Cherokee Medicine Man: The Life and Work of a Modern-Day Healer

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University of Oklahoma Press, Dec 7, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages

A modern medicine man portrayed through the words of the people he has helped

Robert J. Conley did not set out to chronicle the life of Cherokee medicine man John Little Bear. Instead, the medicine man came to him. Little Bear asked Conley to write down his story, to reveal to the world “what Indian medicine is really about.” For Little Bear, as for the Cherokee ancestors who brought their traditions over the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory, the medicine is about helping people. Visitors from neighboring states and Mexico come to him, each one seeking help for a different kind of problem. Each seeker’s story is presented here exactly as it was told to Conley.

Little Bear has cured problems involving health, relationships, and money by uncovering the source of the problem rather than simply treating the symptoms. Whereas mainstream medicine and counseling have failed his patients, Little Bear’s healing practices have proven beneficial time and again.


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The Witch of Goingsnake and Other Stories Norman 1988
Interview with Little Bear
A Very Brief Life Story
The Beginnings of This Book
Sallys Story
Franks Story
The Little People
Corrines Story
Agness Story
Emilianos Story
Jeffs Story
Chriss Journey
James Again
Miscellaneous Tales and Anecdotes

Georges Story
Martha Jane
Sonnys Story
Henrys Story
The Sweat
Going to Water
Maggies Story
Marks Story
Rainmakers Story
Cobys Story
Jamess StOQl
Lauras Story
Indian Medicine and Christianity
A Typical Saturday Afternoon
The Stomp Dance
Yet Another
A Hunting Story
Dealing with the Legal System
A NightGoer
ThreeTopics 38 Dillard
Its Not All Medicine
The Baboon
Jim and Steve
Aftervvord Glossary

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About the author (2011)

Robert J. Conley (1940–2014) was the author of the Real People series, The Witch of Goingsnake and Other Stories, Mountain Windsong, and Wil Usdi. Conley was a three-time winner of the Spur Award and was named Oklahoma Writer of the Year in 1999. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame in 1996.

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