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Cheriqué Province, Panama . . . Is it the origin of the Cherokee’s name?

A word similar to Cherokee first appeared in British Colonial archives in 1715.   The word chiloki, mentioned in the De Soto Chronicles is merely the Totonac, Itza Maya and Itsate Creek word for “barbarian” and those people ended up in southwest Georgia.

There is a tribe on the Atlantic Coast of northeastern Panama that shares some traditions with the indigenous peoples of the Southeastern United States like the stomp dance, but until recent times was composed of warlike hunter-gatherers.  Could a band of the people from the province of Cherique  migrated to North America just prior to the arrival of European explorers and become the core of the Cherokee tribe?  It might be worth pursuing by some researcher.

From a Central American reference book:

Cherique o Chiriqui significa ‘valle de la Luna’ para los indígenas ngäbe-buglé. Según Phillip Young, el nombre del pueblo guaymí, aparece mencionado por primera vez en las Crónicas de Fernando Colón, quien relata el cuarto viaje de Cristóbal Colón por las costas caribeñas del istmo, en 1502. Según los cronistas españoles, los aborígenes llamaban a esta región Cheriqué, vocablo que significa ‘valle de la Luna’. Según el historiador Ernesto J. Castillero, la primera vez que se menciona el nombre Chiriquí en un documento es en la Relación, de Gil González Dávila, quien en 1522 recorrió la costa panameña del Pacífico.

Cherique or Chiriqui means “Valley of the Moon” in the indigenous Ngäbe-buglé language. According to Phillip Young, it was the name of a Guaymi village, first mentioned in chronicles of Fernando Colon, who recorded the fourth voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Caribbean coast of the Isthmus of Panama in 1502. According to Spanish chroniclers, aborigines called this region Cheriqué, the word meaning “Valley of the Moon”. According to historian Ernesto J. Castillero, the first time the name is mentioned Chiriqui is in a report of Gil Gonzalez Davila, who in 1522 wrote about the Panamanian Pacific Coast.

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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.



    Great post/article.

    I have looked up the Panamese province “Chiriqui” and to my surprise it showed up on the Pacific side / west coast of Panama.

    I just wanted to point this out incase anyone got confused by reading “There is a tribe on the Atlantic Coast of northeastern Panama”.

    Having said that; A tribe or more tribes from the Chiriqui province could have migrated by foot to northeastern Panama and from there on sailed to southeastern North America.

    As you said: “it might be worth pursuing by some researcher”.

    Did a tribe from the Chiriqui have advanced maritime technology to cross the Carribean sea (and / or Golf of Mexico) on their own; or did they migrated northwards to the Yucatan along the east coast only to sail along with Itza Maya sailors?

    If it is proven that the name Chiriqui is the true origin of the name Cherokee; we than can establish that Southeastern North America is mainly populated from the south/ southwest.

    The Cherokee than should be considered mainly a Central American tribe with various refugees from different southern tribes and perhaps European, Jewish and Arab colonists (fort? survivors / captives from battles between natives and colonists?).

    DNA research on the natives of the Chiriqui province would help to determine an actual link with the Cherokee.


      I have found an interesting video of the “Ngabe-Bugle” in
      the Chiriqui province of Panama.

      I don’t put the link since it’s a VICE News video on youtube
      and it’s unclear (which) if internet/video links are permitted
      to share on other sites.

      The title of the video =
      “The Price of Modernization in Panama: Dammed Forever”

      Note: The Ngabe-Bugle migrated from Northeastern Panama to the north west into the Chiriqui province.


      Yes, it would make a very good research project.

      One plausible explanation could be that the “Bocas del Toro” province is actually also Chiriqui (Cherique) territory/land.
      In that case the Chiriqui land stretches from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast (Caribbean sea).

      It seems that Southeastern North America is mainly settled from the south / southwest by Meso American, Caribbean, mainland South American (Amazonian and Andean) and perhaps even Panama tribes.

      Hopefully there will be someone (multiple researchers) that will take a look into it and start an intensive research project.


    I’ve done some research in the possible meaning of the word/name Chiriqui (Cherique / Cheriqui).

    It is stated that Cherique or Chiriqui means “Valley of the Moon” in the indigenous Ngabe-bugle language.

    Ngabe and Bugle are considered to seperate languages (tribes?) Ngabere and Buglere.
    Both are classified as “Chibchan” languages.

    Before we’re going to translate and search for a possible meaning for the word Chiriqui, we have to dissect the word.

    I’m proposing: Chi – ri – qui (Che – ri – que / Che – ri – qui)

    I haven’t come across a word for moon in either Ngabere or Buglere which is similar to any of the dissected words.

    Words for moon:
    Ngabere: sö
    Buglere: dai

    In this case neither Ngabere and Buglere seems to be the source of the word Chiriqui.

    Words for sun:
    Ngabere: ninguane
    Buglere: choi

    The word for sun “Choi” (Coi) in Buglere looks similar but would not fit/sound right.

    Than I noticed that in both Ngabere and Buglere the word for water is “Chi”.

    Words for water:
    Ngabere: chi
    Buglere: chi

    Could “Chi” in Chiriqui refer to water; “Valley of the Water(s)”?

    Maybe here’s another explanation.
    What if Chiriqui is derived from another language/dialect?

    Words for moon in other Chibchan languages:

    Kuna: Chichi – Isthmic Chibchan
    Bari: Chibajri – Southeastern Chibchan

    Bribri: Siwö – Isthmic Chibchan
    Uwa: Si’jára – Magdalenic Chibchan
    Maleku: Siji – Votic Chibchan

    If the translation of Chiriqui is “Valley of the Moon” the Kuna and Bari language would be better candidates.
    But in doing so it would push back the source for the word “Chiriqui” further to the south/southeast.
    The Bari language is found on mainland South America (Colombia and Venezuela).


    Lehmann, Walkter 1920
    Zentral-Amerika. Berlin: Verlag Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen).


      Thank you for your reply.

      Yes one should be careful about the pronuciation of the letters.

      Yet as you can see in my next comment, I found words in the Ngabe-bugle (Ngabere and Buglere) language that would make more sense.

      I have to say: If the translation is right there’s going to be a whole lot more questions on where the Chiriqui actually come from.


    I think I found the actual meaning (translation) of the word “Chiriqui”!

    It seems that the word “Chiriqui” actually is derived from both Ngabere and Buglere languages.

    This is my explanation:

    I have done some more intensive research in the Ngabere and Buglere languages.

    I found out that the word for canoe in Ngabere is “ru”.

    In both Ngabere and Buglere the word for man is similar:
    Ngabere: nitocua
    Buglere: kuia

    And there we have it: “Chi-ri-qui” is infact:
    Chi-ru-cua / Chi-ru-kuia (Chi-ru-kui)

    Chi = water
    Ru = canoe
    Cua/Kuia = man

    The actual word / name should be: CHIRUKUI

    “Canoe of the Water (Sea?) People”!


    Lehmann, Walkter 1920
    Zentral-Amerika. Berlin: Verlag Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen).


      If it is proven that Chiriqui is derived from
      “Chirukui” meaning “Canoe of the Water (Sea?) People”
      it leaves us with a couple important questions.

      1. Did the Ngabe-Bugle called some of their tribe
      members by that name (fishermen, sailors etc.)?
      2. Did the Ngabe-Bugle referred to visitors coming from the water/sea?

      It could be that the Ngabe-Bugle were referring to
      other people who are not from the land.
      That would explain why there is no native/tribe to be
      found in Panama that calls themselfs Cherique or

      The province (placenames) could be the area (land) where
      the visitors “Water/Sea People” dwelled.


        Thank you for your reply.

        Yes, Ngabe (Ngabere) and Bugle (Buglere) are two entirely different languages that are not mutually intelligible.

        Yet the Spanish source you mentioned states that the word Cherique or Chiriqui comes from the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé (meaning in/from both languages).

        Therefor I have searched for the word moon in both languages (Ngabere: “sö” , Buglere: “dai”) which do not occur in the word Cherique/Chiriqui.

