Manataka American Indian C









by Lee Standing Bear Moore


Manataka Stone

The beautiful "Story of Manataka" contains a great deal of fact and some speculation mixed with a healthy dose of mystery.   One of the most extraordinary mysteries of the account told by this writer, is about the "Crystal Cave"    

"...It is said by the grandfathers that seven holy caves were on the sacred mountain.  The center cave is made of magnificent shining crystal encoded with messages of the star people.  Inside the crystal cave are seven crystal cones set on a crystal altar and each containing secret messages and seven shields.

Ancient tribes came to Manataka on pilgrimages to place ceremonial items in five of the caves.  The people of the south laid gifts in the southern-most cave and people of the north laid their gifts in the northern-most cave.  People from the west and east performed offering ceremonies in two additional caves. The cave located to the left of the crystal cave was used by the 'Keepers of Manataka', the Tula Indians of Tanico, who lived in surrounding areas and for other tribes living nearby such as the Caddo, Quapaw, Osage, Tunica, and Pawnee.  To the right of the center crystal cave was a ceremonial cave reserved for gifts of the other people of this land - the animals, birds, fish, insects, plants, stones and the elements.  No one ever approached the most sacred crystal cave, as it was said to have been the work place of the star people (angels?) and resting place of many spirits.   

The southern-most cave, nearest the surface of the ground, once held the Manataka Stone, or as referred to by the National Park Service as the " Calendar Stone" brought by people from the south.  Workmen digging on the mountain to capture the sacred waters of Nowasalon for the ornate bathhouses of the rich removed the Calendar Stone after the Civil War.  An ancient clay doll was recovered from the  northern cave some time in the early 1900's by workmen and is currently on loan to the  Smithsonian Museum in Washington.   Each of the seven caves disappeared at various times after the invasion began in the 1500's, either at the hand of the invaders or by natural or supernatural causes..."


No one in modern times has ever seen any trace of a so-called 'crystal cave' and the National Park Service claims no crystal is found on the Hot Springs (Manataka) Mountain.  So, could a crystal cave actually exist?  And if one does exist buried beneath tons of modern construction, deep within the crystallized sub-strata of earth, would the cave contain seven crystal cones setting on a crystal altar?  It is possible that a crystal cone could hold ancient wisdom of the cosmos one delivered by star people on a sacred mission of the Creator?  Did ancient star people come to Manataka and deposit wisdom of the cosmos in a secret crystal cave?

Exploring these questions has not been an easy task.  Myths and legends are never easily verified - that is why they are called legends and folklore - not history.   However, there are some interesting facts that connect various elements of the Story of Manataka to reality.  Many of these facts are largely unknown to many people, including most of our indigenous brothers and sisters. 

For example, quartz crystal is the subject of great interest in modern times and quartz crystals have fascinated both secular and spiritual man throughout history.  However, many do not realize that huge deposits of the purest form of crystal in the world is found only a few miles to the west near Mount Ida and a few miles north near Blue Springs, Arkansas.  Two more huge deposits of crystal that have never been mined are located at an equal distance to the east and south of Manataka.

According to geologists, both areas of high crystal concentration found near the surface at Mount Ida and Blue Springs are actually connected, even though many miles separate the two major areas.  Stratums deep within the earth, nearly impossible or impractical to be mined, connect them.   The connecting point between the two major surface crystal areas is Manataka.  The connecting point for the two huge deposits located to the east and south is also beneath the Manataka Mountain.  Picture four huge stratums of crystal, running east, south, west and north from the center at Manataka, like a giant lotus flower.   Can we safely conjecture that the largest, most pure form of quartz crystal found in the world is beneath the Place of Peace - Manataka?

Despite National Park Service claims that " quartz crystal is found on the Hot Springs Mountain..." the following description of the Fordyce Bathhouse located on the mountain appears in their literature:

"..The basement also displays Fordyce Spring Number 46, released during the 1914 building excavation. It flows into a tiled enclosure with a grotto encrusted with quartz crystals in the foreground and can be viewed through plate glass..."


