
gathering took place in the Iall when wild game was in the best
condition, when wild Iruits oI all kinds were ripe, and when the leaves
on the trees and plants were the brightest.

One reason why the people gathered as they did was that the tribe as a
whole might celebrate the victories, successes on the warpath, and other
good Iortunes which had occurred during the year while the bands were
scattered and each band was acting somewhat independently. Another
reason was that certain rules or laws were made by the head chieIs and
other leaders oI the tribe, by which each band oI the tribe was governed.
For instance, iI a certain band got into trouble with some other tribe, as
the Crows, the Sioux tribe as a whole should be notiIied. Or iI an enemy
or enemies came on their hunting grounds the tribe should be notiIied at
once. In this way the Teton band oI Sioux was protected as to its
territory and its hunting grounds.

AIter these gatherings there was a scattering oI the various bands. On
one such occasion the Sans Arc band started towards the west. They
were moving Irom place to place, expecting to Iind buIIalo and other
game which they would lay up Ior their winter supply, but they Iailed to
Iind anything. A council was called and two young men were selected to
go in quest oI buIIalo and other game. They started on Ioot. When they
were out oI sight they each went in a diIIerent direction, but met again at
a place which they had agreed upon. While they were planning and
planning what to do, there appeared Irom the west a solitary object
advancing toward them. It did not look like a buIIalo; it looked more
like a human being than anything else. They could not make out what it
was, but it was coming rapidly. Both considered themselves brave, so
they concluded that they would Iace whatever it might be. They stood
still and gazed at it very eagerly. At last they saw that it was a beautiIul
young maiden. She wore a beautiIul Iringed buckskin dress, leggings,
and moccasins. Her hair was hanging loose except at the leIt side, where
was tied a tuIt oI shedded buIIalo hair. In her right hand she carried a Ian
made oI Ilat sage. Her Iace was painted with red vertical stripes. Not
knowing what to do or say, they hesitated, saying nothing to her.

THM26
She spoke Iirst, thus: 'I am sent by the BuIIalo tribe to visit the people
you represent. You have been chosen to perIorm a diIIicult task. It is
right that you should try to carry out the wishes oI your people, and you
must try to accomplish your purpose. Go home and tell the chieI and
headmen to put up a special lodge in the middle oI the camp circle, with
the door oI the lodge and the entrance into the camp toward the direction
where the sun rolls oII the earth. Let them spread sage at the place oI
honor, and back oI the Iireplace let a small square place be prepared.
Back oI this and the sage let a certain Irame, or rack, be made. Right in
Iront oI the rack a buIIalo skull should be placed. I have something oI
importance to present to the tribe, which will have a great deal to do
with their Iuture welIare. I shall be in the camp about sunrise.

While she was thus speaking to the young men one oI them had impure
thoughts. A cloud came down and enveloped this young man. When the
cloud leIt the earth the young man was leIt thereonly a skeleton. The
Maiden commanded the other young man to turn his back toward her
and Iace in the direction oI the camp, then to start Ior home. He was
ordered not to look back.

When the young man came in sight oI the camp he ran in a zigzag
course, this being a signal required oI such parties on returning home
Irom a searching or scouting expedition. The people in the camp were on
the alert Ior the signal, and preparations were begun at once to escort the
party home. Just outside the council lodge, in Iront oI the door, an old
man qualiIied to perIorm the ceremony was waiting anxiously Ior the
party. He knelt in the direction oI the coming oI the party to receive the
report oI the expedition. A row oI old men were kneeling behind him.
The young man arrived at the lodge. Great curiosity was shown by the
people on account oI the missing member oI the party. The report was
made, and the people received it with enthusiasm.

The special lodge was made, and the other requirements were carried out.
The crier announced in the whole camp what was to take place on the
Iollowing morning. Great preparations were made Ior the occasion.
Early the next morning, at daybreak, men, women, and children
assembled around the special lodge. Young men who were known to
bear unblemished characters were chosen to escort the Maiden into the
camp. Promptly at sunrise she was in sight. Everybody was anxious. All
eyes were Iixed on the Maiden. Slowly she walked into the camp. She
was dressed as when she Iirst appeared to the two young men except that
instead oI the sage Ian she carried a pipethe stem was carried with her
right hand and the bowl with her leIt.

The chieI, who was qualiIied and authorized to receive the guest in
behalI oI the Sioux tribe, sat outside, right in Iront oI the door oI the
THM27
lodge, Iacing the direction oI the coming oI the Maiden. When she was
at the door the chieI stepped aside and made room Ior her to enter. She
entered the lodge, went to the leIt oI the door, and was seated at the
place oI honor.

The chieI made a speech welcoming the Maiden, as Iollows:
'My dear relatives: This day Waka` Taka has again looked down and
smiled upon us by sending us this young Maiden, whom we shall
recognize and consider as a sister. She has come to our rescue just as we
are in great need. Waka` Taka wishes us to live. This day we liIt up
our eyes to the sun, the giver oI light, that opens our eyes and gives us
this beautiIul day to see our visiting sister. Sister, we are glad that you
have come to us, and trust that whatever message you have brought we
may be able to abide by it. We are poor, but we have a great respect to
visitors, especially relatives. It is our custom to serve our guests with
some special Iood. We are at present needy and all we have to oIIer you
is water, that Ialls Irom the clouds. Take it, drink it, and remember that
we are very poor.

Then braided sweet grass was dipped into a buIIalo horn containing rain
water and was oIIered to the Maiden. The chieI said, 'Sister, we are now
ready to hear the good message you have brought. The pipe, which was
in the hands oI the Maiden, was lowered and placed on the rack. Then
the Maiden sipped the water Irom the sweet grass.

Then, taking up the pipe again, she arose and said:
'My relatives, brothers and sisters: Waka` Taka has looked down, and
smiles upon us this day because we have met as belonging to one Iamily.
The best thing in a Iamily is good Ieeling toward every member oI the
Iamily. I am proud to become a member oI your Iamilya sister to you
all. The sun is your grandIather, and he is the same to me. Your tribe has
the distinction oI being always very IaithIul to promises, and oI
possessing great respect and reverence toward sacred things. It is known
also that nothing but good Ieeling prevails in the tribe, and that
whenever any member has been Iound guilty oI committing any wrong,
that member has been cast out and not allowed to mingle with the other
members oI the tribe. For all these good qualities in the tribe you have
been chosen as worthy and deserving oI all good giIts. I represent the
BuIIalo tribe, who have sent you this pipe. You are to receive this pipe
in the name oI all the common people. Take it, and use it according to
my directions. The bowl oI the pipe is red stonea stone not very
common and Iound only at a certain place. This pipe shall be used as a
peacemaker. The time will come when you shall cease hostilities against
other nations. Whenever peace is agreed upon between two tribes or
parties this pipe shall be a binding instrument. By this pipe the medicine-
men shall be called to administer help to the sick.
THM28

Turning to the women, she said:
'My dear sisters, the women: You have a hard liIe to live in this world,
yet without you this liIe would not be what it is. Waka` Taka intends
that you shall bear much sorrowcomIort others in time oI sorrow. By
your hands the Iamily moves. You have been given the knowledge oI
making clothing and oI Ieeding the Iamily. Waka` Taka is with you in
your sorrows and joins you in your grieIs. He has given you the great
giIt oI kindness toward every living creature on earth. You he has
chosen to have a Ieeling Ior the dead who are gone. He knows that you
remember the dead longer than do the men. He knows that you love your
children dearly.

Then turning to the children:
'My little brothers and sisters: Your parents were once little children
like you, but in the course oI time they became men and women. All
living creatures were once small, but iI no one took care oI them they
would never grow up. Your parents love you and have made many
sacriIices Ior your sake in order that Waka` Taka may listen to them,
and that nothing but good may come to you as you grow up. I have
brought this pipe Ior them, and you shall reap some beneIit Irom it.
Learn to respect and reverence this pipe, and above all, lead pure lives.
Waka` Taka is your great grandIather.

Turning to the men:
'Now my dear brothers: In giving you this pipe you are expected to use
it Ior nothing but good purposes. The tribe as a whole shall depend upon
it Ior their necessary needs. You realize that all your necessities oI liIe
come Irom the earth below, the sky above, and the Iour winds.
Whenever you do anything wrong against these elements they will
always take some revenge upon you. You should reverence them. OIIer
sacriIices through this pipe. When you are in need oI buIIalo meat,
smoke this pipe and ask Ior what you need and it shall be granted you.
On you it depends to be a strong help to the women in the raising oI
children. Share the women`s sorrow. Waka` Taka smiles on the man
who has a kind Ieeling Ior a woman, because the woman is weak. Take
this pipe, and oIIer it to Waka` Taka daily. Be good and kind to the
little children.

Turning to the chieI:
'My older brother: You have been chosen by these people to receive this
pipe in the name oI the whole Sioux tribe. Waka` Taka is pleased and
glad this day because you have done what it is required and expected
that every good leader should do. By this pipe the tribe shall live. It is
your duty to see that this pipe is respected and reverenced. I am proud to
THM29
be called a sister. May Waka` Taka look down on us and take pity on
us and provide us with what we need. Now we shall smoke the pipe.

Then she took the buIIalo chip which lay on the ground, lighted the pipe,
and pointing to the sky with the stem oI the pipe, she said, 'I oIIer this to
Waka` Taka Ior all the good that comes Irom above. (Pointing to the
earth:) 'I oIIer this to the earth, whence come all good giIts. (Pointing
to the cardinal points:) 'I oIIer this to the Iour winds, whence come all
good things. Then she took a puII oI the pipe, passed it to the chieI, and
said, 'Now my dear brothers and sisters, I have done the work Ior which
I was sent here and now I will go, but I do not wish any escort. I only
ask that the way be cleared beIore me.

Then, rising, she started, leaving the pipe with the chieI, who ordered
that the people be quiet until their sister is out oI sight. She came out oI
the tent on the leIt side, walking very slowly; as soon as she was outside
the entrance she turned into a white buIIalo calI.

*****

The legend of the giving of the pipe to the Lakotas as told by Finger, March 25,
1914, which Walker calls, 450 and the Gift of the Pipe.
84


lr lre |org ago lre La|ola Were |r carp ard lWo yourg rer |ay
upor a r||| Walcr|rg lor s|grs. Trey saW a |org Way |r lre d|slarce a
|ore persor cor|rg, ard lrey rar lurlrer loWard |l ard |ay or
arolrer r||| r|dder so lral |l |l Were ar erery lrey Wou|d oe ao|e lo
|rlercepl |l or s|gra| lre carp. wrer lre persor care c|ose, lrey
saW lral |l Was a Worar ard Wrer sre care rearer lral sre Was
W|lroul c|olr|rg ol ary ||rd excepl lral rer ra|r Was very |org ard
le|| over rer oody |||e a rooe. 0re yourg rar sa|d lo lre olrer lral
re Wou|d go ard reel lre Worar ard erorace rer ard |l re lourd
rer good, re Wou|d ro|d rer |r r|s l|p|. l|s corpar|or caul|ored r|r
lo oe carelu| lor lr|s r|grl oe a oulla|o Worar Wro cou|d ercrarl
r|r lrere lorever. 8ul lre yourg rar Wou|d rol oe persuaded ard
rel lre Worar or lre r||| rexl lo Wrere lrey rad Walcred rer. l|s
corpar|or saW r|r allerpl lo erorace rer ard lrere Was a c|oud
c|osed aooul lrer so lral re cou|d rol see Wral rappered. lr a
srorl l|re lre c|oud d|sappeared ard lre Worar Was a|ore. 3re
oec|ored lo lre olrer yourg rar ard lo|d r|r lo core lrere ard
assured r|r lral re Wou|d rol oe rarred. As sre spo|e |r lre
La|ola |arguage lre yourg rar lrougrl sre oe|orged lo r|s peop|e
ard Werl lo Wrere sre slood.
THM30

wrer re gol lrere, sre sroWed r|r lre oare oores ol r|s
corpar|or ard lo|d r|r lral lre Crazy 8ulla|o rad caused r|s
corpar|or lo lry lo do rer rarr ard lral sre rad deslroyed r|r ard
p|c|ed r|s oores oare. Tre yourg rar Was very rucr alra|d ard
dreW r|s ooW ard arroW lo srool lre Worar, oul sre lo|d r|r lral |l
re Wou|d do as sre d|recled, ro rarr Wou|d core lo r|r ard re
srou|d gel ary g|r| re W|sred lor r|s Worar, lor sre Was uakan ard
re cou|d rol rurl rer W|lr r|s arroWs. 8ul |l re relused lo do as sre
srou|d d|recl, or allerpl lo srool rer, re Wou|d oe deslroyed as r|s
corpar|or rad oeer. Trer lre yourg rar pror|sed lo do as sre
srou|d o|d r|r.

3re lrer d|recled r|r lo relurr lo lre carp ard ca|| a|| lre courc||
logelrer ard le|| lrer lral |r a srorl l|re lrey Wou|d see lour pulls
ol sro|e urder lre sur al r|dday. wrer lrey saW lr|s s|gr lrey
srou|d prepare a leasl, ard a|| s|l |r lre cuslorary c|rc|e lo rave lre
leasl served Wrer sre Wou|d erler lre carp, oul lre rer rusl a||
s|l W|lr lre|r read ooWed ard |oo| al lre grourd url|| sre Was |r
lre|r r|dsl. Trer sre Wou|d serve lre leasl lo lrer ard aller lrey
rad leasled sre Wou|d le|| lrer Wral lo do: lral lrey rusl ooey rer
|r everylr|rg; lral |l lrey ooeyed rer |r everylr|rg lrey Wou|d rave
lre|r prayers lo lre wakan Tanka arsWered ard oe prosperous ard
rappy; oul lral |l lrey d|sooeyed rer or allerpled lo do rer ary
rarr, lrey Wou|d oe reg|ecled oy wakan Tanka ard oe pur|sred as
lre yourg rar Wro rad allerpled lo erorace rer rad oeer.

