Newest white buffalo namedJAMESTOWN - The third white buffalo in the National Buffalo Museum herd is officially named Dakota Legend.
By: Toni Pirkl The Jamestown Sun, Worthington Daily Globe
JAMESTOWN - The third white buffalo in the National Buffalo Museum herd is officially named Dakota Legend.
Felicia Sargeant, Buffalo Museum director, announced the name Wednesday, saying Jaci Trefz of Jamestown was the winner of the contest to name the buffalo that was born on May 31. Sargeant said the museum’s board of directors selected the name just 15 minutes before the announcement and Trefz was unable to get there in time.
“It’s a shop day for me,” Trefz said in a telephone interview later. A local glass artist, Trefz was dressed for work, not for a press conference.
This was the first time Trefz had submitted an entry in any of the four naming contests held by the museum. She said she was rather surprised that she had submitted one this time. She was even more surprised that she won.
“I’ve never had any desire to submit a name before and I certainly never thought I’d win,” she said.
But the situation was unique with three white buffaloes in one herd. Only White Cloud is a DNA-tested albino, but there’s little doubt by museum officials that Dakota Miracle and Dakota Legend are as well. Sargeant said tail hairs from the two calves will be taken during roundup at the end of the month and sent for testing.
“It’s an incredible situation having a second white calf in that herd,” Trefz said. “The white buffalo itself is an incredible legend.”
The Lakota Sioux story of White Buffalo Cow Woman tells of the origin of many Lakota traditions. It also is the origin of the ceremonial pipe that remains the Lakota’s most sacred heirloom. Even more importantly, the story is a prophecy, which tells of the sacred white buffalo that will come one day to unite all races to live together in harmony.
“It speaks of peace in the world,” Trefz said.
When she and her husband, Harley, talked about the name, Trefz said they agreed “Dakota” should be in it somewhere. Sargeant describes the use of Dakota as a sort of family name. The sire of both Dakota Miracle and Dakota Legend is Dakota Thunder.
“And then I thought we should use ‘Legendary’ as that’s the state’s tourism motto, but it just didn’t sound right,” she said.
“Legend” fit on a couple of levels. First, it sounded right to Trefz. And certainly three white buffalo in one small herd is a legendary event, she said. It’s also good for Jamestown and the state.
Bob Mountain, a member of the Buffalo Museum Board, said some of the names submitted were cute, but not very apropos. Names such as “Fluffy” or “Snowball” might work for a calf, he said, but not for a 2,000- pound buffalo.
Because this white calf was not an offspring of White Cloud, it belongs to the National Buffalo Museum and the board had final say on its name. The Dan Shirek family owns White Cloud and leases her to the museum so they have the final choice on the names of any of her calves. The Museum Board narrowed the most recent contest entries down to four names out of the 25 the committee had chosen before going with Dakota Legend.