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Is Cherokee a North African Sephardic word?

Is Cherokee a North African Sephardic word?

Jonathon Rex, an avid contributor of intelligent comments to POOF has sent us a bombshell.  Out of respect for the research he has done for this comment, I am posting the entire essay.   However, I do disagree with his interpretation of Shawnee.  As he sometimes does with English versions of Creek words, he researched the etymology of the English word Shawnee, when in fact, they called themselves Shawan, Shawano or Sawano, which means “Southerners” in their language.  Nevertheless, his evidence of a North African origin for both the words “Cherokee” and  Aniyunwiya are profound.

The Cherokees might howl on this one, but here are the facts. In 1673, two Virginians, Robert Needham and Gabriel Arthur, were sent southwestward by their employer, Abraham Woods, to make contact with a cluster of culturally sophisticated Creek towns in southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee.  They were to set up trade relations with the Tamahiti and the Caskenampo (Koasati).  Along the route, the men repeatedly encountered men speaking Spanish or Portuguese.  In Northeastern Tennessee, the men visited a town built of brick and inhabited by Anatolian Christians.  Nearby was another town, built of wood, inhabited by Africans.  The Christian Anatolian word for tribe or nation is “ani.”    It is the same in Cherokee.

In 1717, the first European map to mention a tribal name similar to Cherokee, labeled the occupants of NE Tennessee,  Charaqui!  One also sees the word Chiraqui or Chirakey on early maps.

In 1783,  Colonel John Tipton (Tipton-Haynes House)  and Colonel John Sevier led a wagon train of 80 families from Shenandoah County, Virginia  to settle in NE Tennessee.  While traveling along what is now US 11 in SW Virginia and NE Tennessee,  Tipton and Sevier repeatedly passed through “ancient” villages occupied by Jewish families.   I know this is a fact, because I personally restored and owned the Tipton House in Shenandoah County.

In 1991,  a history professor at the University of North Carolina was given a grant by the Eastern Band of Cherokees  to “edit and modernize” the original account of Needham and Arthur that was in the Virginia Commonwealth Archives.  He changed the names of Creek tribes to Cherokee, changed the name of the main river to Tennessee and deleted most references to Anatolians, Europeans and Africans being in Tennessee and Virginia.   This version is what one normally sees in books and on the web today.  In addition to committing academic fraud the PhD in History showed his profound ignorance of history.   Until 1785, the Tennessee River was called the Callimaco River, which is a Maya word meaning “House of the King.”

Here is Jonathon’s essay:

In North Africa the Moroccan Jews are known as Chriqui and there is a famous Hollywood actress who has the Moroccan Jewish surname: Emmannuelle Chriqui.

In Peru there is a province called Chiriqui and that may be from Spanish influence. The surnam Chriqui does mean “Easterner” and referred to Sephardic Jews in Morocco who were originally from Ancient Anatolia (whose capital city was “Ani” with Yvnwiya sounding an awful lot like Yvwiya (Yahweh). Your connection to the Chorokhi River makes sense in that light.

It is important to note that the French also referred to many Natives “east” of their forts along the Mississippi, including the Shawnee as Chouraqui. No Hebrew Cha’raccia means (Life Heavenly) and would refer to mountain people.

The fact that the French and Spanish were competing over the region throughout the 1500’s and 1600’s before the British really even gained influence in the mountains makes it very likely that the word Cherokee, Chouraqui wasn’t a reference to the race of the Indians or the origin but was a linguistic reference to their location. When the Spaniards began using the word for people they acquired it from Sephardic Jews. Chriqui became Chiriqui with the Spanish.

I don’t think the word Cherokee originally actually referred to a specific tribe or people but was a reference in the Eastern U.S. to the mixing races of Eastern people. Many were Indians, others were Sephardic Jews who arrived fleeing the Spanish Inquisition and found refuge as allies of the French among the Indians. The linguistics all converging and meshing well it seems cultures merged also.

When books were written comparing the Cherokee to Jews they were often written by crypto Jews such as James Adair from Ireland who immediately recognized Jewish traditions mixed in. Adair is from the Hebrew word Adar. Ani in Tsalagi means “a people” or “the people”. Ancient Anatolia’s capital city of Ani also was used to refer to “a people”. When paired with George Gist’s (Sequoyah) actual original script we immediately notice the style of writing strongly resembles Moroccan and Turkish Arabic that Arabic speaking Jews used.

When the Angolan African relatives of the Ndongo Queen Nzinga were kidnapped by the Porguguese in 1618 they were taken to Brazil and intercepted by a Dutch Man of War piloted by a Sephardic Jewish captain named Jope who left them to Jamestown in 1619 in exchange for provisions. Those 22 Ndongo were not able to be sold as slaves by British law because they were nobility in Angola. They all had Portuguese names before being kidnapped because the Ndongo were by then Christians. Jamestown, trying to keep a fragile peace with Opechanacanough gave them to him in 1619. Pocahontas had died in 1617 and her father died in 1618 and Opechanacanough hated Europeans and wanted war so they were used as a peace offering.

