Indians' Sacred White Buffalo Calf Murdered

Photo taken at Pow Wow when White Buffalo Calf was named -- shown with mother.
Photo taken at Pow Wow when White Buffalo Calf was named -- shown with mother. | Source

The White Buffalo Woman

There are times a writer has to get past his/her own emotions to write a story such as this one and that’s been this author’s problem this last week. I’ve started and stopped and rewritten…but the emotions are strong and the writing remains weak. Some things are too horrendous to commit to words and absolute unbelief looms heavy in this old heart – but the story is true and must be told again and again so man’s inhumanity to man – and animals – is never far from the heart and mind of us all…

Many Indian tribes, including the Lakota Sioux, hold the legend of The White Buffalo Woman close to their hearts and their beliefs. For those not familiar with the legend – many, many years ago the Indians were starving and near death and two of their number were out on the plains. They were visited by a White Buffalo Woman, a spirit, and one of the pair attempted to touch her and died immediately. The man remaining listened as the White Buffalo Woman told him she would visit his village as she had news and prophecy for his people. He returned to his village and announced the coming of the White Buffalo Woman.

She came to the village with the news that the people would henceforth have good hunting and not go hungry. She gave them a pipe which was to be honored and held in great respect. She forecast the birth of four white buffalo calves – each bringing a message of peace to the people. The story is quite long, detailed and beautiful – a message of hope to the tribes. The legend is well presented all over the internet if one wants in depth information – we’ve just presented a capsule view here as it’s important to this story.

White Buffalo Calf photo taken at naming ceremony.
White Buffalo Calf photo taken at naming ceremony. | Source

Thousands celebrated birth of White Buffalo Calf...

Thousands of people came together and celebrated a year ago at the birth of a White Buffalo Calf on Arby and Pat Little Soldier’s ranch near Greenville, Texas. Arby Little Soldier is the great, great grandson of Tananka Iyotanka the famous Indian most of the world knows as Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull was not an Indian Chief, as believed by many, but a Spiritual Man held in the highest regard and whose opinions were valued. Lightening Medicine Cloud was the first White Buffalo Calf born to an Indian family on property owned by them which is the Lakota Ranch.

The calf, named Lightning Medicine Cloud by elders of the tribes who gathered at the Lakota Ranch, was a time of joy and celebration for the Indian Nation. It was a jubilant day and the calf was named and dedicated to a coming together of all nations and peace. The calf was of such importance to Native American Tribes and of such significance that Homeland Security was present and overseeing all that went on in connection with the calf that day and thereafter. The White Buffalo Calf represented an icon of Indian spirituality that was openly shared with all peoples and all nations and symbolized hope for all.

The birth of a true White Buffalo Calf is deemed to be one chance in 10 million (as ascertained by scientists and those who study animal genetics).There are albino buffalo calves born but they are not true White Buffalo Calves. The true White Buffalo Calf will have brown around it’s eyes, nose and the tip of it’s tail and Lightening Medicine Cloud, from birth, was a true white buffalo. Also, the true white buffalo changes color four times so it’s not always white although it is born white.

My information indicates the first White Buffalo was born in the early 1900’s and a second in 1933 named “Big Medicine.” A white buffalo was born to a couple in Wisconsin and named “Marvel” in 1994. The couple generously shared the white buffalo with the Indian Nations and the public. Named “Marvel,” the female calf lived 10 years and died a natural death.

Little Lightening Medicine Cloud (named in honor of the thunderstorm in which he was born and also for his predecessor “Big Medicine”) is considered by the Lakota Sioux as the third of the four white buffaloes forecast by the White Buffalo Woman. Some research suggests he may well be the fourth. His birth is viewed as a blessing by Native Americans living today. Pat and Arby Little Soldier generously share the calf with their fellow Native Americans and all persons interested in the calf and their website keeps everyone posted on the calf’s progress and any events held at the ranch.



Indian Elders gathered at Lakota Ranch in 2011 to name White Buffalo Calf.
Indian Elders gathered at Lakota Ranch in 2011 to name White Buffalo Calf. | Source

Beginning of new age...

This author was blessed to have actually seen the White Buffalo Calf at a Pow Wow held at the Lakota Ranch last year. Not only the calf’s mother but the entire buffalo herd was protective of this small white calf and would circle around it as if to shield it from anything that might hurt it. Even the other buffalo sensed this calf was special.

