The first recorded Europeans to cross the Mississippi River reached the western shore on June 18, 1541. Hernando De Soto and his army of three-hundred-fifty conquistadors spent the next year and half conquering the nations in the fertile flood plains of eastern Arkansas.
Three surviving 16th century journals, written during the expedition, detailed a complex array of twelve different nations. Each had separate beliefs, languages and interconnected villages with capital towns, comparably in size to European cities at the time. Through these densely populated sites, the Spanish carried a host of deadly old-world diseases, a powerful new religion and war.
One-hundred cold winters have passed since that first encounter. Manaha, Mother-of-None, steps before the village fire. Rejecting taboos long held by her small tribe of survivors, the old woman demands that the children be allowed to hear stories and the truth about their abandoned homeland, decimated by the time the conquistadors departed.
Before Manaha can finish one story, the fire is doused, and her young listeners frightened into the shadows. Tribal elders threaten and friends shun Manaha, but she refuses to stop telling. The only hope for the unique history and stories, the last remaining essence of a forgotten-people to survive lies with one unlikely Storykeeper.
About Daniel A. Smith
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Published March 4, 2012
by Daniel A. Smith.
History, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure.