GREENVILLE, Texas — Thousands of people came from miles around Wednesday to see and honor a legend in the flesh — the white buffalo born in a thunderstorm on a northeast Texas ranch.
The rare white buffalo calf, regarded as sacred by the Lakota Sioux, was honored with Native American prayers, religious songs and the solemn smoking of a pipe in a special naming and dedication ceremony at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas.
Flag-flying patriotism, a steady Native American drum beat and scorching heat provided the backdrop for the spiritual event that drew about 2,000.
The calf was named Lightning Medicine Cloud — a reference to the thunderstorm that marked the arrival of his birth as well as a tribute to a white buffalo born in 1933 named Big Medicine.
According to Lakota Sioux tradition, Whope, the goddess of peace, once appeared in the form of a white buffalo calf. Some say the goddess will return once four such calves are born.