A Native American Thanksgiving

Harvests feasts have an ancient tradition in the Americas that long predate the era when our ancestors allowed starving refugees and involuntary passengers from the Old World to settle here.   The newcomers were so impressed by the farming skills of our ancestors that they created one of North America’s most important holidays to honor them . . .  Thanksgiving!

Your family can also honor the culinary gifts that the indigenous peoples of the Americas gave all humanity by planning “An All American Thanksgiving.”   Only serve dishes that originated in the Americas!

It’s going to be tough . . . not because of the limited choices, but because there is so much to choose from.   Throughout the world, American vegetables predominate on the dinner table.   The Muskogeans also gave the world deep fried, corn meal battered,  poultry and fish that’s now called “Southern Fried.” (They used hickory nut oil with zero cholesterol.)   Most all indigenous Americans liked to barbecue meats.


Smoked turkey, baked turkey, fried turkey
Fried duck, baked wild duck, roasted wild duck
Smoked wild goose, baked wild goose, roasted wild goose
Smoked venison, roasted venison
Smoked buffalo, grilled buffalo
Roasted elk, smoked elk
Smoked fish, barbecued fish, fried fish, baked fish
Roasted bear, smoked bear, barbecued bear
Deep fried turtle or frog legs
Fried quail, smoked quail
Baked possum with sweet potatoes*
*It is something like roast pork.

Brunswick stew


Corn bread, corn on the cob, niblet corn, creamed corn, hominy corn, grits, sofke, hush puppies, corn flat cakes, hasty pudding, corn soup, tamales, tortillas, popcorn

Northern wild rice, Southern wild rice
Sunflower seeds

Ramps (onion relative)
Maple Syrup

Green beans
Bush beans
Pole beans
Lima beans
Navy beans
Kidney beans
Pinto beans
Purple beans
Red beans
Speckled beans
Black beans
Has beans

Sweet potatoes
White potatoes
Andean purple potatoes
Jerusalem artichoke (Indian potatoes)
Yucca roots

Wild garlic
Ramps (member of onion family)
Bell pepper
Pimiento pepper
Hot pepper

Yellow crookneck squash
Butternut squash
Cousaw squash
Acorn squash
Calusa squash (sweet)
Calabaza squash (sweet)


Black Walnuts
Butternuts (White Walnut)
Pine nuts
Brazil Nuts
Live Oak acorns


Muscadine grape
Scuppernong grape
Catawba grape
Concord grape
Coco Plums
White Mulberry
Red Mulberry
Black Cherry
Paw Paw
Pashion Fruit
Red plums
Purple plum
Coco Plum
*Most commercial strawberries in the world are hybrids created from the native strawberry of the Southeast, which was grown by American Indians.
Tuna Cactus fruit


Ginseng tea
Sassafras tea
Yaupon tea
Corn beer

Getting hungry?     Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends around the Americas . . . even if your country doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

Richard Thornton

Apparently, all Native American tribes will be allowed to compete for casinos in Georgia

Of course, the legislation, legalizing casinos in Georgia, is still being “studied,” but there is one positive aspect to the story for tribes, who are in the casino business.   The proposed legislation will require a developer to invest at least $200 million into a casino in order to receive a permit from the state.   However, no longer would any interested Native American tribe be required to get the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

That means both federal and state recognized tribes could compete for casino permits.  Also, they would not have to own the land for five years prior to development as required now by the BIA.   The tribe would be evaluated as a potential owner-operator only.

Both the Muscogee Creek Nation and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama own and operate their casinos.  In fact,  the Poarch Creeks are now in the business of developing and operating casinos for other tribes.   The big hurdle for smaller tribes or Creek tribal towns getting into competition would be the financial muscle required to secure $200 million in financing.

PostScript:   Personally,  I think gambling is stupid, but obviously a lot of other people don’t, and  . . . let’s face it . . . casinos have drastically changed the finances of many federally recognized tribes.

