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When Arawaks Came to North America

Where have the years gone? It was 20 years ago today that a winter hurricane roared up the Appalachians and changed all the books on meteorology. It was the mirror image of a tropical hurricane because it was driven by extremely cold air being sucked downward 50,000 feet from the ionosphere. The day before, Virginia had temperatures in the 70s. In the Shenandoah Valley we ultimately accumulated 42 inches of snow, while the wind blew up to 60 mph. Massive lightning strikes occurred in the midst of blizzard conditions. They were far more horrific than conventional lightning strikes because the falling snow instantly exploded and ionized into blue light flashes. Bomb craters were made in our front pasture by lightning strikes. The temperatures hovered near zero for several days.

Unlike the Arawaks in Florida and the Caribbean Basin, the Toa Indians in central Georgia built semi-rectangular houses with solid walls

The snow was piled 16 feet high against my barn. It took me two days to dig a tunnel to the upper barn door, so I could feed my 280 goats and sheep in the lower level then check on the newborn kids and lambs. I couldn’t scrape our farm driveway because my tractor was covered in a 10 feet high drift. When the Virginia Depart of Transportation scraped the Old Back Road in front of our driveway, a 12 feet high mound was created. It would be April 5th before we could get out of our driveway. Prior to that, I had to cross country ski about a mile up the Old Back Road to get food from Virginia’s oldest general store. At least 310 people died in the storm. A large number of them were college students and Boy Scouts, who were hiking and camping in the Virginia & North Carolina Mountains when the storm hit.

This nightmare from nature inspired two blockbuster movies: The Perfect Storm (a true story) and The Day After Tomorrow (exaggerated storm.)

When Arawaks Came to North America

Taino Indians from Puerto Rico lived at least as far north as the Smoky Mountains

¿Como? ¿Puertorriqueños en América del Norte antes de que Cristóbal Colón? ¡Por seguro!

If you come upon an indigenous word in the Southeast ending with the suffixes of either coa, koa, qua or kwa, or contains the root word, Toa, Toasi, Towasee or Tawassee, it is most likely Arawak. If you find an ethnic group, whose name ends with the suffix, mani or contains the root word, tupi or toya, it is most likely Tupi-Guarani from South America.

Forensic geologists and Native American scholars are opening the flood gates of new knowledge about North America’s past. What they are discovering is that what is now the Southeastern United States was a melting pot for at least 1000 years. Much of the proof has also been available for a long time . . . 16th century archives left by French and Spanish explorers, plus a stone tablet discovered over century ago near Atlanta, GA. The Taino and South American place names were in these old texts. Some of them are still in use today. Until recently, though, no one ever stopped to investigate the origins of such words that were within what was thought to be the original territory of the Creek Indians, but not Creek words.

If interested in learning more, go here:

Y’all stay warm and cozy!

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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.



    I suspect that Machapunga Tribe of North Carolina was of Arawak origin.

    • Could well be Arawak, Carib or Tupi. There were definitely many tribes of South American origin in South Carolina.


        Greetings from Turkey, I thank you for the input. I knew that Arawak peoples migrated to South Carolina. When i read about Machapunga Tribe the first time i was surprised. Because they were defined as an Algonquian group. However, their name reminded me of the Machiguenga of Peru. It’s my opinion of course. Anyways, we could learn the truth if genetic tests took place.


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