Trer sre d|sappeared as a r|sl d|sappears so lral lre yourg rar
|reW lral sre Was uakan. le relurred lo lre carp ard lo|d lrese
lr|rgs lo lre peop|e ard lre courc|| dec|ded lo do as sre rad
|rslrucled lre yourg rar. Trey rade preparal|or lor lre leasl ard
|r a leW days lrey saW lour pulls ol o|ac| sro|e urder lre sur al
r|dday, so lrey prepared lor a leasl ard a|| dressed |r lre|r oesl
c|olr|rg ard sal |r lre c|rc|e ready lo oe served ard every rar
ooWed r|s read ard |oo|ed loWard lre grourd. 3udder|y lre Worer
oegar uller|rg |oW exc|aral|ors ol adr|ral|or, oul a|| lre rer
slead||y |epl lre|r eyes loWard lre grourd excepl ore yourg rar
ard re |oo|ed loWard lre erlrarce ol lre carp. le saW a pull ol
o|ac| sro|e Wr|cr o|eW |rlo r|s eyes ard a vo|ce sa|d, 'You rave
d|sooeyed re ard lrere W||| oe sro|e |r your eyes as |org as you
THM31
||ve. Fror lral l|re, lral yourg rar rad very sore eyes ard a|| lre
l|re lrey Were as |l o|l|rg sro|e Was |r lrer.

Trer lre Worar erlered lre c|rc|e ard loo| lre lood ard served |l,
l|rsl lo lre ||ll|e cr||drer ard lrer lo lre Worer ard lrer sre oade
lre rer lo |oo| up. Trey d|d so ard saW a very oeaul|lu| Worar
dressed |r lre sollesl deer s||r Wr|cr Was orrarerled W|lr lr|rges
ard co|ors rore oeaul|lu| lrar ary Worar ol lre La|ola rad every
Wor|ed. Trer sre served lre rer W|lr lood, ard Wrer lrey rad
leasled sre lo|d lrer lral sre W|sred lo serve lrer a|Ways; lral
lrey rad l|rsl seer rer as sro|e ard lral lrey srou|d a|Ways see
rer as sro|e. Trer sre loo| lror rer poucr a p|pe ard W|||oW oar|
ard La|ola looacco ard l|||ed lre p|pe W|lr lre oar| ard looacco ard
||grled |l W|lr a coa| ol l|re.

3re sro|ed a leW Wr|lls ard rarded lre p|pe lo lre cr|el ard lo|d
r|r lo sro|e ard rard |l lo arolrer. Trus lre p|pe Was passed url||
a|| rad sro|ed. 3re lrer |rslrucled lre courc|| roW lo galrer lre
oar| ard lre looacco ard prepare |l, ard gave lre p|pe |rlo lre|r
|eep|rg, le|||rg lrer lral as |org as lrey preserved lr|s p|pe sre
Wou|d serve lrer. 8ul sre Wou|d serve lrer |r lr|s Way. wrer lre
sro|e care lror lre p|pe sre Wou|d oe preserl ard rear lre|r
prayers ard la|e lrer lo lre wakan Tanka ard p|ead lor lrer lral
lre|r prayers ray oe arsWered.

Aller lr|s sre rera|red |r lr|s carp lor rary days ard a|| lre l|re
sre Was lrere everyore Was rappy lor sre Werl lror l|p| lo l|p| W|lr
good Words lor a||. wrer lre l|re care lor rer lo go, sre ca||ed a||
lre peop|e logelrer ard oade lre Worer lo ou||d a greal l|re ol dr|ed
collorWood, Wr|cr lrey d|d. Trer sre d|recled a|| lo s|l |r a c|rc|e
aooul lre l|re ard lre srarar lo rave ar aourdarce ol sWeelgrass.
3re slood |r lre r|dsl ol lre c|rc|e ard Wrer lre l|re rad ourred lo
coa|s sre d|recled lre srarar lo p|ace or |l lre sWeelgrass. Tr|s
rade a c|oud ol sro|e ard lre Worar erlered lre sro|e ard
d|sappeared. Trer lre srarars |roW lral |l Was wonpe Wro rad
g|ver lre p|pe ard lrey appo|rled a cuslod|ar lor |l W|lr |rslrucl|ors
lral |l Was lo oe |epl sacred ard used or|y or lre rosl so|err ard
|rporlarl occas|ors. w|lr due cererory lrey rade Wrappers lor lre
p|pe so lral |l |s uakan. Tre srarars |rslrucled lre peop|e lral lrey
cou|d ra|e olrer p|pes ard use lrer ard lral wonpe Wou|d oe |r
THM32
lre sro|e ol ary sucr p|pe |l sro|ed W|lr proper so|err|ly ard
lorr.

Trus |l Was lral lre 8eaul|lu| worar orougrl lre p|pe lo lre
La|olas.


Cross-Cultural Narrative Analysis
The Lakota Concept of Power` 'The stand these people took
toward the rest of mankind was to regard themselves as superior,
but before the awesome forces of nature they presented
themselves as humble and weak supplicants, yearning to gain
through a vision or a dream some of the powers which daily
they observed around them. The Lakota perceived an all-
pervading force, Wakan, the power of the universe, which was
manifested in the blue of the sky or in the brilliant colours of the
rainbow. Then there was the terrifying crash and reverberation
of the thunder and associated destructive power of the lightning.
All these, together with the wind and hail to name but two, were
viewed as potential sources of power which, if symbolically
harnessed, could be used to personal best effect. Thus, most of
these powers were appealed to in the Sun Dance and Spirit
Keeping ceremonials. The totality of the creative force of the
Lakota universe was Wakan-Tanka, the Great Mysterious.
Although it was recogni:ed that Wakan-Tanka could at the same
time be both one and many, it was only the shamans who
attempted a systematic classification with the Tobtob Kin, a
system not fully comprehended by the common man. The
shamans also said that Wakan-Tanka could communicate with
humans through the Akicita Wakan, or Sacred Messengers.
Those who had had visions sometimes drew what they had
experienced, and both realistic and conventionali:ed
representations of such messengers and spirits are found on
accoutrements, such as shields and warshirts, the key to their
interpretation lies in an understanding of the Tobtob Kin.
-Colin Taylor in Native American Myths and Legends.
85







THM33
Opening Setting and Implications: Recognizing the Emic
and Etic Voices

When examining narratives, especially narratives considered sacred by diIIerent
cultural groups other than our own, the intentions behind the writing must be made
conscious in order to understand the context oI individual elements oI the narration itselI.
These written records oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative come into being in a
research process: there are storytellers, translators, researchers and assistants all
contributing to how the story appears in print. Versions told to Lakotas by Lakota
storytellers are diIIerent than these versions told by Lakota storytellers to scholarly
researchers looking Ior speciIic results, as recorded, thus interpreted and adapted, Ior the
research process and their audience. The narrator`s intent must also be examined in their
choice to participate in the research process itselI, and to whom they desire their
knowledge to be received. Also important is acknowledging that the language oI
transmission is the colonizer`s voice and is secondary to the Lakota language Ior these
three individuals, who are translating into English as a second language either by
themselves or through a third party acting as a translator.
Lame Deer`s version seems to be intended both Ior insiders and outsiders, with a
balance oI both emic naming and deIinitions intended to promote a derived etic in his
audience. His version opens with the emic details oI the Lakota as a whole society the
Oceti-Shakowin,` in English translated as the seven sacred council Iires oI the Lakota
Oyate, the nation.` From this general Irame oI reIerence he moves to the particular, again
using the internal choice oI terminology Irom within his own culture, the Ita:ipcho,`
translated as the Without Bows` band, also known as the Sans Arc.`
86
This is the
French-imposed label that also means Without Bows` and shows how the Lakotas, along
with many other Indigenous groups, still live with the colonizers labels Ior the group.
Lame Deer is very cultural-speciIic in providing the proper emic terms, rather than
using the imposed-etic categories that Lone Man uses in his narrative, or possibly that
Densmore attributed to his words; like the Sans Arc designation, Teton` and Sioux` are
also French labels.
87
In James Walker`s version oI Finger`s storytelling, a simple
reIerence to Lakota` is used, which does not allow the reader to gather any inIormation
that can Iacilitate any understanding oI the people on their own terms, or give any details
THM34
into the setting in which this narrative occurred. The Lakota consists oI thousands oI
peoples oI diverse band aIIiliation that have distinctive variances in their traditions that
are not acknowledged in most academic sources. Versluis writes oI how Lakota
individuals are responsible in interpreting tradition incorporating the additional input they
receive Irom their own visioning experiences.
88
This means that, in the Lakota
perspective, thousands oI interpretations revolve around this sacred narrative. Walker`s
non-distinctive use oI Lakota` assumes that Wohpe is universally acknowledged by all
Lakotas to have brought the Pipe. Another Iactor is that readers may imagine that
thousands oI people are relying on being Ied by these two scouts eIIorts, and this is not
the intention oI either Fingers nor Walker. Walker`s lack oI detail, along with his lack oI
tone or narrative setting, can be assessed through etic analysis as highlighting his
intention as a researcher only to record, transcribe, and translate what he deems
valuable a sign oI imposed-etic interpretation that excludes any narrative clues oI
context that would mirror the social context Iound in the oral tradition.
89
Walker as a
researcher seems totally unaware oI the storytelling process that is central to Indigenous
knowledges, apparently unconscious oI his own Iilters and the nuances Iound within the
researching process.
Unlike Walker, Erdoes records Lame Deer`s emic details: 'They went on Ioot,
because at that time the Sioux didn`t yet have horses. Here is an attempt to retain Lame
Deer`s particular conversational style. In Lame Deer`s version, the context oI starvation
and hardship sets the mood Ior the readers to desire intervention Ior these people, much
like within his own oral tradition; intervention is proIIered in a certain way so that the
audience can interpret the message using the narrator`s choice oI words, plus in this case,
the researcher`s tools that access the reader`s social Iilters. An example oI this is when
the reader interprets intervention as the need Ior salvation, as Christian Iilters would
understand; maybe a miracle is expected as in a New Age or Catholic sense oI the word.
Even knowledge oI the Hindu concept oI karma, a retribution law well known throughout
the contemporary world, can be active as a Iilter in interpreting the White BuIIalo CalI
Woman narrative so that the readers can achieve understanding through their own
expectations oI what will come next - her presence as understood through the title oI the
THM35
narrative. The reader is conIronted with conIlicting interpretive lens through which to
perceive this narrative and these also must be recognized as part oI the discursive process.
Though Lame Deer gives emic labels with their translations, this does not give an
intellectual tone to the storyline but adds to the setting oI belongingbelonging
associated to a speciIic band that is related to the larger construct oI a nation.
90
Lone Man,
on the other hand, sets up a very analytical mood by giving various emic interpretations
to why the Lakota would be gathering and when. The reader is not expected to be situated
in the storytelling experience but is being taught in a eurocentric Iashion. In short, the
intent is to educate, and this story is directed only to the objectives oI the western
researching process in which it arises Irom.
91
Densmore`s intent as researcher is to
educate an outsider audience (EuroAmericans) and Lone Man tells this narrative in
response to his interests, which is not really aimed at the storyline. This latter is not
unusual as Drew Hayden Taylor points out within his play, 'alterNatives.
92
Lame Deer
can be seen as an example Irom the storytelling tradition, while Lone Man can be seen as
a result oI the academic tradition, an emic addition to the etic direction oI the process
which then produces a derived etic. Lone Man`s version can be utilized to Iorm a derived
etic that can then be contrasted with the etic process that uses the emic inIormation and
then isolates it out oI context, producing an imposed-etic, as in Walker`s use oI the
academic tradition.
This last statement may sound harsh, but is a reality within the history oI academic
research development. Walker`s academic tradition is anchored in the early twentieth
century tradition oI scientiIic research; Walker`s background is that oI a physician who
believes in the scientiIic principles oI his culture and time period. The practice oI
isolating the data to be studied Irom the cultural context within which it is Iound was the
practice oI his time period. UnIortunately, without the cultural context Ior the Iacts to
have anchorage, imposed-etics is always a result. Densmore, and thus Lone Man`s
narrative, is within an academic Iramework that sees ethnography balancing science, and
includes emic-analysis almost as much as etic-analysis. A Iorm oI derived etics is
achieved, but not at a level where both emic and etic qualiIications oI knowledge systems
will be respected, thus bridging dialogue between two diIIering cultural constructs
towards deeper understanding and knowledge oI both.
THM36
Out oI the three main narratives chosen, Lone Man gives the most emic
interpretation oI the Lakota cultural worldview within the olden times` while Lame Deer
gives emic deIinitions oI his people and shares the storytelling tradition oI transmitting
traditional knowledge. Lone Man tries to give various reasons Ior his ancestors`
behaviour, their belieI in the customs, and oIIers historical clues to the pre-colonial
environment oI his people. An example oI this is the details oI the Sans Arc leaving the
gathering and moving westward. Other versions give historical clues as well,
93
all leading
to support knowledge already known in academic circles,
94
or new clues Ior Iurther
research outside oI the scope oI this paper. Lone Man oIIers this clue, but does not really
state that the Sans Arc are in immediate hardship like Lame Deer does; he implies they
simply were not Iinding the means yet to store up their winter supply, which will result in
hardship iI they are unable to do so.