        In the sources/links I posted you can find that in both Ngabere and Buglere the word for water is “chi”.

        In Ngabere the word for canoe is “ru”

        The word for man is similar in both Ngabere and Buglere:
        – Nitocua (nito – cua) in Ngabere.
        – Kuia (kua?) in Buglere.

        This is the outcome of the Spanish statement that Cherique/Chiriqui is from the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé language.
        Otherwise the Spanish source would state a language other than Ngäbe or Buglé language.

        Chi-Ru-Cua / Chi-Ru-Kuia (kua?)

        ultimately: Chi-Ru-Kui

        “Chirukui” consists of words from both Ngäbe and Buglé languages.


    Alternative translation and meaning of the word / name Chiriqui (Chirukui).

    This is my Theory and it should not be taken as fact.

    In earlier comments I have given my interpretation on the translation of the word Chiriqui.

    The Ngäbere and Buglere words that I have found that come closest to the word Chiriqui are:

    – Chi – meaning “water” in both Ngäbere and Buglere
    – Ru – meaning “canoe” in Ngäbere
    – Kuia – meaning “man” in Buglere

    In Ngäbere the word for man is “nitocua”.

    Having done more research I found the word “ni” meaning “male” in Ngäbere.

    So in this case “nitocua” is either false or it consists of
    atleast two words “ni” and “tocua”.
    For now I’m thinking “nitocua” is a hybrid Ngäbere
    Buglere word “ni-(to?)-kuia”.

    The Ngäbere word for people is Ngäbe.

    This would mean that the word Ngäbe is only used to identify the Ngäbe people / themselfs.

    This would imply that the word Chiriqui is used to refer to others.

    There can be several interpretations of the word

    1. Canoe of the Water (Sea?) People
    2. Water (Sea?) of the Canoe People

    Here I interpret Chi meaning “water” as possible synonym for “sea”.

    Further I interpret Kuia / Kui which means “man” (male?) as people.

    In finding ways to find the real meaning of the word
    “Chi-Ru-Kui” I remembered that the Toraja people in Sulawesi (Island Southeast-Asia) build houses resembling canoes/ships.

    Could “Ru” meaning canoe actually be used as a synonym for house; dwelling place or even land?

    3. House of the Water (Sea?) People
    4. Dwelling place of the Water (Sea?) People
    5. Land of the Water (Sea?) People

    Sea people can be interpreted as “maritime-people/sailors”
    From the five translations and possible meanings of the
    word Chiriqui / Chirukui I tend to think the actual meaning
    is “Dwelling place of the Sea People”.

    Why do I think the actual meaning is “Dwelling place of the
    Sea People”?

    The Ngäbe-Buglé live mostely inland and are mountain dwellers.
    Therefor the mountain dwellers (Ngäbe-Buglé) refered to
    the people (visitors?) living on/near the coast as Chirukui –
    they who dwell near the sea(?).

    Note: The name Chiriqui in Panama can be found on both
    the Caribbean coast (Laguna de Chiriqui, Chiriqui Grande)
    and the Pacific coast (Chiriqui province, Golfo de Chiriqui).

    Chiriqui is NOT a tribe. The Chiriqui are people from
    different countries/civilizations who came from the sea, and dwelled/settled on the coast/land.

    The place/location where the sea people lived in Panama could have been situated in or near a valley (Valley of the Sea People?).

    This brings us to the Southeastern North America (SeNA).

    Did Ngäbe-Buglé tribes migrated to SeNA bringing along
    their language or did the Itza-Maya
    (or other maritime-people) borrowed the word/name
    Chirukui and brought it to SeNA?

    One thing is for sure; SeNA is populated by many maritime-people from all over the world (Meso-America, South
    America, Caribbean, Asia, Europe etc.).

    Perhaps this is the reason why a heavily mixed community
    of maritime-people in SeNA became The Cherokee –
    Chirukui – “Dwelling place of the Sea People”.


    Lehmann, Walter 1920
    Zentral-Amerika. Berlin: Verlag Dietrich Reimer
    (Ernst Vohsen).


      I made an error in the translation for the Ngäbere word “ni”.

      I an earlier comment I stated that the word “ni” means
      The true meaning of the word “ni” is “people”.

      Having said that; in another dictionary the word “ni” means “person”.

      Alphonso, Efraim S. 1956
      Guaymi grammar and dictionary with some ethnological notes.
      Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

      This could mean that the Ngäbere word “nitocua” meaning “man”(male) consists out of atleast two words “ni” and

      “ni” meaning people and or person.
      “tocua” (cua?) probable meaning man/male.

      Note: Ngäbe also means “people” in the Ngäbere language.


    I have done some more intensive research in the Ngäbere language.

    The Ngäbere language is also known as Movere, Chiriqui
    and Valiente.

    Ngäbere is part of the Chibchan language family and is classified under
    the group called Guaymi together with the mutually unintelligible language Buglere.

    After a closer look into the Guaymi dictionary I found something very interesting
    which may be of great importance for future researchers
    in finding the true meaning
    of the word Cherique / Chiriqui.

    Guaymi Grammar and Dictionary, with Some
    Ethnological Notes
    By Ephraim S. Alphonse,_with_Some_Ethnological_Notes.pdf

    Page 44:


    “Words are borrowed from the colony of Aztecs and
    Toltecs whom these Valiente or Guaymi call Dekos.
    “Dekos” means early, and refers to the early Mexicans
    who came in large canoes having oars studded
    with pearls. (Their leader was called Ciri Klave)”

    When it’s proven that there was infact an early Aztec
    and Toltec or earlier Mexican colony in Panama
    we should consider that the word/name Cherique/
    Chiriqui may have derived from the name of the Mexican leader (fleet commander) “Ciri Klave”.

    Here it’s unclear if the letter “c” is pronunciated
    as “c” in cigar, cigarette or as “ch” in chocolate, chair.

    Could it be that Cherique/ Chiriqui is infact
    “Ciri (nito-)cua” or “Ciri Kuia”
    meaning “people of Ciri (Klave)”
    (crew members of Ciri Klave)?
    Note: The word “nitocua” could have derived from the Ngäbere/Guaymi words “ni” (people) and “dekos” (early).

    Having said that; The translation and meaning I proposed
    in earlier statements remains intact.
    Cherique/Chiriqui refers to the Sea People
    (maritime people) and the land (valley?) which they
    dwelled in (Aztec, Toltec colony?).

    Blessed holidays to all.


      On page 125 of the same of the same dictionary/book (FOLKLORE) you can find more information on “CIRI KLAVE”.


      You’re welcome.

      I have not been able to determine why all the Spanish texts
      say that the word Cherique or Chiriqui means
      “Valley of the Moon”.
      Here is my theory.


      Guaymi Grammar and Dictionary, with Some
      Ethnological Notes
      By Eprhraim S. Alphonse

      On Pages: 46 and 47 it talks about combining unrelated
      words to make a new one(word).

      Page 47 gives the combination “ngutuoe” meaning hill
      and “kongruyen” meaning the steeps to form the word
      “ngutuoekongruyen” meaning valley.

      This in my opinion makes it very unlikely that the word/
      name Cherique/ Chiriqui means “Valley of the Moon”.

      Having said that; I can imagine that the word Cherique
      changed in meaning (lost it’s original meaning) and
      became synonymous to a particular place (valley?)
      where the “Sea People” dwelled.

      Maybe it’s too far fetched but one could take in
      consideration that the Sea People used the moon and
      the stars to navigate the seas to reach Panama.
      To make it even more mysterious; what if the Sea
      People worshipped the moon?

      If there was any moon worshipping people in Panama;
      were they indigenous or foreign?

      If the moon worshippers were foreign; where would
      they have came from?

      In Norse Mythology you have the Moon God/Goddess
      In Mesopotamian Mythology you have the Moon God/
      Goddess “Sin” also “Nanna”.

      There is no link / connection to be found to either
      Norse or Mesopotamian Mythology.

      Since there is a story about an Aztec and Toltec colony
      and it’s (possible) leader named “Ciri Klave” who
      came over sea on a canoe; we should look for a
      Mesoamerican Moon God/Goddess.

