The massive model of Etowah Mounds National Landmark on the left was funded by the Muscogee-Creek Nation. It was to be put on display in Georgia for its citizens to visit before being trucked to Oklahoma. Members of a feminist cult blocked that event. The model is now on display in the rotunda of the Muscogee-Creek Capitol Building in Okmulgee, OK.
Creek Indians in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina have known for decades that the “new history” of the Southern Highlands, being told by a clique of Southeastern archaeologists and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, contained many false beliefs. However, there was an unwritten agreement that Southeastern Native Americans stayed on their own turf in order to maintain harmony. Besides, much of what the Creeks knew about the Southeast’s early history was an oral history.
For example, this writer’s grandmother always said that “there were white people living in the mountains for over a hundred years before there was such a thing as a Cherokee.” Her statement has recently turned out to be 100% accurate, but back then, they were just the words of an elderly, under-educated, Injun woman in rural northeast Georgia.
The only solid evidence backing such oral traditions was that about 85% of the Native American place names in western North Carolina are Creek or Maya words, not Cherokee. That includes the Oconaluftee River running through the North Carolina Cherokee Reservation. The problem was that Creek elders such as Granny Ruby were not even allowed to attend public schools in Georgia, much less, earn postgraduate degrees that would give them credibility.
In contrast, archaeologists with PhD’s, such as Roy Dickens and Charles Hudson, churned out book after book, which increasingly exaggerated the cultural role of the Cherokees during early history. Hudson was particularly inclined to label towns with a Creek Indian names visited by Spanish explorers, Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo, as “ancient Cherokee names whose meanings have been lost.” All of Hudson's college education was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. That was what he was taught. He never learned the Creek language throughout his career at the University of Georgia.
These archaeologists had a Caucasian New Age Cult following that believed the Cherokees to be the Master Race. Cult members still make it certain that only Hudson’s world view is seen in such references as Wikipedia. It was these New Age wannabe’s that put the ideas in the heads of North Carolina Cherokee leaders that their ancestors had built the Southeast’s mounds; were the first people to cultivate corn, beans and squash; and that they were the ancestors of the Mayas and Aztecs. These preposterous ideas are presented as facts in books published by the University of North Carolina Press for Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
The straws that broke the proverbial camel’s back occurred in 2006 and 2007. The Muscogee-Creek Nation of Oklahoma had pumped thousands of dollars to support archaeological studies at Etowah Mounds National Historic Landmark in Georgia and also paid for a massive model of Etowah Mounds to be fabricated, based on those archaeological studies. A delegation of the Creek Nation’s highest officials was invited to be the guests of honor at a banquet, where the model would be unveiled. Three weeks before the banquet, a group of female Western North Carolina University professors arrived at Etowah Mounds and demanded that all reference to the Creek Indians be removed from the state museum located there.
In response, the Director of the Georgia Division of Parks and Historic Sites declined to change all the labels of the artifacts because of budgetary limitations, but ordered all Creek art and books by Creek authors removed from the museum shop then replaced by those of Cherokee origin. She uninvited the Creek Nation’s elected officials, cancelled the display of the Etowah Model and invited some minor Cherokee tribal bureaucrats to be the guests of honor.
A young woman, just out of high school and with no education in architecture or anthropology, was awarded a contract to build a model of Etowah Mounds. It is quite inaccurate, but still is on display in the museum. Furthermore, the female Parks Director banned the annual Creek Indian Festival at Sweetwater Creek State Park. Georgia Creeks were outraged, but powerless to get the decision reversed. The cults had their tentacles throughout the state government. This writer’s ex-wife was a member of one of those feminist cults.
Later that year, the Parks and Historic Sites Director issued a large contract to a young female archaeologist, newly arrived to Georgia from the Midwest, to write a comprehensive archeological history of the Etowah River Valley. This newcomer had no educational or professional experience at the time in Georgia Native American culture. Some of the Southeast’s most famous archaeologists had worked in the Etowah River Valley for years. They were men. They were not considered for the contract.
In late 2006, archaeologists employed by the Georgia Department of Transportation, began excavating a section of a Native American town site near Ball Ground, GA – on the Etowah River 27 miles upstream from Etowah Mounds. During the previous 50 years sections of the site had been studied by such famous archaeologists as Robert Wauchope and Lew Larsen. All archaeologists had labeled the town site as being associated with Etowah Mounds culturally, and therefore an ancestral town of the Creek Indians.