The Ndongo women were given their own village which they called Nsubwanyi (New Place) in 1620. They called themselves “Malungu” which meant “watercraft” in Ndongo and came to mean “comrades”. Powhatan men intermarried with them and the Ndongo warriors joined the Powhatan Confederacy by proving themselves in the Powhatan Massacre of the Bennett Plantation where the only 5 survivors were the Angolan slaves on the plantation who the Malungu recognized. During those attacks on Jamestown several dozen Slavic, Nordic and Irish female slaves were taken and they joined the Nsubwanyi. The Powhatan warriors also mixed with them. This gave rise to Virginia’s first major Tri-Racial group called the Malungees (plural). From Virginia some went south into the Carolinas and intermarried with other mixed race people. The majority went west into the mountains and were called Melange (mixed) by the French. These were ancestors of the Magoffin Melungeons of Magoffin and Floyd County Kentucky.

The word Shawnee, I believe, comes from Nsubwanyi. And so does the Cherokee suffix of “yi” which is originally Ndongo (African) for a place or location. That the Shawnee, Melungee and Cherokee were all relatives and connected to the Lenape (Delaware) is obvious. The Cherokee Moytoy Chiefs were all distant cousins of the Shawnee Hokolesqua Chiefs. Cornstalk actually married a Moytoy daughter to strengthen that bond. The Melungee being between them were absorbed for a time, some as Shawnee and others as Cherokee, in Kentucky. This is why all Melungeons say that they are Shawnee or Cherokee. They were called Chouraqui long before Christian Priber arrived and began trying to create a French allied communistic-life nation which he called the Chouraqui (Cherokee) as a French speaking Jewish agent from Germany. James Adair meanwhile was an English speaking Jewish agent from Ireland working for the British out of South Carolina. The British and French played an enormous role in the creation of the Cherokee as a distinct united people.

This is just the conclusion I’ve come to. Makes much more sense to me than the standard narrative given for the people being a united ancient people. Rituals such as “going to water” resemble Jewish baptism. In Tsalagi Yvwiya is a name for God and the word Yvwi is a name for the human being. The Yvwi in Yvwiya (human in God) is Pantheistic and matches the ideas of Baruch Spinoza and other Jewish Mystics of the time perfectly. Ayvwi was a word for the “Indian” and “Ani-Yvwiya” means “People of Yahweh”. This cannot be a coincidence.

The sacred flame, seven sided council house where the flame is kept burning, the peace town where war and weapons were not permitted, etc all very strongly resemble Eastern (Anatolian) Jewish customs. The fact the Cherokee and Shawnee wore turbans with feathers in them also is highly suggestive. Sequoyah was definitely Jewish because Christopher Gist was his grandfather through Nathaniel Gist. Mordechai Gist was his cousin. The Gist family were all Crypto-Jews (Jews living publically as Christians but privately as Jews). Daniel Boone even worked for a Jewish firm in Virginia that financed the Transylvania Land Company and Ohio Land Company which George Washington’s father helped create. Can’t recall the name of the Jewish firm but that is very well known historically.

Most real Cherokee today will notice when they do genealogy from the mid-1800’s back they begin seeing a lot of Native ancestors with Jewish first names. Old Abram of Chilhowee is a perfect example. Abram was used, not Abraham. Avram or Avi was never used by Christians at that time.

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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.

28 Comments

  1. urisahatu@yahoo.com'

    To me the Sephardic Jewish surname “Chriqui” is the main
    origin of the name Cherokee with the “Çoruh” (“Chorohki”)
    river which starts in Anatolia / Eastern Turkey as the ultimate origin read “Homeland”.

    Linguistically (script / glyphs and words) including
    Sequoyah Syllabary points to the Caucasus and Anatolian region. DNA points to the Middle-East, Caucasus and
    Anatolia.

    Now the question should be:
    Did the Spanish unknowingly sailed towards the Americas hoping to find another sea route to the (east-) Indies for
    the spice-trade?
    Or did the Spanish knowingly sailed towards the Americas
    in persuit (to hunt down) of the “Chriqui” (Easterners aka
    Jews)?

    Reply
    • I don’t know about the Spanish, but Cristobal Colon was definitely a Converso (forcibly converted Sephardic Jew). At least 73% of his crews on the first voyage were ethnically Jewish, but listed as Christian. It is also documented that on the second voyage, he allowed an entire Jewish family to sail with him, to escape the Inquisition. There was a very interesting movie made in Israel about that incident. Of course, the movie might have been biased, but it took your point of view. It presented Colon as knowing the New World was there and really making the voyages to create a new home for the Jews in Spain, Portugal and the Ottoman Empire. The movie also explained his downfall as being the result of powerful Spanish nobles and the church finding out that he was secretly settling Jews to the New World.

      I still have not been able to get my time machine to work, so I don’t know if the Israeli movie’s take on history was accurate, but it certainly seemed plausible, since Colon IS a Sephardic Jewish name.

      Reply
      • urisahatu@yahoo.com'

        Thank you for your comment / reply.

        It does make me wonder if the fair skinned people in
        the folklores of Central America and South America
        were in fact the Sephardic Jews.
        The Jews would be darker in complexion than let’s
        say the English and Scandinavians yet lighter still
        than the native Americans.

        The Chachapoyas are believed to be fair-skinned,
        and in the area / province of Chachapoya you can
        find the placename Chiliquin.