      In doing so, I found an Aztec Moon Goddess named
      “Coyolxauhqui” pronunciation: Koyotl sha mkee (?).

      Untill there is any further research and proof, the
      closest translations and meanings for the word
      Cherique or Chiriqui is:

      “Chi-Ru-Kui” = Dwelling place of the Sea People
      “Ciri-Kui” = People of Ciri (Klave)

      Both are connected to Sea People / maritime (canoe)

      – Blessed holidays


    Cherique “Valley of the Moon” linked to Aztec Gods?

    In an earlier comment I proposed that the given Spanish translation of Cherique or Chiriqui meaning
    “Valley of the Moon” could be linked to moon worship.

    In Aztec Mythology the Aztec Moon Goddess
    “Coyolxauhqui” turns out to be the daughter of
    “Coatlicue” a Goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars
    and the god of the sun and war; and of “Mixcoatl”
    the God of the hunt who is said to be identified with the
    milky way, stars and the heavens in several Mesoamerican


    To find out the true translation and meaning of the word Cherique or Chiriqui; one would have to send a research team to Panama and get first hand information.

    For now all the translations and meanings that have been
    presented are just theory and speculation and should not be taken as fact until proven.

    1. – The word Cherique or Chiriqui truly is the word for
    “Valley of the Moon” in Ngäbe-Buglé language.

    2. – The word refers to “Sea People” (maritime people)
    from distant lands. “Chi-Ru-Kui” meaning
    “Dwelling place of the Sea People”.

    3. – The word refers to members of Ciri Klave. “Ciri-Kui” meaning “People of Ciri (Klave)”.

    4. – The word refers to early Christian people. “Kyriakos” a Greek word/name meaning “of the Lord”.
    Also spelled as “Cyriacus”, “Cyriac” and “Quiricus”.
    The name “Ciriaca” meaning “belonging to God” is derived
    from Old Greek origins.

    Regarding the Greek word and name “Kyriakos” and
    “Ciriaca”; could it be that early (Greek?) Christians were
    fleeing persecution and found their way to the America’s
    via mainland Europe and Ireland?
    The Greeks do have a long maritime history and would be
    very capable of sailing the seas and oceans.
    What if some Kyriakos or Ciriaca (People of the Lord / belonging to God) reached MesoAmerica?
    Could “Ciri Klave” be a descendant of the “Ciriaca” (Ciri-Ca)?

    Having gone through all the possibilities that I can think of;
    I am convinced that the word Cherique or Chiriqui refers to “Sea People”.
    Three of the four possibilities that I have presented involves people with maritime skills.


    The mysterious origin of Ciri Klave.

    Recently I found a text on Ciri Klave in the Spanish language.
    I’m not sure what the text is all about since ‘m not fluent in Spanish.

    “Vestigios mesoamericanos entre los indios Guaymí
    Laura Laurencich Minelli”


    As far I can read/translate the text on Ciri Klave; it’s about his origin being Mayan instead of Aztec since the Aztec don’t have maritime skills.
    In an earlier comment I stated that the word “Deko” means “early” in the Guaymi dictionary of Ephraim S. Alphonse;

    Laura’s Guaymi-Move (Movere) informant says that the word “Deko” means “foreigner” as well as “wise” or “old”.

    On page 125 of the Dictionary:
    Guaymi Grammar and Dictionary, with Some
    Ethnological Notes
    By Ephraim S. Alphonse

    There is a story (song) about the arival of Ciri Klave in a great canoe. The same story implies that Deko was a native leader (indigenous to Panama).

    Yet Laura’s (or her Guaymi-Move informant’s) interpretation is that both Deko and Ciri Klave were foreigners and not from Panama.

    We can conclude that Ciri Klave is definately not from Panama.
    With the new information we should consider Ciri Klave may have been a “Mayan” (navigator?).

    Perhaps an Expert on Mayan Civilization can look into the “Ciri Klave” origin / legend.


      Very interesting!

      When one would use the Buglere word “Kuia” meaning man/male one can form the word “Ciri Kui(a)”
      which would have the same meaning as the Southern Arawakan translation “Ciri’s People” (also “People of Ciri (Klave”).

      The Ngäbere word for man/male is “Nitocua” which could form the name “Ciri-(nito)cua” again with the same meaning as the Southern Arawakan translation.

      The interesting part is that Ciri Klave (a Mythical figure in Panama) is said to have came from the north.
      The origin of Ciri Klave is shrouded in mystery.
      So far, three Civilizations have been linked to Ciri Klave.
      Aztec, Toltec and Maya.

      In my opinion, Ciri Klave is the ultimate origin of the word/name “Cherique” or “Chiriqui”.

      The question is now; Which civilization did Ciri Klave
      come from?

      Known sources point to MesoAmerica (Aztec, Toltec or Maya).

      “Vestigios mesoamericanos entre los indios Guaymí
      Laura Laurencich Minelli”
      Pages 44 and 125:
      Guaymi Grammar and Dictionary, with Some
      Ethnological Notes
      By Ephraim S. Alphonse


    I have taken a closer look into the Chiriqui.
    It turns out to be that Chiriqui stretches from Southern Costa Rica into Northern Panama.

    The area is called “Gran Chiriqui”.

    Gran Chiriqui is devided into two regions:
    – Sub-Region Diquis
    – Sub-Region Panama Oeste (west).
    Here the name “Diquis” caught my eye.

    In earlier comments I brought up the word/name “Deko”.

    In Panama Folklore “Ciri Klave” and “Deko” were enemies of eachother.
    What if “Deko” is actualy derived from “Diqui(s)”?
    This in my opinion would give factual proof that “Ciri Klave” and “Deko” did exist.

    The Costa Rican stone spheres are said to be linked to the now extinct Diquis culture that florished from 700 AD to 1530 AD.
    The word “diquis” means “great waters” or “great river” in the Boruca language.
    The Boruca language is the native language of the Boruca people of Costa Rica and is classified in the Chibchan
    language family.

    I have done a quick research on the Boruca language and I found something interesting.
    The word “di” means “water”.
    The word “kongróhk” means “man”(male).

    When you put “di” and “kongróhk” together you get
    “dikongróhk” which can be shortend to “diko” meaning “waterman” or “water people” in Boruca language.

    Here you can see that “Diko” could be the origin of the
    Panama mythical figure “Deko”.

    When we take into account that both Deko and Ciri Klave occure in Panama Folklore; we can conclude that both Deko and Ciri Klave were foreigners.
    This would confirm Laura Laurencich Minelli’s statement that her Guaymi-Move informant says “Deko” means foreigner in the Guaymi (Ngäbere) language.

    In this case “Deko” came from the Costa Rica region living amongst the Ngäbe-Buglé natives before “Ciri Klave” came from the north (origin unknown; proposed origins:
    Aztec, Toltec or Maya) and took over which may have
    been the start of the “Ciri Kui” or “Chiriqui” era.

    It is believed that the “Chiriqui” culture lasted from 800 AD to 1500 AD.


    The meaning “Valley of The Moon” linked to Purepecha?

    This following post/comment is Theory and should not be taken as fact until proven.

    After reading comments on another article / post:
    “Bama’s Stone Bola Balls”, I decided to do some research on the Purepecha or Purhepecha also known as Tarascan or Tarasco people of West MesoAmerica.

    The comment by Richard (Thornton) about the main weapon of the Purepecha being the bow and arrow caught my attention.

    In Panama’s Folklore song about Ciri Klave the following is mentioned:

    “Their arms were strong and their arrows shot far and straight.
    They never missed a bird; they never missed a deer; they never missed a man.
    The Ciri Klave beat our chief; his arms were stronger;
    his sense was greater; they tried to stop him, but he knew
    their mind; he knew their skill;”

    Ciri Klave is believed to have came from the north.
    The civilizations he might have originated from is shrouded in mystery. Some believe he was either Aztec, Toltec or Maya.

