Our ancestors intentionally mixed their genes!
The research done by People of One Fire sleuths is creating a increasingly different picture of the past than what one reads in standard references and the definition of “American Indians,” created by bureaucrats. People of One Fire co-founder, Ric Edwards, has devoted many years to the study of the genetics of the Southeastern indigenous peoples. He told me on the phone yesterday that he had come to the conclusion that the members of the Creek Confederacy could have been best described genetically as “the United States of Native America.” LOL
Many of you are probably aware that the Creeks were forbidden from marrying spouses within their family, clan or even within a small village. There was also a great deal of mixing between “tribes,” plus several ethnic groups would live within provinces that have became labeled as “Chickasaw, Creek, Koasati, Uchee, Choctaw, Alabama, etc.” These polities were NOT chiefdoms composed of one ethnic group as has been presumed by most anthropologists. In fact, we now know from the documents, written by Georgia Colonial Secretary, Thomas Christie, which I found stored in Lambeth Palace that the Chicasaw and Kusate paired their towns in Eastern Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, while the Uchee paired their towns with the Itsate or Shawnee in Northeast Georgia and North Carolina. I am currently finding on maps that Kansa villages in Northeast Alabama and Northwest Georgia were paired with proto-Creek towns.
Long ago, our ancestors learned that children from parents, who were closely related tended to be less healthy and often were born deformed. Yesterday, POOF co-founder, Ric Edwards, told me on the phone that after years of studying the DNA of Southeastern indigenous peoples, he had come to the conclusion that the Creek Confederacy was basically “the United States of Native America,” not any particular indigenous ethnic group. Coming from the perspective of architecture, historic maps and linguistics, that is exactly what I am discovering. Within the territory of the Old Apalache Kingdom, whose capital was in Northeast Metro Atlanta, were Uchee, Siouans, Shawnee, Arawaks, Panoans, originally from the Georgia Coast, Itstate Creeks and Muskogee Creeks. Well, actually I think that there were also Nahuatl People from the Valley of Mexico. Aniwak-ke, a province on the Chattahoochee River in Southwest Metro Atlanta, means “Anahuac People” . . . people from the Valley of Mexico.
Creek elders have a memory of a culturally diverse past. Alabama Creek Keeper, Ghost Dancer, sent this comment to me via Beloved Woman Edna Dixon: “Richard did good. Let him know that the Siouan language is the Mississippian Siouan Dialect that is the same as the Biloxi Siouan dialect. The Mayans in ancient times called us the Eagle Peoples. Tell him to keep the amazing work. Also, that the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe in Texas, as you know, is from here as well. What most folks don’t generally know is the people in Cahokia spoke our dialect and also had Mayan, Aztec and Incas living and inter-married there.” Ghost Dancer is smarter than he realized. Biloxi contains many Mesoamerican words. LOL
From 1610 until 1752, planters in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina intentionally bred African men to female Native American slaves to create offspring with “hybrid vigor.” (Georgia did not have slaves during that period.) There were even books published for wannabe planters, which guided them in the selective breeding of humans!
Mixing of heritages was more than a strategy for preventing birth defects or selective breeding. Explorer John Lawson observed that in South Carolina the Creeks hand picked especially intelligent young women to become wives of the future leaders of neighboring provinces or of prominent British colonists. They received a special education, which included becoming fluent in several languages, history, politics and social skills.
Throughout the 1700s, Creek leaders in Georgia encouraged intermarriage between their people and the British colonists in order to promote good relations. Kvsapvnakesa, a member of the Wind Clan and a relative of the High King Chikili, first married John Musgrove, the son of a prominent South Carolina planter and militia officer. When he died, she married Jacob Mathews, a younger man, who worked for her. When he died, she married the Rev. Thomas Bosomworth, an Anglican minister from a prominent English family. She was not the exception. Creek mikko, William McIntosh, was the first cousin of Georgia Governor David B. Mitchell. Some of the most prominent Creek families in Oklahoma trace their heritage to the Uchee living on the Lower Savannah River, who intermarried with prominent Anglo-American families. Some of their offspring went west with the Creeks. Some stayed in the Savannah River Basin. The prominent Savannah Uchee families, who now call themselves “Muskogee Creek” in Oklahoma include the Alexander, Claremore, Beaver, Berryhill, Berry, Bartlett, Barnard, Givens and Proctor,
Local county histories in the eastern half of Georgia contain repeated stories of “Friendly Hitchiti Creek and Uchee Bands” intentionally inviting “Friendly Anglo-Americans” to establish farms adjacent to their communities INSIDE the boundaries of the Creek Confederacy. The Creek leaders encouraged intermarriage between their offspring. My own family history contains accounts of my Uchee and Creek ancestors fighting with the Patriots in the America Revolution and also, after the Revolution, firing behind the palisades of forts established in Wilkes and Elbert Counties, Georgia, when hostile Upper Creeks (associated with the Chickamauga Cherokees) attacked the region. These Uchee and Creek families with blood relations to their non-Native neighbors often avoided moving farther west by relying on support from white relatives and taking state citizenship. This resulted in mixed heritage “Creek” and “Uchee” communities surviving in several parts of Georgia until after World War II, when the US Army Corps of Engineers or Georgia Power Company bought up much of the Savannah, Oconee and Lower Chattahoochee River flood plains to build reservoirs. In the late 20th century, two century old Creek-Uchee communities in such locations as Irwinville, GA, Sparta, GA, Hawkinsville, GA, Washington, GA, Waycross, GA and Elberton, GA scattered to the winds in response to economic opportunities elsewhere.
