The story of the Peace Pipe
A Sioux Legend
Two young men were out strolling one night talking of love affairs. They passed around a hill and came to a little ravine or coulee.
Suddenly they saw coming up from the ravine a beautiful woman. She was painted and her dress was of the very finest material.
"What a beautiful girl!" said one of the young men. "Already I love her. I will steal her and make her my wife."
"No," said the other. "Don't harm her. She may be holy."
The young woman approached and held out a pipe which she first offered to the sky, then to the Earth and then advanced, holding it out in her extended hands.
"I know what you young men have been saying; one of you is good, the other is wicked," she said.
She laid down the pipe on the ground and at once became a buffalo cow. The cow pawed the ground, stuck her tail straight out behind her, and then lifted the pipe from the ground again in her hoofs. Immediately she became a young woman again.
"I am come to give you this gift," she said. "It is the peace pipe. Hereafter all treaties and ceremonies shall be performed after smoking it. It shall bring peaceful thoughts into your minds. You shall offer it to the Great Mystery and to Mother Earth."
The two young men ran to the village and told what they had seen and heard. All the village came out where the young woman was.
She repeated to them what she had already told the young men and added, "When you set free the ghost (the spirit of deceased persons) you must have a white buffalo cow skin."
She gave the pipe to the medicine men of the village, turned again to a buffalo cow and fled away to the land of buffaloes.
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