        In Panama the Guaymi (Ngöbe – Buglé) have a
        folklore about “Ulikron” supposedly meaning
        “oprhan of the Virgin”.
        Here you have the Chiriqui living next to the
        Guaymi.

        It is all speculative for now until someone takes
        time to conduct intensive research.

        Source: Folklore – Ulikron
        Guaymi Grammar and Dictionary with some
        Ethnological Notes – by Ephraim S. Alphonse

        Reply
  2. stuhar@onlymyemail.com'

    “However, I do disagree with his interpretation of Shawnee. As he sometimes does with English versions of Creek words, he researched the etymology of the English word Shawnee, when in fact, they called themselves Shawan, Shawano or Sawano, which means “Southerners” in their language.” RT
    If the original name is Sawano, then another possibility exists.
    Extensive inscriptions by the Shawnee after 400 BC in Ohio are in Finnish, so might also be their name.
    SAWANO <? Sa vanno meaning 'You swear' in Finnish.

    Reply
    • Sawano or Savano was on the name used by the branch of Shawnee along the Savannah River. The Creeks called other branches of the the Shawnee either Suwani or Shuwani, depending on the branch of the Creeks.

      Reply
  3. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    Had I known this would be posted I would’ve liked to clean it up a bit. Some typos. Is the information that matters, though. Here are some other linguistic details I left out of that post:

    Rickahochans: Comes from the Nederlandische (Dutch) words Rijke (kingdom) and Hoogan (high or lofty), meaning “High/Lofty Kingdom”. Most of the earliest Dutch men in the region were actually Crypto-Jews competing with the Spanish.

    The Guaymi Ngabe people of Chiriqui (Panama) speak a dialect of the Chibchan Language. In Ngabere the word Chirigua means “Five Waters” and Chiriqui means “Sea Hawks” with Chiriqui’rigua meaning “Sea Hawks of the Five Waters”.

    The Hathawekela branch of the Shawnee were the political leaders, later led in the 1800’s by Wawachepae’ha (Black Bob). The portrait of him is what the Tri-Racial Melungee looked like back then. The Hathawekela were referred to as Chalaka and Chalaqua by the French:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hathawekela

    Reply
    • Johnathon,

      Were you aware that several thousand Shawnees joined the Creek Confederacy? Most of the Savannah Savano joined the Creeks. There were some Savano towns in Tennessee and North Carolina that joined the Cherokees. Later, a large number of Northern Shawnee moved to Alabama.

      Reply
      • contact@jonathanrex.con'

        Not surprising. From the Chickamauga period onward there was a lot of mixing between the tribes. Tecumseh’s father was Shawnee but his mother was Northern Creek. She was one of Dragging Canoe’s lovers which is why Dragging Canoe took Tecumseh as a protege, adopting the fatherless teen like a son. Dragging Canoe was Natchez (mother) and possibly Chickasaw (father) since he was born in Falacheco in 1732.

        During the Chickamauga Wars all of the tribes that stood with Dragging Canoe were sent young warriors from other towns to live in their towns and hae children with their daughters. In turn they were required to send warriors to do the same. This was to form unbreakable diplomatic bonds between the Indians because everybody within a couple generations would see each other as related somehow to everybody else. When Dragging Canoe was gone Tecumseh tried to take up the torch but he wasn’t Dragging Canoe and didn’t last long. The significance of that period is seriously downplayed. It is the Chickamauga mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as “merciless Indian savages”.

        Reply
    • urisahatu@yahoo.com'

      Very interesting translation of the word “Chiriqui”.

      I have always thought that “qui” is linked to meaning
      people, tribe.
      Taking a closer look in the Guaymi dictionary I can
      understand why “Chiriqui” could mean “Sea Hawks”.

      Chi = water / sea
      Churu / Chru = seashell

      Kui = fowl (chicken),
      Kui antalan = cock (rooster)
      Kuimuye = hawk
      Kuiso = bird

      Rigua = five (number five)

      Reply
  4. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    Claims by the modern three federally recognized tribes to hold a monopoly on the word are silly in this light since the word didn’t even originate in the Americas and when it did begin popping up it came from Jewish merchants interacting with various different Indians. Technically the word “Cherokee” refers to Sephardic Jewish – Indians” but also was used in reference to those with European and African mixed in. It was almost certainly Jewish merchants trying to establish a new community in the new world through trade.

    It is important to not that Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His mother was Elizabeth Cumming (she was a relative of Sir Alexander Cumming who came to the Cherokee in 1730 and brought them to London. Sir Alexander Cumming was trying to persuade the King of England (George II) to settle 10,000 Jews in the Cherokee region as a new Jewish homeland because England was in a great deal of debt to Jewish bankers. That would square their debt and simultaneously provide the Jews living without a state with their own lands. He repeatedly stated that there were already numerous Jewish merchants in the region. England was considering it but for whatever reason the Jewish slave traders and bankers in Charles Town, South Carolina (it was the Jewish center in the U.S. at that time) backed out at the last minute. Alexander Cumming had gone into debt in the process and spent the remainder of his life in debtor’s jail (if I’m not mistaken).

