Select Page

Original Creek Migration Legend Has Very Odd Grammatical Feature

Original Creek Migration Legend Has Very Odd Grammatical Feature

The research team needs the help of POOF members and readers, who are knowledgeable about the Muskogee Language. 

Approximately 2/3 of the sentences in the original Migration Legend of the Creek People begin with the word, “that.”   In Muskogee, it would be Mv.   The use of “that” seems to have no communication function other than what might be seen in legal documents, which begin paragraphs with “Whereas”.   In fact, “that” has the same meaning as “Whereas” in these sentences, but why would Chikili constantly use the word in a speech that was otherwise informal?

For example, in the section of King Chikili’s closing statement shown above he says, “That I am never tired of hearing the stories told by Tamachichi about when he traveled  . . .”

I tried contacting professors that teach Muskogee in Oklahoma, but only one even responded  and that was only once . . . if you excuse the pun.  She didn’t understand that I had the ORIGINAL Migration Legend and wanted to know who was the translator of this  version of the story.  I wrote back, Mary Musgrove. The professor never replied to my response.   I strongly suspect that she didn’t know who Mary Musgrove was and assumed that she was one of our POOF researchers.

Fascinating history associated with the Migration Legend

According to the Migration Legend documents,  Palachicola was the oldest Creek town and originally was located where Downtown Savannah now sits.   Chikili said that the first Creek “emperor” was buried in a mound in Savannah.  Thus, the first Creek Indians were Apalache, not Muskogee.   This information is radically different than the story now being told by Oklahoma Muskogees, who place the beginning of the Creek polity at Muskogee towns on the Chattahoochee River near Columbus, GA.  Perhaps that is why they are not terribly interested in the discovery of the original Migration Legend.  It’s like telling the North Carolina Cherokees that they didn’t invent corn, beans, squash, the Stomp Dance, Swift Creek pottery,  Indian mounds, jet propulsion and the transistor radio.

The Master of Breath does have a sense of humor on this one.  If you recall, during late 2012,  two Oklahoma Muskogee bureaucrats came to Georgia to get in bed with the corrupt USFS office in Gainesville, GA.  I knew that this office was under criminal investigation for association with organized crime, but had to keep my mouth shut.  One of the many nasty things the two Oklahomans said was that I was not a “real Creek” because I was not an Oklahoma Muskogee.  Lordamercy,  according the Migration Legend, I iz a bonified, blue-blood Creek, since my mother town was Palachicola.  LOL

The cover letter by Georgia Colonial Secretary, Thomas Christie, refers to an endowment to the Church of England in Mr. Christie’s will.   Thomas Christie only lived a few more months.  His endowment was used in November 1735 to hire the brothers, John and Charles Wesley, to travel to Georgia.  John was to be a missionary to the Creek Indians, while Charles was to be Commissioner of Indian Affairs.  Instead,  Governor James Oglethorpe assigned Charles to be the chaplain to the Scottish soldiers and colonists at Fort Frederica, while John was required to spend most of his time with the colonists in Savannah.

Charles was immediately rejected by the Scottish Presbyterians at Fort Frederica.   John went over like a lead balloon when he tried persuading the Creeks at Palachicola to adopt Anglican liturgy.  Their response was, “We have the same basic beliefs as you, except that we worship outdoors.  Why are you here?”   However, John became close friends with the Moravians at New Ebenezer.  Their simple faith would greatly affect his ministry in the future.

Charles left Georgia after a few months.   John courted the most desirable young lady in the colony then dumped her.  He got into big trouble, however, when he refused to give her communion after she married someone else.  He was charged with criminal slander and then quickly shipped back to England, where the colony’s trustees fired him.

However, later in life, John Wesley remembered the spirituality of the Creek people and their outdoor worship services at Palachicola, plus the simple faith of the Moravians.   These concepts were merged together into the Methodist Movement, which after Wesley’s death, became the Methodist Church.  Charles Wesley went on to become one of the greatest hymn writers of all time.

According to my mother’s family lore, our ancestors at Palachicola were converted to Christianity by John Wesley.  I don’t think that is factual, but it is true that the Creek congregation that they helped found in the late 1700s on the Savannah River, was one of the first Methodist churches in Georgia.

Governor James Edward Oglethorpe, founder of Savannah, is best known to Americans as a brilliant city planner.  However, after returning to England, he rejoined the British military.  Just before the American Revolution, he rose to the rank of commanding general of the British army.   However, he retired when things began heating up in the colonies, because he greatly sympathized with their complaints.  An elderly General Oglethorpe befriended John Adams when he became the first American ambassador to Great Britain in 1784.   Life is stranger than fiction.