Georgia’s massive entrance into casino market to radically impact Southeastern tribes

MGM Resorts International has proposed a $1 billion+ gambling casino complex for Downtown Atlanta.  One almost as large is about to be announced for Hutchinson Island in Savannah.  For several years,  a developer has wanted to build a casino resort at the site of the former Ford Automotive Plant, which is next to the Atlanta Airport – the busiest airport in the world.

Meanwhile, quietly slipped into the news this week was a mention that the state’s General Assembly is “studying” a plan to authorize smaller casinos in every part of the state, particularly on routes leading to Native American casinos in other states.  Basically, politicians from both major political parties have said that they would support Atlanta, if their jurisdiction got a share of the action.

There is no visible opposition to these proposals.  It is quite likely that within  five years, seven to ten gambling casinos will be operating in the state.  The major justification being used by Georgia politicos is that “Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Florida are now making hundreds of millions of dollars off of Georgia gamblers at their casinos.  We need to keep their money at home. ” Of course, most of those “out of state casinos” are owned by federally recognized Native American tribes.

Long time members of the People of One Fire will remember that we originally formed in 2006 to fight efforts by government bureaucrats and Georgia archaeologists to change the history of northern Georgia to make it appear that the Cherokees built most of the mound complexes in the Peach State and that the Cherokees have always lived in Georgia.  The State of Georgia even issued in 2006 a national press release , which included a “new, improved”  map of Indian tribes in Georgia that showed the northern half of the state, including Ocmulgee National Monument, as always being occupied by the Cherokees! The purpose was to then create a “Cherokee Reservation” in Georgia.

The first such proposal was back in 1999.  The Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma said that they wanted to move back to their homeland around Adairsville, GA in order to build a casino.  Two archaeologists, who were the very vocal spokesmen for “Maya Myth Busting in the Mountains” were hired as their consultants. The archaeologists confirmed the Keetoowah version of history in press releases,  but the US Department of Interior correctly pointed out that the Keetoowah left southeastern Tennessee in 1817, not Georgia, to move to Arkansas.  Their petition was denied.

Somewhere along the process,  politicos finally got the message from the BIA that there was not a snowball’s chance in Hades of a Cherokee casino being built in Georgia.  One could not create make-believe history,  a make-believe reservation on land that happened to be zoned “Commercial” and then build a casino there five years later.

Meanwhile, the big casino corporations are getting tired of sharing much of their profits with Native American tribes.  They probably let the politicians in Georgia know this long before the public knew anything.  That’s the way politics works.  A lot of powerful people undoubtedly said yes to MGM then the resort developer hired the architects to create the design drawings that the public sees.

How much this sudden concentration of gambling casinos in Georgia will affect the Native American casinos in the Southeast is still a matter of speculation, but the fact that they will all be on major interstate highways could make the impact catastrophic.   For example, the proposed Columbus, GA casino could take the lion’s share of out-of-state business away from the Poarch Creek casino in Wetumpka, Alabama.

The proposed casino for northwest Georgia will be much closer for almost all residents of Tennessee, Northern Alabama and Northwest Georgia – time and distance-wise – than the two Cherokee casinos in the North Carolina Mountains.  Not having to pay significant profits to tribes,  the corporate casinos will be able to pay for more spectacular entertainment and more elaborate architecture.

Yes, it is a game changer.



Columbus Day farce provokes bitter internet debate in Scandinavia

This is funny.   POOF’s farcical account of political demonstrations in Europe against the continued annual celebration of the discovery of Europe by Native American explorers went over like a lead balloon among regular readers, but quickly made its way to European Facebook and Google+ accounts.  The result has been a multiplication of blog sites to debate its contents ever since then.  POOF does create controversies!

You probably didn’t read the article, so here it is again:

European Discovery Day

APPARENTLY, what happened was that the sophisticated people of Scandinavia are accustomed to reading drivel in web news, coming out of the United States  . . . and for Americans, in general, being grossly ignorant of their cultures and languages.  They assumed that anyone who correctly punctuated their words and knew what foods they ate, HAD to be a Scandinavian writing serious journalism and reporting actual news.  Otherwise, how else would they know that Agnetha Fältskog did like to dress up as an American Indian, before she was the A in ABBA . . . and even had a photo of her?

