Friday | November 17, 2017
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A spirtual, cultural gathering: Hawaii Island hosting World Peace and Prayer Day events

World Peace and Prayer Day has chosen Hawaii Island as the site of its main 2017 gathering that is running through Wednesday.

The annual event’s website says “prayers will be offered for the heavens at Mauna Kea and for the highest fresh water at Lake Waiau, for the entire Earth through offerings to the sacred fire at Kilauea and for the ocean by the Hokule‘a voyagers.”

Lakota Sioux Nation Chief Arvol Looking Horse, keeper of the sacred White Buffalo Woman pipe (, told the Tribune-Herald in a telephone interview that various countries ask for the event to visit each year.

The location is chosen through prayerful reflection. Participants are invited from “all faiths, nations, races, ages and genders who share concern for the welfare of humanity and the Earth to share in one prayer.” It has been held before in countries such as Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Organizers say Mauna Kea (also known as Mauna a Wakea or the Mountain of the Sky Father) as a “sacred mountain holds mana – spiritual and divine powers – and is a focal point of spiritual and cultural significance to connect with the ancestors, energy and life forces, as well as the ancestral realms. Mauna a Wakea is a place to connect in union with the divine Aloha of the Creator.”

The Peace and Prayer Day gathering allows spiritual individuals to pray together, regardless of their personal faith, and seek healing for the earth.

“Our story is that, after the dinosaur time, the people were praying because there was no food and everything was disappearing — their food source,” Looking Horse said. Two scouts were on a hill and “from the clouds, a woman was coming towards them.”

One of the men had goodwill in his heart. The other did not.

The clouds surrounded the two men and when the clouds went away, only the man with good in his heart was left.

“Tell the people I’m bringing this bundle,” he was told by the White Buffalo Woman, who gave him the bundle.

It included a sacred pipe, and 19 generations later, Looking Horse is the holder of that sacred pipe.

The White Buffalo Woman, oral history says, walked to the west. She rolled over, Looking Horse said, stood up and became a black buffalo calf.

She rolled again and became a red buffalo. The third time, she was a yellow buffalo. The final time she rolled and became a white buffalo calf.

She left after teaching the people seven sacred ceremonies, foretelling a prophecy.

“The prophecy is that she would return and stand upon the Earth as a white buffalo calf,” Looking Horse said. When that happens, he said, it is a sign that the earth is sick, brothers and sisters are fighting and “things are not good.”

A white buffalo calf has been born almost every year since 1994, he said.

That means “we’re supposed to go back to our sacred sites and pray for health and healing.”

“That’s a message she told the people,” Looking Horse said. “When Mother Earth is sick, when your grandmother is sick, she’s going to speak through those white animals. Man has gone too far today, that Mother Earth is sick and has a fever.”

World Peace and Prayer Day takes place at sacred sites internationally and is open to all people with “a good mind and a good heart” to gather spiritually, he said.

Organizers say the joint prayer demonstrates that everything “from the mountain to the sea is part of our kuleana,” or responsibility.

“Global delegates will gather with local leaders, cultural practitioners and supporters at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for ceremony, cultural presentations, discussions, storytelling and wisdom-sharing sessions June 18-20,” according to the event’s website (

Looking Horse said the events are open to the public and he especially encourages the people of Hawaii Island to attend. But the event’s website notes that “requirements of the venue and cultural protocols will keep the gathering to a modest size.”

On Oahu, “a week of festivities has been planned by the Polynesian Voyaging Society to welcome the Hokule‘a back to her home. During these events, the navigators and educators will talk about World Peace and Prayer Day, and the crew will offer prayers on June 21 at their sacred site; the ocean.”

“It’s going to be a huge international event,” said Ed Torrison of Kurtistown. Delegates are coming from across the globe, he said. Looking Horse said some gatherings have had thousands of participants.

When the main event is held, others also take place at sacred sites worldwide.

“We just hope the local people can come and join us,” Looking Horse said.

Email Jeff Hansel at


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