Artifacts: Uchee (Euchee/Yuchi) Bobcat Clan jars
The Bobcat Effigy Jar above was found in the valley below a terrace complex just north of Atlanta. The jar is about 10 inches tall and 12 inches long. It is in my personal collection.
The painted jar below was found in a stone crypt within the Nacoochee Mound in 1915 by amateur archaeologist, George Heye. It is on display at the New York City Branch of the National Museum of the American Indian. This jar displays the same concentric circle motifs that are seen on nearby petroglyphs in North Georgia, but also on petroglyphic boulders in southwestern Ireland, southwestern Iberia and the Oresund Channel in Southern Scandinavia. Uchee priests believed that the concentric circle motif represented a time portal.
It is interesting that the Bobcat Jar above has a Southern Mexican “feeling’ to it, while the style of the Bobcat Jar below is a style more typical of Northern Mexico and often portrays Chihuahua dogs. Quite a few Chihuahua jars have been found near Phenix City, AL and Columbus, GA in the heart of Muskogee Creek country.
For sometime, I have been convinced that the Koasati People were originally the Bobcat Clan of the Uchee, who acquired an Itsate Creek elite and over time began speaking a hybrid language. Kosasati is the Anglicization of the the Itsate Creek word, Kowasi-te, with means “Bobcat People.”
Intense occupation of both the Upper Chattahoochee River Valley began with the Deptford Culture, which originated out of Savannah, GA around 1000 BC. The Deptford Culture appears to be Uchee.
What seems to have happened is that bands of Uchee spread northward from Savannah, becoming in the Southern Applachians, the Bobcat and Bear Clans. Apparently, the Bear Clan was also present in the Nacoochee Valley. Nacoochee is the Anglicization of Nokose, which means “bear” in Creek.
The Truth is Out There Somewhere!
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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.
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