Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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  • Michael Lynch, West Tennessee (2008-12)
         member, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Pat Cummins, Middle Tennessee (2004-08)
         descendant, Cherokee
  • Mark Cantrell, Middle Tennessee (2010-14)
         unknown tribal affiliation
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  • Brent A. Cox (2008-2012)
    444 Cades Atwood Road
    Milan, Tennessee 38358

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    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee

    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: OMG! Royal Indians!

    wow. didn't mean to rain on your anti-royal parade.

    i don't have any kings and i don't want any kings.
    and what i know about town kings/mekkos came from the mekko and administrator of a federally-recognized tribal town and from members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, including the recent passed speaker, here and there.
    they're always entertained by folks disbelieving their history.

    here, ask a couple real live ones what they think about the meaning of the term mekko -
    Corky Allen (callen(at), member of the TN Archaeological Advisory Council,
    & Melba Checote Eads (melbaceads(at), founder of Muscogee "Creek" Nation Citizens of the Southeast and Tennessee,
    & Sandra Ellis (sandraellis(at), daughter of the chief,
    all three living, talking and informed members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation living in Tennessee.

    no charts. just the facts. and the people who know them from living them.

    oh yeah, there's one more source i'll get you on federal protocol, esp. the section on protocol w/NAI leaders.


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: OMG! Royal Indians!

    Geez, I have plenty of people I can trot out who will say the exact opposite--all full bloods.

    On your final sentence--it makes no sense. Try constructing it better.

    okay i'll admit I'm a bit confused

    and everyone knows I don't know much about a lot of things anyway.

    anyway, so this starts with the basics:
    this woman insists that natives "took" and used the term "King" in referring to their head people citing the use of the term in European documents.

    okay ... so in other words, to make sure I'm understanding:
    the woman's saying that after contact, natives "took" such terms as "king" ["chief", etc.] and used those [foreign] terms when referring to their own "leaders of standing" in their own Nations/Tribes. She cites european documents as the source of where she got her information.

    tom comments:
    Thlopthlokko & Kialegee tribal towns both have mekkos - kings.
    and don't forget Pathkiller, often called the last Cherokee king.

    not only kings, but female kings as well.

    and that's modern. imagine the royalty of the past,

    my interpretation of tom's comments is that he's in agreement with the woman's assessment. "Kings",
    "royalty", "chiefs", etc. are basically other words that are used in place of tribal words meaning the same thing: leaders of high esteem; leaders of standing among their people. ?? Yes? Am I following what each of you is saying so far?

    Moving on, you say:
    That no tribes hve a royal descendency-- and King was an English term--it wasn't exactly the same in any native language.
    Micco (the way I was taught to spell it--not from Wikipedia) means warrior-leader, not king, not royalty.

    to which tom replies:
    just about all tribes had headman/woman family descendancy, and even royal clans from which headmen were traditionally chosen
    'headman', 'chief', 'cacique', whatever you want to call them in english, spanish or french, are all foreign terms. yet tribes recovering their own languages still use them

    From what little I feel I know, in traditional native languages, traditions and customs, no. It wasn't called a "royal descendancy" but in essence, that is what it was. The headmen / leaders of standing / leaders held in high esteem weren't called "kings" or "chiefs" or "presidents" or whatever term you might choose ... but even those terms are mere words to describe a high place/position of leadership. "Dictator" is yet another term but not one that's looked on as favorable in the US. Here, it tends to signify someone who TOOK the position; not one elected democratically or through some other form of accepted selection. Ah, I don't know that I explained my thoughts all that well but I hope it was well enough to get a basic idea of the concept I was trying to get across. ?? LOL

    tom's next comments had to do with going to some well-respected sources for confirmation of what he was saying and your comments were that you have your own sources who would say the opposite.

    Personally speaking, it sounds to me like a misunderstanding of what the woman you disagreed with was saying and a disagreement of ... well, semantics, I guess it's called.
    semantics: the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text;

    we each come at most words with our own interpretation and understanding of words, based on our own personal experience(s) with/of those words. Some use "God" while others use another word but their word means the same as the first person's word.

    stay warm and dry (and healthy and happy would be great too!)


    Re: okay i'll admit I'm a bit confused

    Well, Donna, it's like this--most of the natives I know would scoff if not outright laugh at the idea of royal lineages among native peoples.

    The particular woman who began this stated she was the 11th great-granddaughter of (the ultimate princess) Pocahontas and the 5th great-granddaughter of the (considered fictious by most) Princess Cornblossom. We could ask Jerri Chasteen what she thinks of this particular lineage--oh wait, I already know what she thinks about it.

    Re: Re: okay i'll admit I'm a bit confused

    Okay, let's see if we can bridge the gap in this conversation:

    For most tribes, the idea of kings (as the Europeans defined the term) and a royal family of descendency, was a relatively unknown practice; but it did occur at various levels and various times.

    Powhatan can properly be referred to as a king because he ruled a vast confederacy that was the size of some European nations, had near absolute authority and collected tribute from the lesser members of that confederacy. His family, likewise, enjoyed great power.

    The Creeks (and their early European contemporaries) considered the term Micco or Meko/Mekko and various similar spellings to mean "king" or political head of state, but not in the same fashