Honoring the Buffalo: The Agreement Between the Great White Mother Bear and Grandmother Cedar

~Nicholas Noble Wolf

When people were slaughtering the buffalo without mercy, the Great White Mother Bear was overwhelmed with the number of buffalo souls coming to her. It is she who takes the souls of the animals and purifies them prior to returning them to be born again. When the people kill animals with disrespect, she will keep the souls and not return them. This will cause a shortage of food for the people.

When the great slaughter of buffaloes was going on, Mother was determined that the people should have no buffalo to keep them alive. However, she was overwhelmed by the enormous quantity of buffalo souls being sent her way. She then turned to Grandmother Cedar for assistance. Mother asked Grandmother if she would help out by taking into herself the souls of the buffalo. Grandmother acceded, and even now when you look, you can see that many cedar trees in the American West have two spirits—that of the cedar and that of the buffalo.

We know that this is true, because breeding buffalo has been very hard. They just would not seem to bare children. It has been only within the past few years that the Great White Mother Bear has seen fit to begin sending buffalo souls back to the people.