Answer:  I knew Agnetha, when she was playing Mary Magdalene of Jesus Christ Superstar in city auditoriums around SwedenShe was a very sweet, young lady, who later married a manipulative man.

There were two sections of the article that really struck a raw nerve.  The most controversial was the fictional woman being interviewed, who complained that traditional Swedish food had been replaced by foods that originated in the Americas. Actually,  her comments are true.  Traditional Scandinavian cuisine is boring and starchy,  while foods from the Americas do predominate in Scandinavian supermarkets.  Remember, even chocolate came from the Americas.  The fact is that Europeans SHOULD be celebrating the many nutritional gifts  that indigenous Americans gave the world.

However, Scandinavians do sometimes resent the Americanization of so many aspects of their culture.  As I mentioned in the article about the TV series Rita,  many English words have entered the Danish language and replaced Scandinavian words in normal conversation.

The Google+ debates seem focused on the comment about the Scandinavians not being able to adjust to their natural environment in the past.  The Vikings raided Europe when their climate got colder in the late 800s AD.   The Greenland Colonies died out when the climate got colder again during the Little Ice Age, because they refused to adopt the clothing and lifestyle of their Inuit neighbors.

However,  many Scandinavian readers interpreted the comment to mean that they were today not environmentally concerned . . . and they were insulted!   As many blog sites do, the discussion went off topic.  They are now arguing back and forth on the internet as to whether their big corporations are really committed to environmental concerns.

The latest blog comment turned the tide toward the consensus that Swedish companies are pro-environment.  I am convinced!

Ikea has committed to spending €1bn on renewable energy and sustainable manufacturing, rivalling the efforts of some developed countries to fighting climate change.

Meanwhile, back in Plum Nelly, USA

I received one comment on the European Discovery Day article that I did not publish.  It would have confirmed what many Scandinavians think of Americans.

Stop writing about those Commies in Sweden and get back to what you are supposed to be writing on.  Everyone knows that because they have socialized medicine – AKA Obamacare – they are always depressed, unhealthy and have the highest suicide rate in the world.

Actually, the Scandinavian countries have much lower suicide rates than most of the countries in Europe and all of the countries in North America.  The United States now has one of the highest teenage suicide rates in the world.   Scandinavians are much healthier and live longer than Americans.  Their national healthcare systems cost about 1/3 less per capita than in the United States, even though Scandinavian per capita income is much higher.

The Swedish suicide myth was created in the 1944 U.S.  presidential campaign.  Franklin Roosevelt stated that he wanted to make all college education free and adopt a healthcare system like Sweden’s after World War II ended.   His opponent, Thomas Dewey, had a hissy fit on that one.  Soon, so many newspaper political ads stated that Sweden had the highest suicide rate in the world that everyone thought it was true.

Okay . . . I hope that the final comments will make some angry Vikings satisfied.  We don’t want them raiding our coast during global warming.  Well . . .  maybe the female Vikings can make friendly visits.

Ever heard of the Bilbo Mound?

It appears to be the oldest mound in North America and contained some of the oldest pottery in North America.  It slipped under the radar because of when it was excavated and a “Naw, that couldn’t be right” . . .  30 years later.  You will never guess what all this has to do with the game of golf!

Again, special thanks to retired College of Charleston professor, Gene Waddell, who donated an out of print book, published by Harvard University, which provided us this fascinating information.  Bilbo is the name of a type of Renaissance Era sword, manufactured in Portugal.

Between 1937 and 1941,  archaeologist Joseph Caldwell led a team of graduate students and WPA- funded team of 100 African American women that excavated Native American mound sites across the landscape of the Savannah, GA area.   Most of their time was spent on Irene Island, where there had once been a royal compound and very unusual mound.   Irene Island was designated to be completely destroyed in order to expand the Port of Savannah. Irene was probably the site of the capital of Chicora. *

Near the tail end of the project, when the United States government was preparing for war with Germany,  Caldwell spent a few days at an inconspicuous mound just east of downtown that he called the Bilbo Mound.   The mound was originally built inside a round pond by adding more and more thin layers of dirt to the center.  By the time, that British colonists arrived in 1733, the pond had become a swamp.

