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Exquisite color sketches of the Savannah River Uchee in 1736

Exquisite color sketches of the Savannah River Uchee in 1736

Baron Georg Fredrick von Reck was in charge of the commissary at the Ebenezer Lutheran Colony on the Savannah River.  His people are better known today as the Salzburgers, because they were persecuted refugees from Salzburg, Austria.  He was also a brilliant artist.

On his trips up the river to meet with the Uchee at Mount Pleasant,  Von  Reck sketched his gracious hosts.  In the process, he produced some of the most lively and accurate drawings of Native Americans during the Colonial Period.  Note that the Uchee have either painted on traditional indigenous motifs to their clothing or else the Uchee still knew how to weave.

You will really enjoy this art show.  Click the image to enlarge it.

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According to the Danish Royal Library, the man on the right, smoking a pipe, is a Palachicola Creek, while the man and woman on the left are Uchee. Note that all the clothing that they are wearing have ornate indigenous motifs. These could not have been made by British weavers, but may have been painted on.

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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.

3 Comments

  1. toppergem@gmail.com'

    Beautiful work…I would have like to have had a translation of the writing on the artwork. Very difficult to read.

    Reply
  2. carsofive@gmail.com'

    Excellent! Thank you for sharing. Their dress was so rich in color!

    Reply

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