Amana . . . the oldest Creek province was named after this Peruvian Creator goddess
The evidence that the Formative Period civilizations of the Andes Mountains and Amazon River Headwaters were the foundation of advanced indigenous cultures in the Lower Southeastern United States, keeps piling up. Three of the oldest, Pre-Inca deities of Peru are specifically mentioned in French and English Colonial archives by early explorers in that region. Derivations of their names are still in use today in the United States.
Amana was the original deity of the Andes and the Creek Indian’s ancestors . . . the Apalache. She was one of the few South American deities, who was always invisible. Her spiritual presence spanned across the boundaries of the universe. She created the earth and then created the waters of the oceans, lakes and streams then dry land and then the mountains. In concept, she was very similar to that of the Hebrews’ original concept of YHWH, except that she was a female. Amana was pushed back into the background by the Incas, because she was a deity of love, fertility, peace and creativity . . . which didn’t particularly appeal to the warlike, empire-building Incas.
Monotheism in Peru, based on the worship of Amana, predates the original appearance of Hebrew (Middle Eastern) monotheism (Moses) by at least 2,300 years . . . the metropolis of Caral – 3,500 BC. In fact, archaeologists are now finding substantial evidence via statues, labeled in Archaic Hebrew, “the wife of YHWH” that the Hebrews worshiped a male and female pair of creator Gods until the time when the Torah was actually written down. Currently, it is believed that most of the Torah was written in the period between around 700 BC and 200 BC. A primary purpose of the Torah was originally to wipe out the worship of the female deity, Asherah . . . until then the wife of YHWH.
In the ruins of Judean houses, even as late as the Roman occupation, archeologists find miniature statues of the creator goddess, Asherah, hidden away in little nooks and crannies. Women and girls were banned from the Temple and synagogues. Apparently, a semi-secret religion for the disfranchised females was passed down from mother to daughter. If you doubt that YHWH had a wife during King Solomon’s time, look up “Asherah” in Wikipedia.
The picture that is developing in my research into the past of the Americas, is that the bands of indigenous peoples, who traveled long distances northward during the Early and Middle Woodland Period, were escaping religious persecution. The were monotheists or trinitarians (Amana, Atoya & Ilapa) who had been persecuted by the rise of paganism. By the time of the Moche Civilization in Peru and Tiwanaku Civilization around Lake Titicaca in Bolivia were pagans and practiced large scale human sacrifices.
Repeatedly, both in the 1600s and 1700s, Europeans were told by the Apalache and their descendants, the Koweta Creeks that they did NOT practice human or animal sacrifice. In 1653, Barbados planter, Richard Briggstock, was told by the Paracusite (High King) of Apalache that no blood could be shed (including hunting) within two miles of an Apalache temple or shrine. Anglo-American settlers, arriving in Northeast Georgia, after the American Revolution, were told exactly the same thing by the Creeks living there. No blood could be shed or hunting done, within two miles of the shrine at Yamacutah.
The ancient monotheism of Amana also explains a primary source of conflict between the Creeks and Protestant missionaries. Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries didn’t even bother to learn what the Muskogeans believed. They assumed that the indigenous peoples of the Southeast were all “demonic pagans” because they didn’t speak Castilian. In all fairness, it should be mentioned that the indigenous peoples of Florida did worship multiple deities and practice human sacrifice. That was NOT the situation in the Creek Motherland. Creeks believed that the Master of Life (God) was a woman, because only a mother could love her children, despite their many flaws. European Protestants believed that God was a man, because men controlled everything in their society.
Eyewitness chronicles of European explorers
Hernando de Soto: In March 1540, the Hernando de Soto Expedition entered the province of Toasi. The name means “Descendants of Toa.” The Toa were an Arawak People, whose name can be found as place names in the Toa River Valley of Cuba, the Toa District around Arecibo, Puerto Rico . . . and as Towasee in Georgia and Alabama. The Spaniards noticed many large wooden and stone statues around the province’s capital, Toa. They asked the locals if these were the gods that they worshiped. The Toasi said, “No, we worship only one invisible deity, who created the universe.” The Spanish next traveled to the Tama Province, but their chronicles say nothing about the Tamaule’s religion.
René de Laudonnière: In his memoirs, Captain René de Laudonnière, commander of Fort Caroline, mentioned several times that the principal god worshiped by the indigenous peoples near Charlesfort (Parris Island, SC – 1562) and along the Georgia Coast (1564-1565) was named Atoya . . . well, he wrote “Hey Toya.” Atoya was one of the earliest deities worshiped in the Andes, but by the time of the Incas had been relegated to being “the ancient god of the mountains, who along with Ilapa or Ilape, god of thunder, lightening and storms, provided the vital water that irrigated the arid coastal plain of Peru. The word, Ilape, appears in Spanish chronicles as the capital of the Vehete (Bow & Arrow) People, who occupied the Pee Dee River Basin in the 1500s, but ultimately became the Hillabee (from Ilape) Creeks in Georgia and NE Alabama.
