In the Lakota tradition it was the White Buffalo Calf Woman who brought the sacred pipe to the people and taught them to pray. The bowl of the pipe was the receptacle that held tobacco, an herb with male and female medicine. The stem of the pipe represented the male entering the female and seeding life. In the coming together of male and female, the connection to the divine energy of the Great Spirit was made. As the pipe was loaded with tobacco, every family in nature was asked to enter into the pipe and share its medicine as prayer and praise to the heavens. The smoke was considered to be a visual prayer, and was very sacred and cleansing.
All animals are sacred, but in many traditions White Buffalo is the most sacred. The appearance of White Buffalo is a sign that prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe is being honored, and that promises of prophesy are being fulfilled. White Buffalo signals a time of abundance and plenty.
Buffalo was the major source of sustenance for the Plains Indians. It gave meat for food, hides for clothing, warm and soft buffalo robes for long winters, and hooves for glue.
The medicine of Buffalo is prayer, gratitude and praise for that which has been received. Buffalo medicine is also knowing that abundance is present when all relations are honored as sacred, and when gratitude is expressed to every living part of creation.
Buffalo medicine is a sign that you achieve nothing without the aid of the Great Spirit and that you must be humble enough to ask for that assistance and then be grateful for what you receive.