About all Caldwell’s team found were crude, fiber-tempered potsherds, greatly decomposed skeletonss and some stone tools associated with fishing.  It was assumed that the pottery was merely a later offshoot of Stallings Island pottery and was called Bilbo Pottery.  At the time, there was no radiocarbon dating, so the collection of Bilbo artifacts were boxed and generally forgotten.

In 1957,  archaeologist William Haag from Louisiana State University became interested in the Bilbo artifacts after Humble Oil Exploration Company  began drilling a test hole near the archaeological site in search of petroleum.   He dug some test pits to determine the chronology of the artifacts unearthed by Caldwell.  There was no pottery below a level dated at 1,870 BC.   Halfway down to the base from there was dated at 2,165 BC.  The base of the mound was dated at 3,540 BC.

William Haag’s peers in the archaeology profession scoffed at his findings and they were ignored by professional journals.  The archaeologists knew “for a fact” that the oldest pottery in North America had to be in Ohio and at that time, the earliest known Hopewell pottery had been dated at about 100-200 AD.

In 1977, the Peabody Museum of Harvard University published the professional papers of Savannah archaeologist, Antonio Waring.  The editor, Stephen Williams, did include a mention of Haag’s radiocarbon dates, but added a note that they were impossible because it would mean that mound building began in North America 3,000 years before pottery making.  At the time, no one had thoroughly studied the ancient pottery coming out of eastern Georgia and southern South Carolina.

In 1993,  the University of Georgia’s Department of Anthropology published a book on the archaeology of the Georgia Coast.  It briefly mentioned the Bilbo Mound and said that the mound was begun around 1,700 BC . . . 1,840 years later than Haag’s number.

In 1998,  the initial construction of earthworks at Watson Brake, Louisiana was dated to about 3,400 BC.   All references now state that Watson Brake is the oldest known mound in North America.  Everyone has completely forgotten the Bilbo Mound because their predecessors assumed that it couldn’t be true in 1957.

In 1999,  radiocarbon dates were obtained for Stallings Island potsherds excavated from Stallings Island, GA, on the Savannah River near Augusta.  They were determined to date from about 2,200 BC or earlier.   Stallings Island pottery from other sites on the Savannah have been found to date from at least 2,400 BC and possibly 2,800 BC.  So in the 21st century academicians suddenly believed that Bilbo pottery was as old as Professor Haag said it was, but seem to have no clue that his much older dates for the actual construction of the original mound were intentionally left out of the books 58 years ago.

And now for a bit of golf trivia

Immediately east of the Bilbo Mound and swamp is Brewton Hill.   It appears to merely be the sandy remnant of an ancient barrier island.  However, it is a place of historical importance far beyond the four Native American mounds it supports. Would you believe that the first game of golf ever played in the Americas was on Brewton Hill?

During the last three years of the American Revolution,  the British Crown garrisoned Scottish Highlander soldiers in Savannah.  Savannah was completely surrounded by angry patriot troops so there was not a whole lot the Scotsmen could do for recreation.    The began playing golf on the only piece of landscape under British control that was not pancake flat . . .  Brewton Hill and it cluster of ancient Indian mounds.

This is the first record of golf being played in America. Even today, you will notice that many golf course designers intentionally create earthworks on the courses that resemble ancient burial mounds.

Apparently, some of the locals learned how to play golf from the Highlanders.   We know that at least by 1794 the Savannah Golf Club was in “full swing.”  The Indian mounds, Revolutionary War earthen fortifications and a 750 feet long Native American shell midden were used as golf game obstacles.   Debutantes from Savannah society were having their parties at the clubhouse.  Thus, Savannah not only gave us “Hark the Herald, Angels Sing,” “Jingle Bells”, the first steam powered ocean-going ship, the Girl Scouts, “Moon River”  and the first nuclear-powered cargo ship, but America’s first golf course and clubhouse.

