Did Uchee traders from Georgia establish colonies in Cuba?
For the 2017 Green Corn Festival, People of One Fire featured translations of texts from a Cuban anthropological textbook and archaeology magazine. The information contained in those documents were astounding because they explained several mysteries that have confounded North American academicians for over two centuries. They describe an aquatic expressway beginning around 6,000 BC or earlier, which stretched from Savannah, GA to Cartagena, Colombia. Along this route, people, ideas and plant seeds moved in both directions.
None of the Cuban anthropological texts made reference to the Uchee People of the Southeastern United States, but the villages that Cuban archaeologists have interpreted as being founded by Arhuaco colonists from Colombia, were identical to the Uchee towns in Georgia and dissimilar to the Arhuaco villages in Colombia. However, the Uchee and Arhuaco share many cultural traditions in regard to petroglyphs and a propensity to be regional traders.
There were several times big “shockers” that have been completely left out of anthropology references in the United States:
- Colonists from the Southeastern United States settled in Cuba during several epochs. However, the most dramatic impact was during the Woodland Period, when these immigrants from the north introduced pottery and permanent settlements.
- The Taino were NOT ethnically Arawaks as almost everyone thinks, but an offshoot of the Tayrona Civilization in Colombia. At some point they replaced most of their Chibchan language with a dialect of Arawak. The “entry level” texts from Cuba did not explain when and why this linguistic change occurred.
- There was also a branch of the Arhuaca branch of the Tayrona Civilization, who were skilled mariners and consummate traders. These Arhuaca mariners regularly traversed the waters of the Caribbean Basin and presumably came to the shores of North America on many occasions. The Arhuaco Traders are NEVER mentioned in references published in the United States. This information radically changes the understanding of how plants, cultivated in one part of the Americas may have spread to other parts of the Americas.
- The description of Arhuaco villages by Cuban archaeologists were identical in every detail to Uchee villages in Georgia . . . e.g. round villages, round buildings, round plazas defined by open sheds. This is highly significant since the petroglyphs and fieldstone structures (ie cairns, walls effigies) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta* region of Colombia are very similar or identical to those in the Georgia Mountains. Also, both regions contain extensive deposits of gold and gemstones. Ancient miners would have been attracted to both regions, although it would have been much easier to reach Georgia’s gold fields from the Atlantic Ocean via the direct routes of the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers.
A critical moment in the BBC documentary film on the Tayrona People is when a Tayrona priest drops a pebble into a basin of water, which has been ground out of a large boulder. There are hundreds of such basins in North Georgia . . . perhaps thousands.
*Sierra Nevada means “Snowy Mountains.” The Creek name for the North Georgia Mountains was originally the “Snowy Mountains.” Heavy snow cover ceased in North Georgia during the late 20th century. The time of peak leaf foliage there is now three weeks later than it was in 1990. Thus, most “Fall Leaf Festivals” in mountain towns occur now when there is very little color in the foliage.
Probably the same ancestors
The Uchee Migration Legend states that their ancestors came long ago across the Atlantic Ocean from the “Home of the Sun.” It is the Highland Apalache in North Georgia, who said that their ancestors came from the south by water. That probably eliminates the possibility of the Arhuaco traders being the ancestors of the Uchee.
This is a very strong possibility. Some Uchee could have paddled southward, eventually reaching Cuba and then Colombia. Cuban archaeologists have found extensive evidence of immigrants coming from the Southeast at various times in the past. It is quite possible that the settlements that they are labeling Arhuaco, were actually founded by Uchee colonists from the Georgia coast. Later, Arhuaco colonists could have settled there and intermarried with the Uchee. I can find no photographs or references in Colombian anthropological literature to round villages anywhere in their country. Yet, the custom was so strong among the Uchee in Georgia that they were often called, “the Round Town people” in colonial archives.
Another explanation is that the same ancient maritime culture established colonies at the mouth of the Savannah River and on the coast of Colombia near the Sierra Nevada de Marta Mountains. However, this alternative would not explain why Georgia and Cuba had round villages with round houses and plazas, while Colombia didn’t.
The truth is out there somewhere!
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