    Reply
  5. abbahawk@hotmail.com'

    The Dutch colony of Recife was almost entirely Jews & Marranos. When the Dutch lost it the white residents mostly went to New Amsterdam. There are still “black” Jews there in South America.. There very little doubt that CC while working for royalty in Portugal had access to their maps, some showed land west of Canary Islands. Also He seems to have been in England & maybe Island, There he would have heard about Viking & Irish trips. Or the Irish & Breton fishermen fishing off Cape Cod. Or the voyages of the Zeno brothers (if that is not a hoax?) Few impartial researchers doubt that CC was a marrano. & that he knew exactly where he was going.

    Reply
    • contact@jonathanrex.con'

      Of course Columbus knew where he was going. That whole “stumbled across the Americas” story is the silliest crock of crap ever sold. It is rooted in racism.

      Two of the men piloting two of his ships on the first trip were black brothers. Several other males from the Nino Family participated in the trips. It was the Nino Brothers who helped make the trip possible because they had already crossed the Atlantic as Moors and knew they could do it again. The Moors were sailing from West Africa to Central America before Columbus was even born.

      Abubakari left West Africa with an enormous fleet after abdicating his throne to his brother. He had heard stories of lands across the sea and wanted to see them for himself. There is a Soutern Atlantic Current that flows from West Africa straight to Cuba. He never returned but there is no reason to believe he didn’t arrive. Wasn’t a mistake that Columbus took this route. Black men led the way and helped Columbus pull of it off also. Without them he never would have sailed West at all.

      In fact when Columbus (and others very shortly after) arrived they reported seeing “fierce negros” who were at war with the Natives. Columbus knew where the mainland was. He was just warned against trying to land on it because Moors were attempting to colonize the region. Some folks really don’t like the idea that black men were better sailors and pirates than the white men but they were. Black Caesar is just of one many examples of African American mixed with Native American Pirates.

      That the Iroquois were influenced by Vikings is undeniable. The longhouse dimensions are identical. Mounds began popping up in Nordic and Central-Eastern Europe after they learned of “Vinland” and even the Iroquoian word Sachem (Council or Gathering) comes from Sejm (Nordic and Slavic word evn today that means “council or gathering”.

      Reply
  6. NICHOLASACAMBRON@GMAIL.COM'

    FROM WHAT I HAVE GATHERED READING THIS POST AND COMMENTS IS THAT THE CHEROKEE ARE A MIXED BRAND OF INDIANS THAT WAS CREATED FROM THE MIXTURE OF CREEK, CANADIAN INDIANS, NEW ENGLAND NATIVES, BLACKS, JEWS, AND ENGLISH? WHEN THE PROOF OF THE NAME AND PRONUNCIATION OF THE WORD “CHEROKEE” IS EXPLAINED, I SEE IN MY MIND THE ROUTES OF SHIPS BOMBARDING THE EAST COAST OF THE AMERICAS BETWEEN 1490’S TO THE EARLY 1600’S.
    I AM NOT TRYING TO BE FRANK, BUT IS THIS MORE TO DISPROVE THE CHEROKEE AS A NATIVE POPULATION, EVEN THOUGH (MAYBE)HALF OF ITS ORIGIONAL ROOTS STARTED AS NATIVES, MIXED WITH THE NEWCOMERS. OR, ARE WE SHOWING THAT THE POPULATION OF NORTH AMERICAN CHEROKEE BEGAN AS A MIXED RACED NATIVE GROUP. I HAVE PUT ALOT OF TIME IN TO THE STUDY OF NATIVE AMERICAS, ALL 3 AMERICAS, MOSTLY STUDYING THE COLOR MIXTURES, BECASUE I AM IMMATURE IN THE BIG PICTURE’D RESEARCH (I AM WORKING ON IT EVERYDAY). I LIKE THE COMMENTS AND POSTS, VERY INFORMATIVE AND ACADEMIC.

    WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND IS HOW THE CREEK POPULATION AND THE MAYA POPULATION MIXED, GIVEN THAT THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT, DISTINGUISHED RACES. I KNOW THAT THERE IS ENOUGH TIMELAPSE IN HISTORY FOR THE MIXTURE TO CREATE ANOTHER RACE, WOULD THAT RACE BE MORE DEFINED AS? THE NATIVE GROUPS FURTHEST WEST IN THE MISSIPPIAN CULTURE?? AND, WHY OKLAHOMA? DID THEY FIGURE THAT THEY WOULD PUT ALL OF THE INDIANS IN WHAT WAS MEXICO AT THE TIME? I GUESS THIS IS THE SECOND CONTROVERSIAL QUESTION I HAVE ASKED, BUT I GUESS IT IS WHAT IT IS. IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.

    THANK YOU.

    Reply
    • contact@jonathanrex.con'

      I can’t speak for others, only for myself. My interest is in history and linguistics around the world. Where the word “Cherokee” comes from is of linguistic interest to me. The fact that some within the three federally recognized “Cherokee” tribes are trying to claim a monopoly on a word and transform the Nation into a Corporate Enterprise with a legal claim to the word is obnoxious. The word did not refer only to them and they themselves did not even come up with it. This is a political absurdity to me, but I have nothing against the Cherokee people. Some of my ancestors identified as Cherokee. Others identified as Shawnee and were called Melungins by whites. Further back some of their ancestors (and mine) were Powhatans. In all my research I’ve found no African ancestors but if I did it wouldn’t bother me one bit. My father is of German and Scottish background and one line from my mother is Scottish as well. On my mother’s Maternal line there appear a couple Sephardic-Iberian genetic markers along with the common Native markers. Where exactly those came in I have no idea. It was before the 1700’s somewhere.

