Migrations of Elite Peoples to Southern Mexico
Origins of the Chickasaw and Creek Peoples – Part Seven
by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
This article covers the arrival of at least three ethnic groups to southern Mexico. It should be emphasized that the vast majority of indigenous DNA in that region was American Indian. The elites merely infused an admixture of cultural knowledge and genes, which stimulated advanced civilizations. The Sjoke came around 1200-1000 BC and brought with them knowledge of pottery making and mound-building. It is important to note that both mound-building and pottery-making occurred much earlier in the Savannah, Ogeechee and Altamaha River Basins of Georgia.
A culturally advanced people also arrived at the same time then stimulated to the development of future Maya city-states. They may also have been Sjoke, but lost their separate ethnic identity. This latter group retained cultural memories of their migration route from faraway. The migrations of the Sjoke and several Maya groups to the Southern Highlands of North America will be covered by other articles.
The last group to arrive from afar were quite different. They were very tall people with large, egg-shaped heads. Their DNA has been traced to the Crimea Region north of the Black Sea. They appeared in Veracruz and Tabasco about the same time that the Paracusa Culture (Paracas in Spanish) was getting started in Peru or about 800 BC. These super-tall eggheads were credited with being the ruling elite of Mexico’s first large town in the Tepotztlan Valley in Morelos State, the Olmec Civilization and Teotihuacan.
There is a broadly held misconception in North America . . . which unfortunately extends into academia . . . that the Mayas compose one ethnic group and language. Not really . . . today, there are 31 distinct Mayan languages and about 140 dialects of those languages. There were probably at least 80 Maya and quasi-Maya languages at the time of the Spanish Conquest, 500 years ago. There are also distinct differences in their physical appearances. Members of the Highland and Western branches of the Mayas look quite similar to Itsate Creeks, Chickasaws and Choctaws. Some branches of the Mayas look like Central American Indians. Other branches don’t look like any other indigenous peoples in the Americas.
The people of the Maya Civilization did not call themselves Maya. The Spanish coined the ethnic label Maya in the early 1500s. In Spanish, “y” is a vowel pronounced like an English, “ē.”
The reason for this diversity is that numerous “tribes” originally participated in the “Maya” Civilization. Many of those tribes became city-states or provinces, upon the impetus of elite groups, who took control of the tribe. Over time the language differences between tribes, city-states and provinces blurred via cultural interchange, but there were always differences.
For example, the original name of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia, Chata-hawche, has exactly the same meaning for a Guatemalan Maya family, recently moved to the Chattahoochee Valley from the Guatemalan Highlands or an Itza Maya family from Chiapas State, Mexico or a Tamulte family in Tabasco State, as it would to a Itsate Creek family living in the Chattahoochee Valley, 200 years ago . . . engraved stone (stela) – shallow river. Most of other branches of the “Mayas” would find the word incomprehensible.
Sjoke Migration Legend
Sjoke is correctly pronounced [Zjō : gkē], but written as Zoque or Soque in Mexico and Soque, Sokee, Sookee or Jokee in United States place names. The gk sound is a guttural K which is found in the Creek languages, Irish/Scottish Gaelic andmost Germanic languages, but not modern English. The sound confused early Spanish, French and English explorers, so it was often written as a C in Spanish, “qui” in French or que/g/k in English.
Northeast Georgians typically pronounce the word incorrectly as [Sō : kwē]. Wikipedia incorrectly describes Soque as a Cherokee word and the Soque People as being Cherokee. Some Soque did cast their lot with the Cherokee, when their land was given to the Cherokee in 1784, but they spoke a Creek language and most moved elsewhere to join the Creek Confederacy or the Seminole Confederacy. The Miccosukee in Florida are their direct descendants.
Meaning: The word is from an archaic Pan-Nordic language that spanned from Ireland to the shores of the North Sea in Scandinavia. It means “Sea People.” It was originally written as Sjøge in Norway and pronounced [Zjō : yē]. However, in modern times, it has been more common to use the words Sjø-folk or Sjø-Sammi . . . since in Norway the term specifically applies to a tribe of Sammi, who were skilled sailors and whale hunters. The Soque River begins on the slopes of Tray Mountain, Georgia then flows generally southward for 28.5 miles (45.9 km) until it joins the Chattahoochee River near Demorest, GA.
