New York City once had higher percentage of slave owners than Southern states in 1860

In a fascinating report published today by the Slave Dwelling Project, it was revealed that in 1703, 42% of the households in New York City, owned slaves. Many of those slaves were either Native Americans or Mustees (mixed Native-African heritage.) As late as 1790, the State of New York still had 21, 123 slaves.  For comparison, the State of Georgia had 29,264 slaves in 1790.

The full article may be read at:  Slaves in New York City

The article had a mistake. It states that New York ended slavery in 1727. The actual date is 1827. After 1799, the children of slaves were born in New York were free, but their parents remained slaves until 1827. Slavery was never popular outside New York’s largest cities, but for several generations after emancipation, African residents of New York typically had a serf status, with very little hope of economic advancement. They were frequently attacked or even murdered by Irish immigrants, with whom they competed for the most menial jobs.

The year 1703 was during the peak period of Native American slavery. At that time, 20% of the population of the Colony of South Carolina was Native American slaves. Forty percent were African slaves. Because slaves from tribes in the Southern colonies could easily find sanctuary after running away, they were typically exported to Caribbean sugar plantations or to Northern colonies. Yes, all the Northern colonies originally had slavery – mostly Native American slaves.

King George III issued a proclamation to the North American colonies, banning Indian slavery in 1751, at the same time he legalized African slavery in the Colony of Georgia. However, many colonial assemblies, from South Carolina northward, immediately passed amendments to their slave codes that defined an African slave as any slave having more than 1/64th African ancestry.

Slaves from Turkey, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were left in a never-never land, in which they were not specifically mentioned by the proclamation, one way or another. South Carolina had a separate slave code for these peoples.

Percentage of households that owned slaves in 1860

Southern states that would secede from the Union in 1861 – 30.8%
Alabama – 34%
Arkansas – 20%
Delaware – 3%
Florida – 34%
Georgia – 37%
Kentucky – 23%
Louisiana – 29%
Maryland – 12%
Mississippi – 49%
Missouri – 13%
New Mexico – 7%  (mostly Native American slaves)
North Carolina – 28%
South Carolina – 46%
Tennessee – 25%
Texas – 28%
Utah – (less than 1%)
Virginia – 26%

Source: United States Census in 1860

Appalachian Mountains: the fascinating search for a word’s true meaning

The word, Apalache, first appeared in the Spanish archives during the Pánfilo de Narváez Expedition (1527-1536). When asked about gold, Florida Indians pointed to the north and said that the Apalache had much gold in their land. There are no gold deposits in Florida, but the first major gold rush in the United States was in North Georgia.

Beginning in 1562, Spanish maps and after 1565, all European maps began labeling the Southern Highlands as Apalachen, Apalatsy, Apalatcy or Apalache. During much of the 18th century, the Georgia Mountains were called the Apalachian Mountains, while those in North Carolina were called the Cherokee Mountains. Eventually, all of the eastern range of mountains in the Southeast was called the Appalachian Mountains.

This beautifully rendered French map from 1600 shows the concentration of Apalache villages and towns at the source of the Oconee-Altamaha River System, plus tells readers that the Appalachian Mountains contain deposits of gold and silver. Under the waterfall, the inscription tells readers that “In this lake the Indians gather grains of silver.” Actually, it was gold colored mica, which was exported long distances because the Mayas had no source for mica, which was used in vast amounts for architecture and cosmetics. In late 1565, a handful of survivors from Fort Caroline were allowed to establish a colony in Apalache, with the provision that they marry Apalache women. When the Eleanor Dare party arrived in 1591, they were also required to marry Apalache husbands and wives. This colony, called Melilot, became the anchor for attracting Protestant and Jewish refugees to the Georgia Mountains.

Want to know how the Appalachian Mountains got their name? Go to almost any reference other than the People of One Fire and you will read something similar to this paragraph in Wikipedia:

“Appalachian Mountains: Name is derived from a Native American village near present-day Tallahassee, Florida, transcribed in Spanish as  Apalachen [a.paˈla.tʃɛn]. It is a Creek Indian word that means “People on the Other Side.” The name was eventually used as for the tribe and region spreading well inland to the north. Now spelled “Appalachian”, it is the fourth oldest surviving European place-name in the US. After the de Soto expedition in 1540, Spanish cartographers began to apply the name of the tribe to the mountains themselves.”

The translation provided is completely bogus, as were almost all of those done by early 20th century Smithsonian ethnologist, John Swanton. Did he even own a Creek dictionary? There are some facts in this article, but the information that is left out radically changes the overall meaning. As stated in the accompanying TV interview of historian Jim Loewen on this webpage, much of what students read in official American History textbooks is just that . . . part of the facts manicured in order to give an entirely different spin on history.

Don’t faint, I translated the word wrong, too!

For nine years, I have proudly announced that unlike certain 20th century Dixie professors, I used a Miccosukee-Hitchiti dictionary to translate Apalache . . . and it meant, “Light or torch – children of.” Well, it does, but Appalachian turned out to be derived from a Europeanized word, not the word that indigenous people spoke. It was the discovery of those documents in England that had been lost for 280 years that turned my understanding of the past, upside down.

In his speech to the leaders of the Colony of Georgia, Principal Chief Chikili used the words Apalache and Palache interchangeably. He also called himself a Palache . . . not a Creek, not a Muskogee, not a Koweta.  Since Chikili was known to be from the Georgia Piedmont, that confirmed what we were almost certain of, the true Apalache were in North Georgia, not Florida.

In another recorded speech, Chikili specifically stated that Apalache and Palache meant the same thing.  Oh #*$%!  My translation of Apalache couldn’t possibly be correct, if the A could be dropped off and still have the same meaning. Where in the world did that word come from?

Using a Sherlock Holmes approach

A list was made of known facts:

1. Apalache and Palache had the same meaning in the 1730s.

2. The words were really Apalasi and Palasi . . . at least we thought.

3. The Apalache called their mountain homeland, Palan.  There is a province in northern Peru called Palan

4. The Apalache elite dressed identically to the Panoan peoples of eastern Peru, including their strange conical straw hats.

5. Swift Creek stamped pottery from Georgia was identical to Conibo stamped pottery from Peru.

6. Napier Stamped pottery from Georgia was identical to Shipibo stamped pottery from Peru.

7. The high kings of the Apalache called themselves Paracusa, which is also the name of one of the earliest civilizations in Peru. The Paracusa were extremely tall and had flattened foreheads.  They made the fieldstone effigies of animals in the Nazca Valley of Peru before mysteriously leaving the region.  Numerous royal graves have been found in proto-Creek towns that contained extremely tall men with flattened foreheads.  (6′-6″ to 7′ tall)

8. The Creek word for the Sacred Black Drink made from yaupon holly was the same word in Panoan. The Panoans and several other Amazonian tribes have the same Yaupon tea ceremonies.

9. The Creek and South Carolina Low Country word for a village chief, orata, was the same among the Panoans.

10. The Migration Legend of the Apalache People said that they arrived to the South Atlantic Coast from the sea and that their first capital was where Downtown Savannah is now. Chicola or Chicora was the name of the first capital and the province around it. The town of Chicora was NOT in South Carolina.

I speculated that Apalache and Palache were Panoan words that meant the same. However, I could find neither word in any of the Panoan dictionaries – Shipibo, Conibo, Kashibo, Satibo and Chiska . . . you recognize that last word? The North American Chiskas were not Yuchi’s.

Apalache elite in present day Jackson County, GA
Apalache elite in present day Jackson County, GA. Colorization of 1658 engraving, based on eyewitness sketches made by Richard Briggstock in 1653.

Strike Three . . . you’re out! Nothing was similar to Apalache, Palache or Apalasi.