    To my knowledge the Maya also used bow and arrows but it was not their main weapon of choice. Since the Aztec and
    Toltec (seemingly) didn’t used bow and arrow makes me
    believe that the only other plausible origin for Ciri Klave
    would be Purepecha (Tarasca or Tarasco).

    After intensive research in the Purepecha language I found some very interesting words which could link Purepecha to Chiriqui (Costa Rica and Panama).

    Purepecha words:

    charháku – baby, child
    churiki – delicate-, nervous child, crybaby

    churekua, chúrekua, churikua – night

    kiriki, kirhiki – hawk
    k’uiripu, kuiripu – people
    kúkuti, kutsi – moon

    On first view you might already see some words resembling
    the word/name “Chiriqui”.
    The Purepecha words “Churiki” and “Kiriki” come closest in resembling the word “Chiriqui”.
    In my opinion it doesn’t make sense since Spanish sources
    state that the word “Cherique” or “Chiriqui” comes from the indigenous (Panama) Ngäbe-Buglé language.

    If we use the Purepecha words for the Chiriqui Kingdom it would be translated as “Kingdom of Nervous Children” or “Kingdom of the Hawk”.
    The Purepecha word “churiki” meaning “nervous child, crybaby” obviously would be ruled out while the word
    “kiriki” meaning “hawk” would sound more appealing it still doesn’t sound right since it starts with the letter “k”.

    There is however one other word which could link the Purepecha to “Chiriqui”.
    The Spanish sources state that Chiriqui means “Valley of The Moon”.
    Although the Purepecha word for moon is “Kutsi” and “Kukuti”; there is still anotherpossibility.
    The Purepecha word for night is “Churekua” (Chúrekua, Churikua).
    Could it be that the Ngäbe-Buglé borrowed the Purepecha word Churekua and used it to refer to the valley of the moon?
    Or did the Spaniards used the Purepecha word themselfs to refer to a particular valley as the valley of the moon in Panama?

    In my opinion the closest translation and origin for “Chiriqui” meaning “Valley of The Moon” would come from the Purepecha word “Churekua”.

    In this case we could (temporarily) conclude that there are atleast two meanings of the word / name “Chiriqui”.

    1. – “Chi Ru Ki” meaning “Dwelling place of The Sea People”
    likely referring to the Diquis people from Costa Rica (Diko or Deko from Panama’s Folkore on Ciri Klave. Diko meaning “Water Man” or “Sea People” – Diko comes from the combined Boruca words “Di” meaning “Water” (Sea?) and “Kongróhk” meaning “Man” (male).

    2. – “Chu Re Kua” a Purepecha word meaning “Night” possibly introduced at the time of Ciri Klave (his origin remains undetermined) used to refer a particular valley (in Panama) as “Valley of The Moon”.

    A third possible meaning would include “Ciri Klave”.

    3. – “Ciri Kuia” or “Ciri Kui” meaning “People of Ciri (Klave)” or “Ciri’s People” in the Buglere language of Panama.

    Guaymi Grammar and Dictionary with some Ethnological Notes
    By Ephraim S. Alphonse – 1955 / 1956
    Page: 125

    – Pablo Velasquez Gallardo
    Dictionary Purepecha language: P’urhépecha-Spanish,
    227 pp. ; 24 x 16 cm.
    Code: 006079E
    Collection: Anthropology
    Subject Area: Anthropology
    Mexico: FCE, 1978.

    – A short vocabulary in an isolated language.
    English, Purepecha vocabulary.
    By Erlantz Gamboa


    Chiriqui and Cherokee: related in word/name only?

    In the past few days I have been doing research
    on the Cherokee nation.
    In doing so, I have found an interesting book.


    A Brief History of Catoosa Country:
    Up Into the Hills
    By Jeff O’Bryant – 2009

    Page 21:
    Chapter 1: The Principal People

    “They originally migrated from northern Mexico and
    portions of Texas to the Great Lakes region, but
    wars with other Native Americans, both the Iroquois
    and Delaware tribes, forced them into the Southeast.”

    In my opinion the Cherique or Chiriqui and Cherokee
    (Aniyunwiya) are unrelated as a people/tribe.

    However, The word/name Chiriqui and Cherokee might
    be related if there was a Ngäbe-Buglé (from Panama)
    related people/tribe living in Southeastern North

    The Aniyuwiya (The Principal People) who lived at
    the Great Lakes region could have been considered
    as “people of the water” by a Ngäbe-Buglé tribe.
    In that case the word/name Chiriqui (ChiRuKui)
    would have been applied to the Aniyuwiya like it
    was applied to the Diquis (Diko, Deko) of Costa Rica)
    since they lived near the water.
    The word “Chi” meaning “water” is exchangeable in
    meaning “sea” thus Chi-Ru-Kui meaning “Dwelling
    place of The Sea People” could also mean “Dwelling
    place of The Water People”.

    The Cherokee were the people who lived (dwelled) at
    the Great Lakes (water).


      I misspelled the title of the book.
      It should be County instead of Country.


      A Brief History of Catoosa County:
      Up Into the Hills
      By Jeff O’Bryant – 2009

      Page 21:
      Chapter 1: The Principal People


      In the book “Iroquois Culture and Commentary” by Doug George-Kanentiio pages 19-22 they speak of their origins. The tell us that they were originally a people of the Desert in the American Southwest. They eventually began to migrate eastward up through the plains and across the Mississippi River into the Ohio Valley where part of their people departed from them and eventually became known as the Cherokee. This is their oral history.

      I do not know how much of this is true but if all that you have found with the root language origins of the word Cherokee/Chiriqui etc…is correct then this could explain how they ended up in Southeast United States. But it would also back up the evidence of their being from the Central, South Americas.



        That is what I was alluding to. The Fact that the Cherokee did in fact like the Iroquios came from the south and the cultures of Mayan, Aztec, Panoan, whatever migrated up through the penisula to southwest United States spent time in the desert region. Then moved as one Peoples from the desert eastward across the Mississippi and then spreading across the land. They originated from The Peoples being discussed in this thread from Costa Rica or Panama. I believe this. That is why there is no real separate known Cherokee language here in the US other than the Syllabary they supposedly created. I feel they took parts and pieces of several languages of their admixture and put it together into one thus not have a root language to compare to per say. But that is my opinion. It is my theory they didn’t originate here in North America except to evolve into the now known Tribe called Cherokee from the coming together of many remnants.


    Thank you Michelle L Centers for your comment and
    thank you for the very interesting information.

    I mainly do research on a possible origin of the word/name Cherokee. There does not seem to be a relation between the Cherokee and Chiriqui (from Costa Rica and Panama) as a people/tribe.
    Only the word/name “ChiRuKui” seems to have been applied to the Aniyunwiya (The Principal People) by a possible Ngäbe-Buglé tribe from Panama (if they ever lived in Southeastern North America).

    Like Richard Thornton said; “the Cherokees today are the descendants of many ethnic groups … etc.”

    In my research I have atleast perhaps unravelled one of the origins of the many ethnic groups of todays Cherokee nation/tribe and a possible origin for the word/name


      I find your work very interesting and I somehow still think that there maybe a connection between the two. Whether or not that will ever be discovered or not is another story for people with better expertise at this sort of research than I. But I wanted to provide that information because it seemed so interesting in contrast to the oral history the Iroquios tell of where they came from and how they ended up in the Northeast part of the US. I am a student of history and enjoy learning new things.


        Thank you for your reply.

        Yes, There may still be a connection between the two.
        One way to find out is to do DNA tests.
        That way we can make sure which theories can be ruled out.
        It will make any research on the Cherokees more easy.

        Your information is very good and helpful.
        It strengthens my theory atleast for what the
        origin of the Aniyunwiya concerns.

        Glad you enjoy learning new things. It’s good to see a student of history getting involved in discussions.
        Feel free to share your thoughts and theories.


          Thank you and I will do as you say and continue to get involved in the discussions. It is a great way to learn. Many viewpoints being shared by those who have different pieces of information. All come together to help solve the puzzle of origins. That is what it is all about.


