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[016] Origin of the Buffalo

Origin of the Buffalo

Origin of the Buffalo


In the days of the grandfathers, buffaloes lived under the earth. In the olden times, they say, a man who was journeying came to a hill where there were many holes in the ground. He entered one of them. When he had gone inside he found buffalo chips and buffalo tracks on all sides. He found also buffalo hairs where the buffaloes had rubbed against the walls. These were the real buffaloes and they lived under the ground. Afterwards some of them came to the surface of the earth and lived there. Then the herds on the earth increased.

These buffaloes had many lodges and there they raised their children. They did many strange things. Therefore when a man escapes being wounded by an enemy, people say he has seen the buffaloes in his dreams, and they have helped him.

Men who dream of the buffaloes act like them and dance the buffalo-bull dance. Then the man who acts the buffalo has a real buffalo inside of him, people say, a little hard ball near the shoulder blade; and therefore he is very hard to kill. No matter how often he is wounded, he does not die.

People know that the buffaloes live in earth lodges; so they never dance the buffalo dance vainly.

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