Then I stumbled upon a colonial map that spelled Palachicola as Parachecola. Of course, Muskogees and Cherokees couldn’t pronounce a European R. Panoans, Apalaches and Yuchi’s could. Europeans wrote down the Muskogee speakers attempt to pronounce an R as an L. That is why Chicora and Chicola were the same towns. Captain René de Laudonnière, commander of Fort Caroline, had mentioned that fact.

Eureka, I have found it! There is was. Para was the Panoan word for the ocean or sea. A was the Panoan prefix for “from”. “Si” or “che” is the Muskogean suffix for “offspring of.” Apara means “From the Sea” in Panoan. Aparasi means “Offspring from the sea” in the hybrid Apalache language. Around Savannah, there are several river names that in various languages mean either “Sea People” or “Offspring of the Sea.” It all made perfect sense.

But how did that word become Apalachen? The earliest Spanish map labeled North Georgia, Apalachen. A closer look at the Shipibo-Spanish dictionary gave the answer. The plural of Aparasi, would be Aparasen, which would be pronounced by Muskogeans as Ä : pȁ : lä : shēn.

Case closed. Apalachen merely meant “The Apalachees.”

There was to be one fine marble capstone on this discovery. Captain René de Laudonnière said that the Indians on the coast of present day Georgia and South Carolina, plus the Calusas of South Florida, worshiped a deity named Toya. He added that when praying to Toya, they would shout, “Hey Toya!”

No matter how much I searched the internet, I could find no deity named Toya. Then I happened to glance at a list of “ancient pre-Inca gods of Peru.” Atoya was the first deity worshiped in Peru.  A Universal Creator deity, represented by the symbol of the sun, he or she (depending on the tribe) became known as the Ancient Mountain god. The Panoans would have worshiped Atoya two thousand years agp. They obvioulsy brought their female sun goddess/creator deity, Atoya, with them to North America.

That would explain why the Apalache and later, the Creeks monotheistically worshiped an invisible Creator goddess, whose traits were almost identical to those of YHWH of the ancient Hebrews,  except she was a female.  They logically concluded that only a woman could love her human children, despite their failings. 

Having the God of the Christian Bible and Jewish Torah wear dresses, was more than the early Protestant missionaries to the Creeks could stomach . . . especially if you throw the pleasure that Creek women took in going around topless!   The missionaries pressured newly converted Creeks to think of God as a white man with a beard, who didn’t like women exposing their breasts in public.  Within a generation or so, these traditions were forgotten.

Would you believe that the Bronze Age peoples on the coast of Spain  made concentric circle petroglyphs like those in North Georgia, and also worshiped a sun goddess named Atoya? Things are getting more and more complex.  Some archaeologists believe that those Bronze Age folks on the coast of Spain were the source of the Atlantis Legend.  They disappeared after a massive tsunami around 1200 BC.

At this point, I was tempted to yell “Hey Toya,” but will stick to Hallilujah!

Well, we’uns ignorant mountain folks have done turned them thar history books upside down again  . . . and t’weren’t even a-trying!

Murphy, North Carolina museum exhibits mysterious statue

A newly exhibited Native American sculpture in the Cherokee County Historical Museum portrays two figures with owl-like faces and toddler-like bodies. Do they represent an unusual style of Native American art or something else?

Native American Brain Food

Wally Averett, a longtime member of the People of One Fire, writes columns regularly for the Cherokee Scout newspaper in Murphy. This one is a doozy. As Wally stated in his article, the stone statue is unlike any Native American statue ever found in the Southeast. Murphy is located in Cherokee County, NC.

During the People of One Fire’s DNA survey in 2012, several card-carrying Cherokees living in or near Murphy reported that their genetic tests revealed substantial Maya DNA test markers. These are rare among other branches of the Cherokees. Murphy is located 18 1/2 miles northwest of the Track Rock Terrace Complex in Georgia – at the confluence of the Hiwassee and Valley Rivers.

ValleyRiverTwins1The statue is about four feet high. It has all been carved from one soft soapstone boulder. The surface of the statue was apparently pockmarked by acidic soil, where it was buried for many years. The Murphy figures have the same trait of the statue of an extraterrestrial being at the Yamacutah shrine in Jackson County, GA. Neither of the statues have arms or hands. The Yamacutah statue was also carved from a soft stone.

The Upper Creeks have raptor or owl like noses as adults. There are still many Upper Creek descendants living near Coosa Creek in adjacent Union County, GA. However, the raptor-like noses develop in adolescence and are not seen in Upper Creek children.

The bodies of these figures are definitely not those of adult Native Americans. They are like human toddlers or else the infamous “Gray Aliens” associated with the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico incident. Perhaps, they could also be interpreted as the bodies of owls.

The two figures possibly are of a man and woman, since one is taller than the other. Alternatively, the two may be the “Cosmic Twins” of Itza Maya and Creek folklore.

Wally speculated that they might be representations of the “Moon Eyed People” of Cherokee lore. What do you think the two figures portray?

Many stone and ceramic statues have been found in the Etowah River Valley of Northwest Georgia, generally with finer details, and made from hard stones like marble, sandstone and limestone. Greenstone chisels and hammers, manufactured by the Apalache-Creeks near Dahlonega, GA, were used to carve such stone artifacts and also to produce copper artifacts.

See images of Northwest Georgia sculptures at the end of this article.

Found near ruins of a Native town visited by Juan Pardo

The statue was found in the early 1840s near present day Downtown Murphy, where there had formerly been a large Muskogean town with mounds. The famous Spanish explorer, Juan Pardo, would have gone through this town on his way along the Hiwasssee River to Tanasqui (Hiwassee Island, Tennessee) in 1567. At that time, the Andrews Valley, where the Valley River flows, was densely populated by a colony of the Tamatli Creeks from Southeast Georgia. Tomatla, NC derives its name from their past presence.

Lands on the west and south sides of the Hiwassee River were occupied by the Kusa-te (Upper Creeks) in 1567.  According to the recently discovered original Migration Legend of the Creek People, the Kusa-te claimed to have sacked a town on the side of Georgia’s highest mountain – probably the Track Rock Terrace Complex – then occupied North Georgia as vassals of the Apalache-Creeks.

The Kusa-te lost ownership of their lands in 1785 at the Treaty of Hopewell. However, they did not know of the secret land deal until North Carolina Cherokees began moving down into North Georgia. Apparently, many Kusate elected to stay put, and were allowed to do so, because most Overhill Cherokees were moving into the fertile valleys of Northwest Georgia

Architectural, linguistic and genetic evidence strongly suggests that many of the Tamatli Creeks in North Carolina voluntarily joined the Cherokee Alliance to become Tamatli Cherokees. In 1763, Lt. Henry Timberlake visited a Tamatli-Cherokee village on the Little Tennessee River. Even at that late date, most of its people carried Itsate Creek names and their chief was entitled a mako . . . the Itza Maya name for a king.

Just like the Tamatli houses in Southeast Georgia, the Cherokee Tamatali houses in Tennessee were rectangular, divided into three rooms and finished with white clay stucco reinforced with crushed shells. Timberlake described the houses as “glistening like pearls.” He described the Cherokee Tamatli village as being formally planned around a rectangular plaza, unlike the other unplanned Cherokee towns and villages he visited.

Cherokee village of Tamatli in eastern Tennessee.
Cherokee village of Tamatli in eastern Tennessee.

It is quite remarkable that Cherokee Tamatli houses in 1763 would be identical to those on St. Catherines Island, GA in the late 1500s and early 1600s. A Spanish engineer, visiting the Mission Santa Catalina de Guale, described the Guale houses as also having three rooms and being stuccoed with white clay, reinforced with crushed shells that made the houses “glisten like pearls.”

History of statue still remains unclear

The statue came into the possession of Felex Axley, one of Cherokee County’s first attorneys. He may have found the statue in the ruins of Fort Butler, a palisade uses to imprison Cherokees before the Trail of Tears. Alternatively, Axley may have found the statue elsewhere in the valley or purchased the statue from someone else. However, it is documented that Axley purchased the land that Fort Butler lay on, and then used the logs to build his large house. The staff of the Cherokee County Historical Museum hopes to eventually discover more about the statue’s history, and perhaps what it means.