            You’re welcome. Looking forward to your involvement in sharing information and to help solve the complex puzzle.


    It has been about a month since I started to do
    research on the Chiriqui in Panama, Costa Rica
    and the Cherokee in Southeast North America.

    After reading and researching many books,
    dictionaries etc. there seems to be no relation
    between the Chiriqui and the Cherokee.

    The Chiriqui and the Cherokee are two separate
    Although the names are similar; the languages
    and cultural traits are certainly not.

    The timeline is also an indication that these two
    entities could not have been the same.
    The Chiriqui civilization in Panama and Costa
    Rica started around 800 AD and ended around
    1500 AD; the Cherokee first appeared in
    1715 AD in Southeast North America (SeNA).

    When you take into account that the name
    Chiriqui was first mentioned in 1502, there
    would be atleast a two hunderd year gap in
    finding the Cherokee in SeNA.
    The pioneers and colonists have already
    encountered Meso-American, South American
    (including Arawak and Andean) tribes in SeNA
    and there is no record of any Chiriqui related
    tribe living among them.

    The Ngäbe-Buglé word/name Chiriqui
    (Chi-Ru-Kui) was probably applied to the
    Diquis or Deko, a culture from Costa Rica.
    The word “diquis” means “great waters” or
    “great river” in the Boruca language (one of
    the indigenous languages of Costa Rica).

    Who are the Cherokee and where do they come

    In the article: “Was Sequoyah The Son of an
    African Slave or a Mustee War Captive?”

    You can get an idea how dissimilar the Cherokee
    and the Chiriqui are.

    The syllabary and writing system of the Cherokee
    resemble the Armenian, Anatolian and Circassian
    The Cherokee word Ani meaning “nation” or
    “people” is the same word used by Christian Turks.
    Most words in Cherokee describing female familial
    relationships such as: mother, sister, aunt,
    grandmother etc. are Anatolian words.

    Armenia, Anatolia (Turkey) and Circassian
    (North Caucasus) are in Europe/Eurasia.

    In Georgia, also a European/Eurasian country
    you can find atleast three (3) rivers with names
    similar to the word/name Cherokee:

    1 – Choloki (Cholokhi ?)
    2 – Chorokhi
    3 – Churukhi(-stskali / Churukhis(-tskali)

    There is atleast one settlement named: Chalakh-
    The Georgian alphabet is roughly the same as the
    Medieval Circassian Scripts.

    In having done some more research on the Cherokee
    clans; it turns out to be that the Aniwaya or
    Ani-waya “Wolf Clan” are the largest clan and
    historically was the largest and most important
    clan among the Cherokee.

    In Turkic/Turkish mythology you can find a legend
    of The Grey Wolf.
    The wolf is considered the mother of most Turkic
    The legend tells of a young boy who survived a
    raid on his village. A she-wolf (grey wolf) finds
    the injured child and nurses him back to health.
    He impregnates the wolf which then gives birth
    to ten half-wolf, half human boys.
    One of these, Ashina, becomes their leader and
    establishes the Ashina clan which ruled the
    Göktürks and other Turkic nomadic empires.

    This COULD be even more proof that the origin of
    the Cherokee is in Europe/Eurasia rather
    than North-, Meso-, Central- or South America.

    This is my theory and should not be taken as fact
    until proven.

    Sources / links can be found in my previous
    comments and on comments in the article:
    “Was Sequoyah The Son of an African Slave or a
    Mustee War Captive?”


      You’re welcome.

      Hope the research data I have gathered
      is helpful to other more knowledgeable
      researchers on the Cherokee origin.

      In the meantime I’ll continue to do my
      own research and take notes when I
      find anything of interest.


    So,… any idea as to exactly when the ‘Cherokee’ made it to the Southeast – what century?


      Richard, I just discovered your article from June of last year, “PHOTO SHOWS THE FAMOUS CHEROKEE, JUNALUSKA, WEARING CAP OF ZOROASTRIAN CONJURER.” Wish I’d found it sooner.

      You write: “The Zoroastrian pronunciation of their word for ‘Sacred Fire’ is identical to that of the Cherokee word for the same. I am convinced that the Cherokee tribe was never an ethnic group, but a religious-political movement that swept through the Appalachians in the late 1600s and early 1700s. It was most likely introduced by Zoroastrian refugees from the Middle East. This is why the Cherokees have no cultural memory before the early 1700s and are constantly trying to ‘steal’ cultural symbols and town sites from the Creeks in Georgia.”…

      The information in the article is fascinating, and may, in fact, explain quite a bit.

      Thank you, again.


      Hey Cynthia, As far most of the data / information shows;
      The Cherokee as we know them, entered the southeast
      around 1700 AD (late 17th Century, early 18th Century).

      To a certain point there seems to be a linguistic tie (words, syllables, script) to the Middle Eastern and Caucasus region.
      DNA points to the Middle East but also (western-)European.
      The European DNA is most likely due to the mixing with settlers from the 18th Century onwards.

      Keep in mind that today’s Cherokees are highly mixed.
      One should think of the Cherokees as modern Americans
      (citizens of USA). Every US Citizen is an American but their origins are either, Native, European, African, Middle Eastern, Asian etc.

      The name Cherokee could be linked to the Caucasus region
      as can be seen in the information I have provided in earlier posts.
      There might have been a native tribe with a similar name to Cherokee living in the south east prior to 1700 AD and even
      in pre-Columbian times, but that is still open for debate.


        So then the syllabary that Seqouyah came up with would be valuable proof of the ties to the Caucasus and Middle East?? If linguists really looked at the original form it would seem to indicate that they aren’t originally an Indigenous population to North America until after 1715 when they became known as Cherokees. With this the beginning of their mixing with the European settlers even more so not to mention remnants of Shawnee, Delaware, and many others they are seriously a mixed bag of DNA.

        So, I don’t think DNA would help in the short term to figure out where they originated. The testing would have to be extensive of their population as it currently is in North Carolina. But if we stopped and really examined descriptions of the early Cherokees what they looked like, wore, culture, and language to create the whole picture against what they are today.


          Hey Michelle, Yes the syllabary that Sequoyah came up with would be valuable proof of the ties to the Caucasus and Middle East.
          There are still some questions regarding the syllabary.

          – Did Sequoyah really came up with the syllabary himself or did he learned it from someone else?
          – If he learned it from someone else, who was his teacher?
          – Was there a so-called Cherokee elder or was there a settler / colonist from the Caucasus who took Sequoyah inder his/her wing?

          Incase of the DNA; I’m not an expert on DNA but in my opinion; The Cherokee are latecomers (recent arrivals)
          and seemingly from the Middle East region.


    The “Los Lunas Decalogue Stone”.

    Have you ever heared of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone?
    It is also known as the Los Lunas Mystery stone or
    Commandment Rock.
    The inscription on the stone (large boulder) is believed
    to be in Paleo-Hebrew.

    Photo of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone in 1997:

    Photo of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone after 2006
    vandalization of the first line:

    Professor / archaeologist Frank C. Hibben made mention
    of the stone in 1933 after he was taken to the site
    by a guide who had seen it as a boy in the 1880s.

    Many people think the inscriptions are fake/ a
    modern hoax, yet others think it is authentic.

    The location of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone.

    Map of New Mexico 1860:

    In the south of “New Mexico” you have many rivers such
    as the “Gila River” and the “Rio San Pedro”.
    East of the Rio San Pedro you have several mountains.
    One of the mountains is “Chiricahua” mountains where
    you can find a place named “Apache Pass”.

    Further to the east you have the “Mimbres River”,
    “Mimbres Range” and the “Rio Grande” (River).
    Follow the Rio Grande up north and you will come
    across “Los Lunas” what is now part of Valencia
    County south/southwest of “Albuquerque”.

    The stone (boulder) itself can be found on the
    side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas.

    A connection between the Chiriqui, Chiricahua
    and Charaqui/Cherokee after all?

    If the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is proven to be
    authentic, it could (would?) mean that there is
    some prove in the connection between the
    Chiricahua (Mexico), the Cherokee (Southeast
    North America) and maybe even connected to the
    Chiriqui (Panama) after all.