Beginning in the autumn of 1564, De Laudonnière dispatched six teams to paddle northwestward* up the May (Altamaha) River to make contact with the Apalache in their bold-bearing mountains. At the confluence of what is now called the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers, the French explorers reported visiting a large shallow body of water, called Lake Tama, around which was clustered the Tamvli (Tamauli as in Tamaulipas) towns.
De Laudonnière used both the indigenous words olata and orata as the title of village chiefs in the coastal plain of South Carolina and Georgia. Olata is the European perception of a “rolled R” as is also done in Spanish. Orata is still today the title of a village chief in Satipo Province, Peru . . . which includes the Andean Foothills and the Headwaters of the Amazon. Satipo was also the name of the capital town of the most powerful province on the Georgia Coast, Satile. The word means, “Place of the Colonists” in the Panoan languages of Peru. The province was located between the Satilla and Altamaha Rivers. One of its other principal towns was Ufala (Eufaula). Eufaula is now the names of former Creek towns in Alabama and Oklahoma.
Most of the high kings, encountered by De Laudonnière, were labeled Paracousi in French, meaning that they claimed descent from the famous Paracas Civilization of the Nazca Plain in Peru. However, he said that the name of the High King of the Satile was Satiouriwa (Sati-uriwa). For almost two centuries, Florida academicians have vainly looked for a tribe by that name. They will never find them. First of all, this tribe was in Georgia and its remnants became part of the Creek Confederacy. Secondly, Sati-uriwa is a title, not a person’s name. It means “Colonists-King of” in the Panoan languages of Peru.
While looking for food to acquire for Fort Caroline’s starving colonists, De Laudonnière met with the king of the province of Asebo. Today the island portion of this province is called Ossabaw. In November of 1568, Captain Dominique de Gourgues established a fort, where Sunbury, GA now is from which to attack Fort San Mateo . . . the Spanish fort that had been built near the ruins of Fort Caroline. The king of Takatakoro (good South American Tupi-Guarani name) invited him to a big festival on the south end of Asebo Island. De Gourgues later wrote that the entire island was devoted to the cultivation of a bush, which produced leaves that were brewed into a very potent tea, but much more stimulating than tea or coffee. Today Americans call that tea, Sacred Black Drink. South Americans call it maté. Asebo is the Panoan (Eastern Peruvian) word that means “Place of the Yaupon Holly.” Both in the Panoan and Creek languages, ase means both “Sacred Black Drink” and the holly bush that produces it.
*Northwestward is one of the key words that Floridian Charles Bennett deleted from his “accurate translation from the original French version” in his popular English version of De Laudonnière’s memoirs. Obviously, one can not neither paddle northwestward on the St. Johns River nor reach the Appalachian Mountains via the St. Johns River. Bennett claimed that he translated the original French text, published by De Laudonnière. However, we closely compared Bennett’s version of the memoirs with the translation by De Laudonnière‘s good friend, English scholar Richard Hakluyt. Hakluyt’s translation dates from around 1586, several years after De Laudonnière‘s death. Hakluyt’s and Bennett’s translations contain exactly the same translation mistakes . . . verbatim. However, the 16th century French and English versions of the memoirs include maps, which place Charlesfort on Parris Island and Fort Caroline about 11 miles inland on the south side of the Altamaha River in Georgia. That is pretty damaging information, if you were the Congressman Bennett, who introduced the bill that created Fort Caroline National Memorial on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida!
Of course, another hint that Fort Caroline was nowhere near Jacksonville, Florida was that Captain Dominique de Gourgues established a base about 20 miles south of present day Savannah, GA to attack Fort San Mateo. That makes no sense, if Fort San Mateo was on the banks of the St. Johns River about 100 miles to the south.
Juan Pardo: Captain Juan Pardo led a company of Conquistadors through the hinterlands of South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia between 1567 and early 1569. Unlike the Frenchmen at Fort Caroline, Pardo’s men had no contacts with the Apalache. He would have crossed their home province of Amana, when traveling from Chiaha to Kusa. However, he was warned that a large alliance of hostile indigenous towns planned to ambush his company at a mountain pass. Therefore, Pardo elected to turn around and return to Santa Elena on the coast of South Carolina.
Pardo’s chronicler did record several key South American words in South Carolina that have been completely overlooked for over 400 years by academicians. All but one of the village chiefs, who met with Pardo had the title of orata. As stated above, this is still a Panoan word in Peru for a village chief. Pardo also mentioned the province of Asebo. He never went there, however. While returning to Santa Elena, Pardo’s company passed through a village that specialized in the cultivation of sweet potatoes. In Spanish, Pardo’s chronicler recorded the village’s name as Ajo. That is pronounced Aho. Aho is the Southern Arawak and Creek Indian word for sweet potato. Again, this is one of the many linguistic details that Caucasian academicians have missed during the past four centuries.
