Roots of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek Peoples . . . a new series

We will be researching our roots for the remainder of 2022.

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner

This is part of the first paragraph of High King Chikili’s speech to the leaders of Savannah, translated from a Creek language by Mary Musgrove and drafted by Georgia Colonial Secretary, Thomas Christie. Yes, this is the so-called “Lost Creek Migration Legend” which I discovered in 2015 . . . but it was actually in the original shipping trunk from which it left Savannah, GA on July 7, 1735 and it is not about the Creeks, per se, but a tribe of Tula-ch’izcu People, named the Kawshete, who migrated from the the slopes of the Orizaba Volcano in Veracruz to Southeast Tennessee then down into northern Georgia. The equivalent Creek word is Tvlasi (Tallassee).

Where did our Indigenous American ancestors originate? Of course, ultimately all humans originated in Africa and the predominant genetic makeup of most of the Americas, prior to the arrival of 16th century Spanish, French and English explorers, was Asiatic. The mystery lies in determining the location and time period, when the ancestors of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek developed cultural traditions that made them distinct from other tribes.

There is no simple or obvious answer for the origins of all three tribes. It is looking more and more that advanced indigenous cultured spread from the Southeastern United States to Mexico. Look at these riddles that we now know in the 21st century . . . decades after the profession of anthropology fossilized its orthodoxy of the past.

  • The oldest known permanent town in the Americas (+/- 1000 residents) was in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and was occupied 8,000-6,000 BC. It is the Thunderbird Archaeological District.
  • The oldest known public architecture and planned communities in North and Central America are in Savannah, GA (3,545 BC) and Watson Brake, LA ( 3,450 BC). Construction of ceremonial mounds did not begin in Mexico until around 1000 BC.
  • The oldest know stonehenges (3,500 BC) are in Alberta Province, Canada. The oldest known stonehenge in Europe is in Wales and dates from around 3,000 BC.
  • The oldest known ceramics, north of the Amazon Basin, is found found eastern Georgia and dates from around 2400 BC. Ceramics did not appear in southern Mexico until around 900 BC.
  • The earliest known appearance of the Maya glyphs for a high king, astronomical symbols and the Maya numerical system may be found in Släbro, Sweden – a village near the city of Nyköping on the Baltic Sea. They are the oldest petroglyphs in Scandinavia and date from about 2,000 BC. The earliest appearance of the Maya writing system in Mexico, carved on stone, is about 100 AD. Most of the symbols found at Släbro may also be found in the mountains of the State of Georgia, but their dates are unknown.
  • The Creek Indians of the Lower Southeastern United States were the only indigenous people in the Americas, who used a 10-based numerical system and zero, plus had knowledge of trigonometry. William Bartram observed in 1773, that although no Englishman understood the Creek surveyors equipment or math, their surveyors were far more accurate than British surveyors.
  • The Creek Calendar was equally as accurate as the Gregorian calendar that we use today. Like the Gregorian, it utilized “leap days” to keep the calendar accurate. It was much simpler to use than the Maya calendar.

Bet that this information does not quite mesh with your 11th grade Social Studies book, does it?

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