    The Spanish word “Luna” means “Moon” in English.
    In this article “Cherique Province, Panama …”
    you already know that the name Cherique or
    Chiriqui (supposedley) means “Valley of the MOON”.

    The Mythical Hero “Ciri Klave” who defeated
    Deko (Diquis Civilization?) in Panama Folklore is
    believed to have came from the north.
    If Ciri Klave is a Chiriqui it could mean that
    Chiricahua (New Mexico region) could be the place
    of origin of Ciri Klave; connecting the Valley of the
    Moon to the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone.

    Notice the location of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone?
    It is to the northeast of Chiricahua.
    This would be in line with the migration legend of
    the Aniyunwiya (The Principel People) that they
    migrated from Mexico through the plains into
    the northeast towards the Great Lakes region.

    Migration Routes of the Chiricahua.

    In my opinion we have to separate the pre-
    Columbian and the post-Columbian migrations.

    I Consider the Chiriqui, Chiricahua and even
    partially the Charaqui as a pre-Columbian
    migration of the Jews into the Americas.
    You have to remember that it was the Spanish
    Crown who were in pursuit of finding the
    Jews in the 1400s AD (Mid-late 15th Century).
    It were the Spanish who gave or atleast
    recorded certain tribes with similar names.

    It seems to me that the Spanish refered
    to the Jews as “Ciriaca”.
    “Ciriaca” comes from the Greek word
    “Kyriakos” both words having similar meanings
    “of the Lord” + “belonging to God”.
    Thus the name Chirica-hua given by the Spanish
    could be derived from Ciriaca.

    Fleeing the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) from
    the Spanish, the Ciriaca (Chiricahua) sailed
    to the west across the Atlantic Ocean through
    the Caribbean Sea into the Golf of Mexico.
    There they most likely entered the mouth
    of the Rio Grande river and followed it upwards
    (to the north) ending up in the now New Mexico
    region and location of the Chiricahua.

    Some of the Chiricahua migrated to the south
    into Panama becoming the Chiriqui, others migrated
    to the northeast towards the Great Lakes region
    becoming the Charaqui who would eventually
    become the Cherokee.

    In post-Columbian migrations the Charaqui
    were pushed out by native tribes from the Great Lakes
    into Southeast North America.
    There they mixed with various native tribes and later
    also mixed with Europeans (including other Jews after
    1600 AD) and adopted freedmen (Irish, Africans etc.).

    This is my theory and should NOT be taken as
    fact until proven.


    Update research on the origin of the Cherokee
    March 15, 2016

    In my last comment I brought up a possible
    connection between the Chiricahua and the Cherokee.

    It is believed that the name Chiricahua is the Spanish
    rendering of the “Opata” (Uto-Aztecan also known as
    Teguima, Eudeve) word “Chihuicahui” or “Chiguicagui”
    meaning “mountain of the wild turkey” for the Chiricahua
    Mountains, later corrupted into Chiricahui / Chiricahua.

    To the north of the Chiricahua Mountains you can find
    the Gila cliff dwellings.
    The cliff dwellings are considered by archaeologists to be
    part of the Mogollon culture.
    The Mogollon culture flourished from cd. 200 CE to either 1450 or 1540 CE, when the Spanish arrived.

    Map location of the Gila Cliff Dwellings:

    The name Mogollon comes from the Mogollon Mountains,
    which were named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollón,
    Spanish Governor of New Spain including New Mexico
    from 1712 to 1715.
    The unrelated Apache people, which the Chiricahua are
    part of, entered the Mogollon area sometime between
    1200 and 1500 AD.

    Map Mogollon culture area:

    Pueblo people in the southwest claim descent from the
    Mogollon culture. Oral history seem to link the
    Acoma, Hopi and Zuni, to the Mogollon.
    All these Pueblo people have cliff dwellings.

    Map of ancestral Pueblo cultures:

    Photos of Gila Cliff Dwellings:


    New Theory on the origin of the Cherokee:

    There are two separate Jewish migrations into the
    1. Pre-Columbian Jewish migration
    2. Post-Columbian Jewish migration

    – The pre-Columbian Jews entered the Americas via
    the Gulf of Mexico in the Rio Grande river.
    There they followed the Rio Grande into the mixed
    Mogollon/Pueblo, Apache (read Chiricahua) area.
    The indigenous peoples were cave/cliff dwellers.

    Map rivers of Mexico:

    The presence of the Jews in Mexico can be proven by
    the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone (if its proven to be
    On the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone you can find
    a so-called Paleo-Hebrew script.

    Here the Jews settled among the indigenous tribes and
    later probably migrated allong with Pueblo tribes
    from Mexico southwest to the northeast through the
    plains into the Great Lakes region.

    The native tribes of the northeast refer to them as
    Cave People which would make sense since the
    Pueblo tribes are originally cave/cliff dwellers.

    The northeastern tribes pushed out the mixed
    Pueblo tribes to the south/southeast.
    This would be in line with the migration legend of
    the Aniyunwiya (The Principle People).

    Here they mixed with the southeastern tribes.
    (pre-Columbian Jews living among Apalache?).

    – The post-Columbian Jews allong with European settlers
    and freedmen joined (mixed or adopted by) the
    “Cave People” (Pueblo) in the 18th Century (1700s AD).

    In this post-Columbian era they became known as
    the Cherokee, a name which could be derived from
    the Caucasus Georgian (Ajaria Province) river “Chorokhi”.

    Further proof of a Caucasus influence could be the
    Sequoyah Syllabary that was introduced in the 1800s
    which is similar to the Caucasus Georgian, Armenian

    Note: The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is in the Paleo-
    Hebrew script; Sequoyah’s Syllabary is more similar to
    Caucasian, which could be further proof of two
    separate migrations (pre-/post-Columbian).

    Temporary Conclusion:

    – The “Cave People” are the Pueblo (Mogollon), Apache
    tribes with a possible pre-Columbian Jewish mix who
    migrated from the southwest (Mexico) to the northeast.

    – The Cherokee are post-Columbian Jews, European and
    freedmen mixed with the Pueblo and possibly pre-
    Columbian Jews.

    – A pre-Columbian Jewish connection to the Cherique
    or Chiriqui in Panama is questionable, eventhough the
    Panama Folklore does tell about a Mythical Hero
    “Ciri Klave” coming from the north which could be
    interpreted as coming from Mexico region.

    This is my theory and should NOT be taken
    as fact until proven.


    In doing research on the origin of the Cherokee
    and a possible connection to the Chiricahua,
    I came across a very interesting name “Shalako”.

    To be honest, I came across the movie (western)
    named Shalako based on a novel by Louis L’Amour.
    Of course one would almost automatically think
    the name is made up and a coincidence it’s
    similar to the word Chalaqui (Charaqui/Cherokee).
    The movie and novel takes place in 19th-century
    New Mexico.

    My researcher mind just had to look into it and
    sure enough I found some very interesting info.
    In researching the name Shalako I found a book
    “Brigitte Bardot: A Biography” by Barnett Singer.

    On page 95: “Playing Out the String” it talks
    about the movie Shalako which Brigitte Bardot
    starred in.
    Quote: “Starring Connery in buckskins as Shalako
    Carlin (an Apache first name)”

    This is interesting, Sean Connery starring as
    Shalako which supposidly is an Apache first name.
    Could this be proof that the name Chalaqui/
    Charaqui is derived from an Apache name?
    I have to make sure the name is truly Apache
    in origin.

    Than I came across a movie review on the Amazon
    Quote: “Shalako (the name means “rain bringer” in
    Zuni Indian)”.

    I did a quick search for the name Shalako in
    relation to the Zuni People.
    It turns out that the Shalako is a series of
    dances and ceremonies conducted by the Zuni people
    at the winter solstice, typically following the harvest.

    In the book: “The Indians of the Terraced Houses”
    Page 157
    “In Zuñi mythology, the Shálako Gods are the couriers
    of the divine rain-makers, stationed at each quarter of
    the compass, which in Zuñi cosmography has six points—
    North, South, East, West, Zenith, and Nadir.”

