Richard Thornton | Jun 3, 2017 | 15
Would you believe that Kituwah is an Alabamu word?
A white skinned, balding, bearded, (authentic) Cherokee just ordered me on LinkedIn to stop spreading my sick, delusional lies. He said that the Creator gave the name Kituwah to all Cherokees. Well . . . guess the Creator is an Alabamu from Wetumka, Alabama.
You see both the words kitani and kituwa are Alabamu words, meaning “sorcerer” and “sacred fire.” They are derived from the Alabamu root verb, kitaaya, which means “to start a fire.” Footnotes in the Alabamu dictionary will tell you that originally kitani was the name of the priest, who started and maintained the sacred fire in their temples, but in modern times has come to mean sorcerer. Apparently, a some time in the past, the Cherokees borrowed these words. According to Cherokee tradition, the kitani once ruled their tribe, but were assassinated after they became too haughty. Apparently, the kitani were of Alabamu ancestory.
About 25 years ago the North Carolina Cherokees started saying that the ruins of a Muskogean town on the north side of the Tuckasegee River near Bryson City, NC was the site of the original Cherokee town of Kituwah. The tribe spent almost $2 million to buy the site and now says that the Cherokees have lived there for 12,000 years. In 2013 the EBC tribal council declared the mound there to be a Sacred Heritage Site and to have been built by the Cherokees.
Of course, Tuckasegee has no meaning in Cherokee and is the Anglicization of the Creek word Tokahse-ki, which means “Descendants of the Spotted People.” The principal Creek town of Tuckabatchee, Alabama was founded by this ethnic group.
Kituwah does appear on maps of the Cherokee Nation between 1725 and 1763. However, it was not located where the Eastern Band purchased the land, but upstream about two miles on the south side of the river. There is no mound at the real Kituwah site.
In 1826, Cherokee Principal Chief Charles Hicks wrote the “History of the Cherokee People” for the benefit of National Council President John Ross, who didn’t know much about the Cherokees since he had grown up on a trading post with a white father and 1/4 Cherokee mother (at most.) Hicks said that the Cherokees first entered the Southern Mountains from the west about the same time as whites settled Charleston. He said that the first Cherokee town in the mountains was Big Tellico near the present day state line between Tennessee-North Carolina Line.
Hicks specifically stated that the “mound builders” living in Western North Carolina had been greatly weakened by a plague. He went on to write . . . “The Cherokees killed or drove off the mound builders. We burned their temples down and built our town houses on the mounds in their place.” Hicks made it clear that the Cherokees did not build any mounds.
Second sick, delusional lie
If you recall the interview by a WSB TV reporter of the two representatives from the United Keetuwah Band of Cherokees, they stated that their ancestors had been forced out of Georgia on the Trail of Tears in 1838. Here is what the official website of the Keetuwah Band states:
“Our members are composed primarily of descendants of the “Old Settlers,” Cherokee who settled in present-day Arkansas and Oklahoma around 1817. They were well established before most of the Cherokee were forcibly relocated by the United States government from the Southeast to the Indian Territory in what became known as the 1838 Trail of Tears. ”
In 2000, the Bureau of Indian Affairs refused to issue a permit for establishment of United Keetowah Band reserve and gambling casino in Adairsville, GA because their ancestors were living in Tennessee prior to selling their lands and moving to Arkansas. As I said, this tribe has no connection to Georgia.
It’s a jungle out there!
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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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