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An Essay on the Unforeseen Benefits of Native Americans Walking

An Essay on the Unforeseen Benefits of Native Americans Walking

 

The social norm today in the Southeastern United States is that if one departs from their home or yard more than 200 feet, one must use motorized transportation.  To do otherwise is proof that the violator of social norms is obviously not a good Christian conservative and most likely a murderous psychopath or worst still,  a demon librul.   However, if Native Americans continue to comply with this social norm, they are assured of unhealthy lives and early graves.

Bone’s Belly

There is something terribly wrong going on among the indigenous peoples of Canada, the United States and Mexico.  It is a lethal epidemic of digestive organ failure (especially gall bladders and colons), obesity, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, strokes, immune deficiency, chronic depression, bipolar behavior and suicide.   Mother Nature seems to be committing genocide in the Americas, yet again. 

The experiences of my mother’s family seems to have confirmed that trend.  The primary Creek-Uchee Indian line was the Bone family.  We jokingly called the inherited affliction, Bone’s Belly.    Those in her family, who stayed on the farm or ate traditional rural Southern (aka Muskogean) diets, invariably lived into their 90s or early 100s.   Those, who went to the CITY and adopted “modern” American lifestyles,  either died in their 50s from such things as colon cancer and digestive system atrophy or else became obese and died of heart-related diseases in their 60s.  Virtually all the women, who went to the city or were born in the city, required gall bladder removals before age 40 . . . including my sister.

There were no cases of diabetes or alcoholism in our family, because most Southeastern Creeks are not missing the gene, whose absence causes an inability to metabolize carbohydrates.  However, these are common diseases among most non-Haplo group C  indigenous peoples in North America and those Oklahoma Creeks, who are descended from marriages with Algonquians.

It is not Mother Nature doing this dastardly mischief . . . the cause is indigenous peoples turning their backs on Mother Nature.  They have adopted the lifestyles and processed foods of 21st century corporate North America and it is killing them.  Even those of us who are Heinz 57 mixed bloods are genetically different.  The Native American genes that gave our ancestors the stamina to travel long distances on unprocessed, natural foods are still there.  As youths, these genes give Native peoples the inherited capacity to excel in sports, but when the rigorous exercise ends,  atrophy begins. The combination of chemically saturated foods and lack of exercise is equivalent to playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver.

The Pueblo Peoples of the Southwest, plus the Creeks, Seminoles, Koasati’s and Miccosukees of the Southeast should pay close attention to what is happening in Mexico.  Like the indigenous peoples in Mexico, we were originally Haplo Group C – 100% O+ blood . . . with digestive systems that are different than those of peoples from Eurasia and Africa.

After the NAFTA Treaty went into effect, most of the small towns in the Southeastern United States lost their industries, but Mexico was flooded with Gringo machinery for making processed, chemically saturated foods.  Simultaneously, Mexicans completed their absorption of North America’s automobile dependent lifestyle.  Twenty years later, Mexicans are the most obese people on earth and some of the sickliest.  The only thing keeping their disease levels being like countries in Africa is a modern healthcare system and more affluent economy.  Mexican healthcare professionals are skilled in stopping pathogens that run rampant in Africa and parts of southern Asia.

Tamachichi-Palachicola-narrow

Famous painting of a party of Georgia Creeks visiting Westminster Palace in 1734.

Your ancestors in the early 1700s

The treasure trove of colonial archives that were in the same box as the original Creek Migration Legend contained some astounding descriptions of the lifestyles of Southeastern Native Americans in the early 1700s.  Of course, they were the genetic “elite” who had survived waves of plagues that killed off something like 90% of their population, but it was obvious that they were doing “something” right.   The Creeks thought nothing of walking 100-200 miles to visit Charleston and Savannah on “vacations.”    We are talking about men and women in their 70s and 80s walking these long distances.  The leader of the Pro-British Creek forces in the American Revolution was 7 feet tall and 93 years old!  He led his troops into battle until his height made him an ideal target for Georgia militia rifles.

The British colonists in South Carolina and Georgia were astonished with the physical stamina and health of their Muskogean neighbors.  Muskogean herbal medicines were effective against most diseases, except European viruses, but they had no dentists.  The British colonists were also amazed that Creeks in their 80s would still have functioning teeth.

Part of the difference in physical robustness can be explained by the difference in diets.  Early 18th century British colonists consumed vast quantities of alcoholic beverages, bread, sugar, starchy vegetables and fatty meats.   The Muskogean diet consisted of a wide variety of meats,  vegetables and fruits.  In addition to indigenous fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and persimmons, the Creeks had been cultivating peaches and melons for over a century . . . and loved them.

The Muskogean lifestyle included many sports, constant long-distance walking and regular physical labor . . . but the physical labor was not excessive as the labor of European serfs, who damaged their bodies by forced, repetitive exertion of the same muscles and joints.

A blessing in disguise

About two decades ago, someone very close, gave me “special tea she made” that ate several hundred holes in my colon. My hairs later were tested.   They contained high levels of arsenic and cadmium.  You go figure!