    The name “Shálako” is Zuni in origin.
    Although Zuni, Hopi, Acoma etc. are believed to
    be culturally related, the Zuni language is
    considered a language isolate.

    – The Indians of the Terraced Houses, Chapter XVI:
    Of the Night Dance of the Shálako Gods, pp. 153–166.
    G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1912 – by Charles Francis Saunders

    Map of the Pueblos in New Mexico:


      If I remember correctly the Cherokee have an oral story about coming out of the ground of being cave people. So, this information that you are finding now would align with the story also that the Iroquios had of coming from the Southwest, migrating across the plains for a short stop in what is present day St. Louis, then continuing across to the Ohio Valley where the Tribe split again and one part went south to warmer climate the rest went east to present day Iroquios Territory. In the Book “Cherokee Legends and Myths” by Emmett Starr starting with page 24 he explains the origins of his people. Of course much of what he wrote we know to be wrong about where his people were and how long they were there but it does give creedance to the cave dwelling part of their origins.


        I have come to believe that there actually was a
        native tribe with a similar name to Cherokee living in
        Southeast North America.
        In my opinion the original tribe came from the New
        Mexico region (southwest).
        Although “Chihuicahui” (Chiricahua is the Spanish
        rendering) an Apache word could be the original name
        of the tribe, I think the Zuni word “Shalako” comes
        closer to the original tribe name.
        The Zuni people call themself “A:shiwi”
        (A = “plural” + shiwi “Zuni”).
        A Zuni person is called “Shiwi”.

        On an online Zuni vocabulary / dictionary I found
        many clan names which end with the suffix “kwe”.
        Therefor I am convinced that “kwe” means “people,
        tribe (clan) or nation”.
        Hak’u:ka:kwe – Acomans (Acoma people)
        Ma’wi:kwe – Antelope Clan
        Wilats’u:kwe – Apache (White Mountain people)
        Donashi:kwe – Badger Clan
        Aynshe:kwe – Bear Clan

        In combination with “Shiwi” we get “Shiwi:kwe”
        which would mean “Zuni Clan”.
        If we combine “Shalako” with “kwe” we get
        “Shalako:kwe” which would mean “Shalako Clan” or
        “Shalako People” / “People of Shalako”.
        You can see that Shi-wi-kwe phonatically is similar
        to Chi-ri-qui.
        Sha-la-ko-kwe sounds less plausible unless it evolved
        into Shala:kwe which is similar to Cha-la-qui.
        Example: Shalako:kwe – Shalak’kwe – Shala:kwe.

        There is another very interesting Zuni word I found;
        “yuna:wiko” meaning “wolf”.
        I wonder if this is the origin of “yun wiya” from the
        Ani-Yunwiya (The Principel People).
        In this case “Ani” means people, tribe (clan) or nation.
        If we replace yunwiya with yuna:wiko we get
        “Ani-yunawiko” or “Ani-yun-wi” which would mean
        The Wolf People/Clan.
        The largest and most important clan of the Cherokee
        is the wolf clan “Aniwaya” / “Ani-Waya”.
        Here you can imagine that waya could have derived
        from wiya (wiko?).

        If there ever was (is?) an indigenous tribe with a similar
        name to Cherokee living in Southeast North America,
        it would be the descendants of an indigenous tribe
        from the southwest New Mexico region.
        The info I have gathered and presented points to the
        Zuni people (Pueblo Peoples).

        Having said that: The Shiwi:kwe (or Shala:kwe) are
        NOT the Cherokee.
        In my opinion the Cherokee are descendants of Jews
        , Europeans, Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia) and Freed-
        men. The relatively recent name Cherokee is
        related to the Caucasus region of Ajaria, “Chorokhi”.
        The only other Caucasian name would be “Characine”
        in the former Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia which is
        now part of Turkey.

        I am aware that what I have presented is debatable
        and the research is far from over; but it is safe to say
        that as far the origin myth / migration legend of the Cherokee goes, the homeland of the “Original”
        (Aboriginal) indigenous tribe is in the southwest /
        New Mexico region thus unrelated to the so-called
        recent 18th Century Cherokee.

        1- We have to determine if the Los Lunas Decalogue
        Stone with the Paleo-Hebrew script is authentic to
        prove any pre-Columbian Jewish presence in New
        Mexico. Only then can we be sure of two separate
        Jewish migrations into the Americas.
        2- Linguists should look into the Zuni language to find
        any similarities to the Cherokee language.
        3- DNA research should be done to determine if there
        is any possible link between the Pueblos;
        (Zuni /Shiwi:kwe? in particular) and the Cherokee;
        although personally I think most if not all the full-
        blood original population perished between the 18th
        and 20th century.


    An Oceanian – Moluccan connection to the Americas
    and Central America in particular – Part 1

    In this comment I would like to propose a theory that
    there is a good possibility the Moluccan Islands and
    the Americas (Central America) are connected.

    The First voyage round the world, by Magellan

    by Antonio, Pigafetta

    Published: 1874 AD(CE)

    (366 Pages)

    Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1491 – c. 1531) was an Italian from
    In 1519 he joined the Portugese explorer Ferdinand
    Magellan and his crew on their voyage to the Indies
    for spices. This voyage was ordered by the King Charles
    of Spain.

    Out of ca.240 men (sailors) only 18 men returned to Spain in 1522.
    Antonio Pigafetta wrote about his experiences in “Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo (Report on the First
    Voyage Around the World).
    His manuscript was not published until the late eighteenth century.

    Link to PDF file: The First voyage round the world,
    by Magellan:

    De Moluccis insulis (The Moluccan Islands)

    by Maximilianus, Transylvanus

    Published: 1523 AD(CE)

    (42 pages)

    Maximilianus Transylvanus (Maximiliaen von Sevenborgen?)
    (c. 1490 – c. 1538) was a sixteenth-century author.
    He wrote the earliest account published on Magellan and Elcano’s first circumnavigation of the world (1519-1522).

    After the 18 survivors out of the ca.240 crewmembers of Magellan returned to Spain, Maximilianus interviewed them
    and wrote down their experiences. He published his report
    on their experiences in a book called “De Moluccis Insulis”
    in 1523 well before Antonio Pigafetta’s manuscript was
    published in 1874.

    Link to PDF file: De Moluccis Insulis, by Maximilianus, Transylvanus:

    Magellan’s Assistant:

    In both books (The First voyage round the world – De
    Moluccis Insulis); Ferdinand Magellan (Fernao Magallhaes
    in Portugese, Fernando de Magallanes in Spanish) was
    assisted by an assistant named Enrique el Negro (Henry
    the Black).
    It is said that Enrique was a slave from Southeast Asia.
    Pigafetta said he (Enrique) came from Zamatra (Sumatra).

    Transylvanus called him Enrique de Molucca and declared
    that he came from the Moluccas based on the accounts of
    the surviving men he interviewd after they returned to
    Spain in 1522.

    It was Pigafetta who wrote that one of the reasons
    Magellan could convince king Carlos I of Spain to finance
    his voyage was the presence of Enrique who fascinated
    the curious king with his physical looks and his multilingual talent.
    On September 20, 1519 Ferdinand Magellan set out from Sanlucar de Barrameda.

    Since then many claim Enrique to be either from Malacca (Malaysia) or Cebu island (Philippines).
    The Filipino historian and author, Carlos Quirino, said that Enrique el Negro was Filipino,
    with the argument that he could directly communicate with
    the natives when he arrived in Cebu.
    Pigafetta’s records clrealy states that Enrique el Negro
    could not understand what the natives of Cebu said.

    Different names for Enrique:

    Enrique el Negro – = Henry the Black
    Enrique de Molucca = Henry of Molucca (Moluccas)
    Enrique de Malacca = Henry of Malacca (Malaysia/Sumatra?)

    Link to map of the Philippines and the location of Cebu island:

    Why bring up Enrique de Molucca?

    I have brought Enrique de Molucca to your attention to
    remind you that early explorers used natives (aboriginals)
    in their journeys to map out the blank spaces on the maps.

