Two other possible origins for the word, Cherokee
In 1826 and early 1827, Acting Principal Chief Charles Hicks wrote eight letters to Cherokee National Council President, John Ross, on the history and traditional practices of the Cherokee People. He was grooming Ross for becoming Principal Chief. Hicks clearly stated that the Cherokees entered the Appalachian Mountains “from the west” at about the same time that Englishmen were colonizing the coastal regions of the Southeast. The first Cherokee town in the mountains, he said, was “Big Telico.” Hicks stated that the “mound builders” had been greatly weakened by a recent plague. “We killed or drove off the mound builders, burned their temples and built our town houses on top of their mounds.”
Thus, there is absolutely no justification for the current claim by North Carolina Cherokees that they have been in Western North Carolina for 10,000 years or that that Kituyah, near the North Carolina Reservation, was their original town. Since some Cherokee bands do have a tradition of being in Northern Mexico at one time, it does leave open the possibility that one or more of the original Cherokee bands came from northern Mexico.
Kerekee or Querreque in Spanish phonetics, is an indigenous name for the Pilated Woodpecker, used by the Huasteca along the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico. The Huasteca now are the predominant tribe in Tamualipas, since the aboriginal Tamaulte or Tamale left the region. There was a large infusion of Tamaulte into the Mobile River Basin of Alabama and southeastern Georgia after the Chichimec barbarians overran Tamaulipas State, Mexico between 1200 AD and 1250 AD.
Chiliki (English phonetic spelling) is the Totonac, Itza Maya, Itsate Creek and Muskogee Creek word for a barbarian. The Aztec word for barbarian is Chichimec or “Coyote People.” This pejorative label actually applied to many tribes in northern Mexico.
During the 1500s and early 1600s, Crypto-Sephardic Jewish families settled in the extreme northern provinces of Mexico. Many became involved with the slave trade. They captured thousands of Chichimecs and sold them into slavery to work as gold or silver miners farther south and also on sugar cane plantations in central Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. Unfortunately, the presence of large numbers of Sephardic Jews in the Southern Appalachians is still not in American History books. However, this is a fact and leaves open the possibility that Chiliki or Chichimec slaves were imported into the Appalachians to work in gold, silver and gem mines.
In the late 1700s, Colonel John Tipton and Colonel John Sevier led wagon trains of settlers from northwestern Virginia to what is now Northeastern Tennessee. They encountered several “ancient” (their words) villages containing Spanish-speaking Jews in northeastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. This is the exact same area where the very first maps (1715 and 1717) to use the word Charakey, located a dense concentration of Proto-Cherokee villages.
Note in this video below that there are similar motifs on the clothing worn by these dancers from Tamaulipas to the “magic vest” given to David Crockett by the Cherokees, before he left for Texas. Crockett took it off before the final attack by Generalissimo Santa Anna’s troops. A Mexican general found the vest. His descendants eventually sold it to the Alamo Museum. The sound quality on this video is not the best, but this is not a dance that you will see on the streets of Macon or Birmingham either. LOL
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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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