      Truth is truth and all the politics in the world (Indian or otherwise) should never trump (pun intended) the truth.

      Reply
    • Very simple Nicholas . . . Itza Mayas fled Yucatan when there was a drought and many of the Maya cities were abandoned. You will have to read my current series on the Mayas. Most of the Creeks in Georgia, Western North Carolina and Southeastern Tennessee called themselves Itzate . . . which is the same word that the Itza Mayas called themselves. At the time that they fled the region, the Itzas were mostly illiterate farmers and traders. Most Georgia Creeks (me included) carry some Maya DNA test markers. Generally, the Maya test markers represent about 10-12% of the total Asiatic DNA.

      Reply
  7. NICHOLASACAMBRON@GMAIL.COM'

    REX, I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN BY THE CORP USING THE WORD AS ITS OWN, SINCE IT HAS HAD MANY DIFFERENT ORIGINS, DOMESTIC FOR OTHER PLACES AND FORIGN TO THE EARLY US.

    THORNTON, THE DROUGHT BROUGHT THE MAYA UP TO THE SOUTHEAST, BUT WITH THE PICTURE OF MIGRATION TRAILS YOU POSTED 2 OR 3 POSTS AGO, PAIRED WITH THE TIMELINE OF THE OLD ICE-LAND MASSES IN THE GULF, MADE IT HARD FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND THE SOUTHEASTERN NATIVES AS MAYAS, OR ITZATE. I DO UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE TECHNICALLY THE SAME PEOPLE, PRE-SPAIN, BUT THE GENERATION SEPERATION WOULD HAVE COMPLETED A DIFFERENT RACE IN ITS OWN, OR SO I ALWAYS THOUGHT.
    I HAVE READ ALL OF THIS YEARS POSTS AND MOST OF YOUR SITES FULL COLLECTION, AND THE MAYA ARTICLES ARE GETTING TO BE MY FAVORITE. I TOO MIGHT BE A GENERATION AWAY FROM YOU IN THE SOUTHEASTERN NATIVE/ITZA MAYA MIX.

    I APPRECIATE THE EARLY 1700’S BEING DEFINED, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE PIRATES ARE GETTING MORE HOSPITALITY THAN THE “INDIGENOUS,” “OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND,” AND I THINK THAT THE CHIKILI ARE INTERESTING, ESPECIALLY SINCE I THINK YOU STATED THAT THE LETTER “I” WAS INTRODUCED THROUGH THEM?? ESPECIALLY SINCE THEIR NAME IS CLOSE TO A POPULAR CHOCTAW SAYING THAT BEGINS WITH THE FIRST WORD “CHI…”

    DOESN’T “CHI” MEAN “I” ?

    -RED PEOPLE

    Reply
    • Hey Nick

      Just like most citizens of the United States are a Heinz 57 mixture of several nationalities and ethnic groups, the Creeks are a mixture of several different peoples from the Americas . . . plus nowadays from the Old World too!

      Reply
      • contact@jonathanrex.com'

        Richard,
        That, I believe, is a very important point that needs to be addressed. The idea of the “Indian” in the Northeastern Woodlands and Southeast is disturbingly problematic. Mixing is nothing new as the Originals (Natives) didn’t think in terms of race but in terms of Clans, Towns, Tribal Alliances between Towns and Confederacies between Tribes.

        The white man’s Indian has never been rooted in reality. Both Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci drew their inspiration for the fictional “Indios” narratives from European concepts of the Wild Man, Pagan or Barbarian that was used clear back into Roman Empire and Ancient Greek Civilization as a tool for establishing a dichotomy between all who joined their empires and all who refused. Even the French word Sauvage is rooted in the woods around the hill on which the Holy Roman Papal Center was established. All who lived outside of the control of the Holy Roman Church were called a “Sauvage”.

        The fictional and contradictory accounts of Columbus and Vespucci just transferred Old World dichotomies of the Noble Savage vs the Merciless Savage onto the people collectively called Indians because that was a Spanish term for all lands East of the River Indus which Columbus sailed West to reach instead of around Africa.

        The famous Chief Di’wali Bowles was himself half Scottish. His father was Scottish and Di’wali was described as “Gaelic in appearance with light eyes, red hair and freckles.”
        As a Chickamauga Chief, later Chief of the Cherokee West in Arkansas and then the Texas Cherokee nobody ever questioned his identity as Indian. Not even the white officers in Texas who shot him off of his horse and then shot him in the head as he sat there unarmed.

