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Friday Feature: An Earth Spirit Transcendent

Elk Good Water Sacred White Buffalo Hand Drum

On this day, the earth opens to receive the tears of the sky.

There is much for which to weep: past, present, prophecy. At a more individual level, we feel it too, having just bade farewell only days ago to our own much-loved spirit — not the white buffalo of today’s featured work, but our white horse, no less sacred to us for that. I tied together some wildflowers today, and set them upon the earth where his body rests. In our way, he is home now, hooves no longer touching the muddy earth of this world, but racing across a skyroad made of stardust.

The white buffalo, for some of our peoples, is a spirit that transcends worlds, too — a being of earth and sky, one whose own hooves rise out of the mud to race across meadowed plains, and who descends in the form of a feminine spirit, origin and prophecy simultaneously.

It’s imagery that has been adopted, in one form or another, by indigenous cultures all over Turtle Island, although it belongs, as origin and identity, only to a select few to the north. To them it is sacred and prophetic; to the rest of us, it is more a pan-indigenous, instantly and easily recognizeable symbol of resistance, of existence.

Of survival.

This is the season of growth, of the rains and of wet muddy earth, of gathering and ceremony, pilgrimage and prayer. It is a time of renewing our faith in our traditions, our respect for our ancestors, our love for our generations yet unborn. It is a time for renewing life itself.

In our way, we call upon the spirits of the world beyond, but also upon those of this world, too: of the elements and the winds and the sacred directions; of the sacred medicines; of the animal spirits who sustain us, guide us, enable our survival. And perhaps no animal has been more crucial to our collective survival than Buffalo, white or otherwise. And so, as we approach the most solemn of days here, those of prayer and honor and sacred journeys, today’s featured work is especially apt — itself a tool of prayer, and song, and gathering together, one infused with the symbols of the the sacred directions and the great brother spirit of Buffalo. From its description in the Other Artists:  Drums gallery here on the site:

This hand drum is handcrafted by master drum-maker Elk Good Water of Taos Pueblo.  Measuring roughly 14.5″ across, the hide is stretched over a wooden frame; traditional wood and leather beater included.  Hand-painted artwork, of four Sacred White Buffalo placed at the Four Directions, by his wife, Dolly Concha (Zuni Pueblo).

$375 + shipping, handling, and insurance

Buffalo is very much a spirit of the earth, hooves firmly in contact with mud and soil and dust. But in this form, he is more: an earth spirit transcendent, one who, like our white horse now, runs the star roads, traveling the path of Medicine, the way of visions and dreams.

At this season, he is a guide not only for the body, but for the spirit.

~ Aji









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