Friday, January 22, 2016

Painting Shows Mayas Living in Georgia in 1734!

The important part of this work is that it is placing both Maya and Peruvians at the end of a long trade route in southeast USA.  We also know that SE Asians came across the Pacific at least during the Bronze Age when a global shipping industry existed.  That meant architecture influenced from SE Asia.

Thus we have a chain of migration to SE USA leading back to Peru and Mayaland and then back to SE Asia.  Recent attempts to link recent Chinese exploration in the early fifteenth century is doomed to be hopelessly misled if DNA work is then relied on.

Throw in Bronze Age European settlement throughout the Mississippi valley and elsewhere and it only get more misleading. 

What hurt is the huge population losses after contact.
Painting shows Mayas living in Georgia in 1734!

This famous painting above by William Verelst was created in Westminster Palace, when Mikko Tamachichi led a delegation of Creek leaders to meet British officials in 1734. Apparently, no one ever looked at the faces of the indigenous visitors . . . of else, they are so used to seeing Mediterranean people portray Indians in movies that they don’t know the differences between indigenous physical features. A major ethnological discovery has been hiding in that painting for 280 years. 

There is a mystery about the Savannah River Band of Uchee. They live in the same region where Tamachichi moved after being banished from Ichesi (Macon, GA area) in 1717. Many of them look like Uchees. However, a sizable percentage have the physical features of other indigenous peoples. The most puzzling are those that look like the elite of the Yucatec Maya . . . the folks, who built the big Maya cities.

There is plenty of linguistic and architectural evidence to put the Itza Mayas in the Southeast. That’s not even a theory. However, the Itzas didn’t build large cities and were illiterate when the big cities were being built by other branches of the Mayas.

I have told them that they appear to have a mixture of indigenous ancestors, not just Uchee. However, there has been a lot of mixing of ethnic groups in the Southeast over the past 300 years, so it was hard to pinpoint why a sizable percentage of their tribe looked like a branch of the Mayas for which we have no evidence of immigration.

This is the section of the painting at Westminster Palace, which portrays the visiting Creek dignitaries. Apparently, no one ever looked closely at their faces. I used special graphics software to de-age the 280 year old painting, so the Native American faces would be clearer. The Uchee, Apalache and Itsate all told early British settlers that the first place they lived when they arrived in their current homeland was the general vicinity of Savannah. High King Chikili told the settlers that “our first emperor is buried in a mound near Savannah.” 

But then . . . this morning, I was working on the annual update of The Forgotten History of North Georgia when I happened to click the wrong button on my art editing software. I was converting the painting above to a graytone image. Suddenly, the face of one man in the background filled the computer monitor’s screen. OMG! He looked just like a Yucatec Maya from 1200 years ago.

Apparently, Mikko Tamachichi had invited a broad cross-section of members in the Creek Confederacy to accompany him on his trip to England. The physical features were quite diverse.


Note that the “Creek” man on the left has a flattened forehead and all the typical Yucatec Maya facial features. The extension of the Maya man’s nose on the right is an artistic convention, not an actual physical feature of the Yucatec Mayas. It was used to symbolize nobility. Then I looked closely at the other faces for the first time. The woman to his right also looked like a Yucatec Maya.


A woman in Tamachichi’s party is on the left. A Maya sculture of a Yucatec Maya noblewoman is on the right. Several women in the Savannah River Band of Uchee look almost exactly like her. Tamachichi had the facial features of many Creeks, who are descended from Cussata (Kusate~Kashete~Coushatta). These features hark back to the earliest inhabitants of Mexico. The skeletons that they are finding in Mexico with these features go back 10,000 to 13,600 years ago. They looked like many people in Myanmar (Burma) and Siam (Thailand) today. (See below.)


Tamachichi (Tomochichi in English) compared to a sculpture made by Mexican anthropologists from the 13,600 year old skull found in a Yucatan cave. Note the small, lobeless ear on right. 


One of the men was a spitting image of an Itza Maya. The Itza and Highland Mayas are taller than the Yucatec and Campeche Mayas. Like the Itsate Creeks they have small ears, a minimal ear lobe and a straight nose. Their complexions are different than the Lowland Mayas also. Highland Maya generally are lighter and have an “Oriental” tint to their skin.

Many Creek descendants from Northern Georgia have these features. Above is my gggg-grandfather from Northeast Georgia. My Native heritage is mixed Apalache, Itsate and Uchee.


On the left is an Itsate Creek from Georgia. On the right is a Highland Maya from Guatemala. You will notice two tall men on the rear right of the painting. They are Apalache, whose home province was in present day Northest Metro Atlanta. They were as tall as the Upper Creeks, but lacked the appearance of a raptor that is typical of Upper Creeks.


An Apalache man and apparently, his son. They may have lived in Palachicola, near Savannah. The ancestors of the Apalache (Aparasi) had a name that meant “Offspring from the Sea.” They spoke a Panoan language that today is centered in eastern Peru. They appear to be the progenitors of the Swift Creek Culture and so arrived in the Southeast at least 1800 years ago. 

Finally, in the front center of the painting was Toonahawi, the nephew of Tamachichi. He has very typical Uchee features mixed with those of his uncle and the Yucatec Mayas. Rumors are swirling that this is really Principal Chief Langley of the Savannah Uchee. However, that would make Chief Langley about 300 years old. That may or may not be a factual rumor!

The mound sites along the Lower Savannah River are quite unique. They consist of small compounds, sometimes of an acre or less, that were palisaded. There was one very large royal compound on an island, immediately north of Downtown Savannah, that archaeologists call the Irene site. Its principal mound was very different from most other mounds in the Southeast (see below.) This suggests that at some time in the past, there was one ethnic group, which functioned as the governing elite, while other ethnic groups lived in small, dispersed villages.

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