The Secret History of the Chiska

They lived in Peru and Tennessee!

Part Three of the “Forgotten Peoples of the Southern Highlands”

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner

My contacts with the famous archaeologists Arthur Kelly and Román Piña-Chan found them to be scientists, who viewed anthropology/archaeology to be an on-going process in the search for factual knowledge.  The same could be said for the archaeologists, I worked with in Sweden and at the National Park Service Center in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Something happened to the university anthropology programs on the Southeastern United States, however, after Dr. Kelly was made a pariah by his peers in 1970.  The new generation of anthropology professors were most interested in achieving fame for creating “complete models” that explained the past.  It didn’t matter if they were over-simplified or downright inaccurate.  They just had to be “seamless tall tales” about the past, which no one in the future could change.

In 2003, the President of Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists announced in a speech to the annual conference of the Society for Georgia Archaeology that “We now know everything there is to know about the Southeastern Indians, it is time to move on to other things.”  The speech was given about 40 miles west of the Track Rock Terrace Complex . . . one of at least 16 stone walled, mountainside or hill side towns in northern Georgia that this archaeologist didn’t know existed.  Yet, in 2012, he would play a key role behind the scenes in the US Forest Service’s not-so-brilliant “Maya Myth-Busting-In-The-Mountains” political campaign. 

Another example . . . Gerald T. Milanich, one of the most esteemed anthropology professors in Florida wrote an editorial in Archaeology Magazine in 2005.  It was a critique of the 200+ water colors and sketches, made by Jacques Le Moyne, while he was a resident of Fort Caroline.  The professor observed that the cultural traits of the Indians and architecture, portrayed by Le Moyne did not jive with those of the Indians in northern Florida.  He stated that the Indians in Le Moyne’s art displayed South American cultural traits.  Therefore,  Jacques Le Moyne’s art must be considered to be faked.

Well, no . . . Professor Milanich.   You see the Native Americans on the coast of Georgia were mostly from South America. One island (Jekyll) was occupied by Taino from the Caribbean Basin.  The capital of the province nearest Fort Caroline was Satipo on St. Andrews Sound.  That is also the principal city in the region of Peru, where the Panoan Peoples live.  Like most Eastern Creeks, my Native American DNA consists totally of DNA from southern Mexico, eastern Peru and northern Scandinavia.  Dr. Millanich merely provided more proof that Fort Caroline was not in Florida.  Those coastal South Americans were literally the tail-end of a massive influx of South Americans into Southeastern North America.

Panoan towns in Northeastern Tennessee -Detail of 1684 map of North America by Jean Baptist Franquelin.

Who were the Chiska?

The Chiska People are recorded by the chroniclers of the De Soto and Pardo Expeditions as living in the interior of the Southeastern United States, west of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains. They are shown in late 17th French maps as specifically living along the Holston River in northeastern Tennessee. French explorers, such as La Salle, wrote their name as Chisqua or Cisca. 

The Spanish remembered them as a warlike tribe, who were enemies of the tribes in the South Carolina Up Country, who the Spanish thought they had subjugated. The Spanish also heard statements from their presumed vassals that the Chisca knew how to smelt copper, silver and gold from rock ores.  The Creeks hammered nuggets or grains of these soft metals into foil or chains, but supposedly did not know how to smelt metals.

In his books,  UNC graduate/University of Georgia professor, Charles Hudson, stated that the Chisca were a “Yuchi” tribe.   This is what anthropology students are taught today in the Southeast today, even though it is hogwash.  There is no point arguing the point with them, because their education today is akin to the rote memory of a religious catechism.  

Other anthropological texts tell us that “The Chisca were a tribe of Yuchi Native Americans living in eastern Tennessee and southwestern Virginia in the 16th century. They later merged with the Shawnee, and became extinct as a tribe during the 18th century.”  I can’t figure out, where the “Shawnee” thing came from . . . other than one small band of refugees did join an Algonquin tribe on the Ohio River.  It’s probably some professor’s speculation to make the rest of his or her bogus history of another tribe, work out.

In the same time period (2012) when occultists went into Wikipedia and removed all references to the Creek Indians from the histories of counties in Northern Georgia, they also altered the article on the Chisca to relocate them north of North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, since their actual location would conflict with the Cherokee’s new claim to have inhabited all of that region for 12,000 years.  The Wikipedia article is now linguistically, geographically and historically all mixed up. It appears to have been written by an undergraduate student, who was parroting a professor’s simplified version of the past. It should not be used as a reference.  Go to the primary sources!

The occultists also to make other bogus theories work.  The Chisca were convenient, since they were assumed to be extinct.  They placed the Chisca near Saltville, VA because an Indian village site was found there.  They had De Soto crossing the North Carolina Mountains in the northwestern tip of North Carolina and the GREAT Native American town of Joara at the site of a single 18-inch-tall mound in Burke County, NC.  So, the Chisca had to be north of Burke County. 

The Chisca lived in houses excavated into the sides of hills and mountains, not in planned, Mesoamerican style towns with central plazas.  Tennessee archaeologists have found the identification of Chisca village sites to be very difficult, because over the past five centuries earth has slid down hills and mountains to cover the Chisca houses at their bases.  However, the anonymous skulkers in Wikipedia didn’t know that.  Historical and architectural facts mean little when one is trying to protect New Age religious beliefs!

