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Now you know why De Soto observed mustaches and beards in Georgia!

Now you know why De Soto observed mustaches and beards in Georgia!


When the De Soto Expedition entered the region that is now considered the Creek Homeland, he immediately observed that the towns were much larger and formally planned . . . the architecture was much more sophisticated . . .  the men were at least a foot taller than the Spaniards  . . . and all the adult men wore mustaches.   The leaders wore beards.  The De Soto Chronicles stated that the king of Ocute (Okvte in Itsate Creek) had a beard that reached his belly button.   Yet . . . like other indigenous peoples in the Americas,  these Uchees and Proto-Creeks had very little, if any, body hair.

Remember Okvte means “Water People.”  This large powerful province on the Oconee River in Northeast Georgia was a Uchee Province with probably a mixed Uchee-Itza Maya-Muskogean elite. 

During the past 15 years, I have had several “intensive” discussions with Native Americans from other parts of the United States, concerning these statements.   They said that it was impossible for full-blooded Native Americans to have mustaches and beards.  The Spanish chroniclers fabricated the description to please the King of Spain.  Actually, the leaders of both the Northwest Pacific Coast tribes and the Aztecs wore mustaches and goatees . . . but there is no mention of beards going down to the belly button.

What we are saying in these series of articles is that the Uchees and the Proto-Creeks were NEVER full-blooded Siberian Asians, like most other tribes in North America.   We also carry ancient DNA from northern Europe and western Asia.  Any DNA lab that does not take this genetic fact into consideration, will greatly underestimate your indigenous American ancestry.

There is no way that numerous, abstract glyphs can simultaneously appear on a 4,000 year old rock face in Nyköping, Sweden and on the Track Rock petroglyphs in the Georgia Mountains, unless humans carried that sophisticated concept with them.  There is no way that the complex symbol for a High King can be found at Bronze Age sites throughout southern Scandinavia,  the Creek Homeland and the Maya Homeland unless humans brought that concept with them.  As Sherlock Holmes often stated, “Dr. Watson . . . it is intuitively obvious!

Did these symbols first exist in North America and then were transported to Scandinavia? . . . or vice-versa?   That is a question, which has not been answered.


Taks så mycket . . . That’s mvto in Swedish.

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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.



    Richard, the cultural “mustache” of the Mexah (Aztec’s) and the Ocute in Georgia seems to imply that the Aztecs might have lived in “the place of whiteness” close to the Ocute at one time. From the Aztecs codec artwork they left from that place and over time migrated to Mexico. As you have noted the Southern Mountains were covered with snow in times past? This would be the 7th connection with the state of Georgia and Mexico: Apalachi, Itza (Itsa), Omec’s (Yama-see), IAM-ma (Maya)..Aztec’s? This would imply there was a major “multicultural” ancient city in the South. Like the artwork of the Aztecs stated.


    Hey Richard,
    Short article very complex answers. The questions you have brought up in The last year alone are worth several doctorates if a brave soul would take advantage of the information.
    People today talk diversity and through your articles you show that the south has been a true melting pot for thousands of years.
    Must be the climate.
    Thanks Keeper


    Richard, any chance that Ocute and Ohoopee are derived from the same source . Or is it possible that Ohoopee is a variation of Huarpe. You mentioned that Desoto stated that the Ocute chief had a mustache and beard no-typical of Proto-Creeks. If you look at a photo of the Huarpe from the Cuyo region in Argentina they also have beards and mustaches and resemble the photos you posted. In some references the Yuchi are also called Coyaha. Might this be derived from Cuyo-aha. Some scholars claim that Huarpe translates to sandy place, while others claim that Cuya means sandy place. The Ohoopee River is bordered on the right by a large sand ridge it’s entire lengths from Washington Coutny all the way to where it runs iinto the Altamaha River in Tatnall County. Another similarity is the Huarpe and Yuchi both lived in small settlements. They both grew corn(maize), squash, and yams. In Emanual County there is a creek named Yam Grandy Creek while flows into the Ohoopee River. I grew up in this area and have been told that I am part Yuchi Creek, but I have never been able to confirm it. Anyway, I’d be very interested in what you of think. As always, I enjoy reading all your publications.

    • Hey Paul

      YES! The upper Ohoopee was Uchee territory. Did your DNA test show Sami, Basque or Black Irish DNA markers? The lower Ohopee was occupied by the Utina, a South American tribe. They are frequently mentioned in the memoir of Captain Rene’ de Laudonniere, Commander of Fort Caroline. Go six miles up the Ohoopee from its confluence with the Altamaha and you can see the ruins of the capital of the Utina on the left side of the river. There are at least three mounds visible.

      Both those words are Anglicized versions of indigenous words, but the original words were probably from two entirely different languages. Ocute is the Spanish version of Okate, which means “Water People” in Itsate Creek. I am not sure what Ohoopee is derived from, but the “O” prefix means “principal” or “capital town” in the Southern Arawak language spoken in the Upper Amazon Basin of Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.


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