Over the years many visitors walking on the sacred mountain have found quartz crystals.  This writer and his family have found crystals there too.  Did someone sprinkle the mountain with these crystals or did they jump on the mountain by themselves?  If there are crystals on the mountain, why do federal bureaucrats claim otherwise?     




Other Legends of a Secret Depository of the Gods

Famous mythologist, William Henry draws some very interesting conclusions about the possibility of an ancient hall of records located near Manataka from his studies of the ancient Tibetans, Egyptians and Tula cultures.  


"...According to a favorite Tibetan legend, a divine couple once appeared who hid secret teachings in "diamond rocks, in mysterious lakes, and in unchanging boxes" that were magically closed until a special time in history. Many texts were compressed in these diamond rocks or crystals similar to the way information is inscribed onto and 'hidden' in modern microchips or CD Rom disks."


"...This fascinating Tibetan tradition is called the terma tradition. Termas, or "concealed treasures," are sacred texts or holy objects hidden in a paradise of eternal universal wisdom and peace.  Complimenting the terma tradition is the Tibetan practice of dzogchen, an ancient teaching in which hand-held conical-shaped Quartz crystals were used for meditation purposes.  It was believed that these objects connected their user with the creative forces of the universe, the basic forces of life..."1

The legend of the Egyptian 'Hall of Records' says a powerful 'consciousness expanding' treasure lies buried far beneath the Sphinx and Great Pyramid.  According to William Henry, "...evidence that something is there comes from the mysterious Coffin Texts where the ancient Egyptians told of a 'sealed thing' with 'fire about it' concealed beneath the 'desert of sand..."2  

"...many investigators, including Englishman Andrew Collins, have noticed the similarity between this description of a 'sealed' and 'radiant' thing to a passage in the Book of Enoch. A favorite part of the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Essenes, the Book of Enoch tells of the scribe's experience of being roused from his sleep one night by tall beings whose faces 'shone like the sun' and who wore wings. They took him on a journey to the seventh heaven to meet with the Lord in a 'house' built of 'crystals' and encircled by strange 'tongues of fire'. The Lord, himself, sat on a 'lofty throne' of 'crystal'..."

The Great Pyramid is also known as the Pillar of Enoch.  

Henry asks if it is possible that the 'radiant fire' of the sealed cave under the pyramid refers to the crystal.  "...After all, the Giza Hall is thought to have been constructed by ancient god beings who were expert in the use of Quartz crystal...,"  says Henry.


An Egyptian king offers a conical-shaped object called 'white bread' to Anubis, the "Opener of the ways," lying on the chest as 'the Keeper of the Secret'.

Is this the same as the crystal cone the Tibetans claimed provided access to universal wisdom and to the basic life-giving energies of the universe? Is it the same conical shaped crystal described in the Story of Manataka?



The Tula Connection

According to author William Henry, the ancient world knew of special connecting places between heaven and earth that were called Tula or the City of Peace, and were considered the navel or center of the world.  Mesoamericans such as the Mayans, Asians and Egyptians all believed in a special place on the earth where star people came and deposited great libraries of wisdom inside crystal repositories.   Almost always, these connecting places or "docking stations" are referenced by the name Tula. 


We begin our examination by relating a brief history about the Tula of Tanico located in central Arkansas.  


The capital or main village of the Tula people in America and the Keepers of Manataka was Tanico located approximately 40 miles southwest of Manataka (Hot Springs) in the area known today as Caddo Gap, Arkansas.  The well-worn foot paths between Manataka and Tanico later turned into horse trails, then wagon roads and survives to this day as Highway 70 West.



The Tula's first encounter with Europeans came in 1541 while Hernando DeSoto and his  Conquistadors were frantically searching for the Fountain of Youth.  During first contact, Desoto's army stole from the Tula and took captives against strong Tula warnings. 


During the first day of a three-day battle that ensued, the Tula were virtually decimated because their arrows and rocks bounced off the metal breast-plates and helmets of the  enemy.  And, the Tula had never encountered musket and cannon fire and the fast and powerful Spanish horses. 

