Meditations on the Swedish Connection, while nailing siding
People of One Fire researchers have a long way to go in understanding the events of 3000 years ago!
I am now living in the land of the Soque and Alekmani. It has a rugged landscape composed of modest mountains, ancient extinct volcanic cones and extremely fertile river and creek valleys. The Soque (or Zoque ~ pronounced Zjhö : kē) were the descendants of the elite of the Olmec Civilization and the ancestors of the Miccosukee Tribe in Florida. The Alekmani had a pure Gamla (Archaic) Swedish name meaning “Medicine Men or People.” So what drew them to this place from so far away? Was it the gold deposits or something else? That is going to require a lot of research to answer, if it is even possible to answer that question without extensive archaeological work. Farmers here have found dozens of ancient iron and bronze tools in the Nacoochee Valley. I have assumed that they belonged to Sephardic gold miners. Are at least some of them the artifacts of Swedish Alekmani, who would have arrived 1200-2500 years ago? They came after the Bronze Age.
Black & White and Color Prints could not stand the heat.
Late and night, when I am too exhausted to do any more renovation work, I have been going through the thousands of color slides, color prints and black & white prints that have been in storage for 8 1/2 years. I have not looked at most of these archives for decades. The good news is that the color slides from Mesoamerica, archaeological sites in the USA and from Europe are in surprisingly good condition, despite being roasted in the metal rental storage bins for eight seasons. The color prints from Sweden are faded, but have enough color left to be restored. Unfortunately, most of the color prints from Mesoamerica have faded to the point of being sepiatones from the 1800s, while . . . as can be seen above . . . all the black & white prints from Mesoamerica and Europe are blurred. Only the black & white prints that I developed myself, while taking classes in photography, are in good condition. Our classes used thick, acid-free paper for learning the craft in the architecture school’s dark room.
The problem is that the commercial labs, who developed our photographs back in the Stone Age, apparently did not use high quality paper when serving the mass market. On the other hand, the Georgia Tech Library purchased the highest quality color slide film, its staff could find, for documenting my fellowship in Mexico. They wanted the slides to last forever. The film came in large metal canisters. In my second photography class while in a darkroom, I had to learn how to cut and roll the color slide film into much smaller metal capsules, which fitted all standard cameras. Amazingly, I used one of the canisters to keep examples of Mexican and Guatemalan coins. By the time, I knew that I had a job in Sweden after graduation, I was able to order the same quality film in pre-rolled capsules, directly from Eastman Kodak. I had completely forgotten that I still had one of the large canisters until opening up a box last week, which was packed around 1974!
Enigmatic DNA profiles
If your Native ancestry is Uchee, Southern Shawnee, Creek or Cherokee . . . there is a strong probability that at least some of the Scandinavian and Sami DNA test markers in your genetic profile arrived in North America during the Bronze Age. You see, the Uchee intermarried with those other tribes. Basque DNA markers are found in Uchee descendants, but also may have arrived in one of the 16th century Spanish expeditions or 17th century Appalachian gold miners. The Swedish DNA test markers could have arrived during the Iron Age or even the Viking Age. The Alekmani was a powerful tribe that lived near the delta of the Altamaha River near Darien, GA and also in Habersham County in Northeast Georgia. Their name was pure Swedish and meant “Medicine People.” That’s the big change in my understanding of the Southeast’s past, which occurred during 2017.
Meanwhile, many “pioneer families” in northeastern Georgia have substantial Portuguese DNA markers. These families typcially claim to be “part Cherokee,” but have no Native American type DNA markers when tested. On the other hand, they could be of mixed Uchee and Iberian descent. All maps show the region occupied by Uchee, Chickasaws and Creeks up until after the American Revolution. It seems the purer the Uchee heritage the less likely they are to have many Native American DNA markers . . . but lots of Sami, Basque and Pre-Gaelic Irish DNA markers. Folks, it’s a jungle out there!
