Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
The original Creek Migration Legend . . . it is a road map, not a myth!
The recently discovered, original copy of the “Migration Legend of the Creek People” describes the journey of the ancestors of the Kvse-te (Kashita* or Cusseta People). They migrated from the foot of Orizaba Volcano in Vera Cruz State, Mexico across the rim of the Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Tennessee, western North Carolina then to Georgia. The last scenes of this priceless document occur at the Track Rock Terrace Complex in the Georgia Mountains. *Kashita is the phonetic pronunciation of Kvse-te.
“The chances of rediscovering the original English translation of the Migration Legend of the Creek People are therefore almost as slim as those of recovering the lost books of Livy’s History.” (Titus Livius Patavinus [Livy] was a famous Roman historian, who lived between 64 BC & 17 AD) – Quote by Albert Samuel Gatschet, 1881 – Ethnologist – Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
People of One Fire researchers have made some remarkable discoveries in the past three years that will radically change American history books. First In 2012, historian and regional planner, Michael Jacobs, discovered depositions from former residents of the Santa Elena Colony in South Carolina that described covert journeys into the Georgia Mountains by Spanish traders. They called the Track Rock Terrace Complex, “Great Copal” because its priests burned copal resin continuously from the temple at the top of the mountainside town.
Then, in 2013, Cherokee researcher, Marilyn Rae discovered a book written in French in 1658 by pioneer ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort that described a 1653 expedition to the Apalache Kingdom in North Georgia. It was in the “Fantasy and Utopia” bin of the Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Some anonymous Ivy League academician had relegated the book to obscurity because it described a Native American civilization in the Georgia Mountains and Piedmont, whose elite lived in stone houses and temples. The Apalache priests were described as burning copal incense from their mountaintop temples, night and day.
The name of the capital of the Apalache was Melilot and it was located in the Upper Piedmont of Georgia near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Melilot is shown on practically all 17th century French and Dutch maps, but has been left out of American history books. In fact, the Kingdom of Apalache is located in present day northern Georgia in bold letters on all European maps from 1562 to 1707, but has also been left out of the history books.
What apparently “blew the minds” of Ivy League scholars was that the elite of Apalache obviously were of Peruvian origin, but had absorbed some Itza Maya cultural traditions. On the other hand, the Apalache commoners lived in separate towns, which were identical to those of the Creek Indians encountered by early British explorers. The clothing of the Apalache elite was identical to the traditional clothing and hats of the Miccosukee and Seminoles in Florida.
In late 2014, Michael Jacobs made yet another remarkable discovery. In a later edition of the book that Marilyn Rae found, he stumbled upon a letter written in French from Edward Graeves, a director of the English-French colony at Melilot in what is now northeast Metro Atlanta. The letter was dated January 6, 1660. Melilot was a real place. In fact, it was a European colony, which lasted from late 1565 until the early 1700s. It was founded by survivors of Fort Caroline, but became predominantly composed of English and Dutch Protestants, Sephardic Jews, plus some Middle Easterners in the 1600s.
At least some of the descendants of this colony became the Bohurons (Nobility in Anatolian and Aramaic) who were members of the Creek Confederacy in the 1700s. Marilyn Rae has translated the surviving names of Bohuron leaders as being Portuguese, French, Jewish, Spanish, French, Arabic, Dutch and Turkish words. It is quite possible that Emperor Bemarin (Bream), the first Principal Chief of the Coweta (Creek) Confederacy, when it was formed in 1717, was a descendant of Melilot. Bemarin is a Sephardic family name.
Then on April 29, 2015 the great mother lode of them all was discovered. With the help of Dr. Grahamme Davies, the famous Welsh poet and now Assistant Private Secretary for HRH Prince Charles, I was able to locate a box containing the original Migration Legend of the Creek People from June 7, 1735. Its location has been unknown since the summer of 1735. The box also contained other priceless documents, which described the initial contacts between the founders of the Georgia Colony and the Creek Indians.
As is the tradition of the Creek People, a transcription of the original Migration Legend was offered to Thomas Yahoola, Speaker of the Muscogee-Creek National Council. As also is the tradition of the Creek People, the National Council graciously accepted it. Such was was not the case with some non-Native American institutions, who presumably would have been jumping at the bit to see it.
This following incident is typical of the surrealistic response of academia to these important discoveries. The Georgia Historical Society and University of Georgia Native American Studies Program didn’t even respond to an offer of being sent a copy of the original Migration Legend. A friend of mine, Dr. Joseph Kitchens, who is Director of Georgia’s official Native American museum, the Funk Heritage Center, suggested that I offer a copy to the University of Oklahoma, since Georgia university professors refused to communicate with me.