“It’s the beginning of a new age, new times,” said Samuel Joseph Lone Wolf, a Native American elder from Palestine, Texas, who played an important role in the calf’s naming ceremony. “The birth of the white buffalo calf, it tells us we need to get right, not just with Mother Nature but with all nations and with the Creator, which is God.”

“The arrival of the white buffalo is like the second coming of Christ," says Floyd Hand Looks For Buffalo, Ogalala Medicine Man from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. "It will bring about purity of mind, body, and spirit and unify all nations--black, red, yellow, and white." He sees the birth of a white calf as an omen because they happen in the most unexpected places and often among the poorest people in the nation. The birth of the sacred white buffalo provides those within the Native American community with a sense of hope and an indication that good times are to come.

A huge celebration has been planned for a long time to honor the White Buffalo Calf’s first birthday, May 13, 2012 at the Little Soldiers’ Lakota Ranch on this Mother’s Day weekend in spite of the calf’s father, Gentle Ben, being struck and killed by lightening in early April, 2012. The White Buffalo Calf was not to be (and has not been) touched by human hands until after it’s first birthday.

Sadly, the birthday celebration for Lightening Medicine Cloud, the third White Buffalo Calf forecast by White Buffalo Woman will be a memorial celebration in remembrance of the calf and his mother. Lightening Medicine Cloud and his mother were heinously murdered last week. Why? By whom? Local law enforcement, the Texas Rangers and The Department of Homeland Security are all seeking answers to these questions and have vowed to find the evil perpetrators.

Information is sketchy but it seems Pat and Arby Little Soldier had been away from the Lakota Ranch on business for a few days and came home to find the White Buffalo Calf and his mother dead. The calf had been skinned. For obvious reasons the deaths were kept out of the press under a gag order, but only briefly before an unscrupulous reporter broke the gag order imposed by a judge. Little information is known pertaining to the crime other than that it happened. Arby Little Soldier has announced a reward in the amount of $45,000.00 for the apprehension and conviction of the perpetrators of this heinous crime and we suspect the reward is still growing as we speak.


Arby Little Soldier (holding lance) and son Tyler Little Soldier at White Buffalo Calf naming ceremonies in 2011 declaring site sacred.
Arby Little Soldier (holding lance) and son Tyler Little Soldier at White Buffalo Calf naming ceremonies in 2011 declaring site sacred. | Source

Legacy will carry on...

Little Soldier said Lightning Medicine Cloud's legacy will carry on and that the powwow scheduled for May 12-13 will go on as planned -- only now, they will memorialize the White Buffalo Calf.

"The powwow will continue on. I welcome you all to come grieve with us, mourn with us and celebrate with us," Little Soldier said. "Ecclesiastes said, 'There is a time for life and a time for death.' My little boy went on home. His mother went on home. His dad went on home. They're all together, and God bless them. This legend will go on forever."

So many questions: Who could be cruel enough to kill an animal(s) held in such spiritual esteem by a whole tribal nation? What would be the purpose? What ends could it serve? What was someone/anyone trying to prove or what statement were they trying to make? What kind of mind could dream up and carry out such a dastardly thing? One can only ascertain that man’s inhumanity to man – and animals – has reached a new pinnacle of evil and terrorism is alive and well.

This author, having an Indian heritage, has grieved intensely for our loss as have my Indian friends and relatives. Indian losses through the years have been tremendous and ongoing so, like many, we accept sorrow as another part of living. The old ways are rapidly disappearing. Fortunately, there are now a few schools that teach the old ways and the languages but it’s estimated that less than 20% of Native Americans can now speak their original language. The old people that handed down the stories, legends and customs are passing on.

An enormous heart blow to Native Americans was struck with the murder of Lightening Medicine Cloud and his mother – and it was murder. The calf was a sign of hope, peace and continuance for the Native American People and a gift from the Great Creator. They desperately and sincerely tried to share their blessing with the world as is their way.

As I write this the Elders from many tribes are gathering. What will they discuss? Will they discuss revenge? Will they discuss defeat? Will they discuss the future and the past? In my heart of Indian hearts I think they are gathering as a show of support not only for the spirits of the White Buffalo Calf and it’s mother and father but for Pat and Arby Little Soldier and their family.

