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Discovery by member of Nene Hutke changes the history of Seminoles and Creeks

Discovery by member of Nene Hutke changes the history of Seminoles and Creeks

We are Mayas who came to North America

Regina Blackstock of the Nene Hutke Ceremonial Ground near Chattahoochee, Florida has discovered a long newspaper article from 1917 that will radically change the known history of the Seminoles and Creeks.  It is a published interview with Seminole elders from southern Florida.  The Seminole elders specifically stated, “We are Mayas who came to North America!”  The article describes the journeys of their Maya ancestors and the relationship between the Maya immigrants and Muskogee-speaking Creeks.  The article also includes a long Itsate (Creeks of Maya ancestry) fable that is similar to the stories that became the Uncle Remus Tales, except it has a coyote as a protagonist, instead of a rabbit.   I am personally never seen this fable anywhere, but it may have been forgotten by academicians.

As soon as I can complete transcription of this faded newspaper clipping, it will be published in the People of One Fire.  The task is not nearly as daunting as transcribing the 1735 original handwritten copy of the Creek Migration Legends, so you will get to read it soon.

 

The Secret History of the Uncle Remus Tales . . . what your English teacher never told you!

uncleremustales-1While working as a newspaper reporter in Savannah, shortly after the American Civil War, Joel Chandler Harris transcribed a series of Creek children’s fables in the archives of the Georgia Historical Society, which is headquartered in Savannah. They were recorded by US Agent to the Southeastern Indians, Benjamin Hawkins, and still may be viewed at the Georgia Historical Society! Many of these fables were also published in a book by Hawkins, long before Joel Chandler Harris was born.

Harris was eventually hired as a writer for the Atlanta Constitution.   Within a few weeks after arriving in Atlanta, Harris began a popular column in the Atlanta Constitution in which he retold one of the Creek tales in each edition.  However, he fibbed and claimed that a kindly old slave, named Uncle Remus, who lived on his family’s plantation, told him these stories. Most people assumed that he had written the stories.  The Uncle Remus Tales were eventually syndicated nationally.

The evidence was always there.  Creeks have traditionally addressed each other as Brother and Sister.  There are no bears (Brer Bear) in Africa.  It was common practice for Creeks to make seated statues out of vines and saplings then coat them with rosin from pine trees. (The Little Tar Baby)  These were placed near cultivated fields and homes and used as very effective insect traps.

In truth, Harris was fatherless and grew up poor.  He lived with his mother in a small house in the town of Eatonton, GA.  Uncle Remus was fictional, but probably represented the kindly father or grandfather, he never had.  The only time that Harris lived on a plantation was when he worked at newspaper office on a plantation near Eatonton during the Civil War.   Thus, was spawned over 150 years of dissertations and theses about the Uncle Remus Tales . . . based on false premises.    The wildly popular Walt Disney movie, “Song of the South,” was based on Harris’s newspaper articles. 

Never did Harris admit that he had committed plagiarism of Benjamin Hawkins’ writings on a grand scale . . . and that the stories were actually Native American in origin.  Even the anonymous author of the article in Wikipedia foolishly labels the Uncle Remus Tales as “African fables retold by Joel Chandler Harris.”

Now you know.

 

 

 

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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.

7 Comments

  1. justawriter22@gmail.com'

    The places you have taken me since I have found this site Richard, as truly some of the most fascinating ever, may hap since reading of our rich, highly disputed heritage.
    There’s so much to the reveal. And so many angles to deep think on.
    In my family collection, there is a very highly prized chipped horse couch shell with the middle tip sawn off. family story is that it was used to tell all the meal was ready working the fields. My great aunt always said that when the great trip came it was carried along by her grandmother’s grandmother. And that it was a relic that meant very much. I used to blow it and it does take some practice.
    But my sister still has it somewhere.
    Richard, one day we got to share a cuppa. take care up there. Brrr, frost on the pumpkins seems to bite this morn…

    Reply
  2. adamfreeman1861@gmail.com'

    I always just thought that the black slaves had adjusted their stories to American animals. Your facts make more sense. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Oh yeh . . . the stories in Uncle Remus Tales are identical to those in the writings and book by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, which were published 80 years earlier.

      Reply
  3. ekorjack56@gmail.com'

    The synchronicities of your stories, and the things on my journey, also continue to amaze me.

    At one time i had an old Uncle Remus book, it echos of aesops fables, dont know what happened to it, and indeed about 10 yrs ago while touring in georgia, went to a town (Eatonton) to look for a museum or something of chandler harris.

    Didnt find it, took a photo of some statue, and forgot about it until now.

    So this morning i go to amazon, looking for another copy of uncle remus, and one i find has a review from an old teacher who read it to a classroom as a volunteer.

    Seems she looked it up a bit, and found that the stories were of CREEK origin!

    So if anything, these things are good for the individual booksellers on amazon.

    And really good for people like me, who just keep LOOKING.

    Thank you for your work.

    Reply
  4. ekorjack56@gmail.com'

    P.s. spell remus backwards. I love this stuff!

    Reply
  5. Reillyranch@aOl.com'

    Seriously, how many things has POOF revealed, either not known or forgotten. I’ve been following for about a year and can think of at least six new discoveries or revelations that have been published exclusively here.

    Does somebody have a updated list on hand?

    Reply
    • Give credit to Regina Blackstock on this one! It’s a team effort. We share our research with each other and amazing things happen.

      Reply

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