Richard Thornton | Jun 3, 2017 | 15
New book series by Nene Hutke is the “Foxfire Tales” of the Muskogee People
Footprints Along the Path
Volume One of a new book series has just been published by the Nene Hutke Ceremonial Grounds near Chattahoochee, Florida. It is a must-have for all Creek, Seminole and Miccosukee tribal members and descendants. Any student or scholar researching the Southeastern Indians, should also have it in her or his library. Unlike many books published on the Southeastern Indians, this literary landmark is completely accurate.
The Nene Hutke Ceremonial Ground was established several years ago as a dedicated location where Muskogean descendants in the Lower Chattahoochee-Apalachicola River Basin could celebrate their heritage. It is an incorporated, non-profit organization that functions like the Dance Ground Councils in Oklahoma. The leaders of its council try to be an authentic as possible to the traditions of the Muskogee White Towns, before the Trail of Tears.
To learn more about Nene Hutke, go to: http://nenehutke.org/
Nene Hutke is the Anglicization of the Mvskoke words, Nene Hvtke, which mean “Path – White.” In the Late Colonial Period, the term referred to the “Path of Peace,” but in earlier times, both among the ancestors of the Creeks and the Mayas, meant a major road, which connected regions. No warfare could occur on these routes.
The Great White Path between the Smoky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico is referred to in the Migration Legend of the Kashita People and the description of the Apalache-Creeks by 17th century ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort. US 129 highway now generally follows the route of the Great White Path.
Contents of “Footprints”
This book has everything! Chapter titles include History, the Muskogee Calendar, the Muskogee Language, “Trees, Plants & Herbs”, Stories, Voices from Today, Genealogy and Recipes. The sections that explain the Mvskoke (Muskogee) language are especially outstanding. An amazing amount of information is packed into the books 201 pages.
Footprints Along the Path was printed by Cornsilk Press in Athens, Georgia. It is being marketed online by Creekfire. The price is $15.95, which currently includes free shipping. To order copies of this book, go to:
Suggestion for Future Volumes
The first volume did not explain that Muskogee traditions were just one of several in the Creek Confederacy, which called itself, The People of One Fire. For example, the Apalachicola People, who occupied the Lower Chattahoochee-Apalachicola River Basin in the 1600s, 1700s and early 1800s spoke a different language and used different architecture for their squares than the Muskogee-speaking towns. The same could be said for the Upper Creeks, the Kusa & Kusabo, the Apalache Creeks of northeastern Georgia, the Itsate Creeks of western North Carolina, Georgia Mountains and central Georgia , the Eastern Chickasaw and the Uchee. The majority of Creeks spoke dialects of Itsate (Hitchiti), not Muskogee, as their first language until the cultural disruptions of the late 1700s. In fact, until around 1790, more people spoke Hitchiti than English in Georgia.
It would be very useful for Creek descendants, students and researchers, if future volumes of “Footprints” are devoted to other branches of the Creek Confederacy. This information is difficult to find in other publications or not even available.
PS: This is a great Christmas-Hanukkah-Winter Solstice-Epiphany-birthday gift for all your friends, who are interested in real Native American culture. ( Subtle Hint)
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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.
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