The Cherokee County Historical Museum is located at 87 Peachtree Street in Downtown Murphy, NC – next to the Cherokee County Courthouse.

Native American sculptures from Northwest Georgia

Famous marble statues on display at Etowah Mounds
Famous marble statues on display at Etowah Mounds
Sandstone statue from Etowah Valley
Sandstone statue from Etowah Valley
Limestone statue from Etowah Valley
Limestone statue from Etowah Valley
Ceramic statue from Etowah Valley
Ceramic statue from Etowah Valley

LIDAR and infrared imagery reveals many more terrace complexes

Imagery provides convincing evidence that most terrace complexes contained log retaining walls and perhaps all began as log-walled earthworks. The majority of terrace complexes are at opposite ends of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range in Georgia and Virginia. Go figure?

Article Two of the Magic Biochar Garden Series

The Track Rock Terrace Complex, near Blairsville, GA is massive. Continued research by the volunteers of the People of One Fire have revealed pre-European man-made structures far beyond the original site plan of the Track Rock archaeological zone, created by a archaeological consultants for the US Forrest Service in 2001.

One may visit these amazing stone ruins a dozen times and still find man-made features that were missed before. It is also quite easy to become disoriented any time of year because of the dense foliage and undulating terrain.

Next time, however, when you hike at Track Rock, take a look down the mountainside about 100 yards past the point were the access trail passes across a branch and ravine that mark the northern boundaries of the terraces. You will see row after row of terraces that have no stone retaining walls. This section of the complex was completely overlooked as were the stone-walled terraces farther down the mountainside that even extend across Track Rock Creek.

These terraces without stone walls were many of the puzzles that we initially faced in 2012. Were they created by Native Americans or by farmers, who owned the land prior to it being purchased by the US Forest Service in the mid-20th century?

The answer came after several county governments in North Georgia provided POOF with LIDAR and infrared imagery of suspected terrace complexes in their locales. County leaders had been frustrated for years by the response of Georgia archaeologists, when asked to help in understanding their enigmatic ruins. In most cases, the archaeologists refused to look at their sites. When they did, bitter schisms developed within the profession. One faction interpreted the stacked stones to be the work of early frontier farmers. The other and smaller faction insisted that the stone walls and cairns were the work of Native Americans.

Because of the schisms, the county leaders were unable to get the precise archaeological descriptions that were necessary to save these amazing sites from real estate developers.  The parking lot of the Mall of Georgia, one of the nation’s largest, was built over stone walled terraces, because three archaeological firms refused to certify the terrace complex as being either prehistoric or  historic! No radiocarbon testing was done.  The refusals were based on biases, mainly that Georgia’s Creek Indians lacked the intelligence to stack one stone over another.

POOF researchers began noticing a feature at the terrace complexes in Northeast and North-central Metro Atlanta that also occurs at Track Rock Gap. All sites had stone cairns on the southwest slopes of hills or mountains. All had at least some stone walled terraces near the tops of hills. However, on the lower slopes, just like at Track Rock there were still the vestiges of terraces that had no stone walls. Some stones were laying on the earthen slopes of terraces, but they were definitely not walls, just casual means of discouraging soil erosion.

Continuing analysis of these high resolution images in 2014 and 2015 have revealed many more terrace complexes that local officials and preservationists missed  in Union, Towns, Jackson, Gwinnett, White, Gilmer, Dawson, Pickens, Cherokee and Lumpkin Counties, GA – plus Meriwether County on the Flint River in west-central Georgia.  Many of these newest discovered terraces had no stone walls at all. They were far too narrow to have been created by 20th century tractors. The US Department of Agriculture under the Roosevelt administration encouraged Southern farmers to construct contoured terraces on slopes of hilly farms. However, these modern terraces look very different. They are 30 to 50 feet wide and have tractor access at each level.

Itza terrace complexes in the Chiapas Highlands

At this point I dug deeply into the cobwebs of my mind back to the time that I was backpacking through the highlands of Chiapas State and Guatemala. To be very honest with you, my only interest in the agricultural terraces was esthetic. I was an architecture student and these terraces obviously would never have any relevance to my career. Most of the color slides that I took were of large terrace complexes with stone walls and the ruins of temples on top.

Fortunately, they looked just like the Track Rock Terrace Complex.
However, when delving through old slides, I suddenly remembered that most of the actively cultivated terrace complexes had very few stone walls. They had the small streams on either side like the Track Rock Terraces, but the terraces were either all dirt or else buttressed with logs. So the all dirt terraces were merely what was left after log retaining walls had rotted away. Below is a typical appearance of a modern Maya terrace farm near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Those are beans growing on the terraces.

This site even has the ruins of temples and a plaza on top, just like Track Rock Gap. Note that two small streams and ravines parallel the terraces- also like Track Rock.
A contemporary Itza Maya terrace farmer
A contemporary Itza Maya terrace farmer

Log walls improve fertility

Out of necessity, all of my original terraces at the experimental garden were supported by logs cleared from the forested hill side where the terraces were excavated by hand. It was slash & burn agriculture in its purest form.

View of the magic garden in April 2015
View of the magic garden in April 2015

However, when I learned that a documentary for public television was to be filmed in my garden, I intentionally built a stone wall along one major terrace, so the film crew would have something to film that looked like the Track Rock Gap terraces. They were also denied access to the Track Rock Terrace Complex.

A load of charcoal is being worked into the garden soil in early spring.
A load of charcoal is being worked into the garden soil in early spring.

That year the only crops that did well on the stone-walled terrace were members of the squash and pumpkin family. They like hot, well-drained soil. On the other hand the beans, peas and tomatoes were stunted.

There is another plus to timber walls that I didn’t think about in 2012. By the fourth season, all of the original timber walls have rotted, turning into rich, saw-dust like loam. During the past two years, my crowder peas, sugar snap peas and black-eyed peas (all legumes) have grown 12 feet high. They would have grown higher, but the bean poles were too unstable after that length, so I snipped the ends.

Another riddle about the Track Rock Terrace Complex has been solved by the experimental terrace garden. If you recall in my book, I could not understand why the builders at Track Rock expended so much labor to build terraces, when there were ample stretches of river bottom land within walking distance to the north and the south of the terraces. In fact, these bottom lands contained conventional Muskogean towns with platform mounds that were founded exactly in the same era as Track Rock.

The answer is that maize (Indian corn) loves river bottom lands, but is anemic on terraces facing the southwest. After the second year, I gave up trying to grow corn because it was stunted and the cobs, barely had enough kernels on them to eat. What I do now is trade my surpluses in tomatoes, winter squash and fordhook lima beans for roasting ears, grown by neighbors in stream bottomlands. I strongly suspect that the occupants of Track Rock Gap has a similar arrangement with their neighbors. Now we know!

Below are LIDAR images of small terrace complexes at the edge of Northeast Metro Atlanta, plus an infrared image of a terrace complex near Coosa Bald Mountain that is about 6 miles southwest of Track Rock Gap.

Small terrace complex with a U-shaped plaza on right and a hill rising up behind it with the stone ruins of a prominent building – all features found at the Track Rock site.


Larger terrace complex overlooking North Oconee River.
Larger terrace complex overlooking North Oconee River.
Infrared image of very large terrace complex, about 6 miles southwest of Track Rock Gap.
Infrared image of very large terrace complex, about 6 miles southwest of Track Rock Gap.  This infrared spectrum picks up more fertile soil in steep terrain, covered with shrubs.


The original Creek Migration Legend . . . it is a road map, not a myth!

The recently discovered, original copy of the “Migration Legend of the Creek People” describes the journey of the ancestors of the Kvse-te (Kashita* or Cusseta People). They migrated from the foot of Orizaba Volcano in Vera Cruz State, Mexico across the rim of the Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Tennessee, western North Carolina then to Georgia. The last scenes of this priceless document occur at the Track Rock Terrace Complex in the Georgia Mountains. *Kashita is the phonetic pronunciation of Kvse-te.

