This is what I know from my Grandfather. This is my
Grandpaís teaching, this is what he told to me:
Nobody goes to see the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the
Sacred White Buffalo Calf C'anunpa, out of curiosity, nobody
even thinks about it out of curiosity. The only time you thinks
about it is when you need help, the only time you mention it is
when you need help, the only time you go over there is when you
There are some preparations to be followed, too. If you are
a Lakota or a Spiritual person, and if your ancestors told you
(your grandfathers, grandmas, uncles), then you should know.
But if they donít tell you, then hereís how it isÖ.
We have to go prepared for four days ahead of time. This is
what my Grandpa said. You have to go four days ahead of time.
People went in caravans, in wagons and such, in those days.
They take their own wood and they take gifts to whoever is
watching the Sacred White Buffalo Calf C'anunpa [the Keeper and
their family]. They take food, wood, and sweat covers. They
sweat for four days before they go in there (into the C'anunpaís
lodge-house). That is what was told to me.
And when they get done sweating for four days, then they make
the offerings: tobacco ties and whatever they offer. Then they
go close to it: from so far, they kneel and crawl close to it,
he said. He said they pray, they talk to the Bundle, they talk
to the C'anunpa there, and they put the offering there.
Then they come back down and have a sweat again to wipe
themselves [so to prepare themselves] to come back into
society. And sometimes, on that night, they have a Yuwipi
ceremony too. And that is what my Grandpa told me. It is very
sacred, this C'anunpa.
It is very sacred. If youíre not a Lakota person then I
guess you donít know. Because all Lakota, we know this: [that]
in all the worlds, this is highly sacred. So therefore, when
they ask, nobody just go out of curiosity to check this C'anunpa
out or even go near it.
Iíve seen it [the Bundle]. I know the Powers. I know what
it could do. You know, Spiritual people and Lakota people, they
know. They donít even think about it. They know. But todayís
generation, a lot of the relatives grew up in an undisciplined
way. We call it the education. They forgot about the
Tradition, the Old Ways. They forgot about it. So, when they
go to school, colleges, university they read books about
Einstein and whoever and then they come back with a Wasichu
mind. And then, curiosity is in there. See?
So if you are Lakota or a Spiritual person, good. But if
youíre not, learn to use the ears. Learn. Come talk to the
real person, not the politicians, not the college centers. You
cannot institutionalize this Old Way. There is no way, you
cannot institutionalize because, as we know in the Old Way,
Wakan Tanka gave this to us, the Lakota Way of Life. I live
that way of life every day. I use my Lakota mind.
I only went to school through the fourth grade. After that,
I was raised in the Lakota way, the language and everything.
When I was small, they said I donít have the right education so
Iím going to amount to nothing. But itís not the ďrightĒ
education thatís going to make you something; it is going to
contaminate you. But it is the Lakota mind and the language
that will make you something which the Creator will recognize.
So before we could think about the Sacred White Buffalo Calf
C'anunpa, or go near it, we have to, we have to become one
within ourselves and know how to approach it. Ask somebody, ask
the old people, one of the old people. We have two kinds of old
people: one just grows old without the wisdom and the other one
is with wisdom. So we have to be careful, now, in this Seventh
Personally I have never seen the actual Sacred White Buffalo
Calf C'anunpa myself. But I have seen the Bundle, I have gone
inside, but I have never seen the C'anunpa. But I know the
Power of what it is. So if somebody out there has a curiosity
mind, then he or she or they shouldnít even go near the C'anunpa
HO. This is all Iím going to say. Washtelo. Aho. Wopilalo.
David Swallow, Jr., Wowitan Yuha Mani
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Stephanie M. Schwartz walked on to the Spirit World in 2009.
View other publications of Stephanie M. Schwartz at www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com>