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Buffalo UnAlone

excerpts from episode one of the Buffalo Show@Bryant Lake Bowl, Lake St. Mpls, MN. Apr. 25, 2017

You see me here, right now, at this present moment, old graying, wrinkled, pot-belly mixed blood Dakota elder, speaking english, wearing contemporary clothes in this urban place, but, I’m not alone, never alone, says the orphan, look back there, see, look not with your eyes, but your heart and soul, there is Maza Duta, itancan of the Sisseton Dakota, there is Red Iron, Chief of Sisseton Dakota, one of my Grandfathers, his Daughter, Bad Fourth Daughter married the French-Canadian trader, Louis Provencalle LeBlanc, he was illiterate, but drew symbols and spoke and lived amongst the Dakota and took care of his family, they all, so many stand around me, from the scaffolds of Mankato to the concentration camp of Big Island below Fort Snelling, to the world wars, the cities and reservations of the friendly people, can you not hear the cries of those killed, taken, massacred, neglected in foster homes, abused in adoption, who died from hoplessness of drug addiction, needles in their arms, pills stuffed in their own mouths, or drinking bottles of booze and killing themselves, sick and weak, lost without hope, sucides and killing themselves in accidents and violence, no, look see them all, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, friends and loved ones from everywhere and all over, yes, the dead living still, moving with us, for we are all spirits, the body dies, the spirits doesn’t, unseen, but there, gone, but not lost, forgotten but not forsaken, echoing around, following in the shadows of their footsteps, the centuries of laughter, of work and existence, all inside me, all around me, oh, you there, not alone, you brought in your ancestors too and will leave to meet those yet born, never before has it mattered more, for us two-legged actions affects the world, we need to fulfill the common destiny that the Creator made for us all, to come to this land of plenty and share, to learn how to live in a higher order, that mitakuye oyasin, or, we are all related is the way we must go, so, my family, my friends, know that all that is alive is related, that mystery of the flame of life has made us, has made us connected and related, so, let us walk with our ancestors, our families, our destiny is here, now, let us save our Mother Earth and make the world good once again, you are never alone, you are unalone, like me, here, buffalo unalone…

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The Buffalo Show, April 29, 2017

Well, now, that the buffalo has stampeded down Lake Street and the first show is getting edited by Tiana LaPointe of InProgress for our initial broadcast @ our Oyate Hotanin YouTube channel and on oyatehotanin.org website approximately mid-may…Buffalo so happy and appreciative of all who work on this new adventure variety show, we hope to highlight and promote native artists and organizations. Strong Buffalo was the first feature artist, there were old photos and questions about my life and work, embarrassing and enriching at the same time. TiWakan, that is Strong Buffalo and The Custard Kid got to present our musical poems. We showed videos of Tonia Jo Hall, better known as ‘Auntie Beachress’, and Lahlee Karma LaBlanc who did ‘Baby Beachress’ and promoted her t-shirts. Hilarious humor, she spoke on being scare of trump…and RedWing Thomas promo of his Dakota language video, ‘Iyahaha’, episoide two with native muppets and children, so great, please find it on Facebook or YouTube, good for young and old, alike. Strong Buffalo did a spoken word performance that had Dipankar of Pangea World Theater direct title ‘Buffalo Unalone’, dealing with life today alone, no, we, are never alone, we are all unalone, we stand with our ancestors before us, walk in their shadows and leave memories in the DNA of those yet born…Look for the next show, May 23, 2017 with the great native artist, Jim Denomie, the funny native stand up comedian, Rob ‘Rez Reporter’ Fairbanks of Cass Lake on stage and maybe even on the bowling lanes of Bryant Lake Bowl along with special guest, Josh Halverson, Lower Sioux singer of the Voice show fame singing, and the powerful and emotional poet, Rosie Peters, besides a few more tunes from TiWakan, life is good for the buffalo and the friendly herd…

Categories
history & culture Storytelling

BUFFALOS RULE


Tatanka, (buffalo) ruled the underworld according to the oral history of the Dakota.  For a long time, we Dakota lived inside the earth, for it wasn’t habitable above. (Today, the Hauvasupi Nation live three miles down, inside the earth and have lived there since before Columbus, in the Grand Canyon of Arizona.)

Tatanka was the Dakota Chief, and when the time came to move above ground, he lead the way, told the people that he would take care of them, make sure that they were safe and taken care of, he did this, he promised that he would take care of the children and women, and he gave himself, the only real gift that anyone can give, is oneself.  His skin was our shelter, clothes; his flesh was our food. Even his waste served as a fuel source for us.  To this day, he is revered by the Dakota, symbolizing fertility and life.

Tatanka were so connected to our survival that the buffalo became the target for our destruction and removal by colonial forces, shot and left to waste by the millions, an action intentionally devised to eviscerate our way of life, our sustenance. It was said that one could hear the Buffalo herds coming days before they appeared, that the ground shook and a thunderous roar and huge cloud of dust would appear. They had three major routes in north america – the east, middle, and west, following the waving tall grasses.  It’s been said that they had such loyalty, that when one would die, others would check and notice the passing, and that when a calf was taken from its parents, the mother would cry and the father would faint upon the absence of their offspring.

