THE SACRED MOUNTAIN OF MANATAKA...
Many of the Nations Tribal leaders and Spiritual Elders made pilgriminage to the Great Manataka Mountain, it is said by the grandfathers that Seven Holy Caves were on this sacred mountain.
The center cave is made of a magnificant 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 to place ceremonial items in five of the caves, the cave left of the main crystal cave was used by the "Keppers of Manataka", The Tula Indians of Tonico who lived in the surrounding areas, as well as four other tribes living near-by such as the Caddo, Quapaw Osage, Tunica and Paunee.
To the right of the 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 the resting place of many spirits.
The Southern most cave nearest the surface of the ground, once held the "Manataka Stone" or reffered to by the National Park Service as the "Calender Stone", but removed after the Cival War by workers digging on the mountain to capture the sacred waters of the "Nowasalon" to build ornate bathhouses for the rich.
An ancient clay doll was recovered from the northern cave sometime in the early 1900's by workers and was at the time on loan at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
Each of the seven caves disappeared at various times after the invasion began in the 1500's either by the hands of the invaders or by Natural or Supernatural causes. Everyone sought healing and pleasure in these "Magical Hot Waters" of the Nowa-sa-lon (Breath of Healing) that spewed from the sides of the mountain creating dozens of crystal clear pools.
No one was ever allowed to enter the sacred area called the "Valley of Vapors", also carrying a weapon into the sacred area decreed by the Great Mystery as the Place of peace. Should anyone violate these laws would be taken outside the valley and severely punished.
The most magnificant sight to behold at manataka was seen from miles away in any direction, Indian elders have said "We know we are there when the sign in the sky appears". The sign was a huge beautiful rainbow stretching across the entire valley. The Rainbows of Manataka would not disappear often in minutes of the glory of the sun like all others rainbows, Manataka Rainbows would build and build in size and would become more colorful throughout the day because of the constantly running hot and cold water springs.
The Rainbow of Manataka were not only a natural wonder of the world and a magical sight but they held a very special meaning, it was believed that the rainbow had a sacred purpose, that it was a sign of "The Creator, a Great Blessing".
In the 1500"s Spanish conquistadors mounted expeditions to find the legendary springs whose magic waters could rejuvinate the elderly and heal the sick. In 1512, Ponce de Leon failed in his attempt to reach the mysterious hidden valley containing the crystal fountain of healing waters known as the
"Fountain of Youth".
His fellow explorer, Hernando Desoto was the first white European invader to enter the "Valley of Vapors" in 1541, Desotos Chroniclers wrote about the Amazing sites they beheld, As far as the eye could see hundreds of lodges representing tribes from every part of the west continent, there colorful dress of various groups was different from one another and they spoke many distinct languages, 34 groups who considered the valley sacred ground.
Ceremonial and Tribal dances were held in a central place, and the Elders sat in circles smoking the pipe.
Almost immediately after the first contact the original inhibitants began to disappear, European invaders sacked the land, spread disease and incited inter-tribal wars that all but decimated dwindling native populations during the next 2 1/2 centuries.
The federal government had covered up the story of Manataka for over 200 yrs, governments were especially aggressive in the efforts just prior to and immediately after the removal (Trail of Tears) when hundreds of ancient artifacts and religious objects were sold, lost or destroyed.
Regardless of this fact the NPS Cultural collection today still has over 414,000 objects nearly 46% remain catalogued, stored in dilapitated, unsecure buildings.
Today there are no monuments to the gentle people who were the Keepers of Manataka, there is barely a remebrance of the spiritual power the Great Manataka gave to the people, this sacred ground held great meaning for all native people and is part of their ancient lore.
"We should not cry because they are not gone, they are here with us now, their spirits dwell within us, they are upon our finger tips as we do the work to uphold the heritage.
We honor them, we rejoice them"!!
Together we can awaken the great forces to all native peoples by rekindling the Fire of Manataka, the hot springs are still there, The Medicinal herbs, Quartz Crystals, Precious stones, and Beauty are still there, and the waters of NOWASALON FLOW ABUNDENTLY.
This story always holds a special place in my heart, along with the story of "The Trail of Tears".
You can read what i didn't include here, along with the story of the Trail of Tears at...
Thank You for taking the time to read this story.