The following two tabs change content below.
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.

14 Comments

  1. larasanders67@gmail.com'

    Wow! I didn’t know that one of the first Methodist churches in Georgia was Creek! My native side of my family was also Methodist..they were Methodist ministers. 2 generations were methodist ministers married to my Cherokee grandmothers. they were in Alabama and moved to Texas..there were also Great-uncles named John Wesley. I wish I was able to find out more about my family..there’s one line, Hopkins who were in Georgia then Alabama..I’m wondering if I have Cherokee or Creek on that side as well.

    Reply
  2. Lara,

    You could have a mixture of both Cherokee and Creek and there is not a whole lot of ways to tell. What Caucasian historians never figured out was that the people in South Carolina and Northeast Georgia, who government officials called Cherokee, were ethnically Muskogeans, whose ancestors didn’t want to be in the Creek Confederacy. You know the famous “Cherokee” martyr, Tsali? That’s a Creek first name. Maybe the reason that he was so angry with the soldiers was that he was a Creek with Georgia citizenship and shouldn’t have been forced on the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

    Reply
  3. larasanders67@gmail.com'

    Richard, especially with my DNA results! It confirms what you been writing, about the Mayan, and South American Connections. My native dna is divided into South American, Mesoamerican and North American dna in that order! More so the South American dna. Now I know why I love ponchos so much! And Mexican food! I remember having Choctaw tamales at a powwow one time. I’ve learned a lot from your blog. I wanted to be an archaeologist one time when I was in college..somehow I just somehow knew the whole field is ‘controlled’ and that I wouldn’t have the freedom to pursue what I would want to research as an archaeologist, though.

    Reply
    • Don’t want to be too personal, but this information is important for our research. What specific region of the Southeast is your Mixed America’s heritage from? A county name would be great. We are trying to match the DNA evidence with the archaeological evidence.

      Thanks

      Richard

      Reply
      • larasanders67@gmail.com'

        Richard, on the side of my tree where I know I have Native ancestry..one side was in Habersham County Georgia, near Toccoa Falls..a Rev war vet Hugh pierce was married to Sofia, said to be full blood Cherokee. In hate to say it but I think she was like a slave to him..they lived in Spartanburg County South Carolina, then Habersham County GA..right on the edge of the Cherokee nation at the time. She was listed as his property on some records. They later moved to Jefferson County, Alabama. Then there is the Bass line..I had a Nancy Bass..said to be half native. She supposedly was born in Wilson County, TN. I believe I have Native ancestry on another side of the family, the Mayfields..they were in Chester County, SC. Then, I’m thinking there is possibly native ancestry on my Hopkins line. They were in Blount County, Alabama..and I believe they were in northern Georgia before they came to Blount Co. Al . One mystery I have is a family story..that I had an ancestor who, along with her brothers, as children, were hidden in a cave by slaves because their lives were danger because they were Indian..at the time when the people were being forced off the land..sent on the a Trail of tears..Nancy Bass died during this time, and her daughter, Eliza Adeline Piece would have been 9 yrs old at this time… My aunt asked my great-grandmother if our family was on the Trail of Tears and she said, “No hon, we had our own Trail of Tears”. The Pierces settled in Cherokee and Rusk Counties TX where other Cherokees and Choctaws had settled, instead of going to Oklahoma. We were said to be related to Chief Bowles, Duwali, who had moved to that same area of Texas earlier before. My grandmother had told me that Eliza Adeline..the one hidden in the cave, had lost her family and was taken into another family..but I haven’t found that…it might have been another ancestor…maybe her mom who I don’t know anything about.

        Reply
        • Chester County, SC was Creek. Most of those Creeks moved to NE Georgia. The northern half of Habersham County, GA was Soque. The Soque were from Mexico and not true Cherokees, but were lumped with them by the federal government. The southern half of Habersham County was occupied by Creeks from South Carolina. The Texas “Cherokees” and Texas “Creeks” were almost entirely Native Americans, who had been lumped with either the Cherokees or Creeks, but who, ethnically were neither true Cherokee or Muskogee. The label “fullblood Cherokee” is an oxymoron since the Cherokees are a hybrid people created by the assimilation of a wide ranged of ethnic groups. Many Cherokees are basically Middle Easterners, with a small amount of Asiatic DNA. Thanks for telling us your family story.