I checked the Saltville town site.  It has proto-Creek houses in a typical Itsate Creek town plan.  The archaeological site appears to be a Tamahiti town.  They were a branch of the Itsate Creeks from SE Georgia, who returned to Georgia, when the Creek-Cherokee War broke out in 1716.

Now, the real history of the Chisca

Well . . . Chisca is also the name of a warlike Panoan-speaking tribe in Peru and the western edge of Brazil, which in the past dressed in an identical manner to the warlike Chisca in Tennessee.  The word, Chisca, means “bird” in Panoan.   There is no doubt that they were the same people.  As you will learn below, the Cherokee word for their Bird Clan is in phonetic English, chisqua.

The Chisca were one of several Panoan tribes from which bands of people immigrated northward into eastern North America.  The art of the Swift Creek Culture (200 AD-1000 AD) in Georgia is absolutely identical to the art and contemporary pottery of the Panoan-speaking Conibo Tribe of Peru.  In fact, to this day, Swift Creek pottery motifs can be found on Conibo clothing, being manufactured in South American textile mills today.

The Shipibo Panoans were also in the Southeast. The original Panoan name of the Holston River was the Shippisippi.  Their pottery and clothing motifs are identical to the St. Andrews Sound, Altamaha and Napier Complicated Stamp pottery styles in Georgia. Remember that the capital of Satipo was on St. Andrews Sound. 

The Kaushebo Panoans apparently settled on the southern coast of South Carolina.  Their name was Anglicized to Cusabo.  The pottery of the Kaushebo of Peru and the Cusabo of South Carolina was almost identical.

Spaniards buying Native American slaves

Chiscas destroyed by Spanish-speaking predators?

The chronicles of the  De Soto (1540) and Pardo (1567) Expeditions describe brutal battles with the Chisca. According to de Sotos’s account, he sent out a small exploration party in the vicinity of the upper Tennessee River, where they were attacked and defeated by Chisca warriors. As a result, de Soto limited his explorations in Chisca territory.

Spanish Sgt Moyano attacking from the fort near Joara, reported that he and his men numbering around 17, along with around 70 Indians from Joara, killed over a thousand Chisca men, women, and children.  This boast is highly unlikely, since the Chisca used shields and had some metal weapons.  Within a few months, the entire Spanish fort would be massacred . . . including Sgt. Moyano. 

However, Spanish hatred of the Chiscas evidently continued. In 1682, French explorer, Robert Cavelier La Salle, encountered a band of Chisca refugees in central Tennessee, who said that their villages had been ravaged by white slave raiders from the south, who spoke Spanish.  The French explorers fed them and then assisted the refugees to join a tribe, friendly to the French father west.

Dixie academicians have discounted the story, because the presence of Spanish-speaking, Sephardic and Asturian miners, in Georgia, NE Tennessee and western North Carolina, have been left out of the history books.  These 17th century colonists, redacted from the history books in the 20th century, seemed to have done an ethnic cleansing on the Southern Appalachians, leaving the door open for the Cherokees.  The Americas Revealed will investigate the Spanish-speaking colonists further, later in this series.

Chiska among the Cherokees

Many Chisca villages joined the Cherokee Alliance and became their Ani-Chiskwa or Bird Clan. In most modern Cherokee dialects, tsiskwa is a generic word for a bird.  There are quite a few Panoan words in the Cherokee language, but are different words than in the Creek languages.  Chiska words in Cherokee tend to be verbs or adjectives.

Chisca among the Creeks and Seminoles

Some Chisca survivors joined the Creek Confederacy and became the Chiska-ke Tribal Town.  It was located on the Chattahoochee River. This tribal town disappeared after the Red Stick War. Very possibly the surviving Creek Chiskas moved to Florida and joined the Seminoles.

Panoan words in Creek languages include the nouns for the Sacred Black Drink (asé), large canoe (pirro), beans (talico), sweet potato (aho), a village chief (orata) and a provincial king (uriwa).  The Creek word for a small canoe, pirroce, is merely the Panaoan word for canoe attached to a Creek suffix, meaning “little.”

The university professors in Dixie think that Satiuriwa was the name of the province near Fort Caroline, but that is the political title of the leader of Province of Satipo, which means “Colonists – King of.”   Actually, also, the clothing and hat of a Seminole mikko or Keeper are identical to the clothing worn by Panoan chiefs and healers.

Now you know!


  1. Howdy, Top notch work (in any language!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    On Sat, Feb 19, 2022 at 11:25 AM The Americas Revealed wrote:

    > alekmountain posted: ” They lived in Peru and Tennessee! Part Three of the > “Forgotten Peoples of the Southern Highlands” by Richard L. Thornton, > Architect and City Planner My contacts with the famous archaeologists > Arthur Kelly and Román Piña-Chan found them to be sc” >

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I live in the area once occupied by the Natives ( EAST TENNESSEE ).There seems to be a lot of bad ( wrong ) information and even outright lies about the subject.
    I was fascinated by your sites info , particularly the revelation that the Chiscas of North American are the same Chiskas of Peru. On what evidence have you based this historical upheaval ?

    Liked by 1 person

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