Giant teepees in the Americas
(Architectural rendering above) While the earthen pyramids and temples of the Itsate-Creeks, like those in the Mississippi Basin, strongly resembled their counterparts in Mesoamerica, Apalache-Creek architecture in the southern Appalachians and Piedmont strongly resembled the pre-Inca architecture of the Andes Mountains and Amazon Basin of South America. Apalachen is the plural of Apalache in their language and is the source of the Appalachian Mountains name.
Mark Veale commented about the teepee shaped houses of some Native Americans in Macon County, North Carolina. The teepee was an ancient and widespread form of architecture in much of the Americas, Lappland, Finland and northwestern Russia. For the first 100 years of its occupation the giant town on the Ocmulgee, its houses were predominantly giant teepees. The Itza Maya style post-ditch houses only arrived around 990 AD. The so-called Ocmulgee earth lodge was really a giant teepee. Remember, the Lakota were late arrivals the Great Plains from Minnesota. They brought the teepee with them. POOF will show you some examples of teepee houses and temples around the Americas and in northern Scandinavia.
The Kingdom of Apalache was the progenitor of the Creek Confederacy. The Florida did not call themselves Apalachee until the Spanish told them that Apalache was their tribal name. They called actually called themselves the Tula-Hiwalsi. Apalache is the Anglicization of a Panoan (Peruvian) word which means “From Ocean – descendants of.”
The mother province of the Apalache covered the Upper Piedmont and southern Appalachian Mountains from east central Alabama across most of North Georgia to northwestern South Carolina. Seventeenth century French ethnologist stated that the elite of the Apalache lived in conical houses with stone foundations on the sides and tops of mountains and large hills. The commoners lived in river valleys in standard Creek towns and houses, which the public is much more familiar with.
The greatest concentration of stone house foundations are found in a swath of landscape from Metro Atlanta north to Track Rock Gap, GA then eastward to the South Carolina counties directly adjacent to the Savannah and Tugaloo Rivers. They are generally ignored by Gringo archaeologists, because such structures do not fit into their simplistic explanation of the Southeast’s past.
The God of the Winds and Trade, Kukulkan (Quetzalcoatl) was particularly popular among middle class Mesoamerican merchants, traveling traders and artisans. Non-Mexican archeologists almost never excavate folk temples to this deity because they were wood . . . actually they were identical to the “Ocmulgee Earth Lodge.” Nevertheless, when erecting a giant temple to Quetzalcoatl in their capital of Tenochtitlan, the Mexica (Aztec) architects evoked the tradition of cylindrical temples with conical thatched roofs. Note that the stone and plaster details almost exactly match the roof of the Ocmulgee Earth Lodge.
William Bartram stated that this monster chokopa (teepee structure) could hold over 500 people. It is probably the largest teepee ever built in the Americas. After the American Revolution the region, east of the Ocmulgee quickly filled with settlers. The ancient capital was briefly listed on maps as Tama Old Town then disappeared from the maps. Chokopa is an Itza Maya word, meaning “warm place.” Chokopas had thick clay walls, which doubled as both buttresses and insulation.
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- Everything that you ever wanted to know about the indigenous word, Tula . . . but were afraid to ask - October 20, 2018
- Soque River Basin Stone Architecture Survey . . . list of project sites - October 17, 2018
- The Coweta Creek Confederacy . . . announcement of enrollment prior to petition for Federal recognition - October 15, 2018
- Where did the Chickasaws originate? - October 15, 2018
- The Mexican wedding fiesta . . . really an ancient Native tradition - October 13, 2018