Last Saturday night Stone Akin, Shell Knob’s local Indian Historian made his appearance as artist, author and lecturer at the Viola/Shell Knob Community Center. Patrons were greeted by the smell of freshly baked fry bread and homemade chili from Stone Akins special recipe. The walls were lined with Native American crafts, clothing, art work and jewelry from five different Native American artists. Stone met visitors with his native Blackfoot greeting and encouraged them to visit the displays. The agenda of the evening included Native American music, a presentation on American Indian history in the Ozark area and Stone Akins insights on the controversy over the 2012 Maya Calendar.
Opening the program with flute music were Jerry and Lisa Fretwell, of Fretwell Flutes of Everton, Mo. This delightful couple are native Americans who have been playing and creating flutes for over 30 years. Jerry Fretwell said that over the years he has designed and completed over 3,000 flutes. He selects from over 50 different kinds of wood from his own sources but delights in using the wood that a patron brings to him. His wife Lisa said, “Jerry is very talented and the wood seems to speak to him as he is creating the flute. We have many stories where clients bring to us wood that has a special meaning to them. Sometimes the wood is from a memorable place or found in an unusual spot.” The Fretwell’s have a website that offers the visitor music from their Native Indian heritage www.fretwellflutes.com. It is an informational website that allows readers to explore the possibility of learning to play the flute, the various kinds of flutes, and the actual construction of a flute.
Stone Akin started his presentation with a personal history and encouraged visitors to investigate their own history in order to “reach out and find out who you are” for personal growth and a more complete life. His “American Indian Descendants Right of Heritage Organization” claims that over 30% of Missouri’s population is of Native American descent, that would equate to 1.6 million people. Stone encouraged the audience to restructure their reasoning concerning the Native Americans’ place in American History. “It is not what Hollywood would have us to believe. The book, American Indians Contributions to the World by Emory Dean Keoke and Kay Marie Portfield, can provide 100’s of stories that support the significant role of the American Indian to the development of America.”