Healing Rock Skiatook, Ok — Smoke Signals By Sammie

Date Published: September 21, 2017
The Heal­ing Rock in Skiatook
Sam­mie Harmon
A direct descen­dant of Chief White­hair I. I write and research Osage history.

Leg­ends are a very impor­tant link that con­nects us to our ances­tors and are a pos­i­tive force from our Cre­ator. Are these true sto­ries or based on actu­al events?  I believe the leg­ends of the Heal­ing Rock speak for itself.

The Main Player Moonhead Wilson

Moon­head Wil­son, a Cad­do Indi­an, John Wil­son was a moti­vat­ing char­ac­ter.  As leg­end goes, while fast­ing, Moon­head would go into a trance and “die” for three days, before com­ing back to life; here are two sto­ries relat­ed to Osage history:

  1. Moon­head went into a death-like stu­por at the orig­i­nal site of the Heal­ing Rock and was pre­sumed dead, until before the eyes of the onlook­ers he awakened.
  2. Moon­head lay injured near the rock and was brought back to health by an opos­sum which cleaned his wounds and brought him food.
John Wil­son the Reveal­er of Peyote”

Old Peyote Religion

Dur­ing the 1890s, the Hominy Creek Val­ley was fre­quent­ly vis­it­ed by (Moon­head), whose ver­sion of the pey­ote reli­gion was com­bined with Chris­t­ian sym­bols in his Moon Altar.  This was accept­able to the Catholic Osages.  The reli­gion known as the Native Amer­i­can Church was accept­ed and is prac­ticed today.


Is it possible that Moonhead’s experience was the revealing of the Healing Rock’s power?

Accord­ing to leg­end, in the late 19th cen­tu­ry, the Indi­ans brought their sick ones there and leaned them up against the rock to be healed. Wit­ness­es told that in the 1940’s the prac­tice of bring­ing sick Osages by stretch­er continued.

Why is this not prac­ticed today?
Has a con­tem­po­rary soci­ety over­shad­owed the gifts from our great Cre­ator, Wah-ka-ton and we have mir­a­cles around us still, but fail to prac­tice the pure, uncon­di­tion­al faith of our Ancestors?

Old Legends Die or Fade Away

As has hap­pened with so many of our beau­ti­ful leg­ends, the rock was rarely thought about for years. After the wag­on train that passed near it was no longer vio­lable, the “Teepee Rock,” was all but for­got­ten, hid­den among the trees and tall grass­es.  One can only imag­ine what mir­a­cles the rock could tell if it could only speak


The Coming Flood Skiatook Lake

When the plans for Ski­a­took Lake were final­ized, it became clear the rock would be cov­ered by water. Descen­dents of Tallchief, led by Ski­a­took res­i­dent, Bill Kugee Super­naw, con­tact­ed the Corps of Engi­neers to ask that the rock is saved. The Ski­a­took Cham­ber of Com­merce and The Ski­a­took Muse­um Board cam­paigned to get the rock moved above the planned lake waters.

In 1985, the Corps moved the rock to its present loca­tion 1/8 mile south of the project office on Ski­a­took Lake. An access trail, built by the Corps, leads from the project office to this unique nat­ur­al feature.

Archae­ol­o­gists from the Corps of Engi­neers and The Uni­ver­si­ty of Tul­sa exam­ined the for­ma­tion. Evi­dence obtained from digs and aer­i­al pho­tographs proved the rock was a nat­ur­al for­ma­tion and had been set in near per­fect ver­ti­cal align­ment by nat­ur­al ero­sion … end­ing any spec­u­la­tion that the rock was man-made. The rock stands 12 feet high, has a 17-foot base, and is 14 to 16 inch­es thick. It is tri­an­gu­lar in shape with its jagged apex point­ing upward to the heav­ens.
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Sammie Harmon

Sammie Harmon


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