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Eufaula . . . Peruvian Place Names on the Chattahoochee River

Eufaula . . . Peruvian Place Names on the Chattahoochee River

The important Creek Confederacy tribal town of Eufaula was located on the western side of the Chattahoochee River in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  It operated a ferry, consisting of timber rafts, which transported people, livestock and goods across the river to the village of Tapamana, or the same from the east bank to the west bank.

Most of Eufaula’s Creek occupants moved to the Indian Territory in 1836 and founded the city of Eufaula, Oklahoma.  Some Creeks remained and took allotments. A city of Eufaula, Alabama was soon founded near the location of the Creek tribal town. Almost immediately after the Creeks left, a ferry was established by white settlers at the same location, because there was a ridge next to the east side of the river, where tow ropes could be anchored.

Native American villages and Spanish missions on the coast of Georgia around 1615.

Native American villages and Spanish missions on the coast of Georgia around 1615. Yfula is underneath the arrow on the Satilla River. Isla de Asao (upper right) is today Ossabaw Island, but Native Americans called it Asebo, which means “Place of the Yaupon Holly” in the Panoan language of Peru.  The entire island was a sacred orchard where Yaupon was cultivated and exported.  Both the Panoan (Peru) and Creek word for Sacred Black Drink is “Ase.”  To the right of Yfula is the village of Tutulo.  Tutulosee (descendants of Tutulo) was a Creek town on the Chattahoochee River, south of Tapamana, until 1827.  This strongly suggests that several Creek towns that scholars have always assumed were ethnically, Muskogean, were actually populated by people, whose ancestors came from Peru.

Eufaula’s surprising heritage

Eufaula appears on 16th and early 17th century maps in an entirely different locale . . . the coast of Georgia near St. Andrews Sound and the modern day city of Brunswick.   The French then called it Oufaula or Ufaula.  The Spanish called it Ufala, Yfala, Yfula or Yfalo. (See map above.)  It was located a few miles from Satipo (Place of the Sati)  the capital of the Sati-le People.

Satipo and Ufaula played a very important role in determining that the French built Fort Carolina during 1564 in what is now Georgia.  All Spanish, French, English and Dutch maps place Fort Caroline at the mouth of what is now called the Altamaha River, but was then called the May River.   All maps show Satipo and Ufaula located south of Fort Caroline.  The commander of Fort Caroline, Captain René de Laudonnière, stated that these Native American towns were south of Fort Caroline.  However, these towns and the Sati-le People were definitely located near the Satilla River in present day Georgia.  He called the high king of the Sati-le,  Paracousi Satiouriwa.  The village chiefs on the coast of Georgia and lower South Carolina were called orata.

The National Park Service, Wikipedia and books written by Florida academicians will tell you that the name of this province and tribe was the Satiouriwa and that they were located south of Jacksonville, Florida.   They have no explanation as to why the ethnic name is never mentioned by the Spanish or shown on Spanish maps of La Florida.,  other than that perhaps this tribe disappeared immediately after Fort Caroline was sacked by the Spanish in October of 1565.  The same academicians place the Sati-le town of Seloy on St. Augustine Bay even though no Spanish map places it there.  The Spanish and French maps place Seloy a few miles southwest of Brunswick, GA.

There is a good reason why Florida academicians have no proof of this orthodoxy.


Official French map of Florida Francaise (Georgia and South Carolina) in the late 1500s.

Satipo is also the name of a District Capital and Province in Eastern Peru.  All the recorded words and titles, spoken by the Sati-le People are Panoan, a language spoken in Eastern Peru.  Panoan and Southern Arawak are the principal indigenous languages, spoken in Satipo Province, Peru.

Paracousi is the Frenchification of Paracusi, a Panoan word that means “Elite of Peru”  or alternatively, “Elite of the Ocean.”

Sati-Uriwa means  “Colonists – King of” in Panoan.

Orata means “Village Chief” in Panoan.

Tapamana was Anglicized by Anglo-American frontiersmen to Tabanana or sometimes, Tabanache (Descendants of Tapamana).  It was the original name of Georgetown, GA and remained on maps for a decade.   You won’t find anything similar to that word in a Muskogee-Creek Dictionary.  However, look into a Shipibo/Conibo – Español Dictionary from Peru, you will find that Tapaman is the plural in Panoan for a type of timber raft, used to ferry people across rivers.  Tapamana would be the place where those rafts are stored.


And 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.



    Interesting that the Panoan ParaCusick also means Elite of the Ocean.
    The oral history of Hawaiians and Polynesians tells of a great explorer who sailed to a vast land to their east and settled. These individuals were 6′ plus in height.
    Could there have been a southern migration in the early post ice age from Melenesia?

    • That’s Paracusi – pronounced paracushi. I don’t know Ray. The tallest people in the world back in the Neolithic Period were the Paracus (Paracusi) people in Western Peru. They are the ones with the strange skulls and were definitely not Melonesians. However, the Australoids, Melonesians and Polynesians traveled long distances by sea over 55,000 years ago, so they could have easily paddled to the Americas along the edge of the ice cap. Culturally, the Americas are much more similar to Bronze Age Europe than Asia, however.



    Do you have a larger list of Peruvian words that is posted? Thanks

    • Marianne,

      I am working on an academic style professional report that will go into this subject in much more detail. It will have drawings, maps,notes and references like a doctoral dissertation. It definitely will be posted on and – no fees charged. I will announce the completion of the report in People of One Fire.

      Have a blessed weekend.

      Richard T.


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