Photo by David Tugg of Orizaba Volcano
“The chances of rediscovering the original English translation of the Migration Legend of the Creek People are therefore almost as slim as those of recovering the lost books of Livy’s History.”  (Titus Livius Patavinus [Livy] was a famous Roman historian, who lived between 64 BC & 17 AD) Albert Samuel Gatschet, 1881 – Ethnologist – Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
People of One Fire researchers have made some remarkable discoveries in the past three years that will radically change American history books. First In 2012, historian and regional planner, Michael Jacobs, discovered depositions from former residents of the Santa Elena Colony in South Carolina that described covert journeys into the Georgia Mountains by Spanish traders. They called the Track Rock Terrace Complex, “Great Copal” because its priests burned copal resin continuously from the temple at the top of the mountainside town.

Then, in 2013, Cherokee researcher, Marilyn Rae discovered a book written in French in 1658 by pioneer ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort that described a 1653 expedition to the Apalache Kingdom in North Georgia. It was in the “Fantasy and Utopia” bin of the Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Some anonymous Ivy League academician had relegated the book to obscurity because it described a Native American civilization in the Georgia Mountains and Piedmont, whose elite lived in stone houses and temples. The Apalache priests were described as burning copal incense from their mountaintop temples, night and day.

The name of the capital of the Apalache was Melilot and it was located in the Upper Piedmont of Georgia near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Melilot is shown on practically all 17th century French and Dutch maps, but has been left out of American history books. In fact, the Kingdom of Apalache is located in present day northern Georgia in bold letters on all European maps from 1562 to 1707, but has also been left out of the history books.

What apparently “blew the minds” of Ivy League scholars was that the elite of Apalache obviously were of Peruvian origin, but had absorbed some Itza Maya cultural traditions. On the other hand, the Apalache commoners lived in separate towns, which were identical to those of the Creek Indians encountered by early British explorers. The clothing of the Apalache elite was identical to the traditional clothing and hats of the Miccosukee and Seminoles in Florida.

In late 2014, Michael Jacobs made yet another remarkable discovery. In a later edition of the book that Marilyn Rae found, he stumbled upon a letter written in French from Edward Graeves, a director of the English-French colony at Melilot in what is now northeast Metro Atlanta. The letter was dated January 6, 1660. Melilot was a real place. In fact, it was a European colony, which lasted from late 1565 until the early 1700s. It was founded by survivors of Fort Caroline, but became predominantly composed of English and Dutch Protestants, Sephardic Jews, plus some Middle Easterners in the 1600s.

At least some of the descendants of this colony became the Bohurons (Nobility in Anatolian and Aramaic)  who were members of the Creek Confederacy in the 1700s.  Marilyn Rae has translated the surviving names of Bohuron leaders as being Portuguese,  French, Jewish,  Spanish, French, Arabic, Dutch and Turkish words.  It is quite possible that Emperor Bemarin (Bream), the first Principal Chief of the Coweta (Creek) Confederacy, when it was formed in 1717, was a descendant of Melilot.  Bemarin is a Sephardic family name.

This 1620 map clearly labels both the Kingdom of Apalache and the Melilot Colony. Lake May (Lake Tama) is shown far too large for its actual size on this map. The log jam and alluvial soil that created it was pierced or broken by floods in the mid-1600s. The shallow lake soon shrank into being a swamp, now called the Little Ocmulgee River Swamp.

Then on April 29, 2015 the great mother lode of them all was discovered. With the help of Dr. Grahamme Davies, the famous Welsh poet and now Assistant Private Secretary for HRH Prince Charles, I was able to locate a box containing the original Migration Legend of the Creek People from June 7, 1735. Its location has been unknown since the summer of 1735. The box also contained other priceless documents, which described the initial contacts between the founders of the Georgia Colony and the Creek Indians.

As is the tradition of the Creek People, a transcription of the original Migration Legend was offered to Thomas Yahoola, Speaker of the Muscogee-Creek National Council.  As also is the tradition of the Creek People,  the National Council graciously accepted it.  Such was was not the case with some non-Native American institutions, who presumably would have been jumping at the bit to see it.

This following incident is typical of the surrealistic response of academia to these important discoveries. The Georgia Historical Society and University of Georgia Native American Studies Program didn’t even respond to an offer of being sent a copy of the original Migration Legend. A friend of mine, Dr. Joseph Kitchens, who is Director of Georgia’s official Native American museum, the Funk Heritage Center, suggested that I offer a copy to the University of Oklahoma, since Georgia university professors refused to communicate with me.

No one at the University of Oklahoma responded to emails, so I called the Anthropology Department. Fortunately, a Creek lass answered the phone and immediately recognized the significance of our discovery. She gave me the name of a professor to contact.

We did get one response from that professor. It was a terse question, “Who was the translator of this inaccurate version?” Apparently, the professor still did not understand that we had THE Migration Legend that had been lost for 280 years. I wrote back . . . Kvsvponvkesa ~ Mary Musgrove. Mary Musgrove was one of the most famous Creek women, who ever lived, but apparently the professor had never heard of her. I didn’t get another response. Now the train has left the station, it is too late.


Three other migration legends

It should be noted that there were three other migration legends recorded by Georgia officials, whose existences were forgotten, but not lost. The Itsate Creek (Hitchiti) Migration Legend describes them as coming across the sea from the south to a land of marshes (Florida) then migrating northward to a large lake, where they settled. This was either the Okefenokee Swamp or Lake Tama in Middle Georgia. The Itsate then migrated northward into the mountains, where they built powerful towns in mountain gaps that controlled all the trade routes in the Appalachians. The Itsate were the descendants of the Itza Maya. The Itza Maya also call themselves Itsate.

The Apalache Creek Migration Legend arrived from the Atlantic Ocean, probably sailing the Gulf Stream northward.  High King Chikili described their first town as being located in what is now Downtown Savannah, GA.  Apalache is is Muskogean pronunciation of a Peruvian word that means “Offspring from the Sea.”  According to their legend, their first king was buried there. Tomochichi’s grave is at the site of that king’s mound.

The Apalache then migrated to Lake Tama in central Georgia. Over time their capital moved northward to the point that the Itsate and Apalache were neighbors. The Apalache were originally vassals of the Itsate, but overthrew their masters and created a powerful kingdom that spanned from southwestern Virginia to the Florida Panhandle. Archaeologists call it the Lamar Culture.

The majority of provinces that became the Creek Indians subscribe to another migration legend. This one begins west of the Mississippi. These Muskogeans probably originated in northeastern Mexico because they share words and grammar with the peoples of that region.  By following a red stick with a carved fish head on its end, these bands gradually moved east until they settled in eastern Alabama and western Georgia.

Migration legends verified by geography, linguistics and archaeology

There are many details in the original copy of the Migration Legend that legitimize it as an overview of Native American history. The original homeland of the Cusseta was at the foot of a huge, isolated volcano that was separated from an ocean to the east by a plain. That could only be Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico.

Several glyphs from the original Olmec writing system have been found in the art of ancestral Creek towns in Georgia. The Olmec Civilization originated to the south of where the Cusseta originated. The opening pages of the Migration Legend described the Cusseta being oppressed by a more advanced people and also their children being sacrificed.

There were surprises. The Kvse-te received their name because they became vassals of the great town of Kvse (Kusa~Coosa) in northwest Georgia. We are not told what they called themselves beforehand. That means that the people, who built the great town on the Coosawattee River were a different ethnic group than the Kvsete or Cussata.

We are finding a lot of evidence that the Kusa People themselves were Kvsebo (Kaushibo) from eastern Peru and that they entered the Southeastern United States from the Atlantic Coast north of Savannah . . . hence the name of the Cusabo Tribe in South Carolina. It seems to be more than coincidence that the Peruvian lima bean first appeared in the Southeast at the exact same time that the first Kusa village was established in northwest Georgia – c. 1300 AD.