Even to this day, the daughters of “society” in small towns throughout the Southeast utilize the local golf course country club as their primary location for partying, showing off their bikinis and establishing their future pecking order.

And now you know.

*Post Script: In the spring of 1565,  Captain René de Laudonière, commander of Fort Caroline, dispatched a barque 25 lieues anciens (52.5 miles) northward to pick up donated food for his starving garrison from the king of Chicola, whose capital was about 10 lieues anciens (21 miles) inland on a major river.   In his memoir, De Laudonière specifically stated that Chicola was the same place that the Spanish called Chicora.  It is about 52 miles from the mouth of the Altmaha River to the mouth of the Savannah River.  It is about 21 miles from the mouth of the Savannah to Irene Island.

Maps of the Southeast: 1544, 1562, 1566, 1570, 1578, 1584 & 1590

We thought that readers would enjoy seeing the evolution of maps during the period when France, Spain and England were first exploring Southeastern North America.   These are the type of educational tools that we will be using when POOF University (or whatever it will be called) gets going in 2016.

Note that on all Spanish, French, English and Dutch Maps,  Fort Caroline is located on the south side of the mouth of the Altamaha River in Georgia.   France NEVER claimed any land south of the St. Marys River, which divides Florida and Georgia today.    Both the myth of Fort Caroline being located in Jacksonville and the myth of the Fountain Youth being located in St. Augustine, were created by a New York transplant, who had speculated in land near both of those towns in the 1840s.

Click maps to enlarge them to full size.

1544 - map accompanying report to King of Spain on the De Soto Expeditiion

1562 - Diego Gutierrez
1562 – Diego Gutierrez
1566 - Geronimo Chaves
1566 – Geronimo Chaves
1566 - John? Longhurst
1566 – John? Longhurst


Engraver in Leyden, Holland - probably based on input from Jacques Le Moyne, the artist at Fort Caroline.
1570 -74  – Pieter Vander – Engraver in Leyden, Holland – probably based on input from  a survivor of Fort Caroline or a member of the 1568 Dominique de Gourgues Punitive Expedition.


1578 - Geronimo Chaves
1578 – Geronimo Chaves


1584 – Chaves Brothers – By a royally appointed cartographer of Spain. The identity of which Chaves is not certain.
1590 - Teodor de Bry (Dutch) for Queen Elizabeth
1590 – Teodor de Bry (Dutch) for Queen Elizabeth

1570 map shows French colony in Northeast Georgia . . . 20 years before Eleanor Dare Stones!

A Dutch map printed in 1570, primarily to show the locations of the Spanish and ill-fated French colonies of the previous decade in Southeastern North America, clearly shows Melilot at the headwaters of the Oconee River. The Oconee is a major tributary of the Altamaha River, which was then called the May River. 

Melilot was founded by survivors of Fort Caroline a few months before St. Augustine was established at its current location in March 1566.  The French Huguenots paddled up the Altamaha River and then continued up the Oconee until they reached the Kingdom of Apalache, whose High King gave the asylum. 

This map, along with the rediscovered history of Melilot, greatly enforces the credibility of the Dare Stones.   For 75 years critics, with no clue about Georgia’s early history, have ridiculed the plausibility of the Roanoke Colony survivors making a bee line for what is now Metro Atlanta then turning north along the Chattahoochee River to the Nacoochee Valley.   This map proves that there was already a European Protestant colony in that region, when the Roanoke Colony was abandoned in 1590.

The location of Mellilot was apparently in Northeast Metro Atlanta.  This detail of the 1570 map also shows that the Irish Colony of Duhare had moved inland since 1521, when it was first discovered by two Spanish slave traders.

Gene Waddell, retired professor of Architectural History at the College of Charleston,  has donated to the People of One Fire an extensive collection of 14th through 18th century bound maps that he acquired while living in Italy.  They are becoming a research gold mine for getting at the real history of the Southeast.   It will probably take years to fully study these valuable maps.