    Just as Ferdinand Magellan used Enrique de Molucca in
    1519 – 1522, Captain James Cook used
    Tupaia (also known as Tupaea) a Tahitian Polynesian
    navigator in 1769 – 1770 on the HMS Endeavour expedition
    to map out the Pacifc ocean.

    Keep in mind that Magellan’s expedition happend 250 years earlier than Cook’s expedition.
    With the help / assistance of Enrique de Molucca
    (a Moluccan?) Magellan found a way to sail from east to
    west via the America’s across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines.

    Was it coincidence that Enrique de Molucca found a way via the Americas across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines
    or did he had (ancient) knowledge in various sea routes to
    and from the Americas?

    In my opinion it is very plausible that Enrique de Molucca
    had ancient knowledge of sea routes to and from the
    This could be even more prove that there is a connection between “Ciri Klave” the Mythical Hero of Panama
    and “Kaicili” / “Cili” a noble title indigenous to Ternate /
    Tidore in the Moluccan Islands.

    Here is a map to get an idea where the Phillipines,
    Moluccas and Malacca (Malaysia) are situated.
    Link to map of Southeast Asia:

    Note: Mindanao island (Philippines) was known as “Gran Moluccas”.
    Notice that Ternate island where the noble title “Kaicili”/
    “Cili” originates is relatively close to the Philippines.

    This is my theory and should NOT be taken
    as fact until proven.



    I have a little question for you about a possible linguistic origin to solve if you wouldn’t mind helping me with it?! I have a friend who has a great great great grandmother whose name was “Lualah” as written in an application for Cherokee Enrollment in the era of the Dawes Commission. We cannot figure out where or what Tribe or language this maybe.

    Please contact me my email address is: and I can give you more information on the subject matter or answer any questions you may have to do the research.



    Summary of similar names to Chiriqui / Cherokee.

    1- Chiriqui = Possibly meaning Water People/People of the
    sea (Panama and Costa Rica).
    2- Chiliquin = a district from the Province of Chachapoyas in
    the Amazon region (Peru).
    3- Chiloquin = also Chilaquin; name of a Chief of the Klamath
    tribe (Oregon, USA).
    4- Shálako = the couriers of the divine rain-makers.
    Ceremonies conducted by the Zuni people at the winter
    solstice (New Mexico, USA).
    5- Sillakuy = meaning “mountain” in the Quechua language (Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador,
    Chile and Argentina).
    6- Churkuy = meaning “place” in the Quechua language (see 5).
    7- Chorokhi = meaning “Çoruh River” from “Çoruh” and “khi”
    The suffix “khi” means “river” (Turkey – Anatolia and Georgia, Ajaria – Caucasus).



    If I have done my research right; The name “Lualah” is an
    anagram of “Ullaha” from the Arabic word “Ullah” which
    means “of God”.
    This could be even more proof that the main Cherokees are descendants of Middle-eastern / Caucasian people.


    I want to thank Jonathan Rex (one of the POOF readers) for
    bringing me to the attention of the Mediterranean Jewish surname “Chriqui”.

    “Chriqui” seems to be a widespread surname amongst the
    Sephardic Jewish community in Morocco and the Mediterranean.
    The name / word “Chriqui” means “oriental” / “easterner” in
    Arabic. This could be the main origin of the name Cherokee.

    To me it becomes even more apparent that that the Cherokee are truly of Middle-Eastern, Caucasian and Anatolian (Turkey
    / Asia Minor) descent.
    The “Çoruh” river in Anatolia / Eastern Turkey (which is the same as “Chorokhi” river in Ajaria, Georgia – Caucasus) is the ultimate origin of the Cherokee.

    Source / Link:


        This is amazing indeed.

        After months of intensive research I / we have more
        or less come to a definate conclusion.
        To me it could not be any more clear:
        The puzzle of the mysterious origin of the Cherokee
        has been solved!

        Here you can see that working together as a group of
        professional-, semi-profesional researchers and the
        so-called common people (POOF readers / members)
        can solve a complex question topic as long we respect
        eachothers views and respect eachother in general.

        Let this be a wise lesson to us all.


        I wonder if anyone has viewed or read online archeology claims of finding and deciphering ancient tablets in the Chiriqui Mountains of Panama? So I read, they tell of the Chiriqui escape from the Middle East in the days of the downfall of King Solomon. Supposedly, there is evidence that these ancient Chiriqui mined and crafted gold, and crafted pottery. They had Kings and a system of worship that, reportedly,included speaking to a Creator by means of an “Ark” and High Priests. What I found interesting was a carving of a serpent that was filmed. It had an “egg” in it’s mouth, as I recall, very similar to the one near my home, at Serpent Mound, in southern Ohio. Kentucky also claims evidence of carvings of ancient writings, including Hebrew. Also, is the Moses- Ten Commandments stone found in Newerk, Ohio, in an ancient burial mound. While it is possible to dispute every find that doesn’t “fit” as fraudulent, it is equally possible to consider that it might just be authentic. The mountains of Kentucky hold a wealth of historical carvings and, seemingly, displaced structures, such as “Spanish’ mines. Having both Native American and mixed lineage, I would love to see an accurate history based on real investigation into the evidence and facts. I like the efforts here towards that end.


    Does anyone know of the mitochondrial (maternal) dna haplogroup of the Powhatan “chiefly” (royal) family? That is the family, of course, of Pocahontas.

    There are reputed descendants of her and, of her kinswomen. Powhatan is one of those Native nationalities traditionally inherited from the mother.

    That Powhatan family is said to have been of a Shawnee clan of the Powhatan–as we see herein that tribes often had some of each other as their own clans. According to Wikipedia, the Shawnee are said to have had a “Chiska” (Kiskopo) clan or “sept”. The Chiska also seem to be cited here as being “Paracan” from Peru.

    The Chiska were at least associated with, if not identical with, the Uchee, according to some. The Chiska at any rate were in this general Southeastern, Track Rock, Apalache region. Their (capital?) village may have been Saltville, VA, (per Wikipedia)–within the watershed of what was sometimes called the “Uchee” (later, the Tennessee) River.

    That adequately ties in a Powhatan-Apalache connection. Could the ruling family of the Powhatan therefore have had a “paracusi” origin–as is cited herein as being often the case of the ruling houses of Southeastern Native nations? DNA might tell us even more if that’s a plausible connection.

    • The Chiska were and are a Panoan tribe from eastern Peru. Chiska means “bird.” Some anthropology professor, I believe Charles Hudson, announced back in the 20th century that the Uchee and Chiska were the same . . . not knowing the meanings of the words. Well, actually, Hudson didn’t know the names of any Native American words. The North American Chiska lived in NE Tennessee.

      And yes, it is possible for Powhatan to have been an Apalache prince, who was “sold” to a Virginia tribe. Even in the 1700s, it was common for Creek nobility to become the leaders of other tribes in the Southeast.


    The moon might fit. So I’ve read, there are only two places in the world where a moon bow occurs. One is over the Cumberland Lake of Kentucky. So I read it was a very spiritual event for the ancient Cherokee. There is Paleo-Hebrew inscription on display in Manchester, Kentucky. The same displayed boulder includes Phoenician inscriptions, and other Paleo-languages. Back in the 1700s, James Adair lived amongst the Cherokee, and other Native Americans, for some 40 years. It was his observation that, the Cherokee spoke ancient Hebrew, and practiced ancient Hebrew customs, if he also noted some Welsh words in their dialect. And that would hardly be surprising, given accounts that they were visited by Prince Maddoc, and his ship crew, well before Columbus. More, I have a Facebook acquaintance who found an ancient Viking statue in Kentucky, and it has been authenticated as such. His find made local newspaper headlines. Also, I was told of ancient sacrifice alters that would match those used by ancient Phoenicians. The ancient Chiriqui were said to have an ark, through which, they spoke to their creator. Likewise, the Cherokee had such an ark. The info is already on internet sites. It’s a matter of putting the puzzle pieces together.


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