While trying to flee oppression, the Cussetta stumbled upon a major road that interconnected several regions. They called it Nene Hvtka Rakko . . . the Great White Path. Great White Path happens to also be the English translation of the Maya word for a major road between two cities. The “White” adjective signifies that no warfare was allowed along its route.

The term was used again in the last paragraphs of the Migration Legend.  Mikko Chikili, the author of the Migration Legend,  stated that the builders of a great town on the side of Georgia highest mountain had flattened foreheads and built a “Great White Path” from the mountains to the sea. The term Nene Hvtke Rakko was still being used for this route when the British first settled South Carolina. That route is now known as US Highway 129, which connects the Great Smoky Mountains with the Gulf Coast of Florida. It also happens to pass through most of the major indigenous town sites in western North Carolina, Georgia and North Florida.

In the last paragraph of the portion of the document discussing the Cusatta’s journey, they left the higher mountains and settled in the lower mountains of Georgia, where the Palache (Apalache) lived. This collaborates the book by Charles de Rochefort, who also placed the Apalache in the lower mountains of Georgia.

The Apalache Foundation is now studying a cluster of Native American towns in Northeastern Georgia, built out of both field and quarried stone . . . exactly where a 17th century French ethnologist and the 18th century Creek Principal Chief, Chikili, said they would be.

Sometimes, you CAN believe everything you read.

Shrine built above my mountainside terrace garden that honors the day that the Migration Legend was discovered . . . by marking the shadow of the sunset.
Shrine built above my mountainside terrace garden that honors the day that the Migration Legend was discovered . . . by marking the shadow of the sunset.

Oklahoma Creek Principal Chief blocked from meeting President by Secret Service

Muscogee-Creek Principal Chief George Tiger has failed  a Secret Service background check and therefore was denied attendance at a special conference between President  Obama and leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes. The Secret Service did not reveal what made Tiger such a security risk, but given how sleazy some of the people are that the President must meet with,  it must have been something pretty serious.

Earlier, on May 15, 2015 the Muscogee-Creek National Council voted 12-0 to ask Principal Chief George Tiger to resign because of secret business dealings and general corruption in his administration. 

Meanwhile, the recently resigned Muscogee Second Chief, Roger Barnett, is facing at least five years in federal prison for embezzlement of tribal funds and racketeering.  Barnett’s siphoning of tribal funds began when he was an official of the College of the Muscogee-Creek Nation.   It just got worse, when he was elected Heneha (Second Chief.)

The news from Oklahoma keeps going from bad to worse.   The governments of the Choctaw and Cherokee Nations can best be described as organized crime.  A link to the Lighthorseman article on the Choctaw corruption is in the first comment below.  “Lighthorsemen” is the traditional name of Muskogean and Cherokee tribal police, dating back to the early 1800s.

Investigative reporters in  Oklahoma newspapers  and TV stations have uncovered  corruption in the office of Cherokee Principal Chief, Bill John Baker, and blatant voter fraud in the Cherokee elections.  According to a June 22, 2015 article in Tulsa Today,  Baker repaid donors to his campaign by scheduling unwanted entertainment events at a Tulsa establishment.  See the links to news articles in the comments below.  This past week the government of the Cherokee Nation uninvited staff of the Carter Center in Atlanta to observe their upcoming elections.  You KNOW the elections are crooked, if they don’t want the Carter Center people around.

The crimes going on at many levels in the Muscogee-Creek Nation don’t even deserve to be called organized. Mayhem is a better word.

Tiger’s vote of no confidence was the result of a series of sleazy business activities associated with Native American casinos.  One of the charges is that while taking a large sum of money to gain approval of a casino planned by a quasi-independent Creek tribal town,  he directed efforts by the Muscogeee Nation Justice Dept. to stop the casino.

The MCN is also spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on attorneys in a publicly stated attempt to stop licensing of the Poarch Creek casino in Wetumpka, AL  (See photo above.)   Tiger only authorized the legal effort after the casino was well under construction – thus insuring that Alabama courts would be highly unlikely to stop the project.  The legal effort appears to have been window dressing to please cultural preservationists in Oklahoma.  It would be very interesting to find out if the private attorneys involved in the suit earlier made handsome contributions to their respective tribal leaders.

While architect of the Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa during 2008 and 2009,   I personally observed the corruption.   After twice receiving rigged bids from general contractors politically connected with Tiger and Barnett, the frustrated Oklahoma Centennial Commission hired the sculptor of the metal flames in the monument to be the construction manager for the overall project.

The process of self-destruction of the Muscogee-Creek Nation began in 2009.   After being sworn into office, one of the first actions of George Tiger was firing Muscogee District Court Judge,  Patrick Moore.  Moore was responsible for ethical oversight of the Creek casinos and distribution of casino profits for educational and cultural purposes.  He is considered one of the most brilliant  Native American attorneys in the nation.  Moore’s key staff members were  fired soon thereafter.  With Moore and his staff out of the way,  organized crime moved in to reap contracts from the Muscogee Creek Nation and to siphon off profits to “their people.”

Tiger’s and Barnett’s presence in the tribal government has had a general corrupting influence on the tribal bureaucracy.  Those who are honest are disheartened and feel no incentive to do their best work.   They will only be punished for being honest and incorruptible like Patrick Moore’s staff.

In the Southeast,  the Eastern Band of Cherokees will soon face an alternative of either filing for bankruptcy or giving much of there casino related real estate to front corporations for the Russian and Italian-American Mafias.  Meanwhile, a few days ago the EBC ejected all reporters from a council meeting prior to voting massive raises for elected officials and top bureaucrats in the tribe.  Just watch the events unfold and don’t believe a word that any of the North Carolina Cherokee officials tell the media during the process.

This sad story is all about greed, self-centeredness and a disdain for the welfare of the whole community  . . .  the very traits that our Native American ancestors accused the Southern Planter Class of having.   It’s what was really meant by the term “filter down theory” three decades ago.  Corruption, excessive wealth and absolute power at the top will eventually filter down and destroy a whole nation.

An eyewitness account of the Green Corn Festival

Native American Brain Food

Chickasaws were founding members of the Creek Confederacy!

Editors Note:  POOF has transcribed one of the earliest documents placed in the archives of then new Georgia Historical Society.  Our slightly different, original version comes from the archives of the Church of England.  The spelling of the Muskogee words is phonetic, not contemporary Muskogean.   Apparently, this is how Muskogee sounded to European settlers.   The letter seems to have been written by Thomas Christie, Colonial Secretary of Georgia, who also recorded the Migration Legend.  The word, Muskogee, does not appear in this letter, and would not appear in the colonial archives for another three decades. 

This description of the Green Corn Festival was based on a visit to an Upper Creek town in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, where corn does not ripen until early August.  I also encountered the word, physic, while transcribing the Original Migration Legend of the Creek People earlier this year.  During the early 1700s,  physic meant “medicine” and is the origin of one of our contemporary English words for medical doctors, physician.

Note that the Chickasaws were one of the four original members of the the Creek Confederacy, which was called the People of One Fire.   I don’t think that many Chickasaws or Oklahoma Creeks are even aware of this fact.   This letter contains passages from the original Migration Legend, which are not seen in versions previously published.

The Georgia Historical Society is the oldest state historical society.  It was founded  in 1838.  Its original archival collection included all of the surviving documents related to communications between the Colony of Georgia or the State of Georgia with its Native American occupants. Ironically, it was being founded just as the Cherokees were being marched out of Georgia.   It is an outstanding resource for researchers.

Yet, alas!   They don’t have a copy of the original Migration Legend of the Creek People.  We offered it to them, but received no response.