The Use (or Lack) oI Lakota Terminology: Politics oI Language

While Lone Man gives the most emic interpretations oI Lakota culture, Lame
Deer`s use oI Lakota terminology makes known to the reader the spiritual worldview oI
the traditionalist.
95
AIter his emic-titling oI the people`s social and political position in
the world, Lame Deer moves into a very detailed storyline rich with the Lakota linguistic
cues oI their ceremonial construction oI prayer: White BuIIalo Woman is Ptesan-Wi
96
;
Ptesan-Wis eyes shone with 'great power in them; she could not be disrespected, which
is a threat to communal living and implicates a death thrust towards the sacred principle
oI liIe the process oI liIe itselI
97
, which is to be oI the highest respect-thus Lame Deer`s
emphasis on lila wakan as very sacred; his use oI the word medicine` in reIerence to
the lodge, a ceremonial reIerence to the power oI animation - the process oI liIe; Lame
Deer`s use oI proper names as used in ceremony and in their prayers eyapaha (the crier),
owanka wakan (sacred altar), chanunpa (the sacred Pipe), wacanga (sweet grass), chan-
shasha (red willow-bark tobacco), Anpetu-Wi (the great sun), peta-owihankeshini (Iire
without end), Tunkashila
98
(Great GrandIather Mystery
99
, more recognizably labeled as
Waka Taka
100
in common usage); and his many reIerences to inner teachings and
perspectives on how the Lakotas interpret their environment, both seen and unseen.
THM37
All three oI these narratives are intended Ior audiences that are outside oI the
Lakotas culture: Walker`s interpretations
101
are Ior his Iellow Euro-descendent
(wasicu
102
) readers; Lone Man Ior the researcher, Densmore, and the wasicu; and Lame
Deer Ior the wasicu, but more importantly, Ior those Lakota individuals who have been
lost, or moved, Irom the Lakota ceremonial ways.
103

It is important to emphasize that not all Lakota Iollow the continuing traditional
ways oI their culture to the same degree as romanticized by the stereotypes imposed on
the Lakota peoples. Secularism and Christianity
104
, in addition to the appropriation oI
Indigenous knowledges by the New Age Movements
105
, have had their impact in
diversiIying an already diverse cultural group that is then pan-Indianized into a larger
cultural whitewash under the label oI Native American Indians.`
106
It is understandable
that past scholarship necessarily had simple classiIication systems in order to ponder
aspects oI the unknown Lakota culture; as time moved on these classiIication systems
became expanded, but did not let go oI the stereotyped tropes oI the older systems.
Knowledge oI the Lakota have become more speciIic while the categorical handling oI
knowledge has become more abstract, thus leaving the old tropes open in the new system
and allows Ior both stereotyping and universalizing to continue Iorward. A speciIic
example oI this is the contemporary literature`s continued use oI Walker`s Wohpe as a
source Ior their research on the White BuIIalo CalI Woman in their Lakota discourses.
107

Fingers told Walker the story oI Wohpes giIting oI the Pipe to the Lakotas in 1914 and
this narrative has been perpetuated in Dooling`s use oI Walker`s work at the end oI the
century.
108
Even though Dooling critiques Walker`s methods, his theories, and his
Iindings in both a preIace and an aIterward, many researchers will only reIerence the
stories themselves to support their discourse objectives.
109
This is a process I myselI am
perpetuating by continuing to reIerence Walker in my critique as an example oI
Eurocentric scholarly practice. Once in print, the words are not easily taken back and
Walker`s theory becomes immortalized throughout western history, even though little
emic knowledge is transmitted into the subject being studied, that oI the Lakota peoples,
and instead, imaginative assumptions perpetuate.

THM38
Walker`s direct misappropriation oI Indigenous cultural knowledge
110
has a rippling
eIIect that implicates both academia and the Lakota peoples: As scholars, our European
etic-imposed values and assumptions keep us Irom accessing knowledge available within
the Lakota cultural knowledge systems that could possibly enable us to understand our
world in a more soteriocentric Iashion; and, Ior the Lakota, the use oI Walker`s material
complicates any individual`s attempt to Iorm a strong identity through tracing their
ancestral philosophical teachings in order to promote stronger personal and collective
identities and, through their own narratives, advance the psychological beneIit oI
understandings themselves as belonging to the Lakota cultural group.
111
Currently, many
Native Americans understand themselves as others,` limited by the othering process
produced by a privileged etic. Some may see themselves as diIIerent, and to a larger
extent, inIerior, to what is portrayed as normal,` as deIined within our Euroculture. For
instance, even in this post-colonial time` in history,
112
it is this process oI othering that
allows the medical and economic institutions to perpetuate colonial practices through the
denial oI access to, and diIIerent treatment oI, Native American clients (and other less
politically-advantaged groups) than to clients oI EuroAmerican descent. Examples
include inadequate healthcare and discriminatory economic practices, all rationalized by
the idea that Native Americans are responsible Ior their own medical and economic
deIiciencies. This results in harsher conditions oI suIIering and poverty which Native
Americans seek ways oI escaping (sometimes in ways that then are stereotyped against
Native Americans, with the label oI deviant added to the propaganda). The victim oI
colonial processes is re-victimized and blamed Ior their own social problems within the
Euro-political Irameworks, while the real perpetrators are smoke-screened behind the
conIusion oI the problems oI the majority.
By starting with the terms and deIinitions Iound within the Lakota language itselI,
scholars can control the construction oI the othering process, while not complicating the
diIIerences themselves into abstract schemas to Iit our desire Ior logical results, like
Walker has done.
113
Finger, and maybe even his lineage, believes that Wohpe gave the
Lakota peoples the Pipe and this is to be respected as their belieI. But as scholars to
perpetuate that Wohpe 8 the White BuIIalo CalI Woman is to perpetuate a lie and go
against our agenda oI obtaining knowledge and understanding. Nowhere in this narrative
THM39
does Finger state that the BeautiIul Woman` 8 White BuIIalo CalI Woman. Among all
the diIIerent emic and etic variations oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative, no
other author or narrator mentions Wohpe without sourcing Walker.
114
Yet many
variations exist with the basic plotline and details associated with Lame Deer and Lone
Man, two oI many emic voices coming into written Iorm compared to the one voice oI
Finger through Walker`s adaptation (not translation as proved by Dooling).
115

Another key point that clariIies the degree oI emic interpretation is the use oI
medicine wo/man`
116
as compared to shaman. Even medicine wo/man is not without
critique, being that there are many roles assigned to these people (including women)
Iound within the constructs oI Indigenous societies throughout the world; in the
nehiyawak traditional way, there are lodgemakers, counselors, supporters, initiates,
people who pick medicine but do not apply it, and many more that can be seen in the
academic construct as medicine wo/man`.
117
But medicine wo/man is seen as a better
label than the term shaman, which has no roots in the Lakota or any oI the North
American Indian societies. This emic term is taken out oI its emic context within the
worldview oI a tribe in Siberia, appropriated by the colonizer and academia, and then
imposed on the Indigenous populations around the world. While Walker uses the word
shaman, Lone Man uses the words medicine man, and Lame Deer has no use Ior any
such designation since the process oI his storytelling oI the narrative itselI is medicine.
Besides these clues at emic/etic distinctions, there is one last key to the emic
interpretation in the use oI our` in Lone Man`s narrative: It is our custom to serve our
guests with some special Iood.` Both Lame Deer and Walker do not use this inclusive
language, but Ior two distinct reasons; Walker is objectively distant Irom the subject
while Lame Deer is in intricate relationship with the storytelling process oI relaying
knowledge to both an emic and etic audience oI the 1970s. This audience has a more in-
depth relationship with various cultures and the voices oI Native Americans have been
sought Ior their knowledge, as compared to the appropriation oI their knowledge in the
start oI the century, or beIore the later application oI appropriation into the New Age
Movement systems.
118
These are points that need to be addressed by scholars; not only
cultural context, but the context oI the time oI publication is important in understanding
the complexity oI the issues surrounding Indigenous narratives as they come into print.
THM40
How White BuIIalo CalI Woman Leaves: The Process oI
Sharing the Story. Or Not?

The context oI cultures and the context oI the research process (and publication)
intermingle and Iorm a complex web oI data that requires a detailed study unto itselI;
Within this study, it is suIIicient to point out that Lone Man and Finger share their stories
to the wasicu, within the research process oI the wasicu, and during a time oI colonial
imperialism and upheaval Ior the Lakota peoples. Lame Deer, on the other hand, shares
his story at a diIIerent moment in time and as part oI his journey as a Lakota heyoka
(contrary spirit)
119
and wapiya (medicine man).
120
Yet, to Iurther complicate the context
oI the storytelling process is the duplicate sharing oI the same narrative by the same
storyteller with diIIering versions resulting; Lame Deer`s Iirst version in 1967 is diIIerent
than his version shared in 1972.
121
How does the process oI research aIIect the storyteller
who is revealing the details to be studied by the researcher, and how does later renditions
incorporate the storyteller`s liIe experiences between the tellings? These are questions
that need Iurther research as well.
Needless to say, complex relationships are working behind the scenes oI this
narrative as well as incorporated in the conclusion oI this Lakota historical event. The
process oI storytelling exposes the details oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman bringing the
Pipe to the Lakota peoples during a time oI hardship, a time oI threat to their survival as a
group. White BuIIalo CalI Woman gives the Pipe as a process oI healing through the use
oI spiritual power
122
in a concrete Iorm, the Pipe itselI and its use in ceremonies, and in
an abstract Iorm through the telling oI this narrative
123
that revives the relationships
between White BuIIalo CalI Woman, the Pte Oyate(BuIIalo Nation),
124
and the Lakota
Oyate (Lakota Nation) in contemporary times.
125

For the Lakota people in this storyline to understand this connection, White BuIIalo
CalI Woman shows her wakan powers and transIorms herselI into a buIIalo,
126
more
speciIically, a white buIIalo; the white buIIalo being considered rare
127
and diIIicult to
approach.
128
The white buIIalo, like any white animal in its rarity, is considered the
ChieI` oI its kind,
129
in this case the Tatanka Oyate (another term Ior the BuIIalo
Nation).
130

THM41
Being both a woman and a buIIalo with the power to shape shiIt between the
realities, is prooI oI her sacredness. Both buIIalo and women are associated with liIe
131

within the Lakota worldview and both the White BuIIalo CalI Woman and the Lakota
women themselves can be seen as having transIorming capabilities.
132
White BuIIalo CalI
Woman leaves the encampment as a buIIalo cow, a pte`, and the storyteller bundles the
narrative through words and the process itselI and then leaves the interpretative process
in the trust oI the audience.
133

As researchers, it is the multiple bundles, or versions, oI how White BuIIalo CalI
Woman leaves, that challenge our own Eurocultural knowledge Iormation systems: Lone
Man (and Lame Deer in his 1972 version) has her simply leaving and turning into a white
buIIalo calI
134
; Walker has a big ceremony with smoke as her way oI disappearing
135
; and
in Lame Deer`s 1967 version,
136
which is the most popular in contemporary literature,
137

has Ptesan Win (White BuIIalo Woman) rolling over and becoming pte san wan (a white
buIIalo)
138
on the Iourth transIormation.
While most oI the emic voices state that White BuIIalo CalI Woman transIorms
herselI directly into a white buIIalo calI as she leIt,
139
some narrators never mention her
transIormation at all.
140
To conIuse the research situation Iurther is to include Black Elk`s
second version,
141
which changes Irom his Iirst, much like Lame Deer`s did except in the
opposite way. While Lame Deer returned to a simpler ending on his second publicized
telling, Black Elk`s second became more complex with what appears to be three changes
in White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s Iorm, but may actually be Iour due to a misinterpretation
oI Black Elk`s words around the second transIormation oI White BuIIalo CalI Woman
transIorming into a red-brown buIIalo calI.
142
Interesting to note is that both oI Black
Elk`s versions were published beIore Lame Deer`s.
Now this assortment oI data would perplex and Irustrate Walker`s classiIication
systems iI he were alive, yet the Lakota peoples themselves see the diIIering versions oI
their one sacred narrative as part oI the one historical process, with each version being an
interpretation among many, oI the historical event. As Black Elk states, 'This they tell,
and whether it happened so or not I do not know; but iI you think about it, you can see
that it is true.
143
While the large body oI versions shows the same symbol oI the white
buIIalo as wakan, Walker has the BeautiIul Woman leaving in the smoke oI a ceremonial
THM42
Iire. There is no tangible symbol that is emphasized in this version that is perpetuated
through the Lakota symbology that would share Walker`s connections with an emic
audience, both to the participants within the storyline nor to contemporary Lakota
listeners. No tangible connection or symbol is within Walker`s version to highlight the
relationship oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman to the Pipe. His use oI imposed etics is
most prominent in this concluding scene; a big good-bye scenario with a Iire built at the
end oI the narrative, which runs contrary to ceremonial Iires kept lit throughout the ritual
process and representing the never-ending Iire that is without end.
144
The ritual described
at the end oI Walker`s version is oI an imposed Christian structure, with the
shaman/priest oIIiciating over the proceedings.
145

While Walker has no tangible evidence that reIers to his connective use oI Lakota
symbols, he, like all the other versions, has the Pipe as the central pillar to the narrative
itselI. The Pipe was, and is, to be used with all ceremonies the Lakota Oyate do, as
individuals and as a nation, with at least one oI the seven rites acknowledged as coming
directly Irom the White BuIIalo CalI Woman herselI.
146
White BuIIalo CalI Woman
Ioretold the rest oI the ceremonies would come just as she Ioretold oI her return.
147

White BuIIalo CalI Woman, in a Iew versions, states that upon her return she will
stay
148
; some prophesize her return in seven generations Irom the 1800s.
149
Other
versions accord Iurther mythological connections to be explored
150
while most state that
the birth oI a white buIIalo calI would be born prior to her arrival so that the Lakota, and
all oI humanity, have some warning beIore the White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s impending
arrival.
151

It is the birth oI Miracle, a white buIIalo calI born in 1994, Iollowed by numerous
other births oI white, non-albino buIIalo calves (including one this summer in British
Columbia that died shortly aIter it was born) that have inspired the literary traIIic oI
White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative versions and interpretations.
152
Prophesy has
renewed the narrative process, along with a renewal oI the symbolic process that this
narrative points to. This narrative is being transIormed, by and Ior the Lakota peoples
themselves
153
and Ior humanity at large. Just as Sitting Bull wore painted buIIalo hair on
the side oI his head to remind him oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s return,
154
each
birth oI a white buIIalo calI moves the Lakotas attention, and by extension all oI
THM43
humanity`s, towards the visible tracks`
155
the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative
points to.