In early 2018 I realized the suffix for “people or tribe” is the same phonetic sound in Irish Gaelic, Algonquian, Shawnee, Cherokee and Muskogee-Creek. It can be written as gi, ge, ki, ke or kee, but all these peoples pronounce the syllable so gutterally that English speakers are confused as to how to write it . . . g or k? Nevertheless, there is no doubt that in ancient times, there were close encounters of a third kind across the waters of the Atlantic. How did that happen? I do not know!
The Early ABBA myth . . . an allegory for our tribulations with fabricated history
Well, the United States does not have a monopoly on fabricated history nowadays. Synthetic history has even corrupted something as sacred as rock music. Have no fear . . . diligent research has again proven why Little Sisters should assume that Big Brothers are always right.The young staff at my local Dollar General does not even know who ABBA was. For the younger POOF readers . . . ABBA was a Swedish rock group that dominated the air waves during the middle and late 1970s. Its members were Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anna-Frid Lyngstad. They coined the name of the band in late 1972, and performed together until 1982, after both marriages had ended in divorce. Whereas, the Beetles have sold 178 million records and albums in the past 55 years, ABBA has sold 375 million since 1973.
While living in Surrey County, England for about two years, my sister visited the ABBA Museum in London. The museum described a very different history for the early days of ABBA than what I observed personally, while working in Sweden. It is obvious that Björn Ulvæus and Benny Anderson have created a myth in this museum about their origins that makes them look good to the masses. Unfortunately, these tales quickly have become rock-hard history in all the references . . . just like all those myths about the Creeks ancestors, which were created by late 20th century archaeology professors.
The British ABBA museum described the ABBA Band as beginning in 1970, plus Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvæus being inseparable lovers throughout the four year period leading up to the formation of ABBA in late 1972. That is the version of history one reads in Wikipedia, too. It’s the same problem we have. Political connections determine what is said in the history books.
I don’t think that my sister believed me, when I questioned the accuracy of ABBA’s fabricated history. I was certain that had danced to Agnetha Fältskog, singing in another band in the summer of 1972. Back then, she had a broader nose and a gap between her front teeth . . . which made her look like the “cute girl next door.”
My official girlfriend, Britt Månsson, was a law student at Lund University and the President of the College Division of the Center Party, which had sponsored the Midsommarfest Dance at Lund University. The Center Party was Pro-NATO, which made her a safe companion in a region that was then plagued by very dangerous, female Soviet KGB spies, posing as Scandinavians. Britt had hired the band. That enabled me to have close encounters of a third kind with its members and photograph them up close. Yes, it was rather surrealistic to be at a “sock hop” several thousand miles away from one had been living a month earlier.
The band at the dance was modeled after the American super-group, Chicago. They played a variety of instruments, including a trombone, trumpet, saxophone, flute and accordion. There were four lead male singers/musicians, plus three female singers. Two of the females were blonds. The brunette, probably Anna-Frid, only joined them for certain songs. They mainly played English language covers of hits by such groups as Chicago and The Fifth Dimension. Occasionally, the band would play Swedish folks songs to a rock beat. Each time the audience would cheer wildly, when they heard their own language being sung. A couple of those rockified folk songs were later sung in English by ABBA and became big international hits.
A few weeks earlier I had become enchanted by Agnetha when I watched her play Mary Magdalene in the Swedish language version of the Broadway play, “Jesus Christ, Superstar.” At the time, I didn’t dream that I would ever meet her in person, BUT Britt and I went out with her friends, Lena and Max, along with the band that played the dance. We celebrated a Midnight Sun dinner at a restaurant on the Oresund Channel in Malmö . . . across the channel from København (Copenhagen, Denmark).
Bjorn showed up, but I did not realize that he was married to Agnetha. I assumed that he was the band’s manager because he constantly was “putting her down” and treating her like she was a peasant. Bjorn had a degree from Lund University, while Agnetha had dropped out of school at age 16 to become a full time singer. The brunette singer was guzzling the booze and the other blond did not speak either Swedish or English very well. She was from Finland. Soon Bjorn suggested that Agnetha and I sit at another table so she could practice her English. He then hit on Britt. Agnetha told me that she preferred singing folk music, ballads and songs like in Jesus Christ Superstar to rock music. Her great dream was to move to the United States and perform in Broadway musicals. Bjorn wanted her to concentrate on rock music because there was more money in it. In retrospect, I think both of them viewed male-female relationships as tickets to promoting their personal music careers.