Arby Little Soldier has said “the calf was the hope of all nations.”

The Elders are gathering to make sure the world knows Native Americans stand in proud support of other Native Americans, their beliefs and The United States of America itself – no matter the cause or consequences.

Perhaps within that last statement lies the real definition of “Homeland Security.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hunt County, Texas Sheriff's Department at 903-453-6800 and ask for either Sheriff Randy Meeks or Lt. Tommy Grandfield.

Author's Note - July 12, 2012 -- The Hunt County, Texas Grand Jury has been selected for their six-months sojourn. Subpoenas have been issued for suspects in this case and those persons will appear before the Grand Jury on July 27, 2012. To date, no suspect names have been released. Law enforcement of Hunt County, Texas and Homeland Security has deligently pursued this case and it appears those indicted will stand trial for a hate crime which bears very strong penalties within the U.S. Judicial System. Updates will appear here as the case progresses.





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Comments 41 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Looks like somebody was looking for a special skin to hang on the wall. They'll get caught sooner or later. We had a Bighorn Sheep killed in a zoo here in Arizona and beheaded for a similar trophy. The jerk was caught.

They walk among us.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi Will -- yep, they surely do walk among us. If one believes in Karma I'd surely hate to be the idiot that pulled this one -- no hope at all! Thanks for stopping by -- always good to hear from you. Best/Sis


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

BTW, the killing of the defensless bighorn in a zoo was horrible enough, but pales in comparison to this evil act. This was the deliberate killing of an animal known by almost everyone to be sacred to our Indian friends and neighbors.

The punishment in this case will not fit the crime.


dashingclaire profile image

dashingclaire 4 years ago from United States

WillStarr I shared this On Twitter when I saw this terrible action. They, whoever they are, killed the baby and mother. They have no idea how powerful killing something that's sacred to a group of people can be. I have no doubt punishment will be appropriate.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi again, Will -- I'm afraid you're right -- there's no way the punishment will fit this crime if the evil doers are even ever caught. If this could be classified as a terrorist incident perhaps it could be prosecuted further but I'm not hopeful. It appears to me to be a direct hate crime against the Indian nations but then I'm very obviously prejudiced and don't deny it. Best/Sis


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Dashingclaire -- I pray you're correct in that punishment will be appropriate for this heinous crime. You're very right in your statement about killing something that's sacred to a group of people -- it's attacking their very soul. Thank you so much for commenting and your astute insight into this matter. Best/Sis


Lyn.Stewart profile image

Lyn.Stewart 4 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

Hi ... I'm from New Zealand and wasn't aware of the birth of this wonderously spiritual creature or it's importance to the native people of the land.

Firstly I wish to thank you for sharing the story of the White Buffalo Woman and this innocent baby Lightning Medicine Cloud.

I also wish to let you know that my heart cries after hearing how this little treasure was brutally taken from the people. I hope and pray that the Great Mother returns this treasure to the earth so that it may forfill it's destiny.

It also saddened me to hear that only 20% of native people can speak the ancient language. Would it not pay to create a web site that can teach the young people how to speak the language and includes stories for the young to listen to that are read to them by some of the elders.

You could then create another site for older children with the stories and language that they should hear and learn. Then create another that if you wish only can be entered once you have gone home to connect with the land. put all the stories adults need to know and hear on this site.

Sorry for digressing ... Blessed be


GinaCPocan profile image

GinaCPocan 4 years ago from Chicago

Angela, this is truly sad news. This I didn't hear about until now. Then again I haven't been reading my emails or notices. I'm surprised my friend Joye hadn't told me, but maybe she did and its buried under tons of emails. This is really sad.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hello Lyn.Stewart -- what a marvelous and encouraging comment -- thank you so very much. Your ideas on encouraging the younger to learn the languages and old ways is valid -- there are now some schools engaged in this very thing which is very uplifting. How sad it would be to lose the culture of the Native American people. It's such a gentle way of life in spite of what history books choose to portray. My Native American heritage comes from my father -- Comanche -- but then I'm now considered an "Elder" and can only encourage the younger to learn and remember. Thank you again for your comments. Best/Sis


