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OMG! After three centuries, we now know how the Koweta Creeks got their name!

OMG!  After three centuries, we now know how the Koweta Creeks got their name!


This information has just been added to the article on the Kansa People, but if you have already read that article, this information will blow your mind . . . if you excuse the pun.

Crystal Douglas, Director of the Kaw Nation Museum wrote me to explain the meaning of the Kaw Peoples’ names:  “The Kanza/Kansa is the word for the South Wind. They refer to themselves as the People of the South Wind (Kanza).   Kaw is the Wind or the Wind People.”

Ms. Douglas has just answered a three century long riddle.  Why have the Kvwetv (Kaweta) Creeks always been associated with the Wind Clan?   Because they originally were Kaw People, who joined the Creek Confederacy!   Kvwetv is Muskogee-Creek for Wind People.   Thus, the Itsate Creek Kowite (Mountain Lion People) were the progenitors of the Mountain Lion (North Georgia) or Tiger (Muskogees and Seminoles) Clans . . .  not the Koweta Creeks.


And now you know!

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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 spent my childhood in Kaw Nation territory. I have fond memories of collecting arrowheads and axe heads in my grandmother’s creek. Wish I could go back now with a fresh, more-informed eye.


    Richard, Another Native people who’s Elders passed on that they left from an Island long ago? Hopi, Maya, Kanza, Cherokee…more and more it’s the same lore of peoples living on an Island and arriving by boats. Antarctica froze over 4000 BC ? and perhaps why many peoples constructed circular Temple buildings and houses. Do you think it was the “Kanza” / Kansas Native people that constructed the Circular building at Okmulgee which according to Wikipedia: “The interior features a raised-earth platform, shaped like an eagle with a forked-eye motif.”?
    The so called “Lamar culture” (A.D. 1350-1600) people that lived on the “Ichisi” (1540) island a few miles away built rectangular houses but also created a spiral mound like Ocmulgee’s. They built Temple mounds that were rounded unlike most rectangular (Maya 800 AD) or pentagonal (Itza 900-1000 AD) shaped mounds found in Georgia.


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