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Those Kanza faces . . . something’s bothering me again folks!

Those Kanza faces . . . something’s bothering me again folks!


Aboriginal Welsh lady

Something else has been bothering me again folks! Several of those Kanza men in an 1850 photograph have facial features identical to the Gamla Folk or Southern Sami in Scandinavia,  the aboriginal Welsh in remote mountainous regions of Wales and also the Pre-Gaelic people in remote areas of western Ireland.  One also sees those features among certain Seminole families, whose ancestors came from the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  They are very similar in proportion to the face of Welsh American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and not all Asiatic.  They are also the traditional features of Irish leprechauns and English elves . . . who were based on the aboriginal people of those islands.  Norwegian trolls are caricatures of the aboriginal Northern Sami. 

The Kanza are a very handsome people. However, some of them in this photo have Gamla Folk facial features, but American Indian pigmentation.

We know that the Quapaw People were originally on the coast of South Carolina.  Could it be that all the Dhegiha tribes (Kanza, Osage, Ponca, etc.  originated on the South Carolina Coast then as individual bands migrated inland they developed into tribes?  It would be very interesting to see a comprehensive DNA survey of the Kanza.   As most of you know, at the time that Charleston, SC was settled there were many small Siouan tribes along the coast north of the Santee River and in north-central South Carolina.  However, their languages would have been incomprehensible to Midwestern and Great Plains Siouan tribes.

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.



    Hey Richard T., Could it be that there were distinct people living along the coast not intermingling with eachother until drastic events took place such as floods and perhaps invading people from mainland Europe, Middle East and Africa forcing them (kanza and other people/tribes) to migrate inland and perhaps forcing them to live and mix together to ensure their survival?

    • That could well be the situation. The only problem is that the only people asking those questions are on this website.


        Richard T., Thank you for your reply. Maybe similar questions by archaeologists and ethnologists are just being ignored. Who knows.

        Another question: Do you really believe the guatari (watari / wata-gi) originated from the western Amazon basin (South America)?
        If so; Are the wata-ri related to the Wai-wai tribe in Guyana (north of Brazil)?
        Maybe you can take a look at the following and give your honest opinion:

        The Wai-wai people live in Guyana in the Essequibo river region; they speak a Carib language. Near the Wai-wai people there lives the Macushi people in the Rupununi river region; they also speak a Carib language. A very interesting note is the oral history of the Macushi.
        Quotes (from wikipedia – not verified): “Macushi oral history describes them as descendants of the sun’s children, who created fire, as well as diseases, and they also believe they discovered Washacá, the Tree of Life. The Macushi believe in the life principle – stkaton – and they believe it comes from the sun.”

        “Cuthbert Cary-Elwes, a Jesuit missionary settled among the Macushi of the Rupununi Region (Guyana) in 1909, learned the language and stayed with them for more than 23 years.”

        The second part of the name Macushi ‘ushi’ does seem to be similar to ‘uchi’ (Uchee) and it is very tempting to say that they’re infact one and the same people or atleast related to eachother especially if the oral history of the Macushi (descendants of the sun’s children) turns out to be true. Furthermore; The Rupununi (region/river where the Macushi dwell) is also known as Raponani. The name Rupununi – Raponani sounds similar to Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

        Do you think there is a cultural link between the Wai-wai and Wata-ri people and the Macushi and the Uchi people and a possible Rapa Nui connection?

        Wai-wai people/tribe:
        Macushi people/tribe:
        Essequibo river map:
        Guyana regions map:
        Amazon river basin map:
        Rupununi region river map:

        • Well, without a time machine or comparative DNA samples, one is just speculation. What I do know is that the “ri/ree” suffix is Pre-Gaelic Irish and Uchee for “people or tribe” and that there is a Wata tribe in the Upper Amazon Basin. Of course, two different peoples could have had the same tribal names.


    Richard T., Again thank you for your reply.
    Eventhough it’s speculation it’s also good to put such speculations to the foreground so others (archaeologists, ethnologists etc.) can get and or take a different perspective at times to make any progress in their research.
    In one of your posts / articles on June 22, 2017 you talked about possible Uchee colonies in Cuba. In that same post you said: quote: “The Taino were NOT ethnically Arawaks as almost everyone thinks, but an offshoot of the Tayrona Civilization in Colombia. At some point they replaced most of their Chibchan language with a dialect of Arawak. The “entry level” texts from Cuba did not explain when and why this linguistic change occurred.”