After the dinner, it was still daylight at 2 AM so Britt, Lena, Max and I decided to take a romantic walk along the waterfront. Britt joked, “Den brunette flicken var myket full! (That brunette gal was very drunk.) Full normally has the same meaning in Swedish and English, but I did not understand its colloquial usage. I responded, “Full of what?” They all had a good laugh. HOWEVER, Anna-frid, that drunk flicka is now Anni-Frid Synni, Dowager Princess Reuss of Plauen. She is worth well over $300 million dollars. Through her deceased husband, she owns several castles and princely estates.
I never saw Agnetha again, after Jesus Christ Superstar moved to another part of Scandinavia, a couple of weeks later. About that time Britt, Lena, Max and I explored on bicycles the ancient sites of Ven Island, which has petroglyphs identical to the sacred symbols of the Uchees and Creeks and mounds identical to those built by the Hopewell Culture in the Midwest. I am currently digitizing and restoring those slides. They will be the subject of another POOF article. However, due to POOF’s G-rating, you will only get to see Britt topless on a bicycle from the rear. LOL
That band at the Lund University dance was not called ABBA, but Agnetha was definitely one of its singers. Until having access to my photos, I could not prove it though. Meanwhile, I did some POOF style hard core research. I had to google in Swedish in order to get to the truth. There is no mention of Agnetha and Bjorn having separate careers or having marital troubles from the beginning in America biographies on ABBA. One only sees adorable photos of the lovebirds posing together or Agnetha later posing with her first baby. The fact is that until just before Agnetha, Anna-Frid, Bjorn and Benny formed ABBA, the men and women had separate careers.
For four years, Bjorn and Benny were members of a four member group that went by the name of The Hootenanny Singers. The two men looked very different than when they suddenly rose to international prominence in 1974 after ABBA won the Eurovision Music Contest. Anna-Frid typically sang solo or hooked up with bands for single performances. Agnetha DID sing in other bands. In fact, she was engaged to a German musician and rock music promoter for awhile.
Throughout 1972, Agnetha played Mary Magdalene and traveled around Scandinavia in the Swedish language version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Apparently, there was some sort of friction in this period between she and Bjorn that might have been associated with infidelity and different goals for their careers. I do know that his parents did not like Bjorn because he was so manipulative.
My research revealed that THE FIRST TIME that the four ever cut a record together was just about the same time in June 1972 that I met Agnetha. The first name of the group on that record label is highly revealing. It was “Björn & Benny . . . och svenska flickor.” In English, that means “Bjorn and Benny . . . and some Swedish chicks.” Actually, Anna-Frid is Norwegian. So in the Summer of 1972, Bjorn did not even view Agnetha and Anna-Frid worthy of having their names on the record label! After the record did exceedingly well, Bjorn suggested that the gals team up with them permanently under the name of “Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha och Anna-frid.” That unwieldy name was soon shortened to ABBA. The rest is history.
The last gap in my ABBA research was filled last night. On a Swedish website, I found confirmation that prior to forming ABBA in late 1972, Agnetha had sung with several bands, when they performed at local dances like the one I attended. Her favorite band was composed of members from Sweden and Finland. They liked to perform hit songs by the American rock groups, Chicago and The Fifth Dimension. Here is a photo of the lead members.
Remember young ladies . . . you should always pay attention when your big brother tells you history that is not in the history books! And when you think about it, despite being in the No. 1 rock band of all time ABBA’s most memorable songs are indeed folk songs and ballads . . . as in this beautiful composition, “Fernando.” Note how different Agnetha’s nose and teeth were in 1980, when this video was made, as compared to 1972. The reason that Agnetha looks so sad in this song is that she is thinking, “Geez, had things gone differently, instead of being filthy rich and miserable, I could be high up in the North Carolina Mountains, happily milking goats and singing Appalachian folk songs.
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