Boos-ke-tau is an annual festival celebrated in the months of July or August. The precise time is fixed by the Micco and counselors, and is sooner or later, as the state of the affairs of the town, or the early or lateness of their corn, will suit for it. In Cussetuh, this ceremony lasts for eight days in early August. In some towns of less note, it is but four days.

First Day
In the morning, the warriors clean the yard of the square, and sprinkle white sand, when the a-cee, (decoction of the cassine yupon,) is made. The fire-maker makes the fire as early in the morning as he can, by friction. The warriors cut and bring into the square, four logs, as long each as a man can cover by extending his two arms; these are placed in the centre of the square, end to end, forming a cross, the outer ends pointed to the cardinal points; in the centre of the cross, the new fire is made. During the first four days, they burn out these four logs.

The pin-e-bun-gau, (turkey dance,) is danced by the women of the turkey tribe; and while they are dancing, the possau is brewed. This is a powerful emetic. The possau is drank from twelve o’clock to the middle of the afternoon. After this, the Toc-co-yule-gau, (taapole,) is danced by four men and four women. (In the evening, the men dance E-ne-hou-bun-gau, the dance of the people second in command.) This they dance till daylight.

Second Day
This day, about ten o’clock, the women dance Its-ho-bun-gau, (gun-dance.) After twelve, the men go to the new fire, take some of the ashes, rub them on the chin, neck and belly, and jump head foremost into the river, and they return into the square. The women having pre-pared the new corn for the feast, the men take some of it and rub it between their hands, then on their face and breasts, and then they feast.

Third Day
The men sit in the square.

Fourth Day
The women go early in the morning and get the new fire, clean out their hearths, sprinkle them with sand, and make their fires. The men finish burning out the first four logs, and they take ashes, rub them on their chin, neck and belly, and they go into the water. This day they eat salt, and they dance Obungauchapco, (the long dance.)

Fifth Day
They get four new logs, and place them as on the first day, and they drink a-cee, a strong decoction of the cassine yupon.

Sixth Day
They remain in the square.

Seventh Day
Is spent in like manner as the sixth.

Eighth Day
They get two large pots, and their physic plants,

1st. Mic-co-ho-yon-e-juh.
2. Toloh.
3. A-che-nau.
4. Cup-pau-pos-cau,
5. Chu-lis-sau, the roots.
6. Tuck-thlau-lus-te.
7. Tote-cul-hil-lis-so-wau.
8. Chofeinsuck-cau-fuck-au.
9. Cho-fe-mus-see.
10. Hil-hs-hut-ke.
11. To-te-cuh chooc-his-see.
12. Welau-nuh.
13. Oak-chon-utch-co.
14. Co-hal-le-wau-gee.

These are all put into the pots and heat up with water. The chemists, (E-lic-chul-gee, called by the traders’ physic makers,) they blow in it through a small reed, and then it is drank by the men, and rubbed over their joints till the afternoon.

They collect old corn cobs and pine burs, put them into a pot, and burn them to ashes. Four virgins who have never had their menses, bring ashes from their houses, put them in the pot and stir all together. The men take white clay and mix it with water in two pans. One pan of the clay and one of the ashes, are carried to the cabin of the Mic-co, and the other two to that of the warriors. They then rub themselves with the clay and ashes. Two men appointed to that office, bring some flowers of tobacco of a small kind, (Itch-au-chu-le-puc-pug-gee,) or, as the name imports, the old man’s tobacco, which was prepared on the first day, and put in a pan on the cabin of the Mic-co, and they give a little of it to everyone present.

The Micco and counselors then go four times round the fire, and every time they face the east, they throw some of the flowers into the fire. They then go and stand to the west. The warriors then repeat the same ceremony.

A cane is stuck up at the cabin of the Mic-co with two white feathers in the end of it. One of the Fish tribe, (Thlot-lo-ul-gee,) takes it just as the sun goes down, and goes off towards the river, all following him. When he gets half way to the river, he gives the death whoop; this whoop he repeats four times, between the square and the water’s edge. Here they all place themselves as thick as they can stand, near the edge of the water. He sticks up the cane at the water’s edge, and they all put a grain of the old man’s tobacco on their heads, and in each ear. Then, at a signal given, four different times, they throw some into the river, and every man at a like signal plunges into the river, and picks up four stones from the bottom. With these they cross themselves on their breasts four times, each time throwing a stone into the river, and giving the death whoop; they then wash themselves, take up the cane and feathers, return and stick it up in the square, and visit through the town. At night they dance 0-bun-gau Haujo, (mad dance,) and this finishes the ceremony.

This happy institution of the Boos-ke-tuh, restores man to himself, to his family and to his nation. It is a general amnesty, which not only absolves the Indians from all crimes, murder only excepted, but seems to bury guilt it-self in oblivion.

Ways of the Creek Indians

The Ceremony of initiating Youth into Manhood

At the age of from fifteen to seventeen, this ceremony is usually performed. It is called Boos-ke-tau, in like manner as the annual Boosketau of the nation. A youth of the proper age gathers two handful of the Sou-watch-cau, a very bitter root, which he eats a whole day; then he steeps the leaves in water and drinks it. In the dusk of the evening, he eats two or three spoonfuls of boiled grits. This is repeated for four days, and during this time he remains in a house. The Sou-watch-cau has the effect of intoxicating and maddening. The fourth day he goes out, but must put on a pair of new moccasins (Stil-la-pica.) For twelve moons, he abstains from eating bucks, except old ones, and from turkey cocks, fowls, peas and salt. During this period he must not pick his ears, or scratch his head with his fingers, but use a small stick. For four moons he must have a fire to himself, to cook his food, and a little girl, a virgin, may cook for him; his food is boiled grits. The fifth moon, any per-son may cook for him, but he must serve himself first, and use one spoon and pan. Every new moon, he drinks for four days the possau, (button snakeroot,) an emetic, and abstains for these days, from all food, except in the evening, a little boiled grits, (humpetuh hutke.) The twelfth moon, he performs for four days, what he commenced with on the first. The fifth day, he comes out of his house, gathers corn cobs, burns them to ashes, and with these, rubs his body all over. At the end of this moon, he sweats under blankets, then goes into water, and this ends the ceremony. This ceremony is some-times extended to four, six, or eight moons, or even to twelve days only, but the course is the same.

During the whole of this ceremony, the physic is ad-ministered by the Is-te-puc-cau-chau thluc-co, (great leader,) who in speaking of a youth under initiation, says, ” I am physicing him,” (Boo-se-ji-jite saut li-to-mise-cha,) or ” I am teaching him all that is proper for him to know,” (nauk o-mul-gau e-muc-e-thli-jite saut litomise cha.) The youth, during this initiation, does not touch anyone except young persons, who are under a like course with himself, and if he dreams, he drinks the possau.

War Physic, Ho-ith-le Hil-lis-so-wau

When young men are going to war, they go into a hot-house of the town made for the purpose, and remain there for four days. They drink the Mic-co-ho-yon-e-jau and the pos-sau, and they eat the Sou-watch-cau. The fourth day, they come out, have their bundle ready, and march. This bundle or knapsack, is an old blanket, some parched corn flour, and leather to patch their moccasins. They have in their shot bags, a charm, a protection against all ills, called the war physic, composed of chit-to gab-by and Is-te-pau-pau, the bones of the snake and lion.

The tradition of this physic is, that in old times, the lion, (Is-te-pau-pau,) devoured their people. They dug a pit and caught him in it, just after he had killed one of their people. They covered him with lightwood knots, burnt him and reserved his bones.

The snake was in the water, the old people sung and he showed himself. They sung again, and he showed himself a little out of the water. The third time he showed his horns and they cut one; again he showed himself a fourth time, and they cut off the other horn. A piece of these horns and of the bones of the lion is the great war physic.

The opinion of Efau Haujo, great Medal Chief of Took-au-bat-che, and Speaker for the Nation in the National Council on these Ceremonies, given in answer to some queries put to him.

1st. What is the origin of the new fire, and of the Boosketau?

