The MANY Migration Legends of the Creek People

The 28 branches of the Creek Confederacy had different origins!

Oklahoma Creek students are now being taught that the migration story presented by High King Chikili to the leaders of Savannah in 1735 was THE migration legend of all the Muskogee-Creeks . . . that it begins in the Rocky Mountains and that the Muskogees originally lived along the Red River in Oklahoma.  This is false, Oklahoma-centric history that was dumped on them by Caucasian academicians.  The best known of the numerous Creek migration legends is strictly that of a band of Toltecs in Mexico, who called themselves the Taskete (Tesquita in contemporary Spanish). They were the ancestors of both Cusseta and Taskete/Tuskegee Creeks. The original Creek Migration Legends were recorded by Thomas Christie, Secretary of the Province of Georgia, between 1733 and 1737.  They were ultimately stored in a wooden crate at Lambeth Palace in England until rediscovered in April 2015.  However, summarized versions of most of these oral histories have been in publication since the 1730s, so there is no excuse for Caucasian archaeologists and academicians to claim that the ancestors of Creeks were a single ethnic group, which always lived in the Southeastern United States.

(1) Muskogee (Maskoke, Mvskoke) – This is a relatively new term that first appeared in the late 1740s, during the reign of High King Malatchi.  Its meaning is not obvious, because masko is not in the Muskogee-Creek dictionary. It possibly was derived from the Ladino (Spanish Sephardic) verb, meaning “to mix.”  Malatchi was probably the son or grandson of a Jewish trader, because he had a Hebrew name.  Maskoke was coined to give a name to the members of the Creek Confederacy, who originally spoke several languages and dialects.  However, until the late 1780s, Itsate (Hitchiti) was spoken by more people in Georgia, than either English or Muskogee.  The Muskogee language was originally derived from the dialects spoken by a militarily powerful minority in the 1717 Creek Confederacy.

(2) Muskogee-speaking Migration Legends – There are NO surviving migration legends for any of the Muskogee-speaking branches of the Creek Confederacy.  The Akfvske (Oakfuskee) Creeks did tell Georgia officials that their ancestors tagged along with the Tohkase  (Tuckabatchee), when they migrated southward from the mountains.  At the time, when Juan Pardo was exploring the Appalachians (1567-9) the Tokase lived in the vicinity of Highlands and Sapphire Valley, North Carolina. Their name became the root of such place names as Tocaria, Togaria, Toccoa and Tugaloo.

(3) People of One Fire or Creek Confederacy – As clearly and repeatedly stated in the original version of the Kaushete Migration Legend . . . the original Creek Confederacy was formed by the Alabama, Kaushete, Chickasaw and Apike to oppose both the Apalache (NE Georgia Creeks) and the tribes that spoke Muskogee, who were invading the region from the northeast.

  • The Second Creek Confederacy or Apalachen Confederacy was composed of all tribes from SW Virginia to SW Georgia and was called by the French, the Kingdom of Apalache.  It corresponds to what anthropologists call the Lamar Culture.  After the Paracusa or High King of Apalache was converted to Protestant Christianity by six French Huguenot survivors of Fort Caroline, most of the elite and people that we now call the Apalachicola Creeks, also became Christians. Other member provinces reverted back to their traditional religions.  The kingdom unraveled. Thus, by the early 1600s onward, the High King had little political power outside of Northeast Georgia, but was treated as a Pope-like figure by the other provinces.  This version of the alliance was unraveled first by a smallpox plague in 1696 and then by a massive military victory by  Cherokee invaders in 1716.
  • The Third Creek Confederacy was founded in 1717 at what it is now Ocmulgee National Historic Park.  The mikko of the Coweta Creeks, Bemarin (Emperor Brim), played a high-handed role in forging this alliance in order to create a united military resistance to tribes, invading from the north and a single political voice to European powers.  Bemarin is a Sephardic and French Jewish family name.  Undoubtedly Emperor Brim was part Jewish.  The Chickasaws were original members of this People of One Fire also, but dropped out when High King Bemarin pushed through a law, which mandated the use of Coweta’s dialect, now called Muskogee, as the parliamentary tongue for all Confederacy meetings.  Bemarin tried to persuade the alliance to wage war on the Chickasaws, but their long time allies, the Upper Creeks, vetoed the proposal.

(4) Uchee – The Uchee told Georgia officials that their ancestors sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the “Home of the Sun.”  There was no one living in the Lower Southeast at the time, but they saw mounds, built by an earlier people. Uchee seems to be derived from the hybrid Proto-NW European word for water, Ue, with the Muskogean suffix meaning “descendants of.”    The Muskogee Creeks also used “ue” for water.  All other Muskogean languages use “oka” which is linked to the same Proto-Mediterranean root word as the Latin word for water, aqua.

