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Who Really are the Cherokees?

In 1976, while writing his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Archaeologist Bennie Keel was under heavy pressure to state that the Cherokees had lived in western North Carolina for at least 1000 years.1 That was a new policy adopted by the State of North Carolina. What Keel did say was that only three probable Cherokee structures in North Carolina had produced radiocarbon dates before the 1720. Keel noted that there was a century long gap between the archaeological record of large towns with multi-roomed rectangular houses, large plazas and pyramidal platform mounds, and the small villages typical of the Cherokees with crude round huts and no mound building activities. What he did not dare say was that the earlier towns were virtually typical of the towns of the Creek Indians’ ancestors and that all towns visited by De Soto in North Carolina had Creek names. The search for the history of the Cherokee Indians is very vague before 1721 and hits a brick wall around 1715. All the names of the original Lower Cherokee towns in South Carolina are Creek words, even though Cherokee history web sites say that they are ancient Cherokee words whose meanings have been lost.2 All the recorded names of their chiefs during this early period are either English or Creek words. Wahachee, the leader of the Lower Cherokees in the Anglo-Cherokee War of 1759-1761 had a Creek name. It means that his ancestors came from the coast of Georgia! His real name, in Lower Cherokee and Itsate Creek, was Wahasi (pronounced Wă : hă : shē). A similar situation exists at the Overhill Cherokee...

Tuskegee Indians

Tuskegee Tribe: Meaning unknown, but apparently containing the Alabama term taska, “warrior.” Tuskegee Connections. The original Tuskegee language is unknown but it was probably affiliated with the Alabama, and hence with the southern branch of Muskhogean. Tuskegee Location. The later and best known location of this tribe was on the point of land between Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, but in 1685 part of them were on the Chattahoochee River near modern Columbus and the rest were on the upper Tennessee near Long Island. (See also Oklahoma and Tennessee) Tuskegee Villages. None are known under any except the tribal name of Tuskegee. Tuskegee History. In 1540 De Soto passed through a town called Tasqui 2 days before he entered Coosa. In 1567 Vandera was informed that there were two places in this neighborhood near together called Tasqui and Tasquiqui, both of which probably belonged to the Tuskegee. By the close of the seventeenth century the Tuskegee appear to have divided into two bands one of which Coxe (1705) places on an island in Tennessee River. This band continued to live on or near the Tennessee for a considerable period but in course of time settled among the Cherokee on the south side of Little Tennessee River, just above the mouth of Tellico, in the present Monroe County, Tennessee. Sequoya lived there in his boyhood. Another place which retained this name, and was probably the site of an earlier settlement was on the north bank of Tennessee River, in a bend just below Chattanooga, while there was a Tuskegee Creek on the south bank of Little Tennessee River, north of Robbinsville,...

Tuskegee Tribe

Tuskegee Indians. Many dialects were spoken anciently near the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. Adair says: I am assured by a gentleman of character, who traded a long time near the late Alebahma garrison, that within six miles of it live the remains of seven Indian nations, who usually conversed with each other in their own different dialects, though they understood the Muskohge language; but being naturalized, they are bound to observe the laws and customs of the main original body.1 Some of these “nations” have already been considered. We now come to a people whose language has not been preserved to the present day, but they are known from statements made by Taitt and Hawkins to have spoken a dialect distinct from Muskogee.2 These were the Tuskegee,3 called by Taitt northern Indians. On inquiring of some of the old Tuskegee Indians in Oklahoma regarding their ancient speech I found that they claimed to know of it, and I obtained the following words, said to have been among those employed by the ancient people. Some of these are used at the present day, and the others may be nothing more than archaic Muskogee, but they perhaps have some value for future students. lutcu‛å, a mug. ki‛lås, to break. sia‛łito, I will be going; modern form, aibaatce‛. tcibūksa‛tce‛, come on and go with us! (where one person comes to a crowd of people and asks them to go with him). ili-hu‛ko-lutci, hen (-utci, little). talu‛sutci, chicken. ilisai‛dja, pot; modem form, lihai‛a łå‛ko. apa‛lå, on the other side; modem form, tåpa‛la. wilikå‛pkå, I am going on a visit; modern form,...

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