    The following will sound very speculative yet you and others might find it very interesting and would like to take notes just incase.

    The kūmara (sweet potato) is a very important food source in Polynesia yet it’s origin is in South America.
    Quotes (from Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand):
    “The canoe Ngā Māhanga-a-Tuamatua (the twins of Tuamatua) is sometimes considered to be an ancient reference to both the Tainui and Te Arawa canoes. The scholar Āpirana Ngata suggested that the two canoes were in fact a double vessel, with one hull under the control of the captain Hoturoa and the other under Tamatekapua.”

    “Tuamatua is a common ancestor of both Tamatekapua and Hoturoa. The priest Ngātoroirangi appears on both canoes, as does Whakaotirangi and her basket of kūmara. Te Arawa refer to her kūmara basket as ‘te kete-rokiroki-a-Whakaotirangi’ (the secure basket of Whakaotirangi). Tainui speak of ‘te kete-rukuruku-a-Whakaotirangi’ (the small basket of Whakaotirangi).”

    Quotes (from wikipedia on Tainui and Arawa):
    “The Tainui iwi share a common ancestry from Polynesian migrants who arrived in New Zealand on the Tainui waka, which voyaged across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaiki to Aotearoa (North Island) approximately 800 years ago. According to Pei Te Hurinui Jones, the Tainui historian, Tainui first entered the Waikato about 1400 bringing with them kumara plants. By about 1450 they had conquered the last of the indigenous people in a battle at Atiamuri.”

    “One incident that occurred during this drama was that all the kūmara carried on the waka were lost overboard, save for a few that were in a small kete being clutched by Whakaotirang. Immediately after the calming of the seas, a shark (known as an arawa) was seen in the water. Ngātoro-i-rangi immediately renamed the waka Te Arawa, after this shark, which then accompanied the waka to Aotearoa, acting in the capacity of a kai-tiaki (guardian).”

    Questions that come to mind:
    – Did some Uchee / Uchi members migrated from Southeastern North America to South America (including Guyana) via Cuba?
    – Did some Uchee switched language to an Arawak and or Carib language during their stay in Cuba and South America?
    – Are the Uchee the ancestors of the Macushi (Macusi/Makushi/Makusi etc.)? Note: “Macushi oral history describes them as descendants of the sun’s children”
    – Did some Uchee (or seemingly related Macushi) migrated westwards towards the South American west coast taking the kūmara (sweet Potato) with them into the Pacific where they introduced the kūmara to Polynesians and other Oceanic peoples?
    – Are the Polynesian names Rapa Nui, Tainui, Arawa actually linked to Rupununi (Raponani – river in Guyana), Taino and Arawak or Arhuaca (skilled mariners of the Tayrona civilization not to be confused with Arawak)?
    – Are the red-/blonde haired Polynesians especially the Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand); who claim to have migrated from Rapa Nui; linked to the Uchee?

    It is all very speculative. Still, Someone must have introduced the kūmara into the Pacific island culture so why not skilled mariners like the Uchee (even if it only was via trade)?

    I have included some links for you and readers to get a better look and understanding on my comment.


    Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand:
    Tribal Map of New Zealand:
    Macro Arawakan Language map:
    POOF ‘Did Uchee Traders From Georgia Establish Colonies In Cuba?:

    • I can’t answer some of your questions, but I do believe that there is a connection between at least some of the Uchee and the Red Haired Mariners. Uchee descendants are showing up with Sami, Black Irish and Basque DNA. The Sami and Black Irish have some Asiatic features. However the Tokahle (Toharee) had freckles, yet were considered one of the Uchee Tribes.


        Hello, would you mind informing me of how one is to recognize “Black Irish DNA”, please? I have DNA tested with several of the major companies and have hundreds of years’ documented ancestry from an Appalachian region where the Uchee, Cherokee, and Shawnee converge- Thank you.

        • It will be high in Iberian and western Mediterranean DNA test markers, but mixed with typical Sami, Basque and Gaelic DNA test markers. You can go online and look at the results of a DNA study in Ireland. Look for the combination of unusual DNA markers found in County Kerry.


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