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Looking Horse

Arvol Looking Horse’s life and work
This site includes Arvol Looking Horse’s biography, photos, bibliography, links, and more.
Arvol Looking Horse
Arvol  Looking Horse
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Biography of Arvol Looking Horse

Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. At the age of 12, he was given the responsibility of becoming the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest ever. He is widely recognized as a chief and the spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe.

He is the author of White Buffalo Teachings and a guest columnist for Indian Country Today. A tireless advocate of maintaining traditional spiritual practices, Chief Looking Horse is the founder of Big Foot Riders which memorializes the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee.

Cheif Looking Horse's prayers have opened numerous sessions of the United Nations and his many awards include the Juliet Hollister Award from the Temple of Understanding, a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultation Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.

Film interviews with Arol Looking Horse on spirituality, tribal history, and advice for American Indian youth are a featured part of the documentary film and DVD on the Crow Shoshone Sun Dance entitled Native Spirit: The Sun Dance Way. An illustrated book, Native Spirit: The Sun Dance Way, by Thomas Yellowtail (recorded and edited by Michael Fitzgerald), also features his counsel.

World Wisdom has prepared special video clips of Arvol Looking Horse speaking on a variety of different subjects. They can be viewed in our American Indian Resources section.

Books/DVDs containing the work of Arvol Looking Horse

Chief Arvol Looking Horse's contributions to World Wisdom projects

Arvol Looking Horse’s Bibliography

White Buffalo Teachings. Williamsburg, MA: Dreamkeepers Press, 2001. A reprinted edition appears as White Buffalo Teachings from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation keeper of the sacred white buffalo pipe of the Lakota, Dakota & Nakota Great Sioux Nation, compiled and arranged by Harvey Arden & Paula Horn (H'e Sapa winyan, Black Hills Woman). Houston, Tex. : HYT Publishing, c2005.

Online Resources about Arvol Looking Horse

This page has Chief Looking Horse's retelling of the story of Pte-san win-yan (White Buffalo Calf Woman), who brought the Sacred Pipe to the people. He also briefly describes the Seven Sacred Rites and other important Indian ceremonies, and explains his motivation in this way: "So this I share with you, the Knowledge of our ancestors. I am doing this in hopes that our future generation will read this one day and begin a healing that our ceremonies need, which will also contribute toward the healing of our Sacred Mother Earth. I know that many will not agree with this truth, but it is time that someone needs to take a stand, in a good way! These are my own words and thoughts." The article is attributed to him under the name Sun-kan Wan-kan Wi-c’as’ta (Horse Man).

More detail on the story of the coming of the Sacred Pipe can be found on this page with Black Elk's recounting of the coming of the Sacred Pipe. It is an excerpt of the book The Sacred Pipe, whose source was the great Lakota holy man Black Elk, as told to Joseph Epes Brown
Chief Arvol Looking Horse's moving message on the environment offers a spiritual and truly universal perspective on the crisis that besets Mother Earth. In it, he explains that it is the spiritual crisis of the earth's peoples which is the underlying cause of the crisis. He also calls for all people to turn to prayer to begin the healing for themselves and for Mother Earth.
Looking Horse wrote a statement on his role and responsibilities as the Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe and on the protection of Indian ceremonies from unqualified and sometimes unscrupulous people who threaten the integrity of the traditions. Click here to read the statement.
The official website of the documentary film and DVD Native Spirit and The Sun Dance Way, has a page on Chief Arvol, who contributed many comments throughout the 2-disc set on the Sun Dance Religion and the needs of American Indian youth today.
The World Wisdom web site features an American Indian resource page. Included on the page is a section with video clips of Arvol Looking Horse commenting on "the cycle of life" and giving advice to Indian youth regarding the traditional ways of their people.

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