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National Geo Video: Excellent program on the Seminoles

National Geo Video:  Excellent program on the Seminoles


Seminole Man

What the program does not tell you is that most of the Seminoles’ ancestors were Itsate Creeks, living in the Southern Appalachians. The Seminoles still wear hats, turbans and long shirts that are almost identical to those worn by the Panoan Peoples of Eastern Peru.   That is the reason that so many of the indigenous towns, mentioned by the chronicles of the De Soto and Pardo Expeditions, show up as divisions of the Seminole Alliance.  Tamachichi was principal chief of the Itsate province around Ocmulgee National Monument until 1717.  He stated that his ancestors first lived in southern Florida after crossing the ocean from the south.  So ironically,  many Seminole families are back into the land, where they first got started a thousand years ago.  This is a one hour program, so you can watch it tonight instead of some reality TV show.  I realize that many of you hate to give up seeing “Duck Dynasty,” but it is worth the sacrifice.    


Shipibo Women – The original name of the Holston River (NE TN) was the Shipi-sippi or Shipi River.  Obviously, some Shipibo refugees settled there.


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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.



    I don’t know if my heritage is of the Creek or Cherokee peoples, but I do remember at a small age my Grandmother telling me we had Creek ancestors. When she was elderly,then we were of the Cherokee. I do know that according to a Federal census, a John Eskew was married to an Oconee Indian wife. I keep digging trying to find out where I come from, what are my roots.

    • The Oconee were a branch of the Creeks on the Oconee River in NE Georgia. They spoke the Itsate language, which had many Itza Maya words.


        Thank you Richard, Sometime in the future I would be privledged to meet you. Do you ever give lectures in the Dawsonville or Dahlonega areas?

        • Well, I lived in between Dahlonega and Dawsonville just off Hwy. 52 from May 2012 to May 2018, but no one ever asked me to give a lecture in that area.


    Hey Rich, do you know what branch of the Seminoles fled to Mexico after the wars?

    • I think that it was the Black Seminoles, who were hired by the Republic of Mexico to police their borders. Several of those Black Seminoles later became some of the original Buffalo Soldiers . . . cool dudes.


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