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.
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.
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.
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