Within hours I had a severe case of peritonitis and liver damage.  My family doctor, who was Irish, saved my life by giving me “stop leak” and then injecting a HUGE volume of antibiotic directly into my abdomen.  Gringo doctors would have prescribed some pills and then scheduled appointments later in the week with some of his or her buddies so they could share the insurance payments.   I put a strip of leather between my teeth to bite on because of the pain and drove 600 miles to Atlanta.

The first internist, who could see me was a Mexican Mestizo (Mixed Blood Indian). After examining my blood profile and xrays, he recognized that I was Native American and unlike most Gringo doctors, knew that I was physically different than his Caucasian and African patients.  He told me that my stomach muscles were ripped, my colon was a sieve and my liver was granulated.  He could either put me on a drug-based treatment program, which might or might not work . . . or put me on a special diet that he used for treating Mexican-American Indians and Mestizos with liver damage.  The special diet would include lean meats, lots of fruits (especially strawberries*)  and high roughage green vegetables.  He told me that after six months, I could go on a regular Native American diet that included lots of corn products, brown rice, all types of beans and peas, a wide variety of green and yellow vegetables, winter squash, pumpkin,  lots of sweet potatoes, some white potatoes,  nuts, lots of fruits and NO white bread.

*Strawberries contain an enzyme that helps the liver repair itself.  Strawberries and several tropical American fruits also prevent gall bladder failure.

I opted for the Native American diet and my liver healed completely!  I have been eating “Native American” as much as possible ever since then.  Fortunately, Creek Native American includes fried chicken, barbecue and hush puppies.   However, I do love pizza!  LOL

Next came the surgery for repairing the scars where the holes in my colon had been.  Again, by good fortune, I was assigned the sports surgeon for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team.  He knew his stuff!

After looking at my Xrays, he told me that my body proportions and skeleton was really different than any man, he had ever treated. “What is your ethnic background . . . extraterrestrial?   You have a physical build, capable of walking from here to China!”   I told him that I had a lot of Creek heritage. 

He responded, “Interesting . . . you have obviously exercised throughout your life.  (Actually, up to that time, I had been a hard-working farmer much of my adult life.)  Most of the people down here in the South sit on their rear ends after they marry.   They get in their cars to visit a neighbor 200 feet away. Then after age 40 they start driving to doctors like me to patch up the damage from their “sitting on their butts” lifestyle. ”

He then told me that with the geometry of my bone joints, I would never have arthritis, if I walked at least 20 minutes a day . . . the longer the better.  He told me NOT to do any jogging.  The same geometry that made me suited for hiking, would cause arthritis if I jogged on paved streets.   He also suggested that if all possible I should get into a type of architecture practice that didn’t require me to sit at a desk all day. 

The surgeon put in a plastic mesh to hold my hold my organs together and 110 stitches to seal up the special tea holes in my colon.   I also followed this doctor’s advice completely.  I shifted my architecture practice to historic preservation, which requires lots of site visits and walking up and down old buildings.  I have walked, cross-country-skied or canoed every day of the year for the past 20 years. My organs healed up completely and now I do much of my thinking* for the day, when hiking.

*Ignorant peons and pseudo-archaeologists only have about a one hour capacity for thinking.

There was one exception.  In February 2015, I came down with cholera after eating contaminated, illegally imported chicken at a Mexican restaurant.  One symptom of cholera is that you sweat profusely a liquid that looks like diluted milk.   I figured that folks might think I was a zombie, if I walked down the road with white sweat pouring down my body.  LOL   A 30 year old cholera vaccination kicked in after a day of experiencing an often fatal disease. Don’t try this experiment at home, unless you are vaccinated!

The results of following the doctors’ orders

Well . . . the first benefit of the healthy Native American lifestyle was being refused entry into the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house during Georgia Tech Homecoming seven years ago.  In order to gain entry, alumni are required to give the secret handshake and state their initiation number.  The two Tech students greeting visitors initially would not let me in because the father of one of them was at Tech when I was there.  The young man said that his father looked about 20 years older than me.  I finally was able to wave over one of my friends from that era, who affirmed that I was who I said I was.

The second benefit to Native Americans in Dixie, who walk as much as possible, is being considered a threat to the moral values of your community.  Shortly after moving to Jasper, GA in 2000,  I took my first walk with my herd dog around the block.  After spying me on the street, a white woman in her thirties shrieked to call her three young children into the house. She then called the police.   Her excuse to the confused police officer, who apprehended me was, “It ain’t normal for adults to walk around on the streets.”

Would you believe that virtually the same thing happened here, four years ago?  The county road past my cabin soon turns into a gravel lane that is rarely used by vehicles.  You saw it in the opening scenes of the premier of America Unearthed, when Scot Wolter was “driving out into the mountains to visit Richard Thornton, an expert on the Creek Indians.”   It is mainly used by farm tractors, horseback riders,  horse drawn wagons hauling tourists from a nearby resort and me, walking my dogs each day. 

