The elk, heȟáka have strength, speed, and courage. The elk’s ability to maneuver massive antlers that can be six feet wide through dense foliage is amazing and graceful. Beauty, gallantry, and protection became the emblems of the elk. The Oglala admired the elk’s ability to attract a mate with one mating call and used this as inspiration to create the love flute. Thought to bestow amorous medicine, this flute mimicked the elk mating bugle call to attract the woman that would be a perfect match for the suitor playing the flute.
From the elk, the Lakota learned about relationships between men and women, and the supernatural power called into being at creation.