White Buffalo Calf Woman

21 September 2013

White Buffalo Calf Woman
black coloured pencil on A4 paper
an illustration for the book Even Odd
September 2013

White Buffalo Calf Woman is a messianic sacred spirit of the Oglala Sioux. Long ago, she appeared, first in the form of a white buffalo calf, who changed into a beautiful woman, to bestow upon the people their 7 sacred spiritual rituals and and to give them the first peace pipe. Before turning back into a calf, and disappearing from the earth, like a ghost, White Buffalo Calf Woman promised to come again, bringing peace and the return of the buffalo herds to the land, saying the omen of her coming would be the birth of a female white buffalo.

 In the early 90's, my mom and I took a road trip from north-eastern Ohio to a small farm in central Wisconsin, where a female white buffalo calf, named Miracle, had been born. I brought her a hand-beaded gift that I'd made, which I hung on her fence, along side the myriad of decorative offerings that visitors had brought for her. It was the first time that I'd ever seen buffalo, in person, and I remember that she was small and shy, and looked so sweet as she nuzzled her mother. That adventure to see the white buffalo is a precious memory from my childhood, and I remembered my feelings of the moment, while drawing this portrait.



Cara said...


Coreopsis said...

Lovely portrait! It's so sensitively drawn, and all the different elements work together so well!

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