First multi-media film productions will feature the Coosa River Basin
The Kaw Nation of Oklahoma is providing technical support so that we hopefully will be able to solve several mysteries.
Due to the generosity of People of One Fire readers, I now have the software and hardware required to convert Power Point slide shows into videos with professional sound tracks and also a video camera to film archaeological sites with a HD quality images. I still don’t have the software for converting architectural computer models into animated films, but the technical capacity now on hand will insure multi-media productions that Southeastern Native Americans can be proud of.
Just who were the Upper Creeks? There was a frenzy of archaeological studies during the 1960s and 1970s in Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee then they stopped. We were left with a series of pottery styles with English names and vague speculations made in the absence of cultural history, linguistics and genetics. The archaeological profession went on its way, thinking that there was nothing else to learn. Native Americans were left with many questions and very few answers.
Upset because the US Army Corps of Engineers had not placed any signage, whatsoever, near the site of the great town of Kusa under Carters Lake, GA, Judge Patrick Moore of the Muscogee-Creek Nation asked me in 2007 to do an architectural-urban planning analysis of Carters Bottoms. Hernando de Soto spent several weeks there and planned to come back to build the capital of La Florida. There are indigenous village sites all over Carters Bottoms, dating back to at least 1000 BC. It is one of the most important archaeological zones in the Southeast. One would think that either the US Army Corps of Engineers or the State of Georgia would have erected at least one historical marker here about them. Nope! Nada! There is one state marker down the highway a bit that is primarily about the Carter Plantation, but does mention the plantation house of a 1/32nd Cherokee judge and the Cherokee hamlet of Coosawattee . . . which maybe had 50 residents. Kusa had over 3,000 houses.
The De Soto Chronicles listed the names of several satellite villages near Kusa, plus a series of towns along the Coosa River down to its confluence with the Tallapoosa River. Out of all these two dozen plus words, I could only translate one village name, Talamochasee, with a Muskogee dictionary. Who were these people? They were definitely not Muskogee Creeks.
I presented a Power Point slide show to the US Army Corps of Engineers staff at Carters Dam. University of Georgia anthropology professor, Mark Williams, sat in the background . . . he thought . . . incognito. Nothing happened. There are still no historical markers.
I first became convinced that there was much more to the history of the Coosa River in the summer of 2017. As part of my research funded by a private client, I analyzed the archaeological report on the King Village Site. The village was located about 21 miles west of Rome, GA near the Alabama-Georgia line. Both the village site plan and the architecture were typical of the Mandan and Arikara of the Upper Missouri River Basin. I then found a book, published in 1951 by a Tennessee historian, which unhesitatingly stated as fact that the Mandan originally lived in the region southwest of Chattanooga in Northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia. I later found an article from the 1880s by ethnologist Albert Gatschet in a publication of the Smithsonian Institute’s Bureau of Ethnology. He stated that the Coosa Creeks (Upper Creeks) were relatives of the Kansas Indians . . . Kansas Indians? That was a totally unexpected statement.
The official painting of the village, commissioned by a artist employed by an archaeological consulting firm, bears little resemblance to the actual site plan and architecture unearthed by another archaeological team. However, the false image of the King Village is all that you have seen in references in the past. That at least will soon change. A senior anthropology professor at UCLA read my POOF articles on the King Village and was convinced. My architectural renderings will be utilized in a book that he is about to publish on the mound builders of the Southeastern United States.
The final clue that the official “understanding” of the past in Northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia was off-base, came from an analysis of 18th century maps of Northwest Georgia. Official histories state that the Cherokee capital of New Echota was built on the site of the “Cherokee” town of Oostanaula (actually Ustanali). Ustanauli was a MUSKOGEAN word and town. They were kicked out by the Cherokees and relocated to the Chickasaw Nation in western Tennessee.
A course in map reading should be mandatory for all persons getting a masters or doctorate in Anthropology! LOL Ustanauli was located three miles upstream from New Echota. The actual site of New Echota was built on top of the town of Cansagi (That’s the Anglicization of Kanza-ki or Kanza People in Muskogee-Creek.) Kansas is the French form of that tribal name. So the Kaw (Kansas) People really did live in Northeast Alabama and Northeast Georgia. Coosa is the Anglicization of Kaw-se . . . the Kaw People. The Kaw People were kicked out of the Coosa River Basin, just like the Ustanauli. What is even more intriguing is that archaeologists determined that the New Echota archaeological zone was the first location where the “Coosa People” lived after arriving in the Coosa River Basin.
The Kaw Nation has mailed me one of its dictionaries and a booklet on their migration legend. These documents will be incorporated into the planned film productions. I strongly suspect that the Kanza Dictionary will enable me to translate many of the previously inexplicable village names, recorded in the De Soto Chronicles.
The people of the Coosa River Basin were not all Kanza speakers. During the past two years, I have been able to translate town names from Childersburg, AL south to Wetumpka, AL with Panoan and Arawak dictionaries from Peru, plus the Alabama language dictionary.
Changes at the People of One Fire
My income dropped drastically as of this month. I will not be able to write as many articles on the People of One Fire newsletter website, since I will have to apply more time to marketing my professional services and creating films for Youtube. The potential income from films is much greater than for printed essays. I do not own this website, but will try to persuade the website host to reduce the number of ads. For most of its existence, the People of One Fire website has only contained one advertisement, which paid for the website hosting.
Well, we have to deal with life as the stack of cards that is dealt us . . . not bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich. However, in the long run, educational films can have a much more substantial impact on the current situation. We just might see a historical marker at Carters Lake one day.
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