No one at the University of Oklahoma responded to emails, so I called the Anthropology Department. Fortunately, a Creek lass answered the phone and immediately recognized the significance of our discovery. She gave me the name of a professor to contact.
We did get one response from that professor. It was a terse question, “Who was the translator of this inaccurate version?” Apparently, the professor still did not understand that we had THE Migration Legend that had been lost for 280 years. I wrote back . . . Kvsvponvkesa ~ Mary Musgrove. Mary Musgrove was one of the most famous Creek women, who ever lived, but apparently the professor had never heard of her. I didn’t get another response. Now the train has left the station, it is too late.
Three other migration legends
It should be noted that there were three other migration legends recorded by Georgia officials, whose existences were forgotten, but not lost. The Itsate Creek (Hitchiti) Migration Legend describes them as coming across the sea from the south to a land of marshes (Florida) then migrating northward to a large lake, where they settled. This was either the Okefenokee Swamp or Lake Tama in Middle Georgia. The Itsate then migrated northward into the mountains, where they built powerful towns in mountain gaps that controlled all the trade routes in the Appalachians. The Itsate were the descendants of the Itza Maya. The Itza Maya also call themselves Itsate.
The Apalache Creek Migration Legend arrived from the Atlantic Ocean, probably sailing the Gulf Stream northward. High King Chikili described their first town as being located in what is now Downtown Savannah, GA. Apalache is is Muskogean pronunciation of a Peruvian word that means “Offspring from the Sea.” According to their legend, their first king was buried there. Tomochichi’s grave is at the site of that king’s mound.
The Apalache then migrated to Lake Tama in central Georgia. Over time their capital moved northward to the point that the Itsate and Apalache were neighbors. The Apalache were originally vassals of the Itsate, but overthrew their masters and created a powerful kingdom that spanned from southwestern Virginia to the Florida Panhandle. Archaeologists call it the Lamar Culture.
The majority of provinces that became the Creek Indians subscribe to another migration legend. This one begins west of the Mississippi. These Muskogeans probably originated in northeastern Mexico because they share words and grammar with the peoples of that region. By following a red stick with a carved fish head on its end, these bands gradually moved east until they settled in eastern Alabama and western Georgia.
Migration legends verified by geography, linguistics and archaeology
There are many details in the original copy of the Migration Legend that legitimize it as an overview of Native American history. The original homeland of the Cusseta was at the foot of a huge, isolated volcano that was separated from an ocean to the east by a plain. That could only be Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico.
Several glyphs from the original Olmec writing system have been found in the art of ancestral Creek towns in Georgia. The Olmec Civilization originated to the south of where the Cusseta originated. The opening pages of the Migration Legend described the Cusseta being oppressed by a more advanced people and also their children being sacrificed.
There were surprises. The Kvse-te received their name because they became vassals of the great town of Kvse (Kusa~Coosa) in northwest Georgia. We are not told what they called themselves beforehand. That means that the people, who built the great town on the Coosawattee River were a different ethnic group than the Kvsete or Cussata.
We are finding a lot of evidence that the Kusa People themselves were Kvsebo (Kaushibo) from eastern Peru and that they entered the Southeastern United States from the Atlantic Coast north of Savannah . . . hence the name of the Cusabo Tribe in South Carolina. It seems to be more than coincidence that the Peruvian lima bean first appeared in the Southeast at the exact same time that the first Kusa village was established in northwest Georgia – c. 1300 AD.
While trying to flee oppression, the Cussetta stumbled upon a major road that interconnected several regions. They called it Nene Hvtka Rakko . . . the Great White Path. Great White Path happens to also be the English translation of the Maya word for a major road between two cities. The “White” adjective signifies that no warfare was allowed along its route.
The term was used again in the last paragraphs of the Migration Legend. Mikko Chikili, the author of the Migration Legend, stated that the builders of a great town on the side of Georgia highest mountain had flattened foreheads and built a “Great White Path” from the mountains to the sea. The term Nene Hvtke Rakko was still being used for this route when the British first settled South Carolina. That route is now known as US Highway 129, which connects the Great Smoky Mountains with the Gulf Coast of Florida. It also happens to pass through most of the major indigenous town sites in western North Carolina, Georgia and North Florida.
In the last paragraph of the portion of the document discussing the Cusatta’s journey, they left the higher mountains and settled in the lower mountains of Georgia, where the Palache (Apalache) lived. This collaborates the book by Charles de Rochefort, who also placed the Apalache in the lower mountains of Georgia.
The Apalache Foundation is now studying a cluster of Native American towns in Northeastern Georgia, built out of both field and quarried stone . . . exactly where a 17th century French ethnologist and the 18th century Creek Principal Chief, Chikili, said they would be.
Sometimes, you CAN believe everything you read.
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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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