Original members of “Creek” Confederacy were enemies of the Muskogees!
Update on the analysis of lost colonial documents discovered within the United Kingdom National Archives in April 2015
EVERYBODY had it all wrong on the early history of the Creek Confederacy. Research reports by our POOF members are less all wrong, but any POOF report dating before the middle of 2015, should be assumed to be not completely factual. Very frankly, I am at the point of tossing all my previous papers on early Muskogean history in the trash can.
1. The original Creek Confederacy was dominated by the Cusseta (Kaushete). Members of the original People of One Fire or Creek Confederacy were:
Alibamu – Apika – Chickasaw – Cussetta (Kaushete)
This alliance controlled an arc-shaped band of territory, stretching southward from the confluence of the Hiwassee River and the Tennessee River, along the Middle Tennessee River to north-central Alabama and then southward to the Alabama River. All of the provinces in the Coosa River and Chattahoochee Rivers Valleys in Alabama plus all of western North Carolina, all of Georgia and all of South Carolina were enemies of this alliance. This alliance became the Upper Creeks.
2. None of the members of the original alliance spoke the Muskogee language. However, the word, Muskogee, did not appear in the colonial archives until just before the American Revolution. Mvskoke means “People who have herbs.”
The arch-enemies of the new alliance were provinces speaking Muskogee that lay immediately to the east of their lands. Apparently, the Cusseta had by this time, rebelled against their Kusa overlords, but were also at war with the Itsate Creeks of the Georgia Mountains, Ocmulgee River and Oconee River.
3. The Cusseta were originally vassals of Kusa, and not the same ethnic group as the Kusa people, who entered northwest Georgia around 1300 AD, eventually conquering Etula (Etowah Mounds.)
4. The Apika and Cusseta were probably the descendants of the Tekesta People, who lived on the eastern slopes of the Orizaba Volcano on the frontier between Vera Cruz and Michoacan States.
They were not originally Muskogeans and probably closely related to the extremely tall, non-Nahuatl peoples of Jalisco State and the equally tall, Karankawa People of the Texas Coast. Males ranging from 6”-3” to 6’-6” are common among the Coca Indians of Jalisco, Upper Creeks and Karankawa.
According to Aztec Codices, the Nahuatl People entered central Mexico from the Gulf Coast region around 900 AD. They drove out the “giant peoples” such as the Tekesta from eastern Puebla State and western Vera Cruz State between then and around 1150 AD.
The Tekesta of Mexico may or may not be the same ethnic group as the Tekesta of southwestern Florida. However, it is known that the sophisticated Wakata towns on Lake Okeechobee and Ocmulgee Mounds acropolis were abandoned around 1150 AD. The upper levels a cemetery under the waters of Lake Okeechobee contained “giant skeletons” such as what one might find in Cusseta burials. See the POOF article, “Forensics Reveal Supersized American Indians in South Florida.”
5. The founders of Kusa in Northwest Georgia were from the South Carolina Low County. Like their overlords, the Apalache of northeast Georgia, the Kusa were a hybrid people of mixed Peruvian and Itza Maya ancestry. Their first capital was where Savannah, GA is located today. Kofitvcheiki (Cofitachequi) means “Offspring of mixed (ethnic group) people.”
The Low Country origin of the Kusas would explain the circumferential route taken by the de Soto Expedition from Okvte Province in northeast Georgia to Kofitachiki to the North Carolina Mountains to Kusa. De Soto was bypassing the powerful Apalache Kingdom, whose standing army of over 7,000 warriors would have annihilated his little army, despite their firearms and armor. After visiting the capital of the Okvte, he stayed in lands under the control of the Kaushibo elite, who are now called the Cusabo.
6. The Uchee and Shawnee were NOT newcomers to the Savannah River Basin as stated in contemporary academic and Cherokee mythology. Until the late 1600s, they occupied the powerful kingdom of Ustanauli in the region later claimed by the Lower Cherokees and into North Carolina. Ustanauli was visited by La Roche Ferriere, an officer of Fort Caroline in 1564-65.
Usta is the Southern Shawnee word for Uchee. The Ustanagi of the Suwannee River Basin of Northern Florida were probably this same ethnic group. It would explain why Savano (Shawnee) and Hogeloge (Uchee) villages fled to the Suwannee (Shawnee) River in the early 1700s as the Cherokee territory expanded.
Tokakee Creeks and Shawnee villages in the North Carolina Mountains, north of Franklin, NC fled to the Tallapoosa River in 1716, when forced out by the Cherokees. Their new capital was Tuckabachee (Tvkvpasi.)
7. The real beginning of the modern Creek Confederacy was June of 1717 at a conference in what is now Ocmulgee National Monument. The town of Coweta organized the reconstitution of the old People of One Fire with the Cowetas as the dominant ethnic group, rather than the Cusseta. Coweta’s mikko became the High King of the new confederacy. He was called “the Emperor of the Upper and Lower Creeks” by the English, but again, the Creeks did not call themselves the Creeks at this time. This coup d’etats set the stage for the Redstick War a little less than a century later.
As late as 1733, people that were called Lower Creeks by the English, called themselves Apalache or Palache, not Creeks or Muskogees. In 1715, Colonel John Barnwell of the South Carolina Militia called the Yamasee Uprising, the Apalachee War.
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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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