Richard Thornton | Apr 13, 2017 | 0
Images: The coastal marshes of Tabasco and southern Vera Cruz States
The Migration Legends of the Creek People
In 1734, Georgia Colonial Secretary, Thomas Christie, wrote the Archbishop of Canterbury that while walking around the future site of Savannah with James Oglethorpe, Tamachichi (Trade Dog or Itinerant Merchant in Itza Maya) told him the origin of his people, who were the Itzate (Hitchiti) Creeks. Tamachichi stated that they were from a land far to the south. His ancestors had first crossed a great water to reach southern Florida. There they lived near a great lake (Okeechobee?) for several generations. They then migrated northward to a Land of Reeds (Everglades?) After other peoples began to invade the region, they paddled northward until they saw a coast that looked like the coast of their ancient homeland.
Tamachichi said that the Itzate Creeks first lived where Savannah was to be built and that his ancestors were buried in mounds on Yamacraw Bluff. That Itza Maya colonists would first live on the Savannah River seems surprising, until one visits the coast of Southern Mexico. As you can see in the photos below, it is almost identical to the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia.
Mayas . . . Then and Now Series on POOF
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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.
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- Things to remember in regard to the “Nordic Connection” - April 26, 2017
- Life is a box of chocolates . . . Parte Trois - April 24, 2017
- A Fish ‘N Chips Restaurant on Two Run Creek - April 24, 2017
- New Facebook site will focus on Uchee and Apalache ancestry - April 22, 2017
- In Creek history . . . leaders were completely anonymous - April 20, 2017