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Buddy Hayes grew up and lives in a tiny community near Snaketown (on the reservation, south of Phoenix and west of Santan). The august Akimel O'odham man leads spiritual ceremonies in his home, a unique and sometimes frightening invocation of visions. 

It is a singular, transcendental religion whose only member is its prophet. 

Years ago, Buddy ran for lieutenant governor as a write-in candidate on the Gila River Indian tribal council. He ended up losing to his competitor. Upset by his defeat, he got drunk and drove his truck aimlessly around the outskirts of Sacaton. It was a stormy monsoon night. When his truck died he wandered into a windy alfalfa field and blacked out. The first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was a great horned owl sitting on top of his chest. It was looking directly into his eyes, and Buddy lay paralyzed with fear. The owl puffed up and ruffled its feathers. As it raised its outstretched wings lightning struck them both. A powerful vision of an immeasurably large owl god grew before him, its rainbow-colored feathers made of flint knives. The feathers gave birth to universes, mirages, and rainbows. The owl was the personification of death and universal knowledge, and its tongue shot lightning bolts. In the depths of this vision Buddy learned the name of the enigmatic owl deity. He was reborn.