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Our ancestors intentionally mixed their genes!

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.

Ghost Dancer

Ghost Dancer

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,

Cindy Bone – Elbert County, GA Creek

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.

Carrie Underwood

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.

Jorene Coker

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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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.



    Keep the faith, Richard.

    Thomas Floyd “TBird” Worthy


    Good work, keep it up. Studying “first” contact around Jamestown, it is amazing how close so many tribes/people’s were living/thriving so close together, speaking three different dialects. It shows us there is much more socialization going on than we have been taught. Goes back to the separations of the races…the same way we separate for football. God’s word teaches us to share our fire with all tribes…people of one fire.


    Richard, do you know of any sources regarding Itsate and when it went from being a Creek village to the Cherokee town Chota?

    • Of course, Itsate is the name of the largest branch of the Creeks in Georgia. So initially that was the name of the ethnic group, who lived in the town before the Cherokees. Cho’i-te is the name of the dialect of Itza Maya spoken in the Lowlands of Chiapas. Chotee was the name of a village in the Nacoochee Valley on the maps printed in the 1720s then appeared in the Lower Tennessee River Valley on a 1735 map. It is hard to say what was going on because Southeastern anthropologists have such an abysmal knowledge of indigenous languages and so many of their established facts are faulty speculations from academic authority figures. So I don’t know exactly what was going on.


        Thanks, I’ve been trying to pinpoint when it became a Cherokee village. If I were to speculate I’d guess sometime between 1700-1730.

        • Maps in 1715 and 1717 label the Lower Tennessee River Valley as being occupied by several branches of the Creeks.


            You may find the “Treaty of Washington 1816” of particular interest. It was with the Cherokee but involved Northern Creek lands. It is a significant document historically. Is the first treaty John Ross’ name appears on. He, Major, Ridge, and other mixed-race Cherokee who helped defeat the Northern Creeks with Andrew Jackson went behind Andrew Jackson’s back and met with the President who gave them all those Creek lands. Dragging Canoe (Cheucunsene) signed it last as the eldest (84 at the time), making it official. Most Cherokee today believe he died at age 60 on February 28, 1792. Much of our histories have been distorted and fed back to us. Is work trying to recover things. Andrew Jackson flipped his lid over that treaty though. He bribed Sequoyah and others to turn back around and sell it to Georgia.

            Our ancestors all betrayed each other. The Creeks helped Colonel John Sevier kidnap Cheucunsene’s six year old daughter in 1788 and massacred Old Abram and Old Tassel. Sevier used Dragging Canoe’s daughter to force peace talks. He never forgave the Creeks for that betrayal and paid the Red Sticks back in full. The only reason the Cherokee joined Jackson was Dragging Canoe wanted revenge for what the Northern Creeks did with Colonel John Sevier. Few realize he was behind that because it was believed by outsiders that he was dead. He stepped into the shadows so he and his family couldn’t be targeted and operated through younger chiefs. Treaty of Washington 1816. Creek history. That is the root of modern Cherokee and Creek ancient dislike which most can’t even remember the origins of.


    Side Note: Went through my genealogy books because Aniwak-ke jumped out at me from your article. One of my ancestors had several names. This is how they were spelled:

    Kwat-see Ah-nee-wah-kee
    She was also called Rainmaker.
    Guessing she was from Aniwak-ke.

    During the Chickamauga period from 1775-1794 there was a lot of mixing between all of the 14 tribes that united against the Americans and allied with the British. Dragging Canoe came up with the idea of young warriors from every village going to live for two years with a different tribe and making children with those women to solidify the confederacy. The Shawnee Tecumseh and his older brother went to Amogeyunyi (Running Water Place) and lived with Dragging Canoe and Tecumseh’s Creek mother. Tecumseh in his speech to the Creeks reminded the Creeks of those days and spoke on how the Shawnee women would swoon over young Creek warriors and Creek women enjoyed the company of Shawnee men. In that speech he was criticizing those who no longer seemed warriors as they once had been.

    Distinguishing between Shawnee, Cherokee, and Creek after the Chickamauga Wars seems extremely difficult because there was so much mixing. There’s no way women would have known who the fathers of their children were because sex wasn’t monogamous at all. All leading men had multiple lovers and women did as well. The mixing was extensive. To say a town was Cherokee or Creek at that time was senseless because the villages were comprised of warriors from various tribes and Clan Mother control over villages was replaced with War Chiefs. Many of the traditional Clan Mothers began having children with influential white men like Nanyehi did with Brian Ward and Elizabeth Ward (her daughter) did with General Joseph Martin. Their children were raised Cherokee, not white. It was all highly strategic breeding on multiple levels.

    When the Chickamauga Confederacy collapsed in the 1790’s the different Centralized Tribal Nations began taking form around Councils that resembled the U.S. on a smaller scale. Seems to me, and I may be mistaken, that even if we go back to the 1500’s and 1600’s there were Sephardic, French, English, and Africans mixing in with Natives from South America being brought as slaves and escaping the Spanish to mix with whoever was there.

    Agree with you that the notion of a single racial look is a Post-18th Century fiction created to attack tribal nations and take lands. Even if we go back to before Columbus there is evidence that Nordic, Celtic, Gaelic, Pictish, and Slavic warriors were mixing in as Viking explorers. In Mesoamerica over 2,000 years ago Phoenicians crossed the South Atlantic, mixed in with the Olmec people, and influenced the building of pyramids with some continuing across the Pacific to New Hawaii, Samoa, and New Zealand. The Cherokee title Ama’matai (Water Master) for Chiefs is oddly similar to the Samoan title “F’amatai” and Cherokee is found linguistically among the Peruvians as Cha’raccia’riccua (Hawks of Five Waters).

    This, also, is fascinating. The word Kituwa matches the name of Abraham’s largely forgotten 3rd wife in the Bible. Her name was Keturah. She was from the region of Anatolia and spoke Sumerian. Keturah referred to a sacred smoke from temple incense or a sacred fire. Same as the Cherokee word Kituwa. Also, the word Ukuku in Cherokee is an Owl and Uku is the Owling of the Owl. In Ancient Sumerian (the language of Keturah) the word Ukuku meant Owl and Uku referred to the Owling of an Owl. She was also considered a priestess of a sacred fire and her symbol was an owl. The Phoenicians are verified to be Ancient Semitic people. So there were Ancient Semitic people exploring the world and influencing ancient civilizations.

    The Incan Emperors were known as “Thupac Amaru” (Blazing Serpents). Said to bw descended from the ancient Plumed Serpent figure who came from the sea to the east. Tabak in Ancient Egyptian referred to a ceremonial Pharaoh’s pipe carved like a cobra. One was found in a tomb with cocaine and tobacco residue in it. Impossible unless Ancient Egyptians had contact with Ancient Mesoamericans. The Olmec Twins headdresses are very similar to Egyptian headdresses also. A Buddhist monk from China in the 4th Century described delicious fruit from trees in a distant land he had visited. He said the people went naked as they entered the world and were kind, taking him in as a visiting family member. He drew the fruit which is found only in South America and said how far it was across the sea from China’s coast.

    End of the day, People of One Fire, in my mind could refer to those who focus on our universal humanity and the spiritual fire within. That seems to be the only constant in a world perennially changing.


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