Conclusion
With visible breath I am walking.
A voice I am sending as I walk.
In a sacred manner I am walking.
With visible tracks I am walking.
In a sacred manner I am walking.
White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s Song
156



The Meeting oI Two Worlds: Process Meets Product Interpretation

Each line oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s song includes actions, with the
symbols oI her visible tracks` implying movement. These actions are considered to be a
living example oI how the Lakota, and in extension all oI humanity, can enjoy a grateIul
liIe in relationship with all living things. The nouns in this song, and in the Lakota
language, are based in the actions oI the verbs, unlike our Euroculture`s reliance on our
noun-based objectiIication, as represented in our languages.
157
The action is the priority
and the object is secondary to the process; product points to process and process deIines
the object, with power required to generate movement, in this case, the 'representative
series oI Iour containing Iorms: walking, breathing, singing, and Iootprints.
158
The
symbols that need to be analyzed are both the representational symbols and the symbolic
processes that these point to.
Maybe this is the point that could have altered Walker`s analysis; instead oI Walker
making Skan into a Iather god in the likeness oI the Christian transcendent God, he could
have paid more attention to when and how the old men were explaining about power, the
process oI Skan (also known as To).
159
This reIlects to us Walker`s eurocentric analysis
oI linear process resulting in a product that can be categorized in his Iramework.
Speculation is all we have in trying to interpret Walker`s Irame oI reIerence when
he wrote down what he heard` about Lakota mythology. Yet, miscommunication can
only be cleared through the transIormation oI our etic and derived etic analysis with the
THM44
emic analysis oI the Lakota people themselves. The current derived etic we can achieve
together can lead to more accumulated Iorms oI knowledge that incorporate both the
linear Iorms Iound within the academic production oI data and the Indigenous practice oI
applying interpretation within all that they do.
160

As DeMallie & Parks point out, the White BuIIalo CalI Woman 'myth narrates
what to the Lakota people was the single most important maniIestation oI the sacred, the
one that Iounded the Lakota world and gave the people their orientation in time and
space.
161
The importance oI the narrative lies in the Lakota attributing to the Pipe 'all
that was most basic to their human condition.
162
The Pipe is both orthodoxy`
163
that oI
regulating social order through right opinion and orthopraxis`
164
where the Pipe
encodes right practice through its use in Lakota liIe and its rituals while reviving the
relationships and ongoing communication between contemporary people and the spirits
Iound within past history, and those that have gone on to the spirit world Irom the Irame
oI our linear history.
165

It is in history where the Pipe is Iilled and raised and the White BuIIalo CalI
Woman`s narrative is told (and now read in print), with these actions opening the
channels oI communication that allow the spirits into contemporary history, to rest Ior a
while and to listen to the people they are communicating with:
Everything as it moves, now and then, here and there, makes
stops. The bird as it Ilies stops in one place to make its nest, and
in another to rest in its Ilight. A man when he goes Iorth stops
when he wills. So the god has stopped. The sun, which is so
bright and beautiIul, is one place where he has stopped. The
moon, the stars, the winds he has been with. The trees, the
animals, are all where he has stopped, and the Indian thinks oI
these places and sends his prayers there to reach the place where
the god has stopped and win help and a blessing.
166


The participants are not moving towards a Iinite goal or end product, but seeking
aid and meaning through communication, within relationship, gaining knowledge and
ability to handle the processes oI liIe, 'in process oI becoming.
167
This is achieved in the
movement oI process; to bring the higher relational energy into real time-and-place
168

situations, not to try to return to an ideal, utopian time in the past, to an original point oI
THM45
creation
169
(a product that can be packaged). It is into tomorrow that the past is applied in
order to bring all oI time into the present moment that is seen as powerIul.
It is this process thinking that merges time (both cyclical and linear), place, and
interpretation into Indigenous knowledge systems and contributes to the process oI
creation animating the process oI liIe. This is hard to understand within the Euroculture`s
paradigm that looks Ior primal cause and primal eIIect, and logical step-by-step answers
we call data or absolute truth`.
170
The narrative in print becomes a Eurocultural product
and contributes to the dogmatic stagnation oI the narrative into a product oI the academic
and publishing industries, packaged and labeled as a true` reIlection oI Lakota culture. In
Native American societies, in particular that oI the Lakota, the telling oI the narrative oI
the 'White BuIIalo CalI Woman causes her to appear again and renews her original
purpose.
171
This is the animated power that is lacking within the printed narrative. As
Lame Deer interprets in his later version, while White BuIIalo Woman was leaving she
was singing:
iya taniya mawani ye,` which has been translated as With
visible breath I am walking.` This has a deeper meaning iI one
thinks about it Ior a while. First, niya taniya means not only
breathing and breath, but also being alive and liIe itselI. It means
that as long as we honor the pipe we will live, will remain
ourselves. And the thought oI visible breath` can be taken as the
smoke oI the pipe, which is the breath oI our people. It also
reminds us oI the breath oI the buIIalo as it can be seen on a cold
day. It underlines the Iact that Ior us the pipe, man and the
buIIalo are all one.
172


Lame Deer was attempting to attune his audience to the process oI understanding
as listeners rather than giving us Iinite answers. Lame Deer wanted to Iorward the
process oI knowledge as transIorming and empowering his listeners Irom the storytelling
process as medicine.`
173
As Densmore points out in his description oI Lone Man`s
spiritual development, it is not by going back to original creation as linear logic assumes,
but, rather, one should place one`s selI in the presence oI the cyclical nature oI the
creative process:



THM46
The same precise attention to immediate detail characterized the
process whereby people interpreted observations that did not
immediately reveal their signiIicance. By thinking about new
events in relation to traditional belieIs and tales, the Lakotas
maintained an important cultural dynamic. Interpretation could
relate present and past in ways that challenged intelligence and
imagination. For the Lakotas, reckoning one`s place in space
meant careIul watchIulness over all that existed there or
impinged upon existence there: and such attentiveness created
habits oI intelligence and Ieeling.
174


The Lakota attentiveness to and intelligence Ior the details, as in the academic
setting, is obtained, but expands their vision to be inclusive oI the environment around,
including the social context and history in process (which is occurring within the social
science disciplines oI academia). In our eurocentric thought, we see details but want to
isolate them into products that will Iit into our linear schemas that connect to larger
Irameworks oI understanding. It is these products that Iit neatly into pre-packaged
Irameworks and theories oI classiIying tropes that have no concrete connections to how
they operate (the verbs activating the energy oI movement) in real liIe and with real
people. As Walker states:
While no Indian has been able to give me that complete
mythology in a systematic way, I have gotten a quite complete
system oI it in piece-meal, which I am attempting to systemize in
a manner approved by older Indians who are probably good
authority on it as exists.
175


We do not need to rediscover`
176
or systematize` another culture`s narratives and
belieI structures; the Lakota are perIectly able to do so Ior themselves in their own
manner and method. DeMallie & Parks highlight a similar point oI interpretation oI
Walker`s understanding oI the Lakota worldview:

While the tales narrating the origins oI the rituals that maintain
the relations between the Lakota people and the spirits bear the
stylistic marks oI the Lakota concern Ior history and realistic
detail, many oI their reIerences to the initial creation are highly
imagistic and open to interpretation. This Iact conIused Walker
and kept him seeking Ior something else. Yet, once we
understand the Iunctioning oI the more realistic narratives, we
can go back to the poetic reIerences and see that there is no real
conIlict among these Iragmentary reIerences to creation.
177

THM47

In the academic research process, space must be allocated Ior the impermanence
and Iluid existence oI process,
178
a characteristic either Ioreign or uncomIortable to
Walker as the Iollowing example and critique shows:
The documents on the structure oI society reveal disagreement
among inIormants about the details oI the organization oI their
society and about the past developments oI subgroups. This is a
good reminder that the neat structures which Walker. and we
todaylook Ior may not accurately characterize the traditional
Lakota view oI their society. The Lakota perspective seems to
have been much more Ilexible, allowing Ior disparate views that
correlated with Iamily, political, and other interests. Again, this
is a reIlection oI the dynamism that is such an important
characteristic oI Lakota liIe.
179


Another point worth mentioning about researching a process-dynamic culture
such as the Lakota is that the traditional and the contemporary interact,
180
creating
cyclical and trans-temporal interpretations that are easily summarized and de-animated
through reductionist explanations that move backwards in time. Contemplation, ritual,
and visioning animates the traditional, as in the example oI Archie Fire Lame Deer`s
concluding remarks: 'This is the story oI Ptesan Win and the Pipe, as my grandIather told
it to me when I was a boy. I have seen White BuIIalo CalI Woman in visions. Four times
she has appeared to me, each time with a bunch oI sage in her arms. This personal
statement shows how Lakotas anchor the traditional in the contemporary in order to
Iorward a combined understanding oI tomorrow and Ior the process oI liIe Ior Iuture
generations.
181


The Voice oI the Researcher In Process
While in the research process, sometimes it is easy to get lost in the tremendous
amount oI data and the issues surrounding the Lakota White BuIIalo CalI Woman
narrative. Then I recalled the high-Ilying eagle, a symbol oI having a bird`s eye view`
that balanced my perspective when I became too close to the subjective matter. By
keeping to the process oI retaining my high-Ilying` perspective, I realized a parallel Iorm
oI objectivity that permitted me to concur that the many questions and leads into Iurther
THM48
study will remain unIulIilled in this paper. These have been raised in the process oI
producing this paper, insight Ior both me and hopeIully Ior my readers Ior Iurther actions.
We are bound together through this one interpretation oI one small derived-etic viewpoint
into the Lakota Indigenous knowledge system and our objectivity (etic-analysis) has been
challenged in the process. Yet objectivity, like the bird`s eye view, is a necessary
component that is never disengaged in research; it is required to anchor subjectivity
(emic-analysis) and allow a balance to occur in interpretation. This balance propagates a
deeper understanding oI the human condition, allowing diversity to interact while
working towards dialogue between cultures.
182
It is time Ior us to begin to listen to the
emic-analysis that Indigenous scholars are promulgating within Indigenous studies
departments around the globe in order to understand the liIe processes as highlighted by
their own emphasis on their particulars rather than imposing our own.
183

Many questions arise: How many narratives hide Irom our deIinitive attitude
towards knowledge? What other Native American linguistic groups have stories oI a
White BuIIalo woman?
184
How many groups believe in, and to what degree oI
importance, is prophesy in the narratives oI Native Americans? How is the Internet
evolving/devolving the prophetic message oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman? How are
patriarchal, Christian, and New Age thought inIluencing the interpretation oI the
narrative Irom both within and outside oI the Lakota culture? What data and details are
we missing because we are not listening` properly, paying attention to what is said, or
busy packaging our own knowledge products labeled as Lakota? The questions are
endless.
Rather than tying the loose ends up, I am opening this conclusion as a call Ior new
beginnings within our research processes that allows Ior more inclusive methods oI
research, including the validation oI narrative processes. This call is Ior a new way oI
understanding, oI clearing up past misconceptions in interpretation caused by the
imposed etic practices such as Walker used, and Ior a new goal, vi:. the desire Ior deeper
knowledge and understanding oI the processes in all aspects oI our relationship with our
observations oI being human. Indigenous knowledge systems seem to grasp Margaret
Mead`s assertions about individual`s identity Iormation:
THM49
The individual comes into being only through social
diIIerentiation and is a product oI society, not its pre-existent
component. Not until he (sic) can adopt towards himselI the
attitude oI the generalized other` constituted by his environment
does the human being become a conscious individual. Ritual
contributes signiIicantly to this developing consciousness, since
the selI is a process in which the conversation with others has
been internalized.
185


It is time that we move beyond the othering process and into a new dynamic oI
relationship with knowledge and with all oI humanity. In walking both the nehiywiwin
(Cree) learning process and in an academic career, I realize the ritualized environment oI
internalizing academic instruction while maintaining my own process-thought orientation;
I experienced Iirsthand the paradoxical contemplation oI mythic knowledge, as Leeming
& Page succinctly states:
a myth belongs to a culture with a particular experience and to
the storytellers who reveal it. From the very beginning we are
several steps removed Irom the myth and its meaning. This is
true, oI course, whether we are speaking oI Greek myths or
Native American myths. It must be stated at the outset, then, in
connection with this book and its authors, that Iew iI any non-
Indians can convey a Iull understanding oI Native American
mythology. Yet dreams and myths are stories created by human
beings like ourselves, and all oI us, whatever our individual or
cultural experiences, share the larger human condition and the
need to make sense out oI the world around us, our history, and
our nature. To avoid discussing Native American mythology,
however limited our non-Indian understanding, would be to
ignore a signiIicant aspect oI the human experience.
186


It is this human experience that is prominent in all oI our lives in the University oI
Regina right now, especially concerning our dealings with First Nations University oI
Canada, our partners in the academic setting. As a student oI religious studies, and as a
Canadian, I agree with the Iollowing statement and challenge other academics to
contemplate the implication:
II it is worth our while to be aware oI the myths oI the ancient
Egyptians, Greeks, and northern Europeans, it is just as
important Ior us to be aware oI the myths oI the land in which we
live. It might be said that until we know the ancient collective
dreams oI what we like to call 'our land' and our nation,` we
THM50
cannot know ourselves or be in any Iull sense a part oI that
land.
187


By moving into a derived etic position oI recognizing our Canadian status in
context with Indigenous relationships, we as academics can move into a process that
eliminates our interpretive need to rely on imposed etics and their resulting
discriminatory practices, such as othering. The many versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI
Woman narrative can show us our own product orientation that is interceding with the
Indigenous knowledge process orientation. Two cultural groupings are meeting together
in dialogue everyday on issues concerning mutual attention. To bridge the
miscommunications Iound within the discipline oI religious studies can help maintain our
relations with the Lakota and other Indigenous peoples, allowing the sacred hoop` oI
Black Elk`s vision to be repaired so that we can all move towards a balance oI
product/process orientation that will produce soteriological knowledge through a derived-
etic and cross-cultural understanding oI each other as neighbours within the context oI
today`s society.
End Notes

