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Video – Never contacted tribe on Peru-Brazil border lives in massive one building villages like Calusa and Natives on South Atlantic Coast

In this 2015 BBC documentary, you will travel along with a British expedition to make first contact with an Amazonian tribe that have never met a European . . . at least close up.  They are extremely tall like the Calusas of SW Florida and certain tribes near present day Midway, GA and near Edisto Island, SC.   However, there is more.

In 1521, Francisco Gordillo and a slave raider, Pedro de Quejo  visited the region from the Santee River of South Carolina southward to at least the Midway River in Georgia.  In one or more provinces, they observed single building villages consisting of massive pup-tent shaped structures that could hold hundreds of people.  The two Spaniards observed such a structure being erected by the Iviadafi People.  The people in most of the coastal provinces lived in single family homes.

As you can see above in the photo taken by a helicopter, this tribe also lives in such structures.  The language spoke around the Medway River was Tupi-Guarani . . . which also happens to be a major language family of the Upper Amazon Basin.

A few years later in the 16th century, shipwrecked Spaniards (at least those who were not sacrificed and eaten) stated that the Calusa commoners in SW Florida lived in identical communal structures.   The elite lived on top of mounds or raised earthen platforms in single family houses.

Hope that you enjoy this fascinating TV program. There are more TV documentaries on the tribes of the Amazon listed by YouTube on the right after you finish this one . . . if you are interested. 

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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.



    In the program, you will hear the Brazilian anthropologist say that the “wild tribe” is a Pano-speaking tribe from Peru. Pano or Panoan is the language family that many of the provinces on the South Atlantic Coast from Port Royal Sound, SC to St. Marys Sound, GA were speaking during the 1500s. The Muscogee-Creek language contains some borrowed Panoan words for such things as tobacco, a village chief and the Sacred Black Drink.


    Richard, The Inca people used the “Knipu” which is believed to be some type of writing system. Was there any South East Native people that used the same system? I do think that there was at least one of the South East people that were noted to have used that system in the 1700’s.
    Also, the “Abacus” device counting system that the Inca used was called “Yupa-NA”, very close to the “Yupa-Ha” word that the Native American guide said was the location of a city that had much gold to the De Soto men. This could be another connection of the people from Peru to Florida / Georgia.

    “The Khipu Database Project (KDP), begun by Gary Urton, may have already decoded the first word from a quipu—the name of a village, Puruchuco, which Urton believes was represented by a three-number sequence, similar to a ZIP code. If this conjecture is correct, quipus are the only known example of a complex language recorded in a 3-D system.”

    • I have never heard of the knipu system being used in the Southeast. Unlike almost all indigenous peoples in the Americas, the Creeks used a decimal based numerical system and also had a zero. Yupaha is the Anglicization of a hybrid Muskogean-Itza word that means either “Horned Lord” or “Horn River.”


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