View Single Post
Old 03-09-2006, 08:31 PM   #1
Historian
Experienced
 
Historian's Avatar
 
User InfoThanks / Tagging InfoGifts / Achievements / AwardsvBActivity Stats
Historian has a reputation beyond repute
Historian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond reputeHistorian has a reputation beyond repute
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,489
Credits: 0.00
Savings: 0.00
Question Does Looking Back Woman Have ‘The’ Sacred Pipe?

I found this to be an interesting article, and thought it might be interesting to others as well. It is taken from the March 2006 (vol.6, no.5) issue of the "Healing The Earth / Ourselves" newletter.
Historian

Does Looking Back Woman Have ‘The’ Sacred Pipe?
By Jim Ewing (Nvnehi Awatisgi)

An issue of potentially powerful implications in Native America is brewing with the claims that The Sacred Pipe of the Lakotas (the C'anupa Wakan of the Oceti Shakowin, the Seven Nations of the Sioux) is in the hands of a Mnicoujou Lakota woman by the name of Suzanne Dupree, or Looking Back Woman.

The issue is potentially divisive because it raises questions about the Pipe held by Arvol Looking Horse, who is widely known as the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe.

While the issue is particularly pertinent to the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate (People), others may find it of interest, for it cuts to the heart of what is the Sacred Pipe, or Canunpa, and what it means.

On her Web site, “Looking Back Woman Speaks” http://lookingbackwoman.com/ , Dupree outlines her claims, including who she is, where she came from, and how the Pipe she declares is The Pipe came into her possession.

She says: "I have in my possession the C'anupa Wakan used by Grandfather Frank Fools Crow as Ceremonial Chief and Holy Man of the Western Teton Sioux during the first through the fourth White Buffalo Calf Pipe Ceremony and Sun Dance held at Green Grass, South Dakota between 1971 and 1975."

It is this Chanunpa, she outlines, that is considered The Pipe, or the traditional ceremonial Chanunpa of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate which, she claims, is no longer held by Arvol Looking Horse.

A reading of the whole site details that there were two Pipes traditionally used as the C'anupa Wakan -- one, the buffalo leg bone Pipe given the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate by PtesanWi, White Buffalo Woman, and another carved catlinite/pipestone Pipe used in public ceremony, which she explains is the Oyate’s traditional ceremonial C'anupa Wakan.

It is this Pipe she claims she has, along, presumably, with all rights and authority to speak, while also questioning if the original C'anupa Wakan even exists, making the Pipe she carries, in effect The C'anupa Wakan of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate.

The significance of White Buffalo Woman and The Pipe to the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate is explained most cogently by the medicine man Crow Dog, who has said: "This holy woman brought the Sacred Buffalo Calf Pipe to the Sioux. There could be no Indians without it. Before she came, people didn't know how to live. They knew nothing. The Buffalo Woman put her sacred mind into their minds."

It is the Sacred Pipe which allows and confers that knowledge, when treated in the way that PtesanWi, White Buffalo Woman, prescribed. It is the most holy of holies for the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate, or lila wakan, very sacred.

The white buffalo itself is considered wakan (sacred), with prophecies that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when PtesanWi, White Buffalo Woman, would return to purify the world and to return spiritual harmony and balance to the Earth and all our relations, all beings.

Indeed, in the legend, PtesanWi, White Buffalo Woman, said in parting with the people: "The four ages of creation are in me; I am the four ages. I will come to see you in every generation cycle . . . . Toksha ake wacinyanitin ktelo, I shall see you again."

The questions Dupree raises are many, including: does she carry The Pipe traditionally used as the ceremonial Chanunpa? Does the original C'anupa Wakan of the OcetiShakowin still exist? If Arvol Looking Horse has the traditionally used Chanunpa, or even the original C'anupa Wakan of the OcetiShakowin, then why are neither no longer used in ceremony among the Oyate as commonly occurred throughout the last century, into the 1970s?

Dupree fully explains her history and her questions. These are not idle claims, nor is Dupree to be taken lightly. She states her standing to bring these questions forthrightly and everything she says is documented. The question for the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate to determine for itself -- and it is a matter purely pertaining to the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate — is how true is it? And is it The Truth?

Arvol Looking Horse has, so far, not publicly responded to her claims. And, for her part, Dupree’s Web site is new and still under construction (it suddenly appeared Jan. 28th). But already it is finding its way around Cyberspace in Indian Country and exciting much comment among Indigenous listserves. There could be more to this story to come.

But, outside of The Truth about The Pipe, Dupree raises questions that could prove even more unsettling for the other truths that she brings.

For example, she notes the patriarchal bent of Native society today, which is not in keeping with traditional ways. Specifically, she scolds “The Protection of Ceremonies” controversy that Arvol Looking Horse engineered (See On The ‘Protection’ of Ceremonies) that would -- horribly -- have the federal government intervene to make the Chanunpa solely the property of certain individuals within the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate and prevent any others from practicing any Native Spirituality they claim as their own without their permission.

She notes: “I find it interesting that not a single grandmother was allowed to speak during the meeting when it was decided to write the Proclamation. In fact, all women were excluded from discussions. It was not like that in the old days. The Grandmothers had the respect of everyone, and they were the last word. The Grandmothers are really who I am standing up for.”

As Dupree explains, in the old ways, each of the 7 Council Fires of the Oyate had two Pipes: one carried by a man, one by a woman; and all were brought to Council. There was balance by men and women.

Yet, largely, in Native America today, women are not given their due respect. Indeed, all would be denied practice of Native American Spirituality or only “allowed” if recognized by a few men, given the thinking of those who claim they hold the C'anupa Wakan and the authority they claim derives from it. She challenges that notion, its basis and its expression as being counter to the teaching of PtesanWi, White Buffalo Woman, and traditional Native culture.

Says Dupree: "How can anyone say who is or is not qualified to perform ceremonies? Is it not the Creator who touches ones heart and calls them to the altar? By demanding language, blood quantum and other self-serving requirements, dogma and doctrine are being injected into our spiritual ways where none has existed for thousands of years. We must not tell people what they must believe.

"By closing the door to our faith and ancient rites to 'outsiders,' the Proclamation closes the sacred Hoop that is supposed to include all life. Instead of having compassion for the thousands of people worldwide who sincerely wish to learn the ceremonies, they are met with a closed fist. Instead of taking the awesome task to teach them, the writer of the Proclamation wants to corner the market and dictate who may or may not come into the circle.”

continued...
__________________

"Be good, be kind, help each other."
"Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other."

--Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)
Historian is offline   Reply With Quote Share with Facebook