1
Holler, Clyde. (1995). Black Elk`s Religion: The Sun Dance and Lakota Catholicism. Syracuse, NY:
Syracuse University, 213-214.
2
Lame Deer, Archie Fire & Richard Erdoes. (1992). GiIt oI Power: The LiIe and Teachings oI a Lakota
Medicine Man. Sante Fe: Bear and Co, 206.
3
Gibbon, Guy. (2003). The Sioux: The Dakota and Lakota Nations.Cornwall: Blackwell, 151. 'Rather than
Iocusing on rediscovering the authentic version oI a story, it is Iar more rewarding to view the story as a
text whose meanings are not Iixed but emerge in practice through time.
4
See Said, Edward. (2003). Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward Said (and David
Barsamian). Cambridge: South End.
5
Archie Fire Lame Deer, & Erdoes, 205-206.
6
Gibbon, 151. In speaking about the diversity oI interpretation oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman, it is
highlighted that no 'singular interpretation can adequately convey all the meanings that have emerged in its
telling by diIIerent narrators since it was Iirst told (and dreamed) hundreds oI years ago. Nor should it be
surprising that interpretations oI oral narratives are regularly and oIten bitterly contested and debated, even
within a single community.
7
Ibid, 'As a cultural strategy oI communication and as a social activity, then, Sioux stories are not to be
judged on how authentic` they are in some traditional sense, but on perIormance, intent, appropriateness,
and eIIectiveness.
8
Five years oI intensive nehiywak ceremonial training is like being in grade 4 in a Euroculture elementary
school. The typical training Ior an average askapyos is a minimum oI twenty-Iive years, with an
equivalency oI a doctorate degree in university, but still must continue on, iI wanting to have the credibility
that our doctorate degree holds. Thirty to Iorty years and more is recommended, with many oI the very old
men not starting to take the leadership roles until well into their IiIties or sixties, even iI they started
training in their teenage years.
9
This label, oral traditions` is a category set up to diIIerentiate the other` traditions, ones that do not
depend on the printed text to disseminate knowledge. The cross-cultural study oI oral` and textual`
THM51

traditions is a large discourse within the study oI religion, and the issues are complex. See Whitehouse,
Harvey. (2000). Arguments and Icons: Divergent Modes oI Religiosity. New York: OxIord University. I
chose to use this label to emphasize the oral` emphasis on practice and the textual` traditions reliance on
the printed product. Neither oI these cultures are so simplistic, with each culture having both products and
processes, but each give value and emphasis to either product or process over the other.
10
Marriott, Alice & Carol K Rachlin. (1975). Plains Indian Mythology. New York: New American
Library, ix.
11
Bauman, Richard, ed. (1992). Folklore, Cultural PerIormances, and Popular Entertainments: A
Communications-centered Handbook. New York: OxIord University, 18.
12
The concept oI environment here includes the context oI land, time, situations, dreams, visions (which
includes ritual experience), people, and more, all actively interrelating with each other.
13
Bauman, 18.
14
Ibid, 250-252; See also Taylor, Colin F, editorial consultant. (1994). Native American Myths and
Legends. Vancouver: Cavendish, 41; Gill, Sam D. & Irene F. Sullivan. (1992). Dictionary oI Native
American Mythology. New York: OxIord University Press, 289; and, O`Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. (1988).
Other People`s Myths. New York: MacMillan, 1.
15
O`Flaherty, 56; see also Taylor, Colin, 6.
16
Bauman, 12; even storytelling has ritualistic elements and 'knits the social group together and validates
its identity through repetition. See Torrance, 6.
17
Ibid, 21-28. Chapter called, 'Interaction, Face-To-Face, by Starkey Duncan, Jr.
18
Ibid 17.
19
Brown, Joseph Epes. (1992). Animals oI the Soul: Sacred Animals oI the Oglala Sioux. Rockport, Mass:
Element, 77.
20
Ibid, 77-78.
21
I am setting up a dialectical relationship to emphasize the diIIerences in values and emphasis that cause
miscommunication when oral and textual traditions try to understand each other. As mentioned beIore, both
the Lakota educators and the Euroculture`s academics use both products and processes, but the Lakota
values the processes the products represent, while academia values the products that result Irom processes.
It is a balance and prioritizing oI both that I am trying to obtain, thus my emphasis on process as being
what we as scholars need to balance our production value system.
22
Torrance recognizes that components oI ritual are part oI the knowledge process: 'Far Irom aIIirming the
undiIIerentiated cohesion oI society, initiation ceremonies and other rites oI passage suggest a relationship
not oI static invariance but oI reciprocal transIormation. Even in its tribal maniIestations, then, religion (sic)
presupposes. not only instinctive pressure` Ior the maintenance oI a closed society but, at least in
potential, the psychic motion` oI personal aspiration toward a community Iorever being achieved. See
Torrance, Robert M. (1994). The Spiritual Quest: Transcendence in Myth, Religion, and Science. Berkeley:
University oI CaliIornia, 9.
23
Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and Traditional Knowledge Systems (TKS) are actively being
dialogued internationally. For guidelines on research ethics and IKS see Ermine, Willie et al. (2004). The
Ethics oI Research Involving Indigenous Peoples: Report oI the Indigenous Peoples` Health Research
Centre to the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics. Regina: Indigenous Peoples` Health
Research Centre. www.iphrc.ca/text/Ethics20Review20IPHRC.doc Last viewed July 26, 2005; Anon.
(2000). Guidelines Ior Respecting Cultural Knowledge. Anchorage: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.
24
Holler, Clyde, 213; see also Kishani, Bongasu Tanla. (2001). 'On the interIace oI philosophy and
language in AIrica: some practical and theoretical considerations, AIrican Studies Review, v44 i3, 27- 45.
25
Salvaging ethnography, a method in anthropology that started with Bronislaw Malinowski, believed that
they must 'study and record cultural diversity threatened by westernization; See also Kottak, Conrad
Phillip. (2000). Cultural Anthropology, 8
th
ed.. Boston: McGraw Hill, p40; Religious scepticism in the 19
th

century created an eIIort to 'salvage religion by making it palatable to atheists to begin with, but later was
applied to recreating new religious movements that appropriated Ireely Irom Native American cultures, or
inIluenced those within these cultures. Quoted Irom Koral, Euny Hong. (1999). 'The Broken Estate` and
When the Kissing Had to Stop`, Salon E-zine, July 1.
www.salon.com/books/review/1999/07/01/woodleonard/print.html Last viewed July 26, 2005.
THM52

26
A prominent example oI this is Irom the Druids oI my own ancestry; many books write oI the piece meal
remainders oI knowledge and stories that are then put together imaginatively in order to reconstruct a
history Ior this group. See McCoy, Edain. (2000). Celtic Myth and Magick: Harnessing the Power oI the
Gods and Goddesses. St. Paul: Llewellyn; and Nichols, Ross. (1990). The Book oI Druidry. London:
Thorsons; another example is the pantheons oI the Roman and Greek empire, and the connections oI stories
between the gods, goddesses, and humans. In studying these groups oI deities, many associations are given
Irom individual stories set into Eurocultural categories oI deIinitions.
27
Taylor, Colin, 10.
28
Tinker, George E. (2004). Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation.
Minneapolis: Fortress, 79.
29
ChieI Dan George, in his 'Lament Ior ConIederation in 1967, said that he will use the tools and skills oI
the 'white man`s success to build his peoples into the strongest members oI Canadian society. Many
Indigenous groups oI the plains call education the modern day buIIalo oI old, a symbol utilized by FNUC.
See a variety oI ChieI Dan George`s work in Armstrong, Jeannette C. & Lally Grauer. (2001). Native
Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2-12.
30
Some examples are: Australia`s Kim Scott, Doris Pilkington, Glenys Ward, Sally Morgan and Jimmy
Chi; New Zealand`s Hinemoana Baker (Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Toa Rangatira, Te Ati Awa, Kai Tahu, Ngati
Kiritea), James George (Nga Puhi), Briar Grace-Smith (Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai), and Robert Sullivan (Nga
Puhi); Siberia`s Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer; as well as Indigenous writers Irom South America, Norway,
Celtic groupings in European countries, and more.
31
An example oI the magnitude oI this call is simply doing a google search oI 'Indigenous Peoples call Ior
re-education amounting to 8,120 hits, just Irom one search drive. Searched July 28, 2005.
32
Using the WHITE BUFFALO CALF WOMAN narrative as an example, see Michael. (?). White BuIIalo
CalI Woman and World Redemption. www.world-action.co.uk/buIIalo1.html Last viewed July 28, 2005;
see also Richter, Matthew. (1997). The True Meaning oI the Pipe and the White BuIIalo CalI Prophesy.
www.iwchildren.org/Story/trio.htm Last viewed July 28, 2005.
33
'The gods are the Iinal others, the deIining others in all myths, and the myths tell us that the gods come
among us most oIten in the Iorm oI those other others, O`Flaherty, 3; see also O`Flaherty, 28 Ior
diIIerence between mythic and legendary otherness`; see also Campbell, Joseph. (1988). The Power oI
Myth. New York: Doubleday, 22; and Sienkewicz, Thomas J. (1996). Types oI Myth.
http://department.monm.edu/classics/Courses/CLAS230/MythDocuments/typesoImyth.htm Last viewed
July 28, 2005, along with many other great resources on the web that uses simpliIied charts and bullets to
lay out what is complicated in book publications.
34
An excellent chart that shows the diIIerence, and the similarities between myth and legend is Iound in
Dundes, Alan, ed. (1984). Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory oI Myth. Berkeley: University oI
CaliIornia, 9; See also, Brunvand, Jan Harold. (1968). The Study oI American Folklore: An Introduction.
New York: W.W. Norton, 87: 'Legends are sometimes reIerred to as folk history, and states that legends
use to reIer only to those characters that lived historically, such as the Christian saints, but now can be
classiIied into Iour groups, based on 'their primary concern with religion, the supernatural, individual
persons, or localities and their histories.
35
Another theory Irom Marriott & Rachlin, xi, states: 'Legendry Ialls into two sections: the how and why,
or explanatory stories, such as are told questioning children, and the accounts oI men and women who
actually have lived, but who, since their liIetimes, have become larger than liIe.
36
Here I am generalizing on the assumption oI my own personal experience with the nehiyawak worldview;
like Jesus or Buddha, White BuIIalo CalI Woman is seen as an atayohkanak, a spirit that can have two-way
communication with humans. I know oI some nishnbe (Saulteaux) and Dn who have expressed similar
views.
37
See Densmore, Frances. (1992; reprinted Irom 1918). Teton Sioux Music and Culture. Lincoln:
University oI Nebraska, 63.
38
Dundes, 1.
39
Dooling, D.M., ed. (2000). The Sons oI the Wind: The Sacred Stories oI the Lakota (Irom the James R.
Walker Collection). Norman: University oI Oklahoma.
40
Peterson, Robyn (Douglas). (2001). Lame Deer, Seeker oI Visions.
www.wmich.edu/dialogues/texts/lamedeer.html Last updated April, 2001: Last viewed July 26, 2005.
41
Archie Fire Lame Deer & Erdoes, 33.
THM53

42
When a google search is conducted, 'Lame Deer version oI White BuIIalo Woman, 18 000 hits are
recorded.; a yahoo search brings up only 6 800 hits, while the dogpile search produces 11 hits. Last
searched July 28, 2005.
43
Densmore, 63.
44
Hintamaheca. (2005). No title but posting on ThunderDreamers.com.
http://www.thunderdreamers.com/cgi-bin/cutecast/cutecast.pl?Iorum3&thread158
Site maintained by Joseph Marshall III: copyrighted by Joseph Marshall III and WolItrail Productions,
2002. Last viewed August 11, 2005.
45
Dooling, 138.
46
Ibid.
47
Ibid, 139.
48
Ibid, 138.
49
The distinction must be made that we are not looking at oral traditions per se, but oral tradition through
printed material. The Lakota versions oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative, told to other traditional
Lakota people do not appear in print but continue to be part oI the internal renditions oI the storytelling
process.
50
Berry, J.W. & P.R. Dasen, eds. (1974). Culture and Cognition: Readings in Cross-Cultural Psychology.
London: Methuen, xiii.
51
Baron, R.A., et al. (2005). Exploring Social Psychology, 4th ed. Toronto: Pearson, 123.
52
See Agbakoba, J.C. Achike. (2005). 'Ideology, Empirical Sciences, and Modern Philosophical Systems,
Journal Ior the Study oI Religions and Ideologies, 10, 116-125,
http://hiphi.ubbcluj.ro/JSRI/html20version/index/no10/jcakikeag-articol.htm Last viewed July 28, 2005.
53
Talbot, Michael. (1991). The Holographic Universe. New York: Harper Perennial, 80.
54
Arntz, William & et al. (2004). What the Bleep Do we (k)now !?. Beverly Hills, CA: Twentieth Century
Fox.
55
Many people no longer view themselves as Christian` but the Christian perspective permeates our
secular world and institutions as underlying assumptions deeper than even the scientiIic perspectives.
56
Baron et al, 123.
57
See Berry &Dasen, 10 where discussion oI Levy-Bruhl`s concern with logical and perceptual processes
lead him to recognize that speciIic cultural knowledge have 'collective representations that instill value
and order into all their perceptions.
58
Segall, Marshall H. & et al. (1999). Human Behaviour in Global Perspective: An Introduction to Cross-
Cultural Psychology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 40.
59
Taking myselI as an example, I am both emic and etic within the discussion oI First Nation`s cultural
worldview. II we were to discuss the nhiywak ceremonial way, I have a derived etic oI this condition; as
a white woman I am both an etic to the discussions oI race, but an emic in discussing my participation
within the cultural climate oI experience, and, to conIuse matters Iurther, my tribal lineage also places my
process orientation within and without my participation in the indigenous knowledge schema. II I was to
Iurther contemplate my voice, such as being etic to the Lakota traditions, the list would continue even
Iurther, as well as my now having also been educated within the higher levels oI academia.
60
There is a multiplicity oI voices that result in being Lakota.` There are some Lakota who have been
heavily inIluenced by Christianity, some by New Age thought, and some by education. Any oI these
Lakotas may have varying degrees oI knowledge and experience with the traditional Lakota practices and
thought Iormation, with varying interpretations oI the world around them to match this diversity. This is not
an easy subject to broach, and not a subject that can be regarded as concerning absolute truth.
61
See Berry, J.W. & et al, eds. (1988). Indigenous Cognition: Functioning in Cultural Context. Boston:
Martinus NijhoII. This entire book is on speciIic cultural examples oI the othering process through
emic/etic-analysis, speciIically Iocussed on the techniques Iound within the discipline oI Western
psychology, which is just as applicable in the other social science departments.
62
Ibid, 1.
63
See Allen, Paula Gunn. (1989). Spider Woman`s Granddaughters: Traditional Tales and Contemporary
Writing by Native American Women. New York: Fawcett Columbine, and, Allen, Paula Gunn. (1986).
The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon; see also Ross,
THM54

