Select Page

Tama . . . Guardian of the Altamaha River

Tama . . . Guardian of the Altamaha River

When visited by Hernando de Soto’s expedition in March of 1540, Tama was one of the most powerful indigenous provinces, north of Mexico. Its trading post villages were spread northward at least as far as the Potomac River and at least as far as the Mississippi River westward. So influential was the Tamauli People that Tama became the word for “town” in Chickasaw, Southern Shawnee and Kansa (Kaw) and the Middle Shawnee word for “corn.” There is one other thing, its very name is absolute proof of Mesoamerican migration to the Southeastern United States. Tama means “trade” in Totonac, Itza Maya and Itsate Creek.

In the late 1500s and early 1600s,  any attempts by Spanish soldiers to explore Northeast Georgia were blocked by the garrison at Tama.   All Spanish were told that they would be killed, if they traveled north of Tama.  The little known fact of history is a principal reason that the Southeastern United States today is an English-speaking region. 

Below is the new Youtube documentary on Tama:




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.



    Richard, I watched this video twice now. I try to hold all the information and keep it in order but find it hard to do. Your detailed description and background helps me and I hope others understand the history you are trying to make known. As so many times before I continue to be amazed by your knowledge and sources for information. Thanks for taking the time to tell the true story of our South Eastern part of this land.

    • I guess when I get up to the point of making real movies, they will be easier for people to understand. Also, I am just now getting over the rat fever. It really did a number on me. During the time that I was moving, I had bumps all over me and felt like I was dragging a lead anchor.


    Very interesting and very good. I don’t have time to watch the videos but have found that I can use a youtube “grabber” to make a podcast out of the videos and listen on my way to work. It works great and then I go back and review the video for a few minutes to see the visuals that I missed. A whole lot better than trying to read a blog post or watch a video and drive at the same time! Thanks Richard.

    • Thank you sir. Our videos will become more sophisticated as I have funds to buy new software. I now have all the hardware I need to make real “movies” and animated films.


Leave a reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to POOF via Email

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

Join 843 other subscribers

The Information World is changing!

People of One Fire needs your help to evolve with it.

We are now celebrating the 11th year of the People of One Fire. In that time, we have seen a radical change in the way people receive information. The magazine industry has almost died. Printed newspapers are on life support. Ezines, such as POOF, replaced printed books as the primary means to present new knowledge. Now the media is shifting to videos, animated films of ancient towns, Youtube and three dimensional holograph images.

During the past six years, a privately owned business has generously subsidized my research as I virtually traveled along the coast lines and rivers of the Southeast. That will end in December 2017. I desperately need to find a means to keep our research self-supporting with advertising from a broader range of viewers. Creation of animated architectural history films for POOF and a People of One Fire Youtube Channel appears to be the way. To do this I will need to acquire state-of-art software and video hardware, which I can not afford with my very limited income. Several of you know personally that I live a very modest lifestyle. If you can help with this endeavor, it will be greatly appreciated.

Support Us!

Richard Thornton . . . the truth is out there somewhere!

Pin It on Pinterest