Manataka American Indian Council
By Jerry Matlock
On April 16, 2000, three friends and I went to Gulpha Gorge to experience a Cherokee Ceremony led by a Cheyenne medicine man from Oklahoma. It was a fantastic experience and power was all in the place. I immediately related to what was being said and done there; a homecoming feeling, very familiar.
When the ceremonies were over and the Cheyenne was working with several people, I introduced myself to Standing Bear. We spoke only briefly asking him to be a guest speaker for our science club (Iím a teacher). I immediately liked him because he had such good energy about him. The events of the afternoon had made a strong but good impression on me so we agreed to go to the Cherokee Longhouse after leaving Gulpha Gorge.
The Longhouse was closed when we arrived so we sat around for a while in big willow chairs. Chief Little Horse came up with someone and we all talked. Little horse told us he was 91 years old . He was spirited and looked much younger.
The next weekend we all went back to the Longhouse to hear a story by Standing Bear. We got there late and many people were listening to Standing Bear around in a circle. Rather than interrupt, we decided to look around in the Longhouse. But I was listening to what Standing Bear was saying when I could. I could hear something very attractive in what was being told. Not so much the words but the Spirit in the words. Finally, we all took a seat to the side to hear more. When his story was finished, he stood and talked to some who were still listening and hugged a few people also. He came over to where we were sitting and spoke with us and kindly answered some questions.
He had clarity in his eyes that I have rarely seen. His eyes and face literally shone with light at times. He smiled in a way that radiated light and beauty that only comes from understanding and love. I knew then and there that Standing Bear was for real, authentic. He had a Spirit that says Life is good and all things are possible.
After talking with him for just a few minutes and meeting with him just those few minutes, my life changed for the better from that moment. A burden lifted from my heart. Kindness came in. I visited my Grandmother and my Grandfather in the rest home. I had not been seeing them much at all before. I called a friend that I had a grudge against with total forgiveness and recompense in my heart. Everything opened up. I began seeing my students as Holy instead of problems. My relationships at my job with my students and co-workers have steadily improved.
Standing Bear exuded a healing Spirit and I think something in me resonated with that Spirit that evening. My whole direction changed from negativity, slander, and struggle to the desire to be a Hollow Bone and let Spirit flow through me to others.
I still feel that way even now. He helped me to let good changes come. Standing Bear is a Healer and I thank him for that. It was just the right time and place. Spirit can work in so many ways. I will always remember Lee Standing Bear Moore and what happened in meeting him.
Indian Folklore Atlas of Hot Springs National Park
by Marcus Phillips and Sandra Long
The Valley of the Vapors, Manataka -- The Place of Peace was never told as well before this excellent resource guide was written. Well researched with dozens of references, this book contains the colorful history of Hot Springs and Indian legends of this sacred site. The Indian Folk Lore Atlas also serves as a tour guide with seven individual walking tours designed to take the visitor back in time to the actual locations where history was made. This book is endorsed by the American Indian Center of Arkansas, the City of Hot Springs and the Garland County Historical Society. Experts of the Caddo, Quapaw and Cherokee nations consulted on this book. A wonderful addition to any library. Great for the coffee table. Dozens of maps and illustrations. 195 pp. Soft Cover. $37.95
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