(5) Apalache (NE Georgia), Apalachicola and Cusabo –  They told Georgia officials that their ancestors came across the ocean from the south.  They first landed on the South Atlantic Coast near Savannah then spread inland and northward.   Their first capital was where Downtown Savannah is today.  Their first king is buried in the “Indian King’s Mound” in Savannah.  Apalache is the Europeanization of the Panoan (Peru) word Aparasi, which means “From the Ocean (or alternatively Upper Amazon Basin) -Descendants of.   Even today, some of the most basic words of the Creek languages mean the same in Panoan, the language of many tribes in eastern Peru and the Upper Amazon Basin.  However, Uchee, Creek and Panoan also share some root words with Swedish and English.  Those words in Swedish and English seem to predate the arrival of Germanic peoples in Scandinavia.

(6) Chickasaw – The Chickasaws told Georgia officials that their ancestors “came out of the ground” in some mountainous region far to the west . . . probably western Tamaulipas State, Mexico.   They settled down for awhile along the Mississippi River then parted ways with their Choctaw kin.  They then migrated as far east as the Savannah River.  It was in Northeast Georgia where a more advanced people (Itza Maya refugees) taught them how to grow corn.  They then began spreading westward.  At the time Georgia was founded in 1733,  the Chickasaw’s capital was on the Tennessee River near Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  However, even then their territory spanned a vast distance from Paducah, Kentucky to Cleveland, GA (just south of Yonah Mountain.)  About 80% of the territory now claimed by Cherokees as where their ancestors lived for 12,000 years, was Chickasaw Territory in 1715.  Chickasaws continued to live in Northeast and Southwest Georgia until 1817.

(7) Tulase (Talasee, Tulse, Tulsa) – They told Georgia officials that they were the descendants of the founders of Etula (Etowah Mounds).  This great town was founded around 1000 AD.  The word, Etula, is Itza Maya and means “Principal Town or Capital.”

(8) Okvte (Ocute, Oconee) – They told Georgia officials that their ancestors came across the ocean and first lived for a long time in the Okefenokee Swamp.  Their name means Water People.  They then began migrating northward until the established great towns along the Oconee River in Georgia and on the Oconaluftee River in North Carolina (present day Cherokee Reservation).  Oconaluftee is derived from Okvni-lufte, which mean “Okonee People – Massacred.”

(9) Appalachian Itsate (Hitchiti) and Chiaha – They told Georgia officials that their ancestors came across the ocean from the south and then migrated up to the Chattahoochee River to its source.  They then spread to cover much of the Southern Appalachians.  Both Itsate and Chiaha are Itza Maya words . . . meaning “Itza People” and “Salvia River.”

(10) Macon, GA area Itsate – Mikko Tamachichi told Governor Oglethorpe that his ancestors came across the ocean from the south.  The first lived near the shore of Lake Okeechobee, Florida then migrated northward to a land of grassy marshes . . . probably either the Everglades or the headwaters of the St. Johns River.  They then migrated northward and settled in the Savannah, GA area, where they lived for many years before finally migrating to the Ocmulgee River near present day Macon.

(11) Kansa or Kaw – The Kansa people originated in South Carolina. They migrated to McKee’s Island on the Tennessee River near present day Guntersville, Alabama, where they lived in earth-bermed houses with thatched roofs.  After outgrowing the island, they migrated to the Coosawattee River Basin around 1300 AD, where a Muskogean people became their elite. The elite called themselves the Mesoamerican name of Kawse, which means “Eagle-Descendants of.”  This is how the Kansa acquired their alternative name and why their word for eagle is the same as the Itza Maya word for eagle. Kawse or Kause, is the actual name of the Kusa People. Most of the Kansa left the region during a terrible drought in the late 1500s, eventually arriving on the Kansas River, where they became allied with other Siouan earthlodge people, originally from the Lower Southeast, such as the Mandan, Arikara, Ato and Quapaw.  Some of the Kansa or Kawse moved downstream on the Coosa River, where they became members of the Creek Confederacy.   *Archaeological excavations by several prominent Twentieth Century archaeologists back up the original Kansa Migration Legend 100%, but in recent years Midwestern anthropologists have been telling them that they were from “somewhere” in the Midwest.  So the new generation of Kansa believe this false history concocted by academicians.

(12) Kaushete (Cussate, Cusseta) – The is their legend, which the Oklahoma Creeks are now calling “the Muskogee-Creek Migration Legend.”  It actually is a saga about the Taskete (Tesquita), a Tolteca tribe, which migrated to northwest Georgia and then took on the name of their landlords, the Kawshe (Kusa).  In their migration legend, presented by High King Chikili on June 7, 1735 to the leaders of Savannah, they were called the Kawshete, which means “Kusa People.”   Whereas the Taskete/Tuskegee continued to speak a Mesoamerican language similar to Itza Maya and Huastec, the Cusseta in Georgia eventually adopted the language of Coweta, which is now called Muskogee. 