        Sequoyah was half Sephardic Jewish through his father Nathaniel Gist. Chief John Watts, hand picked successor chosen by Dragging Canoe, was half Scottish. Even Nunnehi’dihi (Major Ridge) was part Scottish. Numerous Northern Chiefs (often the most warlike and devoted to holding the lands) were highly mixed. Cornstalk’s sister Nonhelema had children with two white officers. Among the Creeks McGillivray was half Scottish through his mother and 1/4 French through his mother’s father. McKintosh was also Scottish. All of these individuals dominated the Revolutionary period politically. The Cherokee Moytoy family dating clear back to the 1600’s originated with Powhatans through an English man named Thomas Carpenter who came to Jamestown in 1627 and married a daughter of Opechanacanough. From Virginia he and his family moved with a group of Nsubwanyi into Kentucky and then later relocated down into Tennessee when they were attacked by Iroquois. The whole reason the 7 Moytoy Chiefs were taken to London in 1730 was because England knew that they were distantly related to the Nobility through Thomas Carpenter whose father leased 16 ships to the India Trading Company and founded a bank in Barbados.

        The entire history of the tribes East of the Mississippi needs to be the subject of cross-specialty research that combines genetics, genealogy, archeology and colonial documentation from the Spanish, French, English and Americans. It would help also to bring in Jewish researchers because nobody on this earth kept better records of the movement of their people than did Jews and nobody cares more to uncover their past than them. Oral Stories, while a great way to hold a community together, are unreliable sources for history because “a long time ago” and “time immemorial” are generalities and far too vague. What was a long time ago to one person thinking in terms of individual lifetimes wasn’t long ago at all to another who is measuring by centuries or even millennium.

        The claim that race determined discrimination is a very short-sighted view. In the last 150 years that is very true but from 1492-1792 it was not the “brown man” under attack, it was the decentralized communal tribes and all that made them resist the “civilizations” which were being taken apart. Those willing to conform as individualists submitting to a centralized authoritarian elite government and religion were welcomed in with open arms. The same behavior was a factor in interactions with Africa. Africans who abandoned decentralized tribes and embraced the centralization of government and organizational force of religion were renamed and turned against those who resisted.

        Is why today when folks talk about “Real Indians” they don’t mean a skin color (since those same folks exclude Mexicans as a whole from the definition). They mean a way of thinking and living. They mean those who adhere to Tribal Communities, reject Organized European Religions, Resist Centralized Governments and refuse to allow folks they have never met and will never meet to govern them. Tribal Councils that resemble the US Government are not viewed as “Real Indian” systems. They are the equivalent of Mini Me to Dr. Evil.

        Reply
        • nicholasacambron@gmail.com'

          Rex, honestly I don’t think that I agree with most of what you said. I think that the Tribes did care about who they mixed with, and I also think they cared about the color difference. I am absolutely speculating, but when man arrives on shore, only man, no women, and set up fort, then where are needs met. No offense but great Chief cannot always stop man when man is in search for that need. I’m sure entire tribes had their men slaughtered and women taken captive, until great Chief found boundaries and offered his offspring because he wouldn’t offer yours, to civilize these men who came prepared to conquer and kill, but found pure interest that they would slaughter for. Maybe the study of war by any groups of people, brown,white,black,yellow,purple,teal,and blue, will put some legitimacy to the non-distinguished accusations I just made. I don’t want this academic site to become a witch hunt, but let us not say that the original natives were more than happy to share their women and children with men that made such a dramatic enterance in to their home. That would be true for and race and or color.

          Reply
          • contact@jonathanrex.con'

            There was mixing between the Vikings (Nordic people) and the Indians of the Northeast several times before Columbus showed up clear back 2,000 years ago. The Vikings called North America “Vinland”. And they didn’t travel with only men. They brought their wives and children with them. And their wives were also warriors. Viking women weren’t docile Anglo housekeepers. Evidence of this mixing is in Iroquois flint tools, longhouse construction linguistics.

            When the Spanish and French first arrived in North America the vast majority of people they encountered were light skinned. Lighter skinned than the Spaniards were (many Spaniards were actually African Moors) and many northeastern Indians had green eyes. Look at the actual painting of Matoaka (Pocahontas) done in London. She had brown hair and light skin. Looked nothing like the cartoon character.

            Natives Columbus encountered were of two colors. One “race” was brown (which is obviously the most dominant) and the other was black. People refuse to admit this but all of the earliest Spaniards reported encountering “negro tribes” who were at war with some brown Indians and living peacefully and mixing with others. You are interpreting the past through a prism of 500 years deeply rooted in color.

            Tribal people the world aren’t blind. They see color just like anybody else and recognize differences but tribal people are not as bigoted about color as so-called “civilized” people are usually. Another mistake you’re making is in projecting the possessive attitude introduced by colonialism that supposes men owned women. In most Native cultures they do not. Women saw having children with foreigners as a way to ensure their mixed offspring became important. The men would have seen benefits in dealing with foreigners in acquiring allies, getting new weapons from them securing help in waging war against other tribes.

