White Buffalo Prayer
John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars
Featuring Wayne Kramer
SpyBoy Records SBCD-1001
By John Sinclair
For many First Nations people, the birth of a female white buffalo calf named Miracle on a farm in Janesville, Wisconsin in August 1994 fulfilled a key Lakota prophecy and signaled the beginning of a new era in human relations.
According to this prophecy, White Buffalo Calf Woman materialized long ago in a Lakota village in the guise of a beautiful maiden. She gave the people the gift of the sacred pipe of peace and taught them how to live respectfully and harmoniously with everyone on earth. She would leave them now to learn these lessons for themselves, she explained, but upon her return she would lead them into a new social order based on her teachings.
As the woman left the village the people saw her change into a black buffalo calf. The calf rolled on the ground and came up red; rolled again and turned yellow; rolled once more and changed to white, signifying that people of all colors are one. Then the calf disappeared, and it was prophesied that the woman would return in the form of a white buffalo calf when the people were ready to receive her wisdom.
As keeper of the sacred White Buffalo pipe and interpreter of the Lakota prophecy, Dr. Arvol Looking Horse has traveled far from his home on the Green Grass reservation in South Dakota to spread the word of universal peace to world leaders and people from all walks of life. In January Looking Horse was invited by President Clinton to pray at the Inaugural festivities in Washington DC, where he spoke of the drum as the heart of Mother Earth and of the need for global healing through the power of the drum and the music it brings us.
Chief Looking Horse enjoys a special relationship with the city of New Orleans since his 1996 visit for our annual White Buffalo Day celebration, where the Lakota holy man blessed Congo Square as sacred ground and sanctified the remarkable treaty made between Lakota and Choctaw Ghost Dancers and the Mardi Gras Indians at their long-awaited first meeting on August 27, 1994.
On that day a Sacred Circle was formed in Congo Square by Kam Night Chase (Lakota Pipe Carrier) and David Carson (Choctaw) to greet and honor Big Chiefs Tootie Montana (Yellow Pocahontas), Donald Harrison Sr. (Guardians of the Flame), Larry Bannock (Golden Star Hunters), Spy Boy Nat (White Eagles), other Big Chiefs and representatives of the Mardi Gras Indian Council.
There the Mardi Gras Indian Natiion was formally accepted as brothers by the Native Americans, gifted with medicine bundles, and invited to share the sacred 1500-year-old Choctaw clan pipe of Mayan origin with the face of an African warrior on the bowl. The treaty was solemnified by drumming and sacred songs of both peoples, including a Lakota Ghost Dance song and a jubilant "Indian Red" led by Tootie Montana.
* * * * *
Kam Night Chase, a Lakota Pipe Carrier active in the Ghost Dance movement, had learned of the Black Indians of New Orleans from his friend Goat Carson, a half-breed harmonica preacher and barbeque specialist, and his wife Sharon Marie Asch, new residents of the Crescent City.
Goat and Sharon had met members of the Carrollton Hunters at Carson's weekly Sunday afternoon cookouts at Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge uptown. When they spied the Wild Indians in the streets at their first Mardi Gras, Goat and Sharon's minds were blown by the many forms of homage paid to Native American culture by these inner-city Americans of African descent.
Carson could hear the echoes of Cherokee and Choctaw ceremonial music in the songs and chants of the Mardi Gras Indians; he wasn't surprised to learn that these distinctive forms had been arranged for the original Creole Wild West tribe more than a hundred years before by a full-blooded 7'2" Choctaw named Eugene Honore. But the Mardi Gras Indians had developed through successive generations without the benefit of actual contact with First Nations peoples, and Goat and Sharon resolved to try to bring the two together.
Night Chase was shown tapes and photos of the Mardi Gras Indians and heard a recording of the Black Indian prayer, "Indian Red," which struck a deep, responsive chord. Soon Night Chase would receive a vision revealing the Mardi Gras Indians as fellow Ghost Dancers, honoring and keeping the spirits of the ancestors alive with song, dance, and elaborate ritual costumery. In keeping with the teachings of White Buffalo Calf Woman, their prayer for recognition as brothers should be answered.
Night Chase extended an "Invitation to a Ghost Dance and Sacred Treaty" to Big Chief Alison "Tootie" Montana of the Yellow Pocahontas on behalf of the Mardi Gras Indian Nation. Montana asked that a public ceremony be held in Congo Square to celebrate the realization of this deeply cherished "hundred-year dream." The historic meeting was capped by the participation of City Councilman Troy Carter, who smoked the peace pipe and joined the City of New Orleans to the treaty.
Following the Sacred Circle ceremony Night Chase continued to pray for a sign that he had done the right thing by accepting the Black Indians as brothers of the Lakota Nation. That night the birth of the white buffalo calf in Wisconsin was announced by Dr. Looking Horse as a harbinger of the return of White Buffalo Calf Woman.
Night Chase now felt certain the Sacred Circle had fulfilled the Lakota prophecy that red, yellow, black and white would all come together and pray, each in their own way, for unity, peace and healing. The Sacred Circle should be joined to the birth of the white buffalo calf as a day of celebration in New Orleans each year.
In the spirit of White Buffalo Calf Woman, may it help lead us to the ultimate goal of unity for the family, peace for the tribes, and healing for the wounds of all nations.
April 23, 2000
White Buffalo Prayer John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars
Spyboy Records SB 1001
 The White Buffalo Legend (9:11)
 The White Buffalo Prophecy (8:17)
 History 101 > White Buffalo Day (17:40)
Produced by John Sinclair for Big Chief Productions
John Sinclair, voice " Wayne Kramer, guitar " Charles Moore, trumpet " Ralph Buzzy Jones, tenor saxophone " Craig Stuart, alto saxophone " Paul Ill, bass " Michael Voelker, drums.
This performance is taken from a live radio broadcast on KXLU-FM, Loyola-Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, August 18, 1997 and was recorded in performance by Matt (Justin Time) Fitzgerald.
The original DAT masters were destroyed by fire in New Orleans on January 24, 2000 and the performance restored from cassette tapes and edited with the assistance of Andy Soloviev and David Kunian. Mastered by Henry Petras, John Sinclair & Greg Troyer at Side One Studios, Metairie, LA, April 22, 2000. Remastered by Tom Morgan at Elysian Fields, August 3, 2000.
1 Chief Arvol Looking Horse / Sinclair/ Michael Voelker (Big Chief Productions, ASCAP)
2 Looking Horse / Sinclair / Kramer (Big Chief Productions, ASCAP)
3 Charles Neville / Sinclair / Kramer / Moore (Big Chief Productions, ASCAP)
4 Goat Carson (Nophir Music)/ Sinclair / Kramer / Moore (Big Chief Productions, ASCAP)
Executive Producers: John Bouille & Mario Madero for Spyboy Productions
Production Coordination: Henry Petras for New Orleans Music Online
Cover & package design: Celia Sinclair for Mojo Graphix
This album is dedicated to Chief Arvol Looking Horse and Rev. Goat Carson