The White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman came to the Dakota people one day long ago. Two hunters, related, during a great time of need, were in search of game, when they saw an object coming from far away, below them in a valley. As it approached, getting closer, they both saw a beautiful woman, dressed in red and white clothing.  One began to have lustful thoughts and stated this, the other said, “She is sacred, be careful of your thoughts.” But, the other one could not stop becoming overwhelmed by her beauty and his lust. She motioned for him to approach her, and when he did, she opened up her arms and devoured him, turned into a cloud of dust.

White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman told the other hunter to return to his camp and tell his people, have them prepare for her, she had something important for them, she would come the next day. He returned and told his village, they doubted him and questioned him about the loss of the other hunter, but did prepare, put a large ceremonial tipi in the center of the village. The next day, all noticed a buffalo coming, it was brown, then red, yellow and then white as it entered their camp.  It began to dance, and roll as it turned colors and finally took a human shape and the beautiful woman appeared before them. All were full of astonishment, the hump on her back contained the gift…She explained, the first sacred pipe, the gift, the male and female parts of it, the songs, the ceremony.  She explained that the Great Mystery would hear and answer their prayers and take care of their needs…she told them, she would return one day, that they would know that day and time, when the people would have gone too far, would need to talk and decide on what to do to survive. The signs of these days would manifest in a world full of wars, hunger and incurable diseases.

In 1994, a white buffalo calf was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, and since then many have been born in all directions. Science has found out that there is a defect in the DNA of north american bison, that there will always be a white buffalo now.  It was a rare sight before.  Are these the days and times told of in prophecy? We all must began to talk, to come together, instead of being divided.  Some will have good thoughts and some will not, like the hunters who saw the white buffalo.  Chief Arvol LookingHorse is the 19th generational keeper of the Sacred Pipe, the original one brought by our messiah. Let us save this world of ours…Strong Buffalo-Dakota

Categories
Poetry

My Earth


My Earth, She is a live living being, just like us.
Who talks, walks, sings, dances, listens and feels.
She calls me Son, She has been with me every moment of my existence.
I will be buried in Her for infinity.
Her hair is the singing grasses, Her voice the talking trees and warm breeze, Her skin the dirty and floral glory dancing forever! She loves me like no other, I Love Her, as only one can, forever, with all my life!
– Strong Buffalo

Categories
Storytelling

Dancing For You…


A short while ago, one of my nephews was near death, in a coma, with two heart attacks. Many began to pray, and after two weeks or so, i saw a post on FB from him.  I joked, “is this you or autocorrect?” He answered and said, yes, its him and for me to call him, it really was great relief to hear him and find he was going to be well and going back to our reservation in South Dakota. He said that while in the coma, he had a dream, there were two fancy shawl dancers dancing up a hill in a “S” pattern, then after them he saw himself and me, dancing traditional northern plains style.  He said it was beautiful, the music and dancing, he took it as if I was bringing him back to this world, and thanked me.  I said, “Nephew, it is my honor. We all dance for someone else’s life and someone else is always dancing for our lives…”

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Uncategorized

Tate Tanka

Asleep, I flew high up into the clouds, the wind blew hard upon my skin and hair, the feeling was so glorious and filled me with joyous emotions, so great, i did not want to wake up, but, i did, as the bright sunshine hit my eyes and i immediately went to the back door and began to walk down the block, and stiff breeze hit my face, i almost jumped with glee, and turned the corner and flew high up into the white clouds, and i heard her calling my name, i said, i be there soon, join me, she replied, yes, yes and then i realized i was still dreaming, but that is why my family and friends call me, ‘Buffalo Wings’

Categories
Poetry

Brother Obsidian

On the walls of underground caves,
I left me, put me there,
to be found, for you to see, for sure,
At some time or another,
Before time, After me
Before Columbus, After Columbus
Before Big Bombs, After Farewells

On the walls of underground caves
I left me, put me there,
to be found, for you to see, for sure,
Drawn quietly a silent forget me not

On the walls of underground caves,
You will always find me there
Who was there before you!!!

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The Soft Rain

The soft rain tenderly touches me, bathes me with wetness, so smooth and light, similar to a babys’ tears and a mothers’ insight, somehow finds the lost spots of disappointment,  gone dry on memories. It must have been pouring the day my momma died, the day  my first born girl died, it pours down, beats on me, washes my lonely soul with those wet drops.
The soft rain loves me gently, soothes the pain away, takes me to awake in all those dreamy places.
The soft rain from all those dreamy faces…Strong Buffalo

Categories
Poetry

The EAST

I am the EAST, the one and only, the Chief of the EAST, not just from the easterly direction, not just one from the eastside, the real thing, all east. When i’m born each day, it is new all over again!  I’m the Giver of Hopeful Light, the Eastern Door is my homeland, i bring the Suns’ love to make the Family of Life one and whole, we, all the living at this same time, so, just wave and give me a glance in my direction, everyday, then turn, SOUTH, WEST, & NORTH, look up and down, and unity will enter you, for that is my gift to all.  My reason to exist, to the first touch of love. The one who brings happiness, goodness, warmth & enlightenment, all it takes is a nod and greeting, “Hello, Our Relative, the EAST!!!!   Strong Buffalo

 

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Red Day

Red Day to Dakota means a good day, Blue Day is a successful day, so, today is sunday and warm, bright and with a strong breeze, so, it is a good day to me. Tomorrow i am doing concert, it is sold out, for Natives with young dancer and my poetry with music, first big concert, so, i am very excited, will try to post clips, photos etc…my second chip…