A white buffalo was born June 16th at Peter Fay’s buffalo farm in the unlikely location of Goshen, Connecticut. According to the National Bison Association, one such birth occurs in ten million. That’s among a population of about only 500,000. To Native Americans, it is the fulfillment of prophecy. The birth of a white buffalo calf signifies it is near the time when White Buffalo Calf Woman will return to purify the world. To Peter Fay, it is an oddity and source of excitement.
After a routine birth, Mr. Fay was surprised by the delivery of a second calf. “And when it hit the ground I could see it was white,” Fay told WTNH News 8. “I didn’t really look at it twice because it was new, and after 20 minutes when it got dried off and was nursing with the mom I knew it was something different.”
“They had a dance out in South Dakota on Wednesday,” Fay continued, “dancing and praying for a buffalo and a calf, and when that happens they say a calf is born three days after the ceremony. And they told me this prior to asking me when my calf was born, and then I told them it was three days after their ceremony, so they were pretty excited about that.”
A white bison is believed to be a manifestation of the White Buffalo Calf Maiden, or Ptesan Wi. She is revered as a prophet, who taught the Lakotas their seven sacred rituals and gave them their most important symbol of worship, the sacred pipe. The birth of such a calf is an auspicious auger of her imminent rebirth.
An anonymous woman spread word of the white bison bull to her friends in South Dakota, including Marian White Mouse of Wanblee, South Dakota. “I was stunned because it’s a very rare event, these things don’t just happen,” White Mouse told Indian Country Today Media Network. “We were having our Sun Dance during that time, and it was four days after the Sun Dance when we finally heard about it.”
“They are very rare, and when a white bison is born there is a reason for each one to be here. It’s such a blessing for someone to take care of a bison like Peter Fay will. I told him when it was born, ‘You don’t even know what you have on your hands here.’ ”
White Mouse and her brother-in-law Steve Stonearrow, a Lakota medicine man, plan to travel to Fay’s farm for an official naming ceremony scheduled for July 28th. In the mean time, the calf has been dubbed “White Buffalo.” Provisions for the animal’s safety have been made.
April 30th, a white bison calf was found slaughtered and skinned along with his mother on a Lakota ranch near Greenville, Texas in what some believe was an anti-Indian hate crime. A $45,000 reward is being offered for information leading to apprehending the culprits. Mr. Fay told local news he has already received a threatening phone call, and is being very careful. “I haven’t gone to work since he was born,” he said. “I’m getting so many calls and people stopping by and people are very, very concerned about what’s going to happen to him.” Mr. Fay said either he or someone else watches the field day and night.
He has no interest in selling the bison, or his sibling. “I’ll never give them up,” he affirmed.