Richard Briggstock & Charles de Rochefort: In 1653, Royalist Barbados was under siege by a fleet dispatched by the English Commonwealth. Richard Briggstock led a small party of planters that sneaked off the island and traveled to the Kingdom of Apalache, in order to determine if it was a suitable location for the Royalists to take sanctuary. Briggstock was received cordially by the “Paracusite” of Apalache. Paracusite means “Descendant of the Paracusi (Paracas) People.” Paracus or Paracusi are the original indigenous words from which Paracas is derived. The Paracas District of Peru contains both the Nazca Lines and the famous deformed heads, usually called the Paracas skulls.
Since late 1565, the Apalache had been allowing Protestants and Jews to settle in their kingdom in order to gain access to European technology. The first colonists were several survivors of Fort Caroline. Some settled in the capital of Melilot. Melilot is the French spelling of a word that was probably Merirot, or something like that. Most of the later arrivals were assigned to the northern edges of kingdom in what is now northeastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Most single male settlers were required to marry Native women. Most settlers, in general, were required to live in dispersed locations, where they would assimilate with the locals.
Ethnologist Charles de Rochefort, devoted two long chapters to the second addition of his book, l’Histoire naturelle et morale des îles Antilles de l’Amérique, to a description of what is now the state of Georgia in 1653. Much of the contents were based on interviews with Richard Briggstock. The chapters included detailed information about the official religion of the Apalache elite. It stated that the commoners of Apalache belonged to several ethnic groups and upon conversion to French Protestant Christianity by the elite, the commoners had fallen back to practicing their old religions. The elite worshiped an invisible female creator goddess, who was symbolized by the sun, but was not the sun. The name of this goddess was not provided.
De Rochefort’s book was a best seller in the late 1600s. However, it was dissed by early 19th century academicians, because it described an advanced indigenous civilization in North Georgia. Of course, many of the great indigenous town sites are now known to archaeologists and more are being found as time goes on. De Rochefort’s book contains many details about proto-Creek architecture that were not known to archaeologists until the late 20th century. It also contains numerous Itsate (Hitchiti) Creek words and grammar, which a French Huguenot pastor, living on Martinique could not have possibly known. In fact, very few Caucasian anthropologists even know these linguistic tidbits today. De Rochefort’s chapters on the Native Americans of Georgia should be considered highly reliable.
De Rochefort’s book provides the earliest mention of the Province of Amana. The High King of Apalache told Briggstock that the Apalache culture arose among a group of towns and villages around the edge of Lake Amana, which is now called Lake Tama. Although the capital of the Apalache generally moved northward through the centuries, they called their mother province Amana. At the time of Briggstock’s visit the boundaries of the Amana province corresponded to the area of Georgia, where Napier style pottery was produced between around 600 AD and 900 AD. Napier motifs are identical to those of the Shipibo People of Satipo Province, Peru. The Napier Culture developed between the Nacoochee Valley in Northeast Georgia southward to the confluence of the Ocmulgee and Oconee Rivers in Southeast Georgia.
That confluence was formerly to the location of Lake Amana/Lake Tama. A vestige of this lake survives and is now called the Little Ocmulgee River Swamp.
The Coweta Creeks rose to power during the Yamasee War (1715-1717). Although they were a unit of the Apalache Kingdom and they still called themselves Palache as late as 1735, their ruling family was from the Province of Bemarin. See map below. Carolina colonists shortened Bemarin to Brim. Thus, the High King of the Coweta-dominated Creek Confederacy was name Emperor Brim by Carolina colonists. The provincial name of Amana and Bemarin disappeared from European maps after 1717. When the elderly Creek statesmen, who befriended Georgia colonial officials in the 1730s died off, the memory of the Apalache writing system and the Apalache Kingdom died with them.
By the late 20th century, it was typical of Florida academicians to state that the appearance of the word “Apalache” on maps of the Southern Appalachian Mountains was a figment of 16th century European imagination. One wonders if any Florida archaeologists know that the Apalachee River in Northeast Metro Atlanta is flanked by almost continues Apalache stone ruins and earthworks along its 74 mile length? No . . . wait a minute . . . Southeastern Indians didn’t have the mental capacity to build stone architecture, so those radiocarbon dates must the wrong!
The 1703-1707 Maps of North America by French cartographer, Guillaume De Lisle showed the Apalache province of Amana to be in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Foothills of Georgia. Note that this time the Coweta (Caouitas) Creeks are shown to be living on the Upper Chattahoochee and Ocmulgee Rivers. At this time, most of the Apalachicola towns were actually on the rivers in Northwest Georgia. The French in the late 1600s and early 1700s were quite aware that the Spanish had misnamed the Apalachicola and Apalachee in their domain. This map states that the real name of the Apalachicola was “Conch Shell People” while the Apalachee Florida are labeled by the French, “Maritime Apalache.”
The following two tabs change content below.
Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- Video: Fifth anniversary of the filming of “Mayas In Georgia” - June 23, 2017
- Eastern Band of Cherokees being investigated by FBI . . . 7 arrests already made! - June 22, 2017
- Did Uchee traders from Georgia establish colonies in Cuba? - June 22, 2017
- Map: South American and Caribbean Peoples in the Southeast (1540 AD) - June 21, 2017
- Baracoa, Guantanamo . . . the Cuban Connection - June 21, 2017