Heretofore, the oldest map mentioning Melilot was published in France in 1620,  and only French maps seem to acknowledge Melilot’s existence.  The earliest map to show the French colony of Fort Caroline on the Altamaha River was published in 1566 by Spanish royal cartographer, Geronimo Chaves.  In fact, all European maps labeled the Altamaha River as the May River and put Fort Caroline in Georgia.

Detail of 1620 French map showing Melilot.
Detail of 1620 French map showing Melilot.

POOF researchers Marilyn Rae and Michael Jacobs played key roles in the rediscovery of Melilot.   In mid-2013,  Rae found an intriguing lithograph of a Native American town in North Georgia, built of stone, in a website sponsored by Brown University.  She then thought the art portrayed the Track Rock Terrace Complex.  Further sleuthing brought her to the Fantasy & Utopia bin of the Carter Brown Library, where it sat for untold years . . . l’Histoire naturelle et morale des îles Antilles de l’Amérique by Le Pasteur Charles de Rochefort.

It was first published in 1658, but described a journey by an English gentleman from Barbados to the Southern Highlands in 1653.   Some Ivy League professor had buried the book in the fantasy-utopia bin because it described an advanced indigenous civilization in North Georgia.  Little by little, most every detail that De Rochefort mentioned, no matter how incredulous, has been confirmed.

In late 2014,  Michael Jacobs found a letter, dated January 6, 1660 from Edward Graeves, a director of the European colony at Melilot, to the Rev. De Rochefort in Rotterdam.  The letter complimented the written details of his first edition of “L’Histoire Naturelle,” but stated that the engravings of the indigenous buildings and plants in the first edition were inaccurate.  The writer included sketches with the letter to improve the accuracy of future engravings.

English settlement in Apalache

Charles de Rochefort’s book does not mention the Roanoke Colony.   However,  he locates a large, densely populated Native American kingdom at the exact location to where the Dare Stones lead.   The trail marked by the stones crossed the Carolinas to the confluence of the Savannah and Broad Rivers, where there was located one of Georgia’s larger mound complexes – Rembert Mounds.  It then turned due west to Gwinnett County, GA, where we think Melilot was located  . . . specifically on the headwaters of the Apalachee River at Little Mulberry County Park.  The Dare Stones stated that at this point, the Great Indian King allowed them to stay in his realm.   The Dare Stones then  marked a trail northward to the Nacoochee Valley.  They ended at a large Apalache town at the foot of Yonah Mountain.

EleanorDare-NacoocheeCharles de Rochefort described another party of English colonists arriving in Melilot around 1621.   They originally planned to settle at Jamestown, but arrived during a smallpox plague and Indian war.  The Dutch ship captain then told them about Melilot.   The King of Apalache let them establish a colony, complete with a English Protestant chapel.  After that point in time, the colony became increasingly English in character.

In the 1680s,  French explorer, Robert de La Salle,  encountered a band of Chiska Indians near present day Nashville, Tennessee.   They told him that their village in eastern Tennessee had been sacked by a small army of Englishmen from “Florida.”   The name, Florida, then applied to all of Georgia and Florida.  However, La Salle, not knowing about Melilot, assumed that the Chiska meant Spanish.  Both Melilot and Apalache disappeared from European maps after 1696.

PS:  The river on the left side of the map at the top of the article is the Chattahoochee River.  The “A” prefix of Atchalaque is Panoan (Peru) and means “from.”  Seventeenth century maps show the main town of Chalaque in eastern Tennessee.


The Stark Difference between Scientific research and dogma

Whether one is a professional meeting the needs of a client, a professor advancing the threshold of knowledge or a student trying to absorb that knowledge . . . one does not grow unless one admits that one does not know. Our understanding of the Southeast’s past is changing so rapidly now that I dare not write a book about it. The book would be obsolete by the time it was published!

