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[to Whom the twenty-ninth day of June, day 180, is dedicated]
Geography/Culture: North America: Dakota. Sioux, Lakota Sioux -- the pipe reached them between 1785 and 1800. A parallel myth has been recorded among the Wichita.
Linguistic Note: In Lakota Sioux Wi, is a name for the sun.
Description: Beautiful White Buffalo Calf (or Cow); Goddess of harmony, beauty and pleasure; Teacher of the songs and prayers of the five (some say seven) sacred ceremonies for the prolongation of life (the Fosterparent Chant, the Sun Dance, the Vision Cry, the Buffalo Chant, and the Ghost Keeper); Presider over the four winds which can function only at Her bidding; Spiller of milk that the people may live; Assigner of color symbolism; She Who brought the religion of the Sacred Pipe; She Who destroys those who think of rape.
To Whom Sacred: sage; wood (symbol of all vegetation, of which the stem of the pipe, carved to resemble the windpipe of a calf, is made); buffalo (symbol of all four-footed ones), especially white buffalo calf -- or cow -- in which form She sometimes manifests); red-stone (symbol of the earth, from which the bowl of the pipe is made in the likeness of a buffalo calf); cave (in which some say She lives); spotted eagle feathers (symbol of all flying creatures); buffalo skull; mist (in which the potential rapist was enveloped); snakes (who ate the would be rapist down to his skeleton); fan made of flat sage; calumet, 'pipe of peace', sacred calf pipe through the agency of which ceremonies and rituals are empowered (the winglike flange on either side of the bowl is of an Arikara type); colors red (for north), yellow (for east), white (for south), black (for west); the number 12 (twelve spotted eagle feathers hang from where the stem joins the bowl of the pipe).
Iconography: when manifest in human form She wears a fringed buckskin dress, leggings, and moccasins. Her hair hangs loose except at the left side where a tuft of shredded buffalo hair is tied. Her face is painted with red vertical stripes. In Her right hand She carries either a fan of sage, or the sacred pipe, its stem in Her right and the bowl resting in Her left.
Or: She is dressed in sage and carries a buffalo-skin bundle.
Male Associates: Wakan'tanka, ----, the sun, who is Her grandfather. Skan,----, Great Spirit, source of energy, identified with the sky (it is claimed he made Her as his Daughter). Tatan'ka-woslal'-nazin, Buffalo-Stands-Upward, the chief who recieved the pipe from Her.