          Reply
          • larasanders67@gmail.com'

            I so wish I could pinpoint my ancestry! Oh well…at least I know I have the dna evidence of the native dna..I also have a certain percentage of west Asian and eastern Mediterranean dna, confirming the middle eastern..I’m a mutt! LOL! I know that full blood Cherokee is an oxymoron..just only quoting what was said about Sofia. I was honored 10 yrs ago to be invited to a Muskogee Creek Stomp Dance when I was in Oklahoma and I was really blessed having that experience! I wanted to experience being at a Stomp dance and had actually prayed for it to happen and the Creator answered that prayer!!

          • Yep, after few minutes of stomp dancing, one feels like he or she is floating about 18 inches off the ground.

  4. syblcranford@gmail.com'

    Estonka Richard,
    Thank you (Mvto) so much for this article. I really enjoyed reading it. I am a mix between Scottish, Irish, Mvskogee Creek
    and Cherokee and very proud of my Native Heritage. It seems
    that I am about the only one in my family who is interested in learning more about our heritage and that makes my heart sad
    that they care not for who their ancestors were. For me, I am
    all Indian and proud of it. lol I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Blessings Sir,
    Syble

    Reply
    • Well, thank you Syble! Yep most of us are Heinz 57 in America. As you have probably noticed, People of One Fire is grounded on the principal that most people, who have Native American heritage, also have ancestors from other lands. It would be silly to pretend that we are the same people, who were standing on the South Atlantic Coast beaches, when the first European ships arrived.

      Reply
  5. whitetreereg@gmail.com'

    I was curious if anyone has a theory or explanation for high percentages of Asian and Mediterranean DNA in the Southeast? I know of several families who trace their ancestry to Creek/Muskogee ancestors and also have Asian and Mediterranean DNA they cannot explain.

    Reply
    • All Native American DNA is Asian. You find a much higher level of Southeast Asian among indigenous peoples, who live or lived in certain parts of Mexico and the Pacific Coast of South America. Look at the photos of people living on the island of Sumatra. They are virtually identical to Muskogeans, the only difference is that they are a little shorter. Many people thought that my Sumatran girl friend was my mother’s daughter! LOL The Mediterranean comes from the thousands of Mediterranean (Sephardic, North African, Anatolian, etc) colonists who settled in the Southern Appalachians before the arrival of the Cherokees. There was a band of Creeks in NE Georgia during the 1700s called the Bohurons. Bohuron is an Arabic word, meaning “nobles”. Their horses had Arabic and Jewish names.

      Reply
      • ndnshrink@yahoo.com'

        Here-ce, om-camee. Two comments…1: the Middle-Eastern DNA suggests that the difference between the Melungeons and other more “specifically Indian” populations may be one more of cultural identity and location than of blood… Similar to the fact that the difference between Mexican “mestizos” and “indios” is much more a function of community tradition and identity than blood-quantum, as BOTH groups average around 3/4 Native “blood-quantum.”. 2: the name “Cherokee” is an Anglicization of the Creek word “celoke,” which is a generic term referring to someone of a different language. Creek-speaking Seminolesin FL, for instance, use it when talking about Mekvsuke speakers many tribal “names” in common use, it resulted from Hitchiti speakers telling explorers (in this case DeSoto) about the adjacent people, and the name used to refer to them becoming more commonly used by the Europeans than the People’s own name for themselves. It may have originally been used re: Siouan-speakers (e.g. Uchee, Cheraw) or Algonquin peoples such as she Shavanose, who in migrating north and west became known as the “Shawnee,” as well as the primarily Iriquoian “Ane-Unweya (Principal People,) who are now called ” Cherokee.)

        Reply
        • ndnshrink@yahoo.com'

          Oh, one other thing… Since important speeches were generally given by a ‘tempvnayv,” or sense-maker who spoke on behalf of the one who had something to say, is it possible that the narrative was written down by a “scribe” who was recording that “the speaker says THAT…, that…, and that (thus and such happened.” Interestingly, given that the document was Apalachee in origin, almost thirty years after several of the Catholic Apalachee towns of Florida were forced to relocate to the area, and that a written form of the Pvlvcvkvlv dialect was being used by the 1690’s, to find that testimony in the Spanish investigations in the aftermath of the two raids and resulting martyrdoms of Native and Spanish Catholics by both military tribunals and a rare Colonial branch of the Spanish Inquisition, is recorded in exactly way… “The witness states that 1:….., that 2:…., that 3:….., etc. Coincidence? Or cultural linguistic exchange?

          Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to POOF via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 491 other subscribers

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!