Click picture to enlarge


On the second day of the battle, Tula warriors took the upper hand by using the mountainous terrain and guerrilla hit-and-run tactics.  By the end of the day, the Tula had tasted the blood of their new enemy and knew who he was. On the last day of the battle, Tula warriors did not return, but instead sent their women to finish the invaders.  The Conquistadors became confused and demoralized at the sight of fearless, screaming, half-nude women coming at them in battle and promptly turned tail and  ran.  It was the first time the Conquistadors had retreated during their long adventure in North America.


DeSoto's scribes later wrote in his journals that the Tula were fiercest people the Conquistadors had ever encountered.  


The Conquistadors retreat route along the Ouachita River valley traveling east offered the least geographic resistance.  Within two days, DeSoto accidentally wandered into the sacred Manataka valley.  His army remained here for over 45 days licking their wounds and searching frantically for the primary reason for their exploration - the Fountain of Youth.   


Several historians refer to the Tula as being from Caddo stock, but there is little evidence to support this claim.  The Tula lived in far northern frontier region of Caddo territory and far beyond the western frontier of the Quapaw.   The Osage lived far to the north and when their hunting parties raided the peaceful local farming villages of the Caddo, they conspicuously avoided the Tula.


The Tula was like other Indians in many ways, but they were unique among all their neighbors.  There were at least four small Caddo bands in the area and contrary to comments of some historians, the Tula were not Caddo.  Yes, the Tula spoke the Caddo language, but they did so for trade purposes and as result of inter-marriage with people from nearby villages.  But, their primary language was not Caddo and remains unclassified to this day.


The Tula raised ducks and domesticated turkeys, unlike any tribe in the entire region. They planted vegetables, such as Amaranth and Yam Beans, a turnip-like root, that were unknown to any local tribe.  The Tula also built religious structures like sweat lodges, and meeting places were built in the shape of a pyramid!


A Mississippi valley house and a Temple Pyramid in background from the American Museum of Natural History.

Another bit of evidence that the Tula were not Caddo is that the Spanish were particularly horrified by the deformed heads of the Tulans.  Some historians believe the Tula tightly bound the heads of infants such that their heads became pointed.  However, the cranial deformation was not a result of physical manipulation by parents, but occurred naturally among descendents of the original Tula -- travelers from afar.


It is further supposed by some historians that the Tula were ancestors of the Spiroans - (Spiro Mounds of Oklahoma) and the Tunica of Mississippi.  There is some evidence to support this notion, however, neither assumption is correct.  The Tula sent emissaries to many trade outposts and they became prominent in those communities.


The primary distinction of the Tula, however, is not their lifestyle, customs, or physical appearance, but the important role they played as the Keepers of Manataka.   As a fierce and independent people, the Tula could have easily closed the doors to this sacred site.  Yet, in their wisdom and strength, the Tula welcomed all tribes in peace and helped their brothers and sisters during their stay.  They served as guides to the local area and spiritual guides to other realms.


The Tula vanished sometime between 1541 and the 1600's presumably as a result of disease brought by the Spanish.  Today in the center of Caddo Gap stands a large bronze figure of an Indian nine feet in height, mounted on a tall pedestal of native stone. The Indian has his right hand raised, giving the friendship sign, but history tells a different story. The inscription on the marble tablet in the face of the pedestal reads: 


DeSoto 1541-A.D. Here DeSoto reached his most westward point in the United States. Here was the capitol of the warlike Tula tribe of Indians who fiercely fought DeSoto and his men. Relics found in this vicinity suggest the romance of past centuries about which history will ever be meager and incomplete. Arkansas State History Commission, 1936.

In May 1937 Chief Benito Gray Horse, an Apache and a later-day Keeper of Manataka living in Gulpha Gorge at the foot of the great Manataka Mountain in Hot Springs, gave an Indian benediction at the raising of the bronze statute at Caddo Gap commemorating the achievements of the Tula Indians of Tanico.

Was the Tula of Tanico originally from Central America?   