Rupert. (1996). Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice. New York: Penguin, and, Ross,
Rupert. (1992). Dancing with a Ghost: Exploring Indian Reality. Markham, ON: Octopus.
64
Sykes, J.B. ed. (1982). The Concise OxIord Dictionary oI Current English, Based on the OxIord English
Dictionary and its Supplements. OxIord: Clarendon, 877.
65
Wolvengrey, Arok., compiler. (2001). nhiyawwin: itwwina (Cree: Words), Vol 1&2. Regina:
Canadian Plains Research Center. This is a widely accepted academic source, but is not widely accepted
within the nehiywak communities themselves.
66
Torrance, 4, states that religion 'insoIar as it too is an institution oI acculturation, it appears to be a selI-
contained system that leaves the spirit little to ask Ior. In this light, religion is less a maniIestation oI the
individual quest than an alternative to it, thus, the process oI seeking in a quest such as the White BuIIalo
CalI Woman prophesized as to the coming rituals that must be recognized as coming Irom her Ior the
Lakota`s beneIit versus the Euroculture`s example oI not having to seek since one already has the product.
Product thinking oI linear, logical thought oI the Eurocultural values comes into contact with, and
misinterprets the process thinking oI cyclical patterning Iound in Indigenous knowledge systems. As
Torrance discusses on page xii, because a process is 'a Iormative process (compared to a static category,
such as religion) leading to varied and inherently unpredictable outcomes, the spiritual quest is a universal
Iully compatible with the diversity that is inevitably its product.
67
For detailed analysis oI ritual see Erndl, Kathleen M. (1993). Victory to the Mother: The Hindu Goddess
oI Northwest India in Myth, Ritual, and Symbol. New York: OxIord: see also Gennep, Arnold Van. (1960).
The Rites oI Passage. Chicago: University oI Chicago. To analyze the study oI ritual see Bell, Catherine.
(1992). Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice. New York: OxIord.
68
This again is my derived etic-analysis Irom being bi-culturally educated within the Eurocultural and
nhiywak Irameworks.
69
Taylor, Colin, 52; see also Torrance, 6. Ritual as Hocart states, is 'a co-operation Ior liIe. In its
repetitiveness, ritual is oI 'human reality striving towards realization by looking back consciously, 'the
enactors oI ritual thereby reach beyond as well, making ritual a 'potent agency oI organic and social
development.
70
WulII, David M. (1997). Psychology oI Religion: Classic and Contemporary, 2
nd
ed. New York: John
Wiley & Sons, 5-7.
71
Traditional oral cultures are known as collectivistic cultures in psychology because oI their identity with
group dynamics compared to the individualistic cultures such as ours.
72
See Baron et al, 26.
73
See the excellent example oI the emic (insider) perspective on this debate in: Panther-Yates, Donald.
(2001). Remarks on Native American Tribal Religions, a speech given on March 5
th
, at Russell Union 2080,
Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia. http://www.wintercount.org/remark.doc Last viewed
July 28, 2005.
74
Within the titles oI many prominent authors, this attitude can be seen. See Campbell, Joseph. (1986).
Primitive Mythology: The Masks oI God. New York: Penguin; Eliot, Alexander. (1993). The Global Myths:
Exploring Primitive, Pagan, Sacred, and ScientiIic Mythologies. New York: Meridian; and Levi-Strauss,
Claude. (1966). The Savage Mind. Chicago: University oI Chicago.
75
See the debate oI the New Age nature spirituality, and traditional nature spiritualities being religious
movements, thus meaning nature religions,` in Taylor, Bron. (2001). 'Earth and Nature-Based Spirituality
(Part 1): From Deep Ecology to Radical Environmentalism, Religion, 31, 175-193.
www.religionandnature.com/ bron/arts/TaylorReligion31(2).pdI Last viewed July 28, 2005; Taylor,
Bron. (2001). 'Earth and Nature-Based Spirituality (Part 2): From Earth First! And Bioregionalism to
ScientiIic Paganism and the New Age, Religion, 31, 225-245. www.religionandnature.com/
bron/arts/Taylor--Religion31(3).pdI Last viewed July 28, 2005.
76
See Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. (2002). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples.
London: Zed Books.
77
Ulrich, Melanie. (2003). DeIinitions oI Othering (From Various Online Sources).
http://cwrl.utexas.edu/~ulrich/rww03/othering.htm Last updated April, 2003: Last viewed August 16, 2005.
78
Gibbon, 204.
79
Ibid, 72-75 and 'drudge-like squaw`, page 204.
80
See McLeod, Neal. (2002). 'nehiywiwin and Modernity, Plains Speaking: Essays on Aboriginal
Peoples and the Prairies. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 35-53.
THM55

81
Powers, Marla N. (1986). Oglala Women: Myth, Ritual, and Reality. Chicago: University oI Chicago,
203.
82
Erdoes, Richard and AlIonso Ortiz, eds. (1984). American Indian Myths and Legends. New York:
Pantheon, 47-52.
83
Densmore, 63-68.
84
Walker, James R. (1991). Lakota BelieI and Ritual, ed. by Raymond J. DeMallie & Elaine A. Jahner.
Lincoln: University oI Nebraska, 109-112.
85
Taylor, Colin, 45.
86
Benge, Barbara. (2004). Lakota Page: The Great Sioux Nation.
http://members.aol.com/bbbenge/page6.html Last updated July 30, 2004: Last viewed August 5, 2005.
87
Ibid. For example, Benge mentions that the title, Sioux, 'was given to them by the French who had
corrupted the name Natawesiwak Irom the Chippewa (Ojibiwa), reIerring to them as enemy` or snakes`.
88
Versluis, Arthur. (1992). Sacred Earth: The Spiritual Landscape oI Native America. Rochester,
Vermont: Inner Traditions, 83: "When one is granted a spiritual giIt like a vision one is alone, except in
extraordinary revelations -- as when White BuIIalo Woman came to the Sioux. The community provides
support, a place Ior spiritual practice, and the teachings that lead one to spiritual illumination -- but an
individual still is ultimately responsible Ior his own spirituality, Ior his own Iate. This is evident when one
is alone in virgin nature, Iasting and lamenting one's human Irailties, seeking divine illumination. The tribe
supports the seeker, whose vision and (ritual) try nourishes and supports the tribal spirituality."
89
The Lakota oral tradition have insider belieI in having a Iorm oI pre-contact writing in which to mark the
passage oI time and act as mnemonic devices, originally on hides in the Iorms oI dress, ritual objects (such
as counting sticks), and housing, then later as winter counts: see Larson, Robert W. (1997) Red Cloud:
Warrior-Statesman oI the Lakota Sioux. Norman: University oI Oklahoma, 5, states that 'The winter counts
were the closest thing to a written language that the Sioux and some oI the other Plains tribes had. They
were pictographs, drawn on deerskins or buIIalo hides, that pictured one major event in the liIe oI the Sioux
Ior each year. Although some oI these winter counts dated back to the 1700s, they were more commonplace
during the nineteenth century. While collectively these pictographic records revealed the kinds oI
experiences the Sioux regarded as important, their depiction oI only one event per year obviously limited
their value. Nevertheless, each winter count provided at least a snapshot oI liIe during a given time; see
also Walker 1982, 112; and Gibbon, 158. Gibbon, on page 157 also makes note oI a moon-counting stick`.
90
To view a derived etic understanding oI Lakota history, see Calloway, Colin G. (2003). One Vast Winter
Count: The Native American West BeIore Lewis and Clark. Lincoln: University oI Nebraska; see also the
small booklet, Praus, Alexis. (1962). The Sioux, 1798-1922: A Dakota Winter Count, Bulletin Number 44.
BloomIield Hills, Michigan: Cranbrook Institute oI Science.
91
I myselI have been accused and caught myselI in this procedure oI asking leading questions when I am
among, or helping, nehiywak elders. It is an emic-centered process that breaches the protocols oI many oI
the First Nations` and Native American protocols on learning, where listening is seen as more important
than questioning.
92
Taylor, Drew Hayden. (2000). alterNatives. Toronto: Talonbooks, 128. Angel and Bobby are
remembering how they made money oII oI the anthropologists who came to their reserves looking to
collect stories: 'They wanted to know the legends oI our people. But the old people were too busy to waste
time on these guys, so they came to us, a bunch oI bored kids hanging around their camp. For every legend
we told them, they would give us IiIty cents, as long as we promised they were authentic, handed down to
us by our ancestors.
93
In a version told by Elk Head, then keeper oI the sacred Pipe, in 1907, he mentions that 'the Lakota had
Iormerly lived beside the lake Iar to the east. AIter a terrible winter, they began migrating westward.
Bierhorst, John. (1985). The Mythology oI Native Americans. New York: William Morrow, 179-180; See
also Hazen-Hammond, Susan. (1999). Spider Woman`s Web: Traditional Native Tales About Women`s
Power. New York, Perigree, 76, where reIerence to White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s arrival was 'when the
People still lived Iar to the east oI here, along the shores oI a great Lake.; See also Howe, Oscar. (1988;
reprinted Irom 1941). Legends oI the Mighty Sioux. South Dakota: Workers oI the South Dakota Writer`s
Project Work Projects Administration, 50-51: with no reIerence to her being associated with the buIIalo, let
alone a white buIIalo, she brings the pipe and tells the people to move camp the next day and move
THM56

westward to a new land that is 'beyond the Father oI Waters and abundant with both animals and other
tribes oI people.
94
See Larson, pages 5 and 20; see also Gibbons, pages 52 and 133.
95
See Lame Deer, John Fire & Richard Erdoes. (1972). Lame Deer, Seeker oI Visions. New York: Simon
and Schuster, 251-255. Ibid. This second version oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman contains additional
teachings and insights into the traditional Lakota worldview; see also Lame Deer, John Fire, and Richard
Erdoes. (1972). White BuIIalo CalI Woman. www.roxirulz.com/whitebuIIalo.asp Last viewed May 23,
2005.
96
Other versions that use Ptesan-Wi as White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s emic name are: Lame Deer, John
Fire. (1967). White BuIIalo CalI Woman Brings the First Pipe. Web page designed by Paula Giese.
www.kstrom.net/isk/arvol/lamedeer.html Last viewed May 23, 2005; Leeming, David & Jake Page. (1998).
The Mythology oI Native North America. Norman: University oI Oklahoma, 35-39; Lame Deer, Archie
Fire & Richard Erdoes; and Cooper, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse. (2001-2005). 'The Legend oI the White
BuIIalo CalI Woman, BellaOnline: Native American. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art17027.asp
Last viewed July 18, 2005.
97
See Bopp, Judie et al. (1989). The Sacred Tree: ReIlections on Native American Spirituality, 3
rd
ed. Twin
Lakes, MI: Lotus Light.
98
Leeming & Page, 51-52.
99
Black Elk reIers to GrandIather` in Neihardt, John G. (1961). Black Elk Speaks: Being the LiIe Story oI
a Holy Man oI the Oglala Sioux. Lincoln: University oI Nebraska.
100
Versions that use the title Wakan Tanka` in them include: Ebsen, Roger. (1997). Spiritwalk Readings:
White BuIIalo CalI Woman. www.spiritwalk.org/whitebuIIalowoman.htm Last revised December 8, 2002:
Last viewed July 18, 2005; and Steltenkamp, Michael F. (1993). Black Elk: Holy Man oI the Oglala.
Norman: University oI Oklahoma, who quotes Black Elk, Elk Head, Ben Marrowbone, Brother GraI, and
Father Buechel.
101
From here Iorthwith I will be labeling Finger`s narrative as Walker`s because very little oI his voice is
carried over into print, as mentioned in the previous discussion about the process oI storytelling and
academic discourse.
102
See the index in Hassrick, Royal B. (1964). The Sioux LiIe and Customs oI a Warrior Society. Norman:
University oI Oklahoma.
103
John Fire Lame Deer breaches this topic throughout his book, anchored within the experiences oI his
own liIe; See also Marriott & Rachlin, ix-x. It is mentioned that artistic expression was mainly oral and
much oI its literature is lost due to the changes to traditional Indigenous languages and the Iact that many
cannot speak their mother tongue, and even more have a limited and broken vocabulary because oI the
removal oI children to boarding schools. Many 'simply were not interested in the old ways and never
learned them. Thus, much became lost and much became Iragmented when a generation died.
104
Most oI the reIerences that source Black Elk are attracted to the Catholic overtones to much oI his
storytelling, including his interpretation oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative and oI his
interpretation and reIerences to the Pipe; See also Turner, Dr. Ray. (2004). The White BuIIalo Prophecy:
The Legend oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman. www.whitebuIIalopress.com/wbuIIalo1.htm Last viewed
August 16, 2005; Redhawk, William. (1995). BuIIalo CalI Woman: White BuIIalo CalI Woman (Ptecincala
Ska Wakan) The GiIt oI the Sacred Pipe. www.siouxme.com/buIIcalI.html Last updated May 20
th
, 2004:
Last viewed August 16, 2005; Zauhar, Dr. Frances Murphy. (2000). Black Elk Page: Summary oI Black
Elk. www.Iacweb.stvincent.edu/academics/english/E1251/251blackelk.html Last viewed August 16, 2005.
105
See Richter`s website Ior his beIore, during, and aIter White BuIIalo CalI Woman`s arrival and her past
liIe and prophetic liIe extensions which are the same, but not reIerenced as sources, as Wambli Ska, Ben.
(1999-2000). White BuIIalo CalI Woman. www.benwhiteeagle.com/Story31.htm Last viewed August 16,
2005; Anon. (?). White BuIIalo CalI Woman: White BuIIalo CalI Woman Goddess oI Peace and the
Mother oI LiIe. www.goddessgiIt.com/goddess-myths/goddesswhitebuIIalocalIwoman.htm Last
viewed August 16, 2005 categorizing her into a goddess is an imposed etic rather than a derived etic and
is seen as insulting to the Native American belieI systems.
106
Most First Nations` and Native Americans` that I personally know believe that each linguistic group
should be called by their own names and not generalized into an other` category. Whether in ceremony, in
discussion, or just overhearing conversations among nehiywak, the overall generalized term is still Indian`
THM57