            The people called “Indians” were not all noble utopian peace loving primitives. Just as Europeans were slaughtering each other across the ocean and waging their wars to built nations the Indians were doing the same. The first Spanish to arrive found the Natives at war with each other and took advantage of the situation. When slaves were made by the Spanish and French the British were intercepting their ships and would relocate the Black and Brown slaves to islands such as Barbados in the 1500’s. The English were bringing over Irish slaves at that time. They weren’t involved in the African and Indian slave trade until the 1600’s. On islands like Barbados the Brown, Black and White slaves were all mixing together freely and creating a creole tri-racial group. Many so-called “African Americans” discover in dna tests that they are frequently only 50% or even less black with the other half being white. Automatically they assume their ancestors were raped by slave owners because they’ve been fed that single narrative for the last 150 years. But the first woman accused as a witch in Salem which set off the witch trials was a tri-racial woman from Barbados. Women like Rihanna and Beyonce look the way they do because they are from people who were mixed and kept mixing with other mixed people, creating a distinctly “American” race found nowhere else in the world.

            Were there some racists among Natives who detested different skin colors? Of course. There were also cannibals. Doesn’t mean because some were then all were. In fact, even the earliest white people in the Americas didn’t care about color. There were black slave owners in Jamestown who owned white Irish slaves.

      • nicholasacambron@gmail.com'

        Mr. Thornton,

        I absolutely agree. I know the mix I am, but I have always recognized myself as Native, even though everyone I meet is “Cherokee,” (slap my face). Mostly because of how I grew up and who I grew up with, who really embraced their ethnic divide. And also my skin color, which is very differently maroon than anyone I’ve ever seen. There is only one person I’ve ever seen that was more of my color in life and he is the second half of why I was born. The Heinz 57 is strong in this one, but needless to say I am of Native by blood, the only race to be measured by it as well. As you know (because you’ve been doing this longer than my life), for, you have done much work with our tribe whose state you refer to (the biggest reservation in my mind), which was one of five tribes to enlist in the Dawes Roll (Mississippi Origin). The fact that none of this was taught to us in school makes me sad, how we were taught history of the Old World when I knew for damn sure we live in the new one: how many things I watched, in anything, makes us look like bafoons and not civilized AND dispensable!!, because as I got older(@age 8) I see the reason why. It doesn’t make it right and it needs to stop. Every citizen needs to grow up and face the facts. For being the newest establishment of people in the world, and being the biggest global superpower, I am still ashamed of how we were and are treated, and I LOVE America.
        That makes this “New World” my world, belief system and all.

        Reply
  8. urisahatu@yahoo.com'

    I came across a surname “Ohayon” supposidly meaning “son
    of life” from “O” meaning “son” in Berber (Language) and
    “Hayon” meaning “life” in Hebrew. Could this be the origin of the placename “Ohio”?
    Does anyone know if the placename “Ohio” is from an indigenous / native american language; if so which language and dialect?

    I also came across an interesting website:

    “The Jews Of Panama” Link:
    http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/1346-reminder-the-jews-of-panama-feb-9th-boquete-biblioteca/

    http://www.chiriqui.life/uploads/monthly_2016_01/jews.jpg.4f5ec1e8a386eea3bb8ea701a838c07b.jpg

    Reply
  9. lbrainwater@gmail.com'

    Fascinating discussion on language!

    In Arabic, east is (transliterated) “sherq.” One from the east is “sherqi” m. and “sherquiya” f. and plural is “sherquiyeen.”

    “Ana” means I in Arabic.

    Reply
    • contact@jonathanrex.com'

      Sephardic Jews from Turkey to Egypt and Morocco as well as Portugal and Spain all spoke Arabic. The original written language of Sequoyah (before it was altered by Christian Missionaries for the purpose of printing actually resembled certain Arabic style writing. There’s no evidence of Moors in the region. Sequoyah’s English name was George Gist. His father was Nathaniel Gist, uncle was Mordechai Gist and grandfather was Christopher Gist. The Gist family is 100% Sephardic Jewish and trace back to Turkey without question.

      Reply
  10. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    Another linguistic similarity I’m researching at the moment is between the 1600’s-1700’s Cherokee and the Samoans. The Cherokee Moytoy family name comes from Ama (Water) and Matai (to Master). Matai is a French word that became Moytoy with the Cherokee sometime in the 1600’s.

    What is odd is that in Samoa there is a chief family title / name Matai also. The only connection I’ve found is that in the 1700’s the French had a major battle with the Samoans and were humiliatingly defeated (driven entirely off the Island). Stories of the Samoan ferocity spread throughout Europe after. I like to imagine The Rock starring in a film about his ancestors who pulled that off. Would be a good film.

    I’m speculating that the French referred to the chief families among both the Cherokee and later Samoans separately as Matai and the name was adopted by the Natives. With the Cherokee it evolved into Moytoy and Amatoya but the Samoans seem to have incorporated “Fa” but kept Matai in tact:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa%27amatai

    Reply
    • urisahatu@yahoo.com'

      If the Cherokee family name “Moytoy” comes from Ama
      (water) and Matai (to master); does this imply that the
      word “Amatai” (Amatoya) means “master of the water(s)”?

      The French word “matelot” means “sailor”.
      Is “matai” derived from “mate(-lot)”?
      The Dutch word for sailor is “matroos”.
      ———-

      From a Polynesian (Austronesian language) perspective
      the word “Matai” means “(to) die”, “death”.