Atop the great Toltec Piramide de Quetzalcóatl are giant warrior statues called "The Atlantes".  One of the thirteen symbols found on the Manataka Stone closely resembles a symbol carved into the warrior statue. 

*    The Maya located far to the south of Tula knew Quetzalcóatl, the Mayan god of Peace, as the "King of Tula".  The Mayans called their source of wisdom Tula.

*    According to mythologist, William Henry, in addition to the Mayans, Tibetans, and Asians who believed there was a special connecting point or "docking station" between heaven and earth, both the Hopi and Delaware Indians have legends of a "...pure place of advanced wisdom called Tula..." and that Tula was on the North American continent.

"...In the ancient world these "docking stations" were called Tula or the City of Peace, and were considered the navel or center of the world. Their hieroglyphic symbol was an egg, a symbol of creation in mythologies around the world..." says Henry.   The egg symbol also appears on the Manataka Stone.

(In these descriptions of the myths, it is not clear whether the name Tula refers to a place or a people who were the keepers or caretakers of a connecting place.)

*    Maya, Toltec and Aztec myths speak of bearded, blond white men who came from a kingdom in Mongolia called Tollan located near Lake Baikal and the river Tula. These Mongolians said they had come from Atlantis and sailed around the world founding new Tulas, naming them after their homeland.

*    Al-lah, the Islamic name for God is also Al-ot, Tala and Tula.

*    The Koran is named after Kore, the goddess of Tula.

*    In Greek and Mayan myth the Central Sun is also called Tula.  Henry says, "...'Peace' is created when the Tulas on Earth and the Tula in Heaven are aligned. These god-beings do not define 'peace' as the absence of petty conflict between warring tribes or families. "Peace" is the unity of Heaven and Earth...."

Is the cone-shape triangle on the map showing the three ancient energy centers actually a giant crystal laden vortex?  

Is the cone-shape on the map a giant cosmic representative of the same conical shaped crystal described in the Story of Manataka?  

Could these sites point to the connecting place Tibetans, Mayans and Egyptians claimed provided access to universal wisdom and to the basic life-giving energies of the universe?

May we speculate that Manataka is the Place of Peace foretold in ancient myths around the globe?



One belief of the ancient world was nearly global.  Sumerian, Hindu, Buddhist, Egyptian, Hebrew and Christian myths describe a Place of Peace, or connecting place with specific features.  Those features include an abundance of crystal, healing waters, and a pillar or Tree of Life that had the ability to transform souls from one dimension to another by creating doorways or spiral hallways that connected far away places in the cosmos to "sacred wells" or fountains of healing waters on earth.


We can only guess if the ancient star people came to Manataka and deposited wisdom of the cosmos in a secret crystal cave.  We can only conjecture if all the fantastic, improbable and probable 'connections' with ancient myths of the world that point to Manataka as "the" Place of Peace.  After all, this story is only an old Indian myth.  

However, the people of Manataka know differently.  They have experienced the healing power of this great sacred place first hand.  They know it is truly a Place of Peace (after they successfully navigated through the din of tourist traffic, glaring black-boot federal officers, and snobby government bureaucrats) and blocked out the noise and confusion of the modern world.  

They know the spirits of the sacred mountain speak.  They know the energy spirals of this holy place are beyond description as they are transported from this dimension to the outer limits of man's reality.  They are convinced a place of unimaginable beauty, filled with a crystal house, shining crystal altars, treasures, and where sealed secrets and wisdom of the ages await them.

In the way of our grandfathers, there are many things we cannot and should not speak aloud.  Here in the modern world, we cannot and should not reduce the secrets of Manataka to print.   There is only one way the beautiful and esoteric wisdom of this great and ancient place can be learned - and to understand, one must know the language.

It is in man's insatiable desire to reach into the beyond, to feel the tremendous power of light and vibration, to spiritually connect with all creation and the One Creator, the Great Mystery that we find hope.   It is by this hope, we may pass along to future generations the mysteries of Manataka, so when the time of no time passes into this dimension, they will be prepared to become the Rainbow Warriors of Manataka.

©Story of Manataka by Lee Standing Bear Moore, all rights reserved, 1992-2016