Originally, the Taskete (Kaushete) were a Toltec tribe, living in caves on the slopes of the Orizaba Volcano in southwestern Vera Cruz State, Mexico. After learning how to grow crops, they migrated up and down the Yama (Jamapo) River, which even today is often called the Bloody River.   After being persecuted by more advanced people they migrated along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico on the Great White Path until they reached the Mississippi River Basin.  There they dwelled for several generations before migrating due east.  They eventually settled in the land of the Kawshe, now typically called the Kusa.   Their town was visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition and called Tasqui.  It most likely was the site of a large Proto-Creek town and Cherokee village on the edge of Fontana Lake, now called Tuskeegee.

A terrible drought struck the mountains, probably the one that began in 1585.  A band of Taskete fled upstream until they reached the terminus of the Great White Path (US 129) at Chiaha. Great White Path is the English translation of the Itza Maya name for a major road. The real site of Chiaha is quite visible in Fontana Lake, just downstream of where, as stated by De Soto’s chroniclers, three rivers meet . . . the Little Tennessee, Nantahala and Tuckasegee.  From Chiaha, this band traveled southward on the Great White Path to a large town on the side of a mountain, occupied by people with flattened foreheads.  This was probably the Track Rock Terrace Complex.  The band ransacked the town then fled southward until they reached the lower Georgia Mountains and the Province of Apalache.  Here they were given sanctuary and assigned to live across the river from the town of Coweta.  From then on, the Coweta and Cusseta paired their towns, wherever they established colonies.

(13) The Otase or Atase – The Otase, known to Anglo-Americans as Atasee, first lived in South Carolina.  They migrated to the Ocmulgee River near present day Warner-Robbins, GA.  Here they learned how to grow corn  from a more advanced people and built earth-bermed houses on low mounds with thatched roofs.  During a terrible drought, some left the region and traveled westward until they reached the Missouri River, where they settled among other Siouan earthlodge builders from the Southeast, such as the Mandan and Arikara.  Those on the Missouri River are known as the Otoe People.  Late 20th century academicians speculated that the Otoe were from the Midwest (Wisconsin) and were really a branch of the Ho-Chunk People (Winnebago).   However, the Ho-chunk were not earth lodge builders, where as the Otase were.  The Otase, who remained in Georgia eventually joined the Creek Confederacy then moved to the Chattahoochee River when their land on the Ocmulgee was ceded in 1805.  They do not have a separate identity today within the Muscogee-Creek Nation.

2 Comments

  1. Wonderful synthesis of Creek Indian history! It provides an undying framework to future revelations of the truth. Forget about all the academic blunders and lies. A new chapter of indigenous history is dawning.

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  2. I (Donald Yates) have written about this famous painting in the Journal of Cherokee Studies, and, independently, the English author of Transatlantic Encounters about the same time. I argued that the Trustees missed their opportunity of exactly recording all the Creek actors in the delegation and the painter Verelst substituted several Cherokees from the 1730 visit. Who would have noticed? According to my analysis, the small Indian on the right is modeled on Attakullakulla from Tannassee, the first volunteer recruited by Sir Alexander Cumming and the Cherokee on the extreme right in the 1734 group of “Creek Indians.” He is my 7th-great grandfather. The muscular Indian second to the right of Tomochichi from the viewer’s viewpoint is Kollannah/ Kalanu, The Raven in the 1730 delegation, identical with Oconostota or James Beaver/Beamer, a Mustee, at that time of Tellico, later war chief of Chota, known as a Mustee or mix or Indian, White and Black, who died after 1809. Wikipedia and other sources say Oconostota did not go to England, but Narcissa Owens says he did, where he was recorded under his title of war chief. The Indian to the immediate right of Tomochichi (whose appearance we know and is verified by a portrait by Verelst from 1734 in a mezzotint by John Faber, Jr., p. 154 in Alden Vaughan’s book), with shrunken features, is modeled on Tathtowe or Tistoe (“Fire Maker”) of Tellico in the 1730 delegation as engraved by Isaac Basire after a lost painting by Markham; he is supposed to be Umpichi, a Creek Indian in Tomochichi’s party. He was from Tellico, like Tathtowe and Kolannah. Senauki, the only woman, is probably based on a true likeness; she was said to be ugly, old with a swollen cheek from tobacco use. The very tall Indian is the same as Skalilosken Ketagustah (=Speaker, Honored Man) from Tassetchee. Finally, from Tanassee, a friend of Attakullakulla, is Clogoittah (“Gun Carrier”), the stocky round faced figure with the two-tufted forelock. The “King” (Ouka Oulah) and late-comer Onancanoa (far left) in the 1730 group are not reprised. The King (from Tassetchee) was not needed since the composition in 1734 already had a head man, Tomochichi, and Onancanoa was not an official but an interloper. Thus five out of the “Creek Indians” in the tableau above were really Cherokees, not Creek. The prestidigitation can be be followed in my book Old World Roots of the Cherokee (McFarland, 2012), chapter “The Crown of Tennessee,” pp. 98-105. It is another example, a big one, of how English officials robbed the true Creeks of historicity and substituted Cherokees. Who is the wiser even today. The Cherokee mashup hangs in the capitol in Atlanta and Historical Society in Savannah. Lies upon lies, even if in large oil canvases.

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