One could not ask for nicer neighbors around my cabin, but some other folks living near the other outlet for this gravel lane must have relatives in Jasper, GA. After about of month of the dogs and I enjoying walks through the pastures and fields, a man, who looked like Jabba the Hutt came flying out of his hiding place in a pasture in his over-burdened ATV.  He demanded to know what I was doing on his road.  I told him that I was walking my dogs on a a county owned road and that was no different than people riding their horses there.  He said a few cuss words and told me that he was calling the sheriff’s department. 

Not at all intimidated by this man’s claim of having so much wealth and political power, I told him, “Sikuya hvtke, you are going to feel like a fool, when you see this road, me and my dogs on national prime time television . . . December 21st!”    He didn’t know what a Sikuya was and didn’t understand the prime time television part.  He called me some more cuss words and then drove off in his ATV, shouting, “You piece of shit . . . The sheriff’s department gonna kick your butt in jail and throw away the key!”

The sheriff’s department told him that as long as the dogs and I stayed within the county right-of-way, we were doing nothing illegal.  That deputy was 100% correct.   Unfortunately,  Jabba died of a heart attack before getting to see “his road” on national TV.

Native Americans . . . the choice is yours.  You can continue poisoning yourselves with food that your body was never meant to consume and practicing a lifestyle that causes your body to atrophy.   Your neighbors might feel sorry for you because you are that poor invalid Injun.   However, that will be about the only benefit.   The alternative is getting back to the lifestyle of your ancestors, who walked from Macon to Savannah, when they were bored with the farm chores.  

 

 

 

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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.

6 Comments

  1. fredandfran@outlook.com'

    Richard, this is one of my many favorite articles. It takes me back to my childhood in S GA when my late Grandmother and I
    walked the ten miles or so to her church’s Big Meeting. At the time we walked together we began when she was 55, and ended when she was about 70. These walks began for me when I was about 8 years old and lasted until I left home. I was blessed to be the only grandchild that Granny took to her Meetings; the only one she was teaching ways of using the plant world as both food and medicine.

    In my youth, I always walked to school, church, sports events, work. Everywhere, always. It seems I was provided built-in transportation: my two feet.

    Thank you for this article that takes me back, way back among those good memories.

    As have so many of us, I took up the habits of the White world and am just now, as an octogenarian, returning in many ways to my roots.

    Reply
    • That’s right . . . I thought nothing of walking over two miles to school. My mother would drive me to school if it was raining, but I loved walking home when it was snowing. Now kids ride in a bus, if the live a quarter mile from school. At the time, neither Waycross, GA (first three grades) or Gainesville, GA (rest of elementary school) even had school buses.

      Thanks for writing.

      Richard T.

      Reply
  2. wakefieldrising@gmail.com'

    Reading this article I had an epiphany. I started to venture into the forest behind my Father and Mothers house when I was three. Neighbors would ask my Mother are you not afraid he will get on a snake or fall in a sink hole! She said “He will be alright”. She knew that my natural born instincts would protect me. I have a friend who will get sick if he drinks from the same stream that I have drank from all my life! He is predominately Norman French and Saxon blood line where as I am 1/16th Creek! And like you all my peers look to be 20 years older or more. Until now I didn’t realize this was due to my native bloodline. Thanks again for your enlightenment and courage to tell the truth! Dave Turner

    Reply
    • You are quite welcome . . . It should be emphasized that Creeks who adopt a Gringo City Lifestyle and eat junk food can look just as old as anybody else.

      Reply
  3. iwg42@hotmail.com'

    Hey Richard,
    This is a link I found today that fits nicely with this subject. The researchers found that Samoans were obese but did not have a high instance of diabetes due to genetics. I have thought for many years that your genes made a big difference in how your body stores and uses food, the same as the diseases that one is predisposed to develop in our old age.Over the years I have learned that all races have genetic differences like you have described. In my mostly white European family tree there is high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, cancers and osteoporosis. Many of those diseases have been recognized in my family for several generations not just in”‘modern” times. Diet DOES play a key role in health, that is why I like to read your articles on Native food plants that were grown in this area.
    By the way I have been twice to look for wild sweet potatoes south of Six Flags and have had no luck. If any other readers know of any good places to look or have some they would like to share or trade please reply. I hope all your gardens have been productive this year!

    Thanks!

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2098570-most-powerful-obesity-gene-yet-boosts-risk-by-40-per-cent/

    Reply
  4. urisahatu@yahoo.com'

    Hey Richard, Very nice and important article. It seems to me that most if not all natives (aboriginals) in every part of the world were much more healthy during the first contact and first decades of colonization than their offspring are now a days.
    Natives actually had to be very fysical active to obtain food, travel and build houses (and other buildings / monuments).

    Wayne Ivey, It’s a good point you brought up the Samoan case.
    When you look at old first enouncter drawings of the natives of Samoa or any other natives throughout the Pacific Islands including Melanesia, Micronesia; you will see that most if not all natives have athletic body types.

    Ever since the introduction of vehicles (cars, motorboats etc.) and fabricated food (food produced with/out of (toxic?) chemicals) by the “former”(?) colonists to natives it has had a major impact on the health and body.

    Reply

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