Creation of the single-ethnic-group tribe myth
The Bureau of Indian Affairs created the concept of associating genealogical records with tribal membership, first as a means of implementing racial segregation then as a means of assuring the ultimate disappearance of the federally-recognized Southeastern tribes. The Creeks never associated skin color or facial features with membership in the Creek Confederacy. In fact, perhaps the most successful commanding general of the Creek military was a full-blooded Frenchman, Le Clerc Milfort. After 20 years of serving the Creeks, he returned to France to become a general for Napoleon.
The second category of these these myths was created by contemporary archaeologists. Their work throughout the late 1800s and 1900s was focused on large towns with mounds. Towns and villages without large mounds in the Lower Southeast often have never even been assigned assigned archaeological site numbers. Also, where rivers were not dammed in the late 20th century, when archaeological work was required, the knowledge of the archaeological record is often spotty as best. The People of One Fire has not even done a series of articles on the Altamaha River, because there is so little archeological information available. The sites of many occupied towns and large ruins, visited by William Bartram in 1773 and 1776 have never been studied by archaeologists. There is virtually no archaeological information for such TVA lakes as Fontana, Chatuge, Hiwassee and Nottely because they were constructed hurriedly in the early days of World War II. An astonishingly small percentage of the town and village sites, surveyed by archaeologist, Robert Wauchope, in Northeast Georgia during 1939 have ever been visited again by professional archaeologists . . . and he skimmed over or even skipped several counties, where there are large town complexes.
We know from eyewitness accounts that it was the custom for many Muskogean provinces to have a capital town, where the elite of one ethnic group lived and then dozens of hamlets or hundreds of farmsteads, where the commoners, representing several ethnic identities, lived. This was emphasized by French ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort, in his 1658 book on the Caribbean Basin and present day State of Georgia. However, during the 20th century Southeastern archaeologists often associated pottery styles with ethnicity of an entire region. The problem was exacerbated by many gaps in the landscape, where there was inadequate archaeological information and the general linguistic ignorance of Southeastern academicians, who specialize in Native American studies. They very rarely analyzed words to determine their etymology. Place names in the region were the Cherokees lived briefly between 1785 and 1838 were labeled as “ancient Cherokee words, whose meanings have been lost.”
Academicians conceived the Southeastern tribes, which were really the 18th century products of European intervention, as single ethnic groups that lived in the same territories for eons. By the late 20th many Native Americans had lost the cultural memory of their Pre-Columbian pasts. So when academicians treated them as single ethnic groups for time immemorial, they assumed it was so. The “enhanced” history created by tribal bureaucrats often was boosteristic in nature . . . sounding more like the hype of high school or college before a big ball game. Well, at least you can’t accuse me of being boosteristic. I have pointed out several regions that academicians and references label “Creek,” which were obviously not so. No anthropologists and historians had bothered to look up these so-called Creek place names in a Creek dictionary.
Rather than conceiving the Pre-European past of Southeastern North America as being a “prequel” to the modern federally recognized tribes, consider our ancient heritage here being more like several dozen recipes for Brunswick Stew, which were constantly evolving and periodically, moving around the countryside. Almost all the surviving “tribes” in the West and Southeast have cultural memories of past migrations. The Zuni remember migrating out of Mexico then going all the way to the Atlantic Coast and then turning around and migrating westward as far as the Southwestern Desert Plateau. This is a dynamic story that we are still trying to unravel.
The truth is out there somewhere!
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