A few months after the Etowah Mounds Creek Banquet fiasco, another female archaeologist, newly arrived to Georgia and employed by the state Department of Transportation, issued a national press release about the Ball Ground archaeological site. This was done prior to any actual excavation taking place under the new archaeological contract. The press release announced that GDOT archaeologists were going to prove that the Ball Ground site had been occupied by the Cherokees for 1000 years and therefore Etowah Mounds was built by the Cherokees. The other female archaeologist, working on the history of the Etowah River Valley, then used the press release as proof that the Cherokees had built Etowah Mounds.
The team of archaeologists, working at Etowah Mounds, was extremely upset by the press release and the contents of the Etowah Valley history report. Getting no support from the state bureaucracy, they sent SOS signals to the Muskogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. Creek officials had already put the State of Georgia on their caca list because of their rude treatment in the spring of 2006. The first visible response occurred the following summer when a team of history and law professors from the University of Oklahoma spent several weeks in the Southeast studying the early archives of Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. The scholars were primarily interested in seeing the original treaties and maps from the Colonial and Early Federal Period to determine exactly where tribal boundaries were.
This research project resulted in the primary, irrefutable proof that the Cherokees did not build the Track Rock Terrace Complex. Track Rock Gap was in the territory of the Creek Nation until 1785, when most of the northern tip of Georgia was given to Cherokees as hunting grounds. The Creeks continued to occupy land as far north in the mountains as Clarksville, GA until 1818. The United States government had hoped that giving the Cherokees this large tract of land would end the Chickamauga Cherokee War. The compromise did not work. The bloody war continued for another eight years.
The professors found that almost all of Georgia’s state historic markers in its mountains, having to do with Native Americans, were inaccurate. There was no Battle of Taliwa or Battle of Blood Mountain, where the Cherokees “won all of northern Georgia.” The stories were myths created in the late 1820’s when the Cherokees were fighting deportation to the Indian Territory. Southeastern history was being turned upside down, but the facts uncovered by the professors generally have been blocked by the occult from being published in references. In late 2012 someone even deleted references to the Creek Indians in Wikipedia, within all the articles about Georgia Mountain counties. Beginning in 2008 the Etowah Mounds official state web site contained a statement that the town and its mounds were built by the ancestors of the Creek Indians. However, that statement was also removed in 2012 as part of the pro-Cherokee propaganda in advance of the premier of America Unearthed.
At the same time that the Muscogee-Creek Nation was taking action, an alliance of 18 Native American professors and professionals came together to challenge the Georgia DOT press release. They sent a letter to Georgia DOT Director Jena Abraham with copies of archaeological reports attached. The letter stated that the press release conflicted with known archaeological facts and was insulting to Georgia’s Creek Indian citizens. Abraham eventually replied that her staff member “thought the archaeological site was in another location.” However, the press release was never retracted.
The 18 Native Americans then formed the People of One Fire alliance to carry out independent research into the history and culture of the Southeastern Indians. The POOF founders were fed up with members of the occult manipulating history in order to advance their own religious and political agenda. The members agreed to use only primary information sources, the most advanced technology available and to share all research.
Georgia academicians and archaeologists generally shunned the books and research reports being turned out by People of One Fire members, but those in other parts of the North America started paying attention. One discovery built on another till the point that much of the nomenclature would not be understood by archaeologists outside the process. People of One Fire research projects have radically changed the understanding of the Southeast’s early history and basically left many Georgia and North Carolina anthropologists in the dust of an archaic world view.
This self-imposed professional isolation from a very sophisticated research process explains why an exasperated archaeologist and US Forest Service spokesman, Johannes Loubser, exclaimed to the media, “These people have pulled ideas out of thin air!” In support of this online article, one of Loubser's archeologist colleagues in his native country of South Africa, wrote a comment stating, "These people (POOF researchers) are ignorant peons, who are not qualified to be in the same room as Johnnie Loubser." Well, yes . . . most of the male AND female researchers in POOF do have dark hair and tan skin, but they also have PhD's, multiple degrees, professional licenses and five page resume's. It is a matter of perspective.
The People of One Fire has grown to over 2400 Native American, professional, academic and “history lover” members in the United States, Canada, Mexico and northern Europe. Its large web site is being widely used by educators as a teaching resource. However, people outside the organization did not realize how much the history books had been turned upside down until the climax of the premier of America Unearthed on December 21, 2012. A scientist at the University of Minnesota stated that there was a 100% match between attapulgite mined in Attapulgus, GA and the Maya Blue on temples in Palenque, Chiapas. In the homes of archaeologists across the Southeast, there was a collective gasp . . . then a plaintive, “Oh my gosh!”
The pen is mightier than the broom.