The air was still. The dew and the mist were evaporating into the rising sun. Across the grassy plains, buffalo herds could be seen for miles, fading into the mountainous valley’s where upon the cliffs were topped with huge plateaus.
There the Kikoni tribe took their dwelling. A peaceful people led by the Great Elder called Tnahpele Spirit. A man of great wisdom and virtue with generations before him with endless traditions and insights into the spirit world that all Kikoni people believed by, understood, and held true to their hearts and their ways.
This is the story of meanings to some great words and names which had been formed over time due to the relationship between the Chief of the tribe and a travelling Westerner called Ele.
The ill at ease phenomenon known as ‘White Elephant’ where the two words to this name, ‘Elephant’ meaning that wrong doings were never forgotten. And ‘White’, meaning the Purity, Peace, Strength, and Love of the Great White Buffalo and The Lone White Wolf would in later times come to be remembered.
Traditional to the Kikoni people, the word ‘Elephant’ had been pronounced and spelled as ‘Tnahpele’, which when translated means ‘whisper’.
The change in terms of pronunciation had come about when a lonesome traveller by the name of ‘Ele Phant’ had come to realise, through his knowledge of language and words, that his name was the term used by the Kikoni people as whisper, only spelled in reverse.
Due to the fact that Ele had befriended the Chief as a younger man and had been a leading influence to the Kikoni in the ways of the Western World which had given them knowledge about their foe, the Chief, Tnahpele Spirit gave the honour to Ele that the name ‘Ele Phant’ would now be known as White Wolf, and for generations to come it was known in order to keep the name and spirit of the Westerner alive and remembered.
In return as a gesture of good-will, again using his knowledge, Ele had come to realise that the Great Chief’s name, in translation, was pronounced as ‘Tnahpele Spirit’, (which of course means, ‘whisper’ and ‘spirit’). Straight forward you may think, but ha! The great leader was oh, so-so quiet in his words and mannerisms that Ele saw that he was in fact whispering. So, the name ‘Whispering Spirit’ was born and given to the chief which gave him great honour, great pride, and great happiness.
‘Whispering Spirit’ is today remembered in the powerful and divine saying we all know and love which is… ‘I Love You’…and from those words and that saying came a great phrase… ‘Strong Words, Softly Spoken’.