and many elders, Ior example Harvey Ironeagle, seeing that all other labels promote the elimination oI
treaty rights, which beneIits the Euro-political system and allows them to negate their responsibilities to
their promises. See Blaeser, Kimberly M. (1996). Gerald Vizenor: Writing in the Oral Tradition. Norman:
University oI Oklahoma, 41, 'A great deal oI space in Vizenor`s writing is given to examining the negative
eIIects the invented Indian` has had and continues to have on the lives oI Native Americans. This
invented Indian` is a trope created by our Eurocultural othering process that allows us to have simple
understandings oI the other cultures that we really do not desire to know about but have to account Ior.
107
See Hollabaugh, Mark. (1997). Lakota Celestial Imagery: Spirit and Sky.
http://Iaculty.normandale.edu/~physics/Hollabaugh/Lakota/CWSConIerence.htm Last updated March 1
st
,
2003: Last viewed August 16, 2005; Joseph Epes Brown utilizes Walker`s theories, with one example
Iound on page 75 in describing how a white buIIalo hide is handled; Marla Powers, 5, gives a summary oI
Walker`s connecting the legend oI Wohpe (Falling Star) with the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative in a
Ieminine-empowered dynamic oI spirituality Iound in Lakota thought. She reIers to his work continuously
throughout her book as seen by a quick glance at the index section can conIirm, as well as unreIerenced
through the assumptions brought out through the writer`s voice; A similar process was checked and openly
recognized within Julian Rice`s work In his earlier work he takes Walker`s argument that Wohpe is
White BuIIalo Woman and the daughter oI Skan, who is Wakan Tanka. His later work then heavily
critiques Walker`s claims, especially the claim that Lakota spirituality is similar to the Greek pantheon and
Walker`s Christian patterning Iound in his cosmogony. He also notices Walker`s tendency oI using the
'Hindu-Buddhist many-in-one model that is superimposed onto the westernized modeling oI God as king.
He expands his critique to cover the aIIects caused when other writers respond to his attitudes, such as Ella
Deloria: 'Walker is imputing a kind oI European royalty.the point I rebel against is rather this idea oI the
servant and the served. The two works reIerenced here are Rice, Julian. (1998). BeIore the Great Spirit:
The Many Faces oI Sioux Spirituality. Albuquerque: University oI New Mexico, 133, and, Rice, Julian.
(1991). Black Elk`s Story: Distinguishing Its Lakota Purpose. Albuquerque: University oI New Mexico,
109.
108
My critique Iorwards Walker`s work, even as I criticize because this work can be either overlooked or
argumented away in order Ior the preceding scholar`s objective to be met.
109
As I was researching Ior this paper early in the process, I came across Dooling`s book and was only
going to copy the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative. Luckily, I had to research Ior an annotation oI the
book and I came across the critique in both preIace and aIterward.
110
As previously quoted, see Tinker, 79: "Racialized colonialism survives in academic texts just as clearly
as it services in New Age commodiIication. As Vine Deloria Jr., Ward Churchill, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn,
and others have demonstrated persistently, academics have made Indian people a means Ior carving out
careers based on the intellectual domination oI aboriginal peoples in North America, posturing themselves
as the experts about the cultures oI the colonized victims. Their craIt is, as Ojibwe scholar Gerald Vizenor
insists, a trope oI power, that is, power over the colonized other.
111
See Torrance, 9. 'SelIhood is achieved by identiIication with the group, not distinction Irom it.
112
See Linda Tuhiwai Smith, 1, the very Iirst lines that open her book with this insight: From the vantage
point oI the colonized, a position Irom which I write, and choose to privilege, the term research` is
inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism. The word itselI, research`, is probably one oI
the dirtiest words in the indigenous world`s vocabulary. When mentioned in many indigenous contexts, it
stirs up silence, it conjures up bad memories, it raises a smile that is knowing and distrustIul.; See also the
various essays on this point in Olupona, Jacob K., ed. (2004). Beyond Primitivism: Indigenous Religious
Traditions and Modernity. New York: Routledge.
113
See also Walker, J.W. (1917). The Sun Dance and Other Ceremonies oI the Oglala Division oI the Teton
Dakota. New York: Order oI the Trustees oI the Museum oI National History.
114
See the previous note about Walker as source; Hassrick, 220, where Wohpe is acknowledged as 'the
BeautiIul One as she was leaving, whereas the sourced reIerences were to Epes Brown, Densmore, and
Dorsey, and no mention oI Walker at all.
115
Dooling`s argument oI adaptation rather than translation, 138-139.
116
I included this term wo/man as an alternative to always assuming Native Americans only have medicine
men. Sometimes I include this term as a reminder, while at other times I reiterate individual interpretations
oI the voice oI the person under discussion.
THM58

117
See Powers, William K. (1986). Sacred Language: The Nature oI Supernatural Discourse in Lakota.
Norman: University oI Oklahoma, 191: "Wapiye wakan (curing woman) Irequently are the wives oI wicasa
wakan (sacred man, or medicine man) and assist their husbands in various kinds oI curing ceremonies such
as Yuwipi. These sacred women, as long as they are past menopause, are also entrusted with overseeing
sacred objects used in the ceremonies. A number oI keepers oI the White BuIIalo CalI Pipe at Green Grass,
South Dakota, including the present one, have been women."
118
See Ebsen`s website with Spiritwalk; See also King, Matthew. (?). Lakota Prophecies.
www.crystalinks.com/lakota.html Last viewed August 17, 2005; Anon. (?). The Prophecy oI the White
BuIIalo CalI Woman. www.healinghandsoIlight.homestead.com/SacredWhiteBuIIalo.html Last viewed
August 17, 2005; Medicine Eagle, Brooke. (?). It`s a Miracle!!!. www.medicine-eagle.com/65.html Last
viewed August 17, 2005.
119
This is a special group oI traditionalist spiritually chosen to do the ritualistic elements, in simplistic
terms, backwards` or contrary`, while Iollowing speciIic teachings oI certain spiritual principles not
popularly known to most traditionalists. There is not much within print on this discourse, and I have very
limited understanding oI the nehiywak (Cree) wihtikhknak (contraries), let alone the Lakota heyoka.
120
See Archie Fire Lame Deer & Erdoes, 62.
121
This process is similar to what occurred when Black Elk told the narrative oI the Pipe to Neihardt and to
Epes Brown as will be discussed later.
122
Rice 1998, p 23. "Lakota spirituality does not seek to achieve a delicate balance in a person or in the
world. For Black Elk, healing means mustering as much power as possible to overwhelm the Iorce oI any
threat. To heal individual sickness or a people's will to live, Black Elk seeks to restore depleted energy so
that his patience can move and think Iaster than their enemies, so that they can trust their ability to prevail.
123
Ibid, 'ManiIesting this Iorce is oI paramount importance in ceremonies and narratives. The energy
transIer it to be holders and listeners sustains them in every circumstance, so that they do not just learn
about spiritual energy. Instead, they actually Ieel it as something real in their bodies."
124
Price, Catherine. (1996). The Oglala People, 1841 -- 1879: A Political History. Lincoln: University oI
Nebraska, 49: "The Lakotas could certainly hunt antelope, deer, elk, and other small game instead oI the
BuIIalo, but whether they choose to do so is not the crucial issue Irom a Lakota perspective. More
important is the belieI that the Lakotas ancestors were born Irom the Pte Oyate (the BuIIalo Cow Nation);
that White BuIIalo Cow Woman brought the sacred pipe to the people; and that they, tatanka (the male
buIIalo relatives), and Maka Ina (Mother Earth) are united in this sacred, harmonious relationship."
125
Ibid, 'One cannot exist without the other. Should the BuIIalo disappear entirely, the tightly woven
threads that bind together the Lakotas, the land, and BuIIalo in this sacred relationship would begin to
unravel.
126
The tangible and the abstract are intertwined in Lakota semiology, with the buIIalo being tangible
sustenance, as well as psychological and spiritual sustenance. See Rice 1998, p 80: 'ust as man does not
live by meat alone but Irom the energy in the meat, so the energy in particular symbols was a practical
beneIit to maintain the Lakota will to live. The culture emphasizes maniIestation, a release oI energy Irom
symbol strong enough Ior people to Ieel. When the White BuIIalo CalI Woman presented the Lakota
people with the sacred pipe, the pipe contained the power she imparted to it. People beholding this pipe
partake oI its power, and Black Elk says that bad people are not permitted to see it at all... When people
wish to have their own pipes blessed, they touch them to the original pipe in a special ceremony, but the
sacredness also passes less directly and with attenuated Iorce into words about the pipe -- depending, oI
course, on the purity oI the narrative stem.
127
Praus, 19: Here is an example oI a winter count entry Ior 1858 -- "A White BuIIalo Killed."
Description attributed: "Albino buIIaloes were rare and diIIicult to kill because they generally remained in
the center oI the herd. They were considered a giIt Irom the Great Spirit and were the center oI complex
procedures and ceremonies. Many proIessional buIIalo hunters who killed thousands oI buIIaloes never
saw a white one. The High Dog, SwiIt Dog, Jaw, and Jaw Variant counts, in either text or pictograph,
record the same event."
128
Taylor, Colin, 51. 'In most oI the complex ceremonials, the buIIalo was recognized as the liIe-giving
giIt oI the higher powers. The mythology associated with the rare white buIIalo epitomizes the revered
animal mythology. White buIIalo were particularly swiIt and wary and Ior this reason, together with their
rarity, they were diIIicult to secure. When a white buIIalo was killed, the Iatal arrow was puriIied in smoke
THM59

Irom burning sweetgrass, and beIore the animal was skinned the kniIe was similarly puriIied; no blood was
to be shed on the hide. Only men who had dreamed oI animals were allowed to eat its Ilesh and only a
woman who was noted to have lived a pure liIe could tan it.
129
Brown 1992, p75. "The association oI these rare white robes with the White BuIIalo Woman is
evident.... (as well as) the Iact that the white buIIalo is rare and generally remains near the center oI the
herd.` This makes it diIIicult to approach, and thereIore it is considered as the ChieI or sacred one oI the
herd. This robe, consequently, is highly prized by the Indian. In accord with the special position oI the
sacred robe, elaborate ritual details were observed, both in obtaining the animal and preparing the hide.
130
Rice 1989, 163.
131
Marla Powers, 71.
132
Ibid, 212: 'the successIul Oglala woman glides along a most precarious continuum, back and Iorth Irom
behaving as the ideal wiIe and mother whose role it is, as in the old days, to carry out the dictates oI the
White BuIIalo CalI Womanto reproduce and to nurture Iuture generations oI Oglala people, makes and
Iemales. But she will also have the capacity to occupy the same position as a male with respect to
community, district, and tribal activities and programs, recognizing that the men will not compete with her
Ior Iemale roles and responsibilities. Both a Ieminine analysis oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman narrative
itselI, and its role in the identity oI Lakota women would be great research projects in the Iuture.
133
Rice 1989, 163. 'In leaving as a pte` buIIalo cow` she demonstrates the temporality oI her own
embodiment as well as the continuity oI generous provision associated with the Tatanka Oyate (the buIIalo
people). So too, the storyteller will conclude a maniIestation to transmit an essence. Fools Crow`s words
Iorm a bundle like the woman carried.
134
Milne, Courtney and Sherrill Miller. (1998). Visions oI the Goddess. Toronto: Penguin, 21: 'she then
leIt the camp, transIorming herselI into a white buIIalo; Miller`s website includes Floyd Hand`s version
'As she walked away she turned into a young white buIIalo; Lame Deer & Erdoes, 255 'As the people
watched, the beautiIul woman turned into a white buIIalo. It kept on walking toward the horizon until it
Iinally disappeared. This too is good to think about, easy to understand. This is a much simpler ending
compared to his Iirst version in 1967; Taylor, C.J. (1993). The Secret oI the White BuIIalo: An Oglala
Legend. Montreal: Tundra Books, White BuIIalo CalI Woman 'rose and walked out oI the tipi. The people
separated to let her pass. They watched as she moved through the village and into the Iields. Suddenly she
began to run, and as she ran, she was transIormed into a magniIicent white buIIalo; Neihardt, 5, 'Then she
sang again and went out oI the teepee; and as the people watched her going, suddenly it was a white bison
galloping away and snorting, and soon it was gone; and, DeMallie, Raymond J. (1984). The Sixth
GrandIather: Black Elk`s Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt. Lincoln: University oI Nebraska, 285, 'As
she went out oI the tipi everyone say a white buIIalo kicking up her hind legs and leaving in a hurry,
snorting as she went.
135
Ebsen website attributed to Black Elk, but more a combination oI Walker and Neihardt`s Black Elk
rendition: 'As she leaves, a cloud Iorms. and as it clears, they see a white buIIalo.
136
See Bastian, Dawn E. & Judy K. Mitchell. (2004). Handbook oI Native American mythology. Santa
Barbara, Ca: ABC-Clio. (Lame Deer version) 'Going in the same direction Irom which she had come, she
stopped and rolled over Iour times; Martin website is like Lame Deer`s 1967 version; and Miller`s website.
137
Bonvillian, Nancy. (1996). Native American Religion. New York: Chelsea House, 45. Her version
includes Lame Deer`s 1972 versions ending with the Iour shape shiIting changes, but her entire version is
made up oI the components and details oI many diIIerent storyteller`s versions, picked over Ior details that
Bonvillian personally chose to include to make up her interpretive version; See also LaPointe, James.
(1976). Legends oI the Lakota. San Fransisco: Indian Historian, 26, 'The akicita (order keepers) opened a
way Ior her eastward. The immaculate woman walked away with dignity, as the audience watched in awed
silence. AIter walking some distance, she sat down. When she arose, a transIormation was seen. Once again
there was a little brown calI trotting along. And then there was a series oI changes: The little calI rolled
over, and there arose a nearly mature calI. In turn the calI now changed into a Iully mature cow. And then,
beIore going out oI sight, the people say a shaggy, bony cow barely moving. (interpreted as the liIe cycle);
and Weiser, Kathy R. (2003-2005). Native American Legends: Legend oI the White BuIIalo.
www.legendsoIamerica.com/NA-WhiteBuIIalo.html Last viewed July 18, 2005. 'She walked a short
distance, she looked back towards the people and sat down. When she arose they were amazed to see she
THM60