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

GinaCPocan -- thank you for your kind comments and indeed this is a very sad happening -- not just for the Indians but for everyone. The calf was sacred and dedicated to peace, hope and the coming together of people of every color -- the fact that it was murdered says something to me about the place in time we are all living -- and it appears it's time for us to unite as the human race and in brotherhood. It's beyond me how a small white calf could incur such hate. Thank you so much for commenting. Best/Sis


Lyn.Stewart profile image

Lyn.Stewart 4 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

I am glad some schools are picking up the mantle to teach this language to the young ones. Nothing is the same as the stories you listen to as a child from Elders though(in my humble opinion). I guess now that you are considered an Elder that making sure there is a way for future generations to learn the stories, the ways and the language lays heavily on your shoulders.

I must admit that when I watched movies in my youth I always wished the Native Americans would win the day as their lifestyle looking after the earth etc always rang true and the way it should be to me. I also used to wish I could run away and go and live with the Native American people.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hello again Lyn -- there's much to be learned from the Native Americans as to earth awareness, etc. -- it rings true because it is logical and actually a way of life not just an idea. As an Elder I do what I can but having been raised by my maternal grandmother (who was less than proud of my Indian heritage) -- I don't have the knowledge of many Elders and tribal leaders -- in fact have had a huge learning curve myself. Best/Sis


GinaCPocan profile image

GinaCPocan 4 years ago from Chicago

Lyn, those are nice sentiments. but just for your education, Indian life in the past was far from romantic. Hollywood likes to dress us up for the sake of ratings and income. Before whites we had a wholesome past, not always peaceful, but wholesome. After the whites came, no Hollywood movie can tell our story. None. To run away and live with us, may not have been a wise idea. But, it would have been very brave of you. :) *The White Buffalo will return again.


Lyn.Stewart profile image

Lyn.Stewart 4 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

lol Gina as an adult I know how hard that life could be. I do still think the things you would learn would be well worth the hard work one would have to put in. I am also glad to live where I do in the time I do. I agree with you that no hollywood movie has ever come anywhere close to telling your story past and present. I would never entertaint the idea that I have even an inkling of the true extent of this story. I can only say that as a child my soul wanted to be where it felt it would be home.... Peace, Love and Light


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Gina -- how right you are AND -- indeed -- the White Buffalo WILL return again. Best/Sis


American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

Wonderful hub, sad ending! voted up and interesting!


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Lyn - what lovely sentiments and you are not alone. I've met many who feel as you do. Gina is correct in that life was hard and often very harsh but was wholesome. Peace, love and light to you, too, my dear. Best/Sis


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank you American Romance -- yes, the ending is tragic but as Gina said -- the White Buffalo will return again. Best/Sis


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 4 years ago

You wrote this story beautifully. It's more than sad that someone killed the white buffalo calf. I could feel the joy everyone felt when it was born, the great symbolism, the deep spiritual feelings. And the sorrow when it was killed. Yet I do believe just the fact of its birth holds great promise.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Sheila b. -- thanks for the compliment and your comments. I, too, believe the birth of the calf foretells hope -- the monsters who killed it can't ever destroy the fact that it was born and remains significant. Best/Sis


GinaCPocan profile image

GinaCPocan 4 years ago from Chicago

I just prey with all my heart that this wasn't an act of one of our own who is deeply troubled. Maybe a teenager or two.:(

I really really hope not. This is what troubles me.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Gina -- I join you in that prayer. The way this was carried out required a certain level of skill and strength which very strong teenagers could possibly achieve but more likely evil adults -- of any color or persuasion. It's been on my mind and heart that this was some sort of a terrorist act to intimidate Native Americans -- could be Americans or some other nationality. I can't really believe that this was just a random act of violence -- but we're living in a strange world! Thanks for stopping back by! Best/Sis


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina

So sorry to hear about this travesty!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Angela, You've done a masterful job of telling this story. My heart goes out to the Native American people on the loss of this sacred buffalo calf, Lightning Medicine Cloud. We are grieving with you. This is a heinous crime that speaks loudly about what is happening to our nation's values and morals.

“The birth of the white buffalo calf, it tells us we need to get right, not just with Mother Nature but with all nations and with the Creator, which is God.”