      Comparative list Austronesian; (“(to) die”, “death”):
      Matai – Chamorro (Guam)
      Matai – Basay (Taiwan)
      Matai – Bajo (Indonesia)
      Matay – Ilokano (Philippines)
      Mate – Fiji
      Mate – Samoa

      If the French were defeated in Samoa; it would mean
      there were lots of deaths on the French side.
      It’s speculative yet maybe “matai” was / is a title linked to
      death or killing to be more precise.

      Comparative list Austronesian; (“to kill”):
      Pamate – Hitu (Ambon, Moluccas)
      Pamata – Sou Amana Teru (Moluccas)
      Fa-mata – Paulohi ( ,, )
      Pama’a – Amahai ( ,, )
      Kamate – Soboyo ( ,, )

      Vaka-matea – Bau (Fiji)
      Vakamatea – Suva ( ,, )
      Vamate – Navosa (Western Fiji)

      Haamate – Marques (Marquesas islands)
      tāmate – Rarotonga (Rarotonga islands)
      Ho’omake – Hawaii (Hawaiian islands)

      This could mean that the Samoan “Fa’a Matai”
      (Fa-Mata, Vaka-Matea, Haa-mate, etc.) is actually a title
      which can be interpreted as “Killer” or “Warrior” and later perhaps became to mean “(Warrior) Chief”; a title some
      native Samoans achieved by showing courage in wars.

      Reply
  11. urisahatu@yahoo.com'

    A summary of the (partial) migration route of the Cherokee.
    This is my take on the (possible and partial) migration route
    of the Cherokee.

    1 – Most likely the original Homeland of the Cherokee (read: Sephardic Jews) is in Eastern Anatolia (Turkey) in the “inner Taurus” mountains where the “Çoruh” river starts.
    The inner Taurus mountains are relatively near Mount Ararat.

    Map Turkey – Taurus mountains – Link:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Taurus-gebirge.jpg

    2 – Some migrated towards the north into the Caucasus
    Ajaria / Georgia region where the “Çoruh” river is known
    as “Chorokhi”.
    Some migrated towards the center of Anatolia known as Cappadocia.
    In 2013 CE (current era) a massive underground city was discovered in Cappadocia.

    Massive Underground City of Cappadocia Link:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150325-underground-city-cappadocia-turkey-archaeology/

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/2015/03/23/cappadocia/Turkey_FINAL_V7.ngsversion.1427403602556.adapt.885.1.jpg

    This is most likely linked to the origin story of the
    “Ani Yunwiya” – The Principel People; who many believe
    to have lived underground.

    3 – Seemingly many migrated towards the southeast coast of Anatolia where they manage to escape prosecution.
    From here onwards they migrated westwards (probably via Greek islands, Rhodes) into the Iberian Peninsula (Spain).
    In the Iberian Peninsula they are known as Sephardi (Sephardim / Sephardic Jews).

    4 – From the Iberian Peninsula the Sephardim scattered towards the north and south to avoid further prosecution.
    The Sephardim who migrated towards the south into
    North Africa / Morocco mixed with the local people (natives
    / Berbers). Here the word “Sherqi” (“Chriqui”) came into
    use to refer to the Sephardim as reminder where they
    originally came from; which is the east (eastern Anatolia).

    5 – In search of a “New” Homeland the “Chriqui” migrated
    to the Americas where they gradually mixed with the local people / natives creating a unique tribe.

    6 – After (maybe even during) the colonization of the
    Americas Europeans and freedmen (Irish and African slaves) were adopted into the “new” tribe which later became
    known as the Cherokee of today.

    Side Notes:
    The “Ani Yunwiya” supposidly migrated from Southwest America (New Mexico) towards the Great Lakes region
    before migrating towards the Southeast (North America).
    In New Mexico there is infact the “Los Lunas Decalogue
    Stone” or “Commandment rock”.
    It is a rock with a version of the ten commandments in a
    form of Paleo-Hebrew.
    Some believe it is authentic, others believe it is a hoax / fake.

    The Zuni (Pueblos in New Mexico) have the word
    “Yanu Wiko” meaning “Wolf”.
    The Cherokee have “Ani Waya” meaning “Wolf Clan”.
    The Wolf plays an important role in Anatolia / Turkey.

    Reply
    • iwg42@hotmail.com'

      Hey Richard,
      My fathers family was know for unusual names, both first and last names.
      Some of the first names were
      Zilphia Ann, Elizabeth Canzady, Naomi,Shrepta, Velma Doshie,
      Virdie Minnie May, Dosia (Doshie), Albina, Carnice,
      Effie, Fratus, Althena Letty, Firnie Nancy Amarintha, Malona,
      Lothiar, Dorcas.
      Some of the last names were Gawf, Priber,Scaif-Holloway, Trauthager-Trachsel (Troxell) Pedin-Arrington, Saeger Troxell,
      Argent, Blanche,Thelaball, Ethelred. These were fairly unusual names in the SE according to my cousin that has been doing genology now for 15+ yrs.
      I suspect from reading your articles many of these may have non-European roots or have been anglicized .
      Do any of these appear to be Jewish, African or middle eastern in origin? I have really liked the discussion on linguistics, I find it amazing that language can be traced back like you and many of your other readers have done to the original language.
      All of you please keep up the great work.

      Reply

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