Answer. I have been taught from my infancy, that there is an E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see, (master of breath,) who gave these customs to the Indians, as necessary to them and suited to them; and that to follow them, entities the red people to his care and protection, in war and difficulties. It is our opinion that the origin of the Boosketau and our physics, proceeds from the goodness of Esaugetuh E-mis-see; that he communicated them in old times to the red people, and impressed it on them to follow and adhere to them, and they would be of service to them.

2d. Do the red people believe in a future existence?

Answer. The old notion among us, is, that when we die, the spirit, (po-yau-fic-chau,) goes the way the sun goes, to the west, and there joins its family and friends, who went before it.

3rd. Do the red people believe in a future state of rewards and punishments?

Answer. We have an opinion that those who behaved well, are taken under the care of E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see and assisted; and that those who have behaved ill, are left there to shift for themselves; and that there is no other punishment.

4th. What is your opinion of retaliation, as practiced among the Indians; can it be just to punish the innocent for the guilty; and do you believe that this custom of the Indians proceeded from E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see?

Answer. I believe our custom did not proceed from E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see, but from the temper of rash men, who do not consider consequences before they act. It is a bad custom.

5th. What is your opinion of the custom of the red people, to punish for accidental death, with the same se-verity, as where there has been a manifest intention to kill?

Answer. This custom of ours is a bad one, blood for blood; but I do not believe it came from E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-see, but proceeded from ourselves. Of a case of this sort, I will give you my opinion, by my conduct. Lately, in Tookaubatche, two promising boys were playing and slinging stones.

One of them let slip his sling, the stone flew back and killed his companion. The family of the deceased took the two boys, and were preparing to bury them in the same grave. The uncles, who have the right to decide in such cases, were sent for, and I was sent for. We arrived at the same time. I ordered the people to leave the house, and the two boys to remain together. I took the uncles to my house, raised their spirits with a little rum, and told them, the boy was a fine boy, and would be useful to us in our town, when he be-came a man; that he had no ill will against the dead one; the act was purely accidental; that it had been the will of E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis-se to end his days, and I thought that the living one should remain, as taking away his life would not give it to the other. The two uncles, after some reflection, told me, as you have advised us, so we will act; he shall not die, it was an accident.

The Opinion of Tus-se-kiah Mic-co, on the Origin of the Creeks, and the New Fire

“There are in the forks of Red River, (We-cha-te-hat-che Au-fus-kee,) west of Mississippi, (We-o-coof-ke, muddy water,) two mounds of earth. At this place, the Cussetuh, Cowetuh and Chickasaws found themselves. They were at a loss for fire. Here they were visited by the Hi-you-yul-gee, four men who came from the four corners of the world. One of these people asked the Indians, where they would have their fire, (tote-kit-cau.) They pointed to a place; it was made; and they sat down around it. The Hi-you-yul-gee directed, that they should pay particular attention to the fire that it would preserve them and let E-sau-ge-tuh E-mis see, (master of breath,) know their wants. One of these visitors took them and showed them the pas-sau; another showed them Mic-co-ho yon-ejau, then the Au-che-nau, (cedar,) and Too-loh, (sweet bay.) [There are one or two other plants, not recollected. Each of these seven plants was to belong to a particular tribe,] (E-mau-li-ge-tuh.) After this, the four visitors disappeared in a cloud, going from whence they came.”

“The three towns then appointed their rulers. The Cussetuhs chose the Noo-coose-ul-gee, (bear tribe,) to be their Mic-ul-gee, (mic-cos,) and the Is-tau-nul-gee, to be the E-ne-hau-thluc-ul-gee, (people second in command.) The Cowetuhs chose the Thlot-lo-ul-gee, (fish tribe,) to be their Mic-ul-gee, (miccos.”)

“After these arrangements, some other Indians came from the west, met them, and had a great wrestle with the three towns; they made ball sticks and played with them, with bows and arrows, and the war club, (Au-tus-sau.) They fell out, fought, and killed each other. After this warring, the three towns moved eastwardly, and they met the Au-be-cuh at Coosau River. Here they agreed to go to war for four years, against their first enemy; they made shields, (Te-po-lux-o,) of Buffalo hides, and it was agreed that the warriors of each town, should dry and bring forward, the scalps (E-cau halpe) of the enemy and pile them; the Aubecuh had a small pile, the Chickasaws were above them, the Cowetuhs above them, and the Cussetuhs above all. The two last towns raised the scalp pole, (Itlo chate, red wood,) and do not suffer any other town to raise it. Cussetuh is first in rank.”

“After this, they settled the rank of the four towns among themselves. Cussetuh, called Au-be-cuh and Chickasaw cha-chu-see, (younger brothers.) The Chickasaws and Aubecuhs, called Cussetuh and Cowetuh, chat-la-hau, (oldest brothers.) Au-be-cuh, called Chickasaw, Um-mau-mau-yuh, (elders, or people a head of them.) Chickasaws sometimes use the same expression to Aubecuh.”

This being done, they commenced their settlements on Coo-sau and Tal-la-poo-sau, and crossing the falls of Tallapoosa above Tool-cau-bat-che, they visited the Chat-to-hoche, and found a race of people with flat heads, in possession of the mounds in the Cussetuh fields. These people used bows and arrows, with strings made of sinews. The great physic makers, (Au-lic-chul-gee,) sent some rats in the night time, which gnawed the strings, and in the morning, they attacked and defeated the flats. They crossed the river at the island, near the mound, and took possession of the country. After this, they spread out eastwardly, to O-cheese-hat-che, (Ocmulgee,) Oconee, O-ge-chee, (How-ge-chuh,) Chic-ke-tal-lo-fau-hat-che, (Savannah,) called sometimes Sau-va-no-gee, the name for Shaw-a-nee. They met the white people on the sea-coast, who drove them back to their present situation.”

“Cussetuh and Chickasaw consider themselves as People of One Fire, (tote-kit-cau humgoce,) from the earliest account of their origin. Cussetuh appointed the first Micco for them, directed him to sit down in the big Savanna, where they now are, and govern them. Some of the Chickasaws straggled off and settled near Augusta, from whence they returned and sat down near Cussetuh, and thence back to their nation. Cussetuh and Chickasaw have remained friends ever since their first acquaintance.”

During the late war between the Creeks and Chickasaws, Cussetuh refused her aid, and retained her long established friendship for the Chickasaws; and when the Creeks offered to make peace, their offers were rejected, till Cussetuh interposed their good offices. These had the desired effect, and produced peace.


Archives of the Church of England, London, United Kingdom

Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Volume III. Part I., Savannah, Printed for the Society, 1848


Surprising late date on maps for word, Timucua

Forgotten Peoples of the Southeast – Part Eight

Research Update: The Southeast’s past is getting more and more complex as our research techniques become increasingly sophisticated.  At this moment, it appears that the elite of Kusa (Coça) may have been originally Koshabo  from Peru, while their subjects, the Kusate (Cussata) were definitely Muskogeans from east-central Mexico. What we do know for sure was that the South American lima bean was introduced to the Southeast at exactly the same time that the Kusa appeared.  Koshabo means “strong people” or “elite” in the Panoan languages of Peru.  The Koshabo in South Carolina came to be known by British settlers as the Cusabo.  

Much of the work of the People of One Fire over the past eight years has been to separate academic myths from scientific facts.   A good example is the word, Chicora.  It is the name of a myriad of institutions, subdivisions, schools and even a state-recognized Native American tribe in northeastern and central South Carolina.  Yet the real location of Chicora was Savannah, GA and the word itself is obviously a Hispanicization of Parachicora – a word we know today as Palachicola.   The commander of Fort Caroline, René de Laudonnière, visited Chikola in 1562 and 1565.  In his memoir, he specifically stated that Chikola and Chikora were the same town. Muskogeans could not pronounce the “r” sound.

