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Happy Poskita! The Creek-Uchee New Year!

Happy Poskita!   The Creek-Uchee New Year!

 

Did you go outside to greet the sunrise?   I had no choice.  My dogs are far more observant of Uchee-Creek tradition than I wanted to be.  My young female pup jumped on the bed at 5:45 AM and rubbed her belly across my face to let me know in no uncertain terms that she had to answer the call of nature.  Meanwhile, her future consort,  Laird McIntosh, III grabbed my sandals and socks . . . dragged them down the stairs  . . . and destroyed them.   So I grabbed my handmade Maya and Peruvian drums and beat them as the sun rose over Alec Mountain’s peak.   I was very tempted to use the Inca drum mallets to beat Laird McIntosh over the head!

The Green Corn Festival came along rather late in Southeastern Indigenous History.  It was introduced by Tamaule refugees from Tamaulipas around 1250 AD, but did not predominate the layout of Proto-Creek towns until around 1375 AD.  As best as I can determine, Kvse (Kusa ~ Coosa) was the first capital town developed outside the Province of Tama, which was laid out according to the new calendar.  Between 900 AD (Waka ~ “Ocmulgee)” and 1375 AD, towns were planned and constructed according to the Maya calendar, which begins on the Winter Solstice.

You are probably wondering why I included a video of Selena last night.  Selena was an American citizen and a Native Tejano. Selena Quintanilla had been performing for several years before she learned enough Spanish to know what she was singing. She was murdered by the president of her fan club at the age of 23, after Selena discovered that she had been embezzling funds.

References state that Selena’s mother is Cherokee-Tejano . . .  which made Selena also a Native American.   No,  I checked to see where her mother’s family lived.  It was a region of East Texas, settled by Creeks from Southeast Alabama in the late 1700s.   The media tends to equate “American Indian” with “Cherokee.”   The first Cherokees arrived in Tejas around 1817-1818.  Most Cherokees were driven out of Texas after the Texas War of Independence because they assisted the army of Generalissimo Santa Anna.  Creeks were allowed to stay in Texas permanently because they fought for the winners.

Several decades after the first Creek immigration into Tejas . .  . about 500 middle class Creeks from West Georgia settled around Marshall, Texas between 1825 and 1828.  The movie, “True Women,” was about their experiences.  Benjamin Hawkins’ son elected to relocate in Mississippi, where he could socialize with middle class Choctaws and develop a large plantation with a Greek Revival house.

Since that time most Creek descendants have intermarried so much with their neighbors that they have lost their cultural memory of being in the Southeast.  The major exceptions to this situation are the descendants of the Hawkins Party,  Apalachicola Creeks and Tamaule Creeks, originally from Southeast Georgia.

Former National Park Service Director, Roger Kennedy, discovered that these Creeks introduced Greek Revival Architecture to Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.  This is why he originally contacted me to do research for his book on Greek Revival Architecture. 

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.

7 Comments

  1. iwg42@hotmail.com'

    Hey Richard,
    Happy Poskita! I hope you have a good meal planed for later,
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • I had it last night – smoke ribs at a neighborhood restaurant. Tonight I having the traditional corn on the cob.

      Reply
  2. csmoke@webound.com'

    there were Cherokees (I think maybe Bowl? and his followers) in the vicinity of Cape Girardeau, MO, prior to 1811 earthquake. they took the message that the quake and Mississippi River flowing back north, as a spirit comment that they should leave. they went to tejas, but I do not know what became of them.

    Reply
    • They were massacred by the Texans after they gained independence from Mexico.

      Reply
  3. duannkier@windstream.net'

    Richard, do you have any sources for the purchase of Mayan and/or Peruvian drums or other instruments?

    Reply
    • Yes, BoliviaMail.com for a wide range of Central American and Andean musical instruments. The Maya drum was purchased by a friend and brought back to me.

      Reply
      • duannkier@windstream.net'

        Thanks so much! Maybe I’ll find one when I’m in Cancun. . . .

        Reply

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