had become a black buIIalo. Walking a little Iurther, the buIIalo laid down, this time arising as a yellow
buIIalo. The third time the buIIalo walked a little Iurther and this time arose as a red buIIalo. Walking a
little Iurther it rolled on the ground and rose one last time as a white buIIalo calI signaling the IulIillment oI
the White BuIIalo CalI prophecy. (Iour colors oI man and directions).
138
Rice, 110.
139
McLauglin, Marie L. (1916). Myths and Legends oI the Sioux.
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/modeng/public/MclMyth.html Last updated by Judy Boss in 1999: Last
viewed August 19, 2005: White BuIIalo Woman 'turned again to a buIIalo cow and Iled away to the land
oI the buIIaloes; and Archie Fire Lame Deer & Erdoes, 205. 'When her work was done, she told the
people, I must leave you, but Iollow me to the top oI that hill over there, and you shall no longer be
hungry.` And the Holy Woman walked toward the East. 'Awed and thankIul, the people Iollowed her at a
respectIul distance. When she reached the hill she transIormed herselI into a white buIIalo calI and slowly
disappeared. Then the people knew Ior certain that she had been sent by Wakan Tanka.
140
Joseph Chasing Horse`s version on Miller`s website states, 'she leIt the way she came; and South
Dakota Writer`s Project Work Projects Administration. (1988; reprinted Irom 1941). Legends oI the
Mighty Sioux. South Dakota: SelI-published, 51. No shape shiIting, just simply 'leIt the lodge and
disappeared. There is no reIerence throughout this version to White BuIIalo CalI Woman, only to 'a
beautiIul woman`, but not connected to Fingers` version and his interpretation oI events.
141
Brown, Joseph Epes, ed. (1989). The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk`s Account oI the Seven Rites oI the Oglala
Sioux. Norman: University oI Oklahoma, 9. (original date 1953).
142
HirschIelder, Arlene & Paulette Molin. (1992). The Encyclopedia oI Native American Religions: An
Introduction. New York: Facts on File, 319. 'the holy woman walked sunwise (clock-wise) direction
around the tipi, then leIt. While walking away, she stopped and sat down. When she stood up, the people
say that she had been transIormed into a red and brown buIIalo calI. The calI continued on, stopped, lay
down and arose as a white buIIalo. The white buIIalo repeated the same actions, becoming a black buIIalo.
This buIIalo bowed to each quarter oI the universe and then vanished Irom view. (Black Elk version); See
also Stanton, JeII. (1995). White BuIIalo CalI Woman.
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/kaleidoscope/volume6/page8.html Last viewed August 18, 2005. 'Once the
teachings were completed, she told the tribe to Iollow her to a near-by hill, and they would no longer be
hungry. She then walked east, and as she came to the top oI the hill, she transIormed into a white buIIalo
calI. BeIore she disappeared Irom their sight, she changed color twice, Iirst to brown and then to a reddish
color; and Bleeker, Sonia. (1962). The Sioux Indians: Hunters and Warriors oI the Plains. New York:
William Morrow & co, 34-35. 'A short distance Irom the tipi the maiden stopped. She lay down on the
ground and turned into a buIIalo calI. A while later, as the astonished people watched, she lay down again,
rolled over, and arose as a white buIIalo.. As the people continued watching, the white buIIalo lay down
once more, rolled over, and became a dark buIIalo.
143
Neihardt 5.
144
See Lame Deer`s version included here; It is as iI Walker is trying to connect the act oI smudging with
the larger ceremonial Iire, but this argument is outside oI the scope oI this paper.
145
A Ieminist analysis is needed in all oI these versions, such as why the shamans were oIIiciating but the
women were the Iire builders, or in Lone Man`s version as women are weak`.
146
Brown 1992, p74. 'Actually, only one oI the seven central rites oI the Oglala plus the rite oI the pipe
were said to be directly revealed by this legendary Culture Heroine. Nevertheless, she Ioretold and
sanctioned the successive appearance oI the remainder oI the rites to be received through the individual
vision experience.
147
Prophetic-orientated version Joseph Chasing Horse See Giese, Paula. (1995-1996). White BuIIalo
CalI Woman Brings The First Pipe As Told by: Joseph Chasing Horse.
www.kstrom.net/isk/arvol/buIIpipe.html Last viewed August 17, 2005; See also
www.gbso.net/Skyhawk/html/woman.html Last updated June 19
th
, 1996: Last viewed August 17, 2005;
and www.impurplehawk.com/legend.html Last viewed August 17, 2005; and also, Stanton website.
'Looking Horse says that now is the time Ior healing oI the sacred hoop to begin and is also time Ior the
Lakota to take their rightIul place in leading the people toward peace and balance once again.` (June 21
st
,
1996 day oI prayer Ior world peace and the return oI the holy lands to the Indian nations in the Black
Hills oI South Dakota).
THM61

148
Stanton website. 'Within the teachings, it is said that Ptesan Win told the people, I will return again
some day, and then it will be Ior always. Then there will be a new liIe and a new understanding.
149
Milne & Miller, 21. 'She told them this was the third oI seven revelations Ior the Oglala Sioux.. In the
late 1800s, Black Elk, the great Lakota holy man, prophesied the return oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman
in seven generations, when she would restore tranquility to a troubled world. In August, 1994, in Janesville,
Wisconsin, a white buIIalo calI was born, reinIorcing the belieI in the return oI White BuIIalo CalI Woman
to uniIy nations and bring harmony to the world.
150
Brown, 9. 'Remember, in me there are Iour ages. I am leaving now, but I shall look back upon your
people in every age, and at the end I shall return. (Black Elk). The accompanying Iootnote states:
'According to Siouan mythology, it is believed that at the beginning oI the cycle a buIIalo was placed at
the west in order to hold back the waters. Every year this buIIalo loses one hair, and every age he loses one
leg. When all his hair and all Iour legs are gone, then the waters rush in once again, and the cycle comes to
an end. This would make a wonderIul cross-cultural contrast with the Asian divisions oI time.
151
Prophesy and the birth oI Miracle and the other white calves is topics covered on the Michael website;
see also Miller`s website Joseph Chasing Horse`s version 'And when she promised to return again, she
made some prophesies at that time.One oI those prophesies was that the birth oI a white buIIalo calI
would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to puriIy the world; and see
Pickering, Robert B. (1997). Seeing the White BuIIalo. Denver: Denver Museum oI Natural History, 3.
'Some Plains Indians consider the return oI the White BuIIalo Woman as comparable to the second coming
oI Christ. Could the little white buIIalo calI born on an August night in the Heiders` pasture be the
IulIillment oI the prophecy? It was this possibility that excited the Indian community. (Miracle born late
summer oI 1994).
152
Bastian & Mitchell. 'The prophecy oI the White BuIIalo Woman`s return appeared to be IulIilled by the
appearance oI a Iemale buIIalo calI on August 20, 1994, on a Iarm near Janesville, Wisconsin. Named
Miracle, she was considered to be the Iirst white buIIalo calI (she is not albino) born since 1933. Like the
buIIalo in the story, she has changed color Iour times. Another sacred white buIIalo calI, Wahos`I, was
born on August 7, 2001, in Vanderbilt, Michigan. And Iour white buIIalo calves were born on a ranch in
Westhope, North Dakota, between August 17 and September 2, 2002. Miracle`s birth Iocused the world`s
attention on the story oI the White BuIIalo Woman and inspired modern interpretations oI it.
153
Ferguson, Diane. (2001). Native American Myths. London: Collins & Brown, 103. 'according to
traditional Lakota Sioux, only one white buIIalo calI is born every Iour generations, appearing, like a
saviour, in times oI great trouble.
154
Ostler, JeIIrey. (2004). The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism Irom Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee.
New York: Cambridge University, 129. 'Sitting Bull oIten wore a bunch oI shed buIIalo hair painted red,
Iastened on the side oI his head` as a reminder oI the coming oI the White BuIIalo CalI Woman. This
indicated more than a simple nostalgia Ior an irretrievable past. For Sitting Bull, the story oI the coming oI
the White BuIIalo CalI Woman continued to have meaning.
155
Rice 1998, p 80. "Power is wakan, but its expression requires a physical body. Black Elk includes the
woman's song as she approaches the elders assembled to receive the pipe. The song emphasizes
maniIestations, her visible breath,` the voice she is sending,` the sacred manner` oI her walking, and the
visible tracks` she leaves."
156
McKinney, Smokey. (1994). White BuIIalo CalI Biblio-Historical ReIerences.
http://nativenet.uthscsa.edu/archive/nc/9411/0018.html Last viewed August 17, 2005.
157
For example, in nhiywiwin (the Cree language), animation and verb association is the deIining basis
oI the nouns.
158
Rice 1989, 44, in reIerence to the aIorementioned quoted song
159
Taylor, Colin, 41. 'There seems to be something within the unique environment oI the Great Plains
which causes a people to live with such vivid intensity and an awareness and wonder oI the things around
them. The Plains Indian was so much in daily association with his environment and so dependent upon it,
that not only animals but plant liIe and even some inanimate objects were believed to have a spiritual
existence. There was an awareness oI a great power the energy or moving Iorce oI the universe which,
in the sacred language oI the Lakota shamans, was called Skan or To and the blue oI the sky symbolized its
presence. This was distinct Irom physical power and it could act in diIIerent ways Ior good or evil. It was
THM62

against this background that ritual and ceremonial oI the Plains tribes was set the harnessing oI this power
to best eIIect, both at the individual and tribal level.
160
An example to bridge this understanding is shown in Archie Fire Lame Deer & Erdoes 1992, 201. 'The
Pipe itselI is not sacred. It is the way in which we use it and the prayers we say when smoking it that makes
it holy. A Pipe is a manmade, material thing until it has been used in a ceremony, prayed over, and blessed.
Then a Pipe becomes sacred. Then you can Ieel a Pipe`s power and its spiritual vibration as you hold it in
your hand. Both the Pipe (product) and its use (process) are needed.
161
DeMallie, Raymond J. & Douglas R. Parks, eds. (1987). Sioux Indian Religion: Tradition and
Innovation. Norman: University oI Oklahoma, 52.
162
Ibid.
163
Torrance, 6.
164
Ibid.
165
DeMallie & Parks, 52. 'Thus the story reveals the basis Ior the strong Lakota preIerence Ior narratives
depicting relationships between human beings and spirits in historical terms.
166
DeMallie & Parks, 54, quoting Alice Fletcher.
167
Torrance, 15. 'The subjective thinker has no Iinite goal towards which he strives and which he could
reach and be Iinished: No, he strives inIinitely, is constantly in process oI becoming.
168
DeMallie & Parks, 53. 'Because oI this intense concern with how the sacred maniIests itselI in real
places and in times remembered in deIinite tribal histories, stories that explain how the world Iirst came
into being and then achieved its current Iorm held a less important place than those that tell how a
particular, deIinite relationship between human beings and spirits came about and is perpetuated in ritual.
Another way oI stating the same thing is to say that the Lakota emphasis was Iar less on an original genesis
than it was on the ongoing genesis which is the basis oI sacred history. Creation is never over and done
with. There is no clockmaker divinity in this tradition. The sacred intersects with human history,
establishing what we might call the relational myth oI origin.
169
See James G. Frazer and many other theorists oI his time Ior theories about returning to the primordial
past.`
170
Torrance, 15. 'Since human liIe is by nature steady striving and a continuous meanwhile,` the religious
aspirant will renounce the mirage oI absolute truth in this world Ior the road leading toward it.
171
Rice 1989, 44; see also Lame Deer & Erdoes, 255. 'This too is good to think about, easy to understand.
The buIIalo was part oI us, his Ilesh and blood being absorbed by us until it became our own Ilesh and
blood. Our clothing, our tipis, everything we needed Ior liIe came Irom the buIIalo`s body. It was hard to
say where the animal ended and the man began.
172
Lame Deer & Erdoes 1972, 254-255.
173
In oral traditions, storytelling is a ritual process and is considered as having oral healing properties. The
details oI the rituals (the story) point to the process (storytelling that activates the powers/ behind the rituals,
the meanings interacting to create transIormation and empowerment which is the purpose or intention oI
healing and the Lakota, and other Native Americans, belieI in medicine. This can be seen as parallel with
the Euroculture`s belieI in scientiIic medicine, with ritual medicine being described as scientiIic within
their process orientation.
174
DeMallie & Parks, 55-56.
175
Walker 1991, 30.
176
Gibbon, 151.
177
DeMallie & Parks, 54.
178
Torrance, 16.
179
Walker, James R. (1982). Lakota Society. Lincoln: University oI Nebraska, xiii.
180
DeMallie & Parks, 56.
181
Archie Fire Lame Deer & Erdoes, 205; see also Torrance, 9: 'In the solidarity oI tribal society our
accustomed antithesis oI individual and group would no doubt be inconceivable.
182
Doty, William S. (2000). Mythography: The Study oI Myths and Rituals, 2
nd
Ed. Tuscaloosa: University
oI Alabama, 466. Mythic analysis 'will be shaped by what is availablewhether with respect to contextual
inIormation about myth or ritual, or with respect to the skills available to the mythographer (Iew analysts oI
Native American myths are Iluent in the relevant languages, as a case in point), the politics/praxis oI the
analysis, and intended audiences.
THM63

183
Lame Deer & Erdoes, 251. 'II an Indian tries to talk about it (the pipe), he is easily lost. Our minds are
not good enough to understand all oI it. It is so sacred that it makes me want not to tell all I know about it.
No matter how old I am, how long I thought about it, how much I`ve learned, I never Ieel quite ready to
talk about the pipe.
184
See Brass, Eleanor. (1978). 'White BuIIalo Woman, Medicine Boy and Other Cree Tales. Calgary:
Glenbow Museum, Ior a nhiywak (Cree) story that is nothing like the Lakota narrative.
185
Torrance, 14.
186
Leeming & Page, x.
187
Ibid,ix-x.






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