The Sjoke migration legend that was recorded by the Spanish is rather brief. It says that they arrived on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz and Tabasco in three flotillas, composed of very large canoes after crossing the Gulf of Mexico. There is no mention of crossing the Atlantic Ocean, so they may have departed from somewhere along the Gulf Coast of the United States or Florida. It should be noted, that the early artistic portrayals of the Sjoke always show them with a full beard and mustache, wearing traditional clothing and conical hat of Northern Europe, during the Bronze Age. Some even have them holding a fish or shark’s head helmet. These portrayals are virtually identical to such figurines in Bronze Age Scandinavia.
Maya Elite Migration Legend
This legend has traditionally been applied to all “Maya” people, but genetic analysis has revealed that the vast majority of Mayas share similar DNA with American Indians to the south in Central America. It has been theorized that these tribes shifted northward about 2-3,000 years ago. The elite could have well been Asiatic cousins of American Indians, who migrated westward instead of eastward from the spawning ground of the Native Americans’ ancestors in Central or Western Asia. Blue-eyed blonds are rather late arrivals to the Nordic countries. They, at least, would have looked like the Sjo Sammi in the photograph above.
The homeland of the Maya elite was surprisingly a land of ice and snow far to the north of Yucatan. They did NOT come from eastern Siberia. It was a land, inhabited by giants, who oppressed and apparently ate these people from time to time. They began migrating westward the edge of the ice cap until they reached the Atlantic Coast of North America. It is not clear, if they were in canoes or walking. They then followed the Atlantic Coast southward . . . staying in some locations for several years. They continued southward down the Florida Peninsula then went by boat to the western tip of Cuba and southwestward to Yucatan. They came to a land where there was no cold weather or snow and decided to make it their permanent home.
Egghead Migration Legend
Whereas the Maya writing system has been solved and anthropologists are able to translate most Maya engraved glyphs, such is not the case for the Olmec Civilization writing system, even though the symbols are similar or the same. Some parts of Mexico have legends that these bald-headed eggheads came down from the skies, accompanying gods. Other areas of Mexico are completely silent concerning their origin. Because there are so many statues of these odd looking people, there is no doubt that they had significant presence in the cities of southern Mexico during the time of the Olmec Civilization, but their origins remain somewhat of a mystery.
The mystery of the Maya and Olmec writing systems
Several of the symbols in the Släbro Hällristningar (petroglyphs) near Nyköping, Sweden are among the earliest glyphs found in Mexico. That includes henemako or the Royal Sun, which was the first Maya glyph translated by famed Mayanist David Stuart. Nyköping is in the Mälaren Basin which crosses central Sweden and about 62 miles (100 km) south of Gamla Stad Island in Stockholm. Apparently, the people living in this locale used the same numbering system, including a zero, that later appeared in Southern Mexico.
There is a problem here. The Nyköping petroglyphs were discovered in 1985. Geologists now date them from 2500 BC-2000 BC. Right now the earliest Maya glyphs appear on stone around 500 BC. Some are the same as in Sweden. Most have become more elaborate . . . but apparently this process did no occur in Sweden. In the documentary film below, you will be told in Swedish that Nyköping is the only place in Scandinavia or the world, where this style of petroglyphs can be found. She also states that they predate by about 1000 years the “Scandinavian style” of petroglyphs, which are seen in many locations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Well, the archaeologist in Nyköping was not quite right. There is another place in the world, where the Nyköping style petroglyphs can be found . . . Northeast Georgia, USA. Virtually all the symbols found on Northeast Georgia’s rock art can either be found at Nyköping or 38 miles away in Norrköping. Note that the odd bar symbols on top of the Tugaloo Rock can be found on Norrköping’s rock art.
This strongly suggests that the Maya elite spent some time in the Georgia Mountains and that the Georgia “Maya style glyphs” predate the earliest glyphs in Mesoamerica. Thus, people in Mesoamerica would have been aware of the mineral resources in Southeastern North America and how to get there.
Below are four examples of petroglyphs in Northeast Georgia. Compare the symbols on these images to the ones at Nyköping and Norrköping, which you will see in the documentary videos below.
Hällristningar (petroglyphs) nära Nyköping och Norrköping, Sverige