BROUGHT TO YOU BY SNOWWOWL.COM-NON-COMMERCIAL NATIVE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL WEBSITE DAVID SWALLOW BLESSES PENNSYLVANIA WHITE BUFFALO CALF CEREMONY HONORS UNIQUE WHITE BUFFALO
Fayette County, Pennsylvania Herald-Standard
WHITE BUFFALO GETS TRIBAL BLESSING IN FAYETTE COUNTY Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tribune-Review Standard Herald Interview with David Swallow on the White Buffalo-Video <~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~> David Swallow Articles:
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CEREMONY HONORS UNIQUE WHITE BUFFALO
By Jenny Susa, Fayette County, Pennsyvania Herald-Standard
FARMINGTON - Although it was a cold, rainy Saturday, a mass of umbrellas sheltering the crowd could be seen at the Woodland Zoo as the sound of drums and chants filled the air.
This was the start of a ceremony that David Swallow of the Lakota Tribe and his family traveled more than 2,000 miles to perform. They came from Pine Ridge, S.D., to tell the people here the significance of the white buffalo, Kenahkihinen, that was born at the Woodland Zoo in November.
According to zoo owners Sonny and Jill Herring, the odds of getting a white buffalo from a normal brown buffalo is about 1 in 10 million. But the white buffalo is also a sacred animal in American Indian tradition.
On Saturday, Swallow, who identified himself one of the headmen of the Lakota Nation, explained why the birth of the white buffalo was so important.
Swallow said that his culture is beginning to die because he is one of only 200 people who can fluently speak the Lakota language. He taught himself how to speak the English language and travels as a way to help other people.
According to Swallow, in his culture the white buffalo would appear to the people when there was a great need.
"Why there is so much turmoil and violence on earth, these are the signs that are brought by the white buffalo," said Swallow. "The white buffalo showed itself to the people so that they could live on."
He said that it was about 200 years ago when someone in the Lakota Tribe last performed a white buffalo ceremony, and since that time, they have only appeared on agricultural land, because the Lakota Nation was divided.
"Great disaster, sickness and war are coming and that is why the white buffalo has showed itself to the people...to give them a warning," said Swallow.
He explained that in the old days, the Indian man who had seen the white buffalo would have performed a ceremony in which they killed the buffalo.
"It was about giving," said Swallow. "He had to do this in order for the people to live."
Over the course of four days, the parts of the buffalo would have been distributed for use, and sacred symbols would have been printed on the hide, which would have been taken to the Black Hills of South Dakota. They did this so that disease and hatred that was to come would pass over their people, and their descendants would live on.
"Today there is so much hatred," said Swallow. "There is child abuse going on, and violence."
Swallow said that it was prophesied in his culture that these things would take place, and their people were told they would hear "the voices of the children cry."
"The great white buffalo has come to this place with a message," said Swallow. "Regardless of your color, we are all living on this Mother Earth, and there are children here who still need to live. It might be that there is a great sickness that no doctors can cure, and we will see our children and grandchildren get sick. This is not about me or where I come from, but it is about humanity. The white buffalo has come to give the people a warning and we must listen to the message of the white buffalo. I am not talking about the end of the world, but about a new beginning. Today we must change, we must give."
Before closing with a traditional blanket dance, Swallow said a prayer in the Lakota language that he said was for all American people and the children of all nations.
"I have asked the Great Spirit to look down upon us with compassion because we don't know what is going to happen to us," said Swallow.
Since there was no charge to attend the event, men stood at the exits with blankets to collect donations to help Swallow and his family get back home. Swallow said he was asked to come to Farmington by relatives who had heard of the white buffalo, but knew nothing of the ceremonies that used to be conducted by their people, since it had been so long since a ceremony had been performed.
Swallow said the importance of the white buffalo, and how to perform the ceremonies, had been taught to him by his grandfather.
Herald-Standard U-Tube Interview,
WHITE BUFFALO GETS TRIBAL BLESSING IN FAYETTE COUNTY
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tribune-Review
Sunday, April 15, 2007
It was about 200 years ago when Native Americans last held a white buffalo blessing ceremony on Lakota territory in South Dakota.
In Fayette County on Saturday, a blessing ceremony was held to honor a male white buffalo born Nov. 12 at the Woodland Zoo in Farmington, Fayette County. The buffalo has been named Kenahkihinen, which means "watch over us" in the language of the Lenape tribe.
Lakota spiritual leader David Swallow, a member of the Teton Lakota Nation, band of Crazy Horse, and a headman of the Lakota Nation, came to the amphitheater at the zoo to talk about the significance of the birth of the white buffalo.
"The white buffalo shows itself because there is a great need," Swallow told a crowd of about 100. "There is great disaster coming -- sickness and war -- and the white buffalo comes to give us a warning."
In a traditional Lakota blessing ceremony, the white buffalo would have been shot so that the Lakota people would live without falling victim to disease.
"Every part of the white buffalo is sacred," Swallow said. "Every part was given to the sick of the tribe. Sacred symbols were put on the white buffalo hide, which would be taken to a place in the Black Hills."
Kenahkihinen, however, will continue living in peace at Woodland Zoo.
Swallow said the white buffalo stopped appearing before the Lakota people because the nation "was divided."
"We had signed up with the government," he added. "Now the white buffalo has come to you, our white brothers and sisters. It wanted to speak to you."
The rare white buffalo serves as a sign to everyone, regardless of color, as a warning to remedy how Mother Earth and her creatures are being treated, Swallow said.
"It is not the end of the world, but a new beginning," Swallow said. "There is a huge whirlwind out there called progress and one day it will come to a stop. When the great change comes, I will dance because my work will be done."
Michael "Haw" Spisak, a Scottdale sundancer who is a member of the Athabascan tribe, which originated in the Alaskan interior, called Swallow's visit to Western Pennsylvania an "historic event" that was not marred by rain and 39-degree temperatures.
Area Native Americans performed a traditional ceremony to thank the Swallow family for visiting.
The zoo sold white buffalo souvenirs, such as dream-catchers and stuffed animals, along with refreshments that included hot dogs and nachos. Members of the crowd, which included many Native Americans, paid to tour the zoo. Admission to the blessing ceremony was free.
Picture of Nyla Swallow: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/news/fayette/p_104163.html
<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~> <~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~>+<~> This article was sent to us by Stephanie M. Schwartz - http://www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com .
~~Thank you Stephanie for continuing to keep us aware.~~Stone Woman
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