How true that is and even more powerfully so in light of this tragic event.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank you for commenting resspenser. Best/Sis


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

PegCole17 - Thank you so very much. The statement you quoted is from an Indian Elder named Sam Lone Wolf whom I happen to know. He's a very wise man and I thought his statement was beautifully crafted and well put. I agree, the statement is even more profound after this horrific tragedy. Best/Sis


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi Angela, Reading this I was stunned. In fact it really upset me even though I live in England, I have always had a great respect for the Native Americans or Indians and knew about the White Buffalo's in their history. I think its because when I was growing up I was fascinated by their lives and their Spiritual beliefs, and even now I get transfixed when I read about them. This made me so mad, how could anybody do this? it makes me sick to my stomach. I hope they find them and justice will be served, what an evil thing to do. Is nothing sacred anymore? nell


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hello Nell and thanks so much for your kind condolences. I think your reaction has taken hold internationally about this incident as it's so evil and mean. Your last comment is so on target -- we have to wonder if anything is sacred anymore as it seems cruelty knows no bounds. One thing's for certain -- the White Buffalo Calf made a tremendous impression on many while he was here and his spirit will live on -- and return. Best/Sis


Dubuquedogtrainer profile image

Dubuquedogtrainer 4 years ago from Dubuque, Iowa

That is really sad. I'm sorry for all concerned, animals and the people.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Dubuquedogtrainer -- thank you so much on behalf of the Indian nations and the marvelous White Buffalo Calf and it's mother. Their spirits will live on. Your comments are sincerely appreciated. Best/Sis


GinaCPocan profile image

GinaCPocan 4 years ago from Chicago

To anyone interested it the update to Angela's story, here is a link. You might have to copy and paste it to your browser.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/05/...


Lyn.Stewart profile image

Lyn.Stewart 4 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

The poor mother died of a broken heart, at least that's how I read it. I hope this horrid act is made into a hate crime so that the person who did this is made to pay. Here in New Zealand causing harm to any animal is a chargable offence. Thank you for the update link GinaCPocan.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for the link, GinaC -- I wrote the story and have been on the road ever since -- back home this evening and just now catching up. Best/Sis


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi Lyn -- and thanks for the comments. I personally believe it WAS a hate crime in one way or another. It's a fact the poor mother was murdered also -- she was found the day after they found her baby. Harming animals is a chargable offense in the U.S., too -- but I've never felt the punishment near harsh enough to fit some of the horrendous crimes. Best/Sis


Amanda 4 years ago

Are there any movies about white buffalo? Besides "the white buffalo" with Charles Bronson.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas Author

Hi Amanda -- I don't know much about movies so couldn't advise you on that -- Sorry. Thanks for stopping by -- appreciate it muchly! Best/Sis


Deborah Wood 2 years ago

I only just learned of this - I was looking up information on white buffalo - learned of the birth - was over joyed then immediately learned of the brutal death. No matter how you worship - a single God or many gods - all agree that there is a season unto everything - and I have to believe there was a reason for this horrific crime - it's the only way I can wrap my head around such cruelty - blessings to your people, I am sure this has been a very difficult time for you - no punishment can ever fit this crime but I have to hope they will be charged federally and that all plea bargains will be denied and a maximum sentence handed down. Only the lowest of the low can commit a crime against the helpless - they are not worthy to breathe the same air we breathe.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 2 years ago from Central Texas Author

Deborah -- in the interim since I wrote this piece authorities have decided to take "the low road" so to speak. They've found every reason in the world to blame the calf's death on everyone and everything except whomever did the deed. They finally decided the calf, it's mother and father died "natural deaths" due to disease that lives in the soil at the ranch. One can't help but find that strange as the rest of a large buffalo herd, grazing on the same grass -- in the same pastures -- suffered no problems whatsoever. It is, indeed, a sad, sad situation which, in all probability, will never be addressed again. Best, Sis


B Lucy profile image

B Lucy 2 years ago from Podunk, Virginia

Very informative hub . . . yet so incredibly sad. People never cease to disappoint me with their disregard for Mother Earth and cruelty towards her inhabitants.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Is that the 'end of the story' Angela? I too find it hard to believe that just those three died while the rest are unharmed.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 2 years ago from Central Texas Author

B Lucy -- the local law enforcement decided the ranch owners/owners of the calf had something to do with this situation and just brushed it under the rung -- no information to the public after that! Thanks for commenting. Best/Sis

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