The Buffalo Project is an art installation, a shamanic act of healing and transformation, a prayer, a gift for the earth.
Physically, the image is herds of buffalo rising up from the earth, made of the earth, disappearing into the distance. They will appear as ghost-like relics. I envision them on the plains and deserts of New Mexico, although they could be adapted for other climates. The primary construction method will be straw bale with a rebar framework, adobe surface and support structure.
Symbolically, why buffalo? First, to honor all the buffaloes past, all the millions of creatures that were once here and are now gone since this continent was industrialized. The buffalo is a most sacred symbol of the Native Americans and represents the North on their medicine wheel (their sacred view of reality): spiritual wisdom and physical strength, honoring the ancestors, and providing for the wellbeing of the community as a whole (as the buffaloes did with their bodies). And so the community of today will also be fed, mythically and energetically. As much as it is a cry for the past, it is a prayer to the future, that we may protect and respect what we still have of all life forms, our relatives on Pachamama, Gaia, our mother planet.
I want to build a number of herds, on both public and private lands. The intention is to involve the communities however possible, as volunteers in the building process, donating in-kind services ( materials, skills, publicity…) and as sponsors of sites. All work will be done in a ceremonial way, honoring the spirits of the land, the people, the ancestors, and of course the animals and buffaloes. It will be beautiful, and sacred.
I plan to ask Native American tribes and businesses, environmental organizations, artists galleries and art centers, spiritual communities, buffalo ranchers, municipalities and all local communities for support of this vision. My target goal is initially $250,000. Sponsors’ names will be included at all sites and on all publicity.
Please consider participating, as a gift to the buffaloes, a gift to the Earth, as a gift for the community as a whole. Thank you for your consideration.
Ho Mitakue Oasin, we are all family. In gratitude, Karen Windchild