Native American Brainfood

The memories of four decades ago have been stored by my brain into a series of freeze frames . . . exotic images that have no similarity to anything I see in the present tense. One of the most poignant is that of a world famous archaeologist, with graduate students gathered around his big office desk at a brown bag lunch, challenging his own statements to the point of seemingly talking to himself.

Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan was Director of the Museo Nacional de Anthropologia. His celebrity status in the Mexico of that era was equivalent to being CEO of Apple, Inc. today in the United States. I was in awe every time that I was around him. Yet . . . more so than any person I have ever met, he questioned everything, including all interpretations of the past that he had published in books. On several occasions I saw him win arguments against himself . . . and as a result the threshold of knowledge was advanced.

Fortunately, I also remembered a famous figurine from the Formative Period town of Cuicuilco that sat on an oak shelf to the right of Dr. Piňa-Chan office door. In 2012, a University of Georgia anthropology professor, pretending to be an Atlanta salesman on vacation in the Georgia Mountains, sent me a photo of that figurine and claimed that he had picked it up in a friend’s garden near Track Rock Gap. Do these Southeastern archaeologists really have that much contempt for the intelligence of Native Americans?

So much of what is presented to students today as facts about Southeastern Native Americans is really a jumbled mixture of facts, partial facts, simplifications, speculations and downright lies. While Latin American, European and Chinese archaeologists view their work as an ongoing exploration of their nation’s past, gringo archaeologists tend to view Native American studies as their private domain that has been fully described and therefore cannot be challenged by mere mortals. This body of flawed knowledge has become religious dogma, manically defended by those, who lack the intellect to follow in the footsteps of their profession’s giants in the 20th century.

Think I am exaggerating? One of the senior archaeologists behind the Maya-Myth-Busting campaign, is also a talking-head in Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists.  He literally made this statement at the Spring 2004 meeting of the Society For Georgia Archaeology:

“We know everything there is to know about the Southeastern Indians. It is time to move on.”

Say what-t-t? I later learned that his speech was the public expression of a resolution passed by the six members of Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists, who  were the only ones attending their private meeting, earlier in the day.  No one else in the organization ever publicly challenged it, so the stupidity of the statement can be fairly blamed on all members of that organization, whoever they are.

Two different world views

It is winter 2013. The core researchers of POOF are completely baffled.  Maya DNA test markers are quite common among Eastern Creeks, Seminoles and Miccosukees. However, South American DNA is showing up in the ancestors of the Creeks, in Southwestern Virginia and in an isolated pocket of Native American families, living east of Track Rock Gap. We have no explanation.

Thinking that there is nothing more that I can learn about Track Rock Gap (boy was I wrong) I finally honored my promise to Michael Jacobs in Waycross to switch POOF’s research focus to the South Atlantic Coast. Immediately, South American words, tribal names and traditions began popping up. Now we were really kornfuzed. The archaeologists had told us that Muskogeans lived in this region. That was absolutely not the case.  They were also different than the indigenous peoples living in Florida.

Then in June, Marilyn Rae discovered a 355 year old book about a man name Briggstock visiting the Southern Appalachians and encountering an indigenous culture with a blend of Itza Maya and Peruvian traits.

Then in the fall of 2013, Marilyn and I published The Apalache Chronicles. That resulted in a tidal wave of calls and emails from county officials from around the region, who told us that they also had stone walled terrace and cairn complexes like Track Rock, but that for years, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia archaeologists had refused to look at them.

It is going to take long time to figure out the Apalache Culture. There is still much we don’t know or understand. That is one fact, I can stand behind.

Meanwhile in the Land of the Clueless . . . The month after the History Channel presented absolute proof that the Itza Mayas mined attapulgite in Georgia for many centuries, the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta sponsored a program to bash the idea. A South African rock art expert, who had never been in Mexico and obviously knew nothing about the Muskogean Peoples, described the 300+ (thousand year old) agricultural retaining walls at Track Rock Gap as platforms on which the Cherokees danced sacred dances. Earlier, he had described the traditional Creek and Itza glyphs on the Track Rock petroglyphs as “the graffiti carved by bored Cherokee hunters.” Track Rock Gap was in the territory of the Upper Creeks until 1786. The Fernbank’s archaeologist, who arranged this program, had parted ways with the Fernbank the previous month.

