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The Coming of Four White Buffalo
Dr. Charles Rogers and his family were out driving one weekend and happened to find themselves in the little south Texas town of Bracketteville. As they drove through town, they noticed in the front yard of a small house a sign that read “American Indian Museum.” Over the doorway was written “Cheesquah” the Cherokee word for “bird.”
Knowing that accidents rarely happen, that things occur because they are supposed to occur, they stopped and located the owner. Her name is Nakai Breen, born a Cherokee in Oklahoma. At the time of her birth, the Cherokee people were still recovering from the effects of the Dawes Allotment program that had devastated them, destroyed their lives and left many homeless. Her family wasn’t able to care for her. As is the Indian way, Nakai was taken in and raised by friends, in this case, a Kiowa / Cherokee family not far from Fourteen Mile Creek near Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Later, at age seven, the family moved to Texas where she was raised and later married and became an honored elder, healer and storyteller.
In the never ending quest for the truth and direction, Dr. Rogers and his family, his wife Sharon and young Charles Jr. visited with Nakai the rest of that afternoon and in doing so, met their future. As was his practice, Dr. Rogers videotaped the meeting to ensure nothing would be lost during the conversation and its source could always be proven. This was how all of the old stories were gathered from the Mexican elders when asked, “What do you know of the Cherokee?” Once recorded from the source, one could not question from where it came.
And so it was, on this warm afternoon, sitting among the Indian artifacts and Cherokee / Kiowa memorabilia that this story was told.
Nakai began by saying that she was hesitant to speak of what she had to say because she didn’t know them and didn’t know how it would be heard. Encouraged that she was among friends and that they meant her no harm, Nakai nodded, rocked back in her chair and closed her eyes. After a moment of silence, she told this story.
When she was thirteen years old, an elder told her he had had a vision and that there was something he must say to her. Here she paused and said that a vision occurs early in the morning and you know it is a vision and not a dream when you feel as though you were there - in that place - feeling those feelings and seeing all around you.
The elder then told her of his vision. He said “there will come a time, maybe while you are still young, maybe when you are middle age, maybe even when you are a grandmother, that you will get to see what I am about to tell you.”
“You will see this because it has been in your surroundings since way back - back before you were born.”
“There will come a time when there will be four White Buffalo come to Indian people. Now, the White Buffalo does not belong to the Cherokee”, Nakai cautioned. “The White Buffalo belongs to the Plains people and each of the Plains Tribes will get their own White Buffalo. The Cherokee will get their White Buffalo in the form of a child.”
He said, “You will know this child by the name he carries not his given name but a name given to him later on - Saloli - the Cherokee name for squirrel. Saloli will come searching for something that was lost, and he will find it. It will take time for him to actually find what he is looking for but he will find it.”
Saloli the squirrel during the Trail of Tears was the only one they could hunt for using their blowguns. Saloli fed them nourished them. They made moccasins out of the fur. They made gloves and the fat from that was put on the babies to keep them warm.
Saloli is a very powerful name. “This Saloli will always be scampering here and there because he is searching for food and for an elder. He will even cross the big water searching but he won’t find what he is looking for until he comes back over the big water.”
Then, Nakai said the elder looked into her eyes and said, “Nakai, you will get to know this child.” As she said this, she turned in her chair and nodded smiling at young Charles sitting on her right, “Because,” she went on, “you are Adelohosgi - the Prophet. That is your name now, ‘Adelohosgi.’ You are the White Buffalo of our people and you have been given this title, but even your own people your own relatives - will never believe you. A lot of other people will say you are nothing - you are a nobody. Other people will push you around, discriminate against you, but you have been chosen for a great responsibility. You might think your parents told you this, but they didn’t. It was written a long way back before you were even born.”
“I was told that in time the elders would come and honor you by their presence. You will be held back but you must keep pushing on and on. Like other people and other times, messengers of peace have been ridiculed and doubted.” Then she said, “This was what was told to me.”
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