Go to any reference now and you will be told that the Chicora were a Siouan People based near Georgetown, SC, who governed a massive province along the South Carolina and North Carolina coast.  Some articles might add as a footnote that no European explorer ever found a tribe by that name in the Carolinas after the word was first mentioned by two Spanish slave traders in 1525.    Hm-m-m.

The Timucua and Tamakoa

The same may be said of Timucua.   Would you believe that the first map to mention a word like Timucua was drawn by Colonel John Barnwell in 1721, as he was building Fort King George on the Altamaha River in present day Georgia?    His map says that the Timucua once  lived in the region south of the Altamaha, but now they were extinct.

Timucua is the Hispanicization of the tribe that lived about 21 miles inland on the Altamaha River named the Tamakoa.   Tama means “trade” in Totonac and Itza Maya.  Koa means “people or tribe” in several of the Arawak dialects.

The Tamakoa moved northward up the Altamaha River immediately after the Spanish began subjugating the Georgia Coast.   Their last known location in the late 1700s was northeast Metro Atlanta at the headwaters of the Oconee River, which is a major tributary of the Altamaha.  The Muskogee-Creeks called them the Tamakoake, which was Anglicized to Thamacoggin.  By this time, they were members of the Creek Confederacy.   Thamacoggin was the original name of Jefferson, GA –  which is the country seat of Jackson County.  In 1787, the Tamakoake moved to Alabama and apparently lost their distinctive ethnic identity.

At some point in the late 1500s or early 1600s, the Spanish began to use Timucua as the informal name of an administrative district that included several provinces in present day northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.  However, the word Timucua never appeared on Spanish maps, in the same way that Apalache did.  This was typical of the Spanish.  They would take the name of one town, such as Guale (actually Wari) and apply it to a region.  No tribe in Florida or Georgia ever called itself the Timucua or the Guale.

It is true that the provinces in northeast Florida shared similar lifestyles and pottery styles, but I am not convinced that they spoke the same languages.  Some of the Timucua provinces had Itza or Muskogean names, while most had Arawak names.

The Arawak language that seems to come closest to translating  the most NE Florida place names in Warao.   The Warao People still live today on platform houses and villages along the Orinoco River Basin in Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname.   The word, Warao means “Boat People” in their language.  This “o” suffix for people can be seen in some place names as far north as the North Carolina Mountains. Some of the early Cherokee village names had “o” suffixes.   Since the Warao have an ancient tradition of maritime skills, it is quite plausible that they would be capable of migration across the Caribbean Basin.

The Mocama People in the southeastern tip of Georgia appear to have spoken an Arawak dialect used along the Mocapra River in Venezuela.   The Takatacuro Indians of the region of the Atlantic Coast near Midway, GA appear to have spoken an Arawak language used along the Tacuro River in Venezuela.

No tribe in Florida ever called itself either the Timucua or the Tamakoa.   Yet today Timucuan Ecological Reserve is the name of a massive unit of the National Park Service near Jacksonville.   Florida school children are taught that the Timucua Indians occupied the northeast part of their state.   These diverse provinces, some of whom were enemies of each other, are treated as a single ethnic group by Florida anthropologists.

Just as in the situation in South Carolina with the word, Chicora,  there is a legion of institutions, schools, subdivisions, streets and even a real estate firm named Timucua in Florida.   The mythology was so deeply ingrained into late 20th century Floridians, that to say otherwise is an act of heresy equal in abomination to telling folks there that the Fort Caroline they see in Jacksonville is a 1/12th scale fake, built in 1961,

It is a hard roe to hoe.

Coming next – an entire book on the Taino People

Gene Waddell,  a retired professor from the College of Charleston has graciously given the People of One Fire his latest book to post on our website.  The Taino in 1492 is an anthropological landmark.  No attempt was made to create such a comprehensive book on these people, since Charles de Rochefort wrote The Caribbean Islands in 1658.

If Gene’s name sounds familiar,  he was the author several decades ago of The Indians of the South Carolina Low Country.   It is still the most authoritative reference on that subject.   His books are designed to be used as references for scholars researching Indigenous American cultures.  I keep his books on a table beside my computer table!

Gene is currently in Argentina doing research on the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego . . . for an upcoming book.  We wish him the best in his many adventures.

Unfortunately,   publishing a book on Word Press has its limitations.  Each chapter of the book will be a separate article posted on the People of One Fire.  I apologize for that somewhat awkward situation, but there were no other options.

More info for those with Middle Eastern DNA

Native American Brainfood

There is a surprising connection between the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands and Elizabethan England that might explain the early presence of Middle Eastern Christians and Jews in the Southeast.

The BBC and the History Channel, during its early years, produced some outstanding documentaries on the history of the Middle East.  When the United States sent troops into Afghanistan and Iraq after the 2001 terrorist attacks,  the History Channel programs became “white washed” propaganda . . . leaving out many facts of history that might offend Muslims in Middle Eastern countries because they conflicted with the religious propaganda coming out of that region.

Many of you still wonder where those Middle Eastern DNA markers came from.  Here is some more info.

Even at the beginning of the Renaissance, Islam was a minority religion in most of the Middle East, north of Arabia. In 1512, 2/3 of the population of the Ottoman Empire was Christian.  Another 10-15% were either Jewish or Zoroastrians.   As long as the Christians were a majority, they were generally treated with tolerance, since a religious tax on Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians furnished most of the revenue for the empire.  Muslims were not required to pay taxes or serve in the military at that time.  Only non-Muslims could be enslaved.

The ruling classes were entirely Muslim and Jewish, but most of the common folks  outside of western Turkey were Christian.  All of the Turkish sultan’s harem were Christian slaves.  Virtually all of the Turkish army and navy were either Christians or Zoroastrians.   The Turks had been trying to conquer Armenia and Christian Anatolia for 700 years, with little success, so in turn went into southeastern Europe in the 1400s and conquered a vast swath of the region.

Until after 1512,  the Turks only attacked Christian countries.  However, in the early 1500s, Spain became the primary enemy of the Ottoman Empire.  The sultans needed more money to expand their navies to combat Spain, so they declared the rulers of all the other Middle Eastern nations to be heretics and conquered most of the Middle East.  With the wealth captured in these campaigns, the Ottomans were able to create massive armies that swept across Anatolia, Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

By 1600,  the percentage of Christians in the Ottoman Empire had fallen to about 1/3.  There had been several periods of persecutions and massacres of Christians in Anatolia and Armenia because the sultans were afraid of the Armenians, whom they had just conquered.  In one 16th century campaign alone, 300,000 Anatolians and Armenians were expelled from the Ottoman Empire after 500,000 had been killed or enslaved.

Now this is really interesting . . .  the Ottoman Empire was an ally of the Protestants in the Netherlands and England.  On several occasions the Turks replenished  treasuries of either Queen Elizabeth or the Dutch so they could keep on fighting Spain.  First generation Sephardic Jews in the Netherlands could generally speak Arabic and maintained constant communication with Jews living in Istanbul and the Ottoman province of Thessalonika in Greece.  Dutch ships were allowed to dock at Ottoman ports.  Many of their  crew members were Anatolian Christians.

So, in the exact period when  Southeastern North America was first being explored and colonized,  vast numbers of expelled Middle Eastern Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians were wandering across the landscape, looking for a place to live, while Dutch ships were regularly making trips from the ports of the Ottoman Empire to Northern Europe, North America and a Dutch colony in Brazil.

It makes perfect sense that the Dutch would help establish a “New Jerusalem” for these stateless refugees within the interior of North America.  The locations of these colonies were far enough from the coast and Florida that they were out of reach of the Spanish military.

It was undoubtedly assumed that the colonies would grow so strong that they could conquer Florida and be a major threat to Spanish shipping.   I suspect that French efforts during the 1560s to establish colonies on the South Atlantic Coast and Northeast Georgia were directly connected with the plight of the Middle Eastern refugees.

A National Alliance of Muskogean Scholars and their Friends

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