In September of 2013, somebody attended a Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists meeting and adopted a resolution stating that they knew for a fact that the Mayas didn’t come to Georgia. Did they have two, three or four people at their conference? The last meeting that their website discussed was in 2012. Whatever the case, the resolution is the last entry on their website . . . a real powerball operation. You can read it here:


The last meeting of the Northwest Georgia Archaeological Society was in spring of 2015. It also featured the “Cherokees built Track Rock for performing sacred dances thing.” Very few people attended and the organization has gone into dormancy as a result.

Native Americans must take control of their heritage

Now to get to the point . . . While archaeological and historical research is thriving in many of parts of the world, it has become dogmatic, reactionary and mentally lethargic in the Southeastern United States.  Perhaps the situation is the result of “market based values” being applied to knowledge that does not directly contribute to stock values on Wall Street.

You saw the childish things that the some archaeologists wrote in 2012 and 2013. Cultural conservation and research must become a first priority for all Native American tribes, no matter what their government recognition status is. If you don’t become fully committed to these responsibilities, you will see more and more cases of bureaucrats and clueless pseudo-professionals re-writing your history for you.  Do you really want that to happen?

Three great films on Native American soldiers by Jim Rhodes, Viet Nam Vet

Did you know that in the past century,  Native American men and women have volunteered for military service in the United States at three times the percentage of non-Native Americans?

During the week of Veterans Day 2015,  PBS and Vision Maker Films are offering three great documentary films online that describe the contributions that Native American soldiers have made to United States’ survival and heritage.  They include the untold story of the Choctaw Codetalkers of World War I and World War II;  the untold story about the role of Aleut People in defending Alaska in World War II and an exploration of the motivations of Native Americans to fight for their country, even though they have been so wronged in the past.

Here is the  URL for watching these programs on your computer:

Native American Heroes

Jim Rhodes

KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe of Alabama  & Georgia


About Jim Rhodes

Jim Rhodes is a US Army veteran of the Viet Nam War.  In recent years, he has devoted most of his time to improving communications and understanding between the people of Viet Nam and the United States.  In particular, he is trying to build commercial ties between the Vietnamese People and Southeastern Native American tribes.   Jim and his wife have spent much time in Southeast Asia as Goodwill Ambassadors, sponsored by the United States Department of State. He is also a leader of the KVWETV (Coweta) Tribe of Alabama & Georgia. We are also proud to say that Jim has been a longtime member of the People of One Fire.

Honoring our veterans by Colonel Dewey Painter

As a veteran of 22 years active duty, with three tours in Vietnam, I cannot let November 11 pass without some extraordinary effort to remember those that paid the ultimate price for our freedom, with their lives, and those that continue to walk upon the land.

I am reminded of Psalms 116:9 “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”  May we not let one veteran or serving GI pass us by without stopping to thank them for their sacrifice as the walk through the land of the free and the brave.
I believe the attached video says what a thousand of my words cannot utter.  Please view it and then pass on to others in support of the upcoming Veterans Day November 11th.

                   MANSIONS OF THE LORD

Put aside the day’s clutter, take a moment… Absolutely one of the best tributes to our military that I’ve ever seen, Simply awesome…  It should start playing by itself. Sound UP.! Full Screen.!

Thank you
Dewey Painter
About Dewey Painter
Colonel/Dr. Painter, USAFR.  is a Creek, living in Jacksonville, Florida. Would you believe that he holds SEVERAL doctorate degrees?   He is President of the Southeastern American Indian Council and has recently been named Chancellor of the University of Israel (USA.)   In recent years, he has spent much of his time helping the needy in both the United States and foreign countries. He is one special man and a blessing to us all.   We are also proud to say that Dewey has been a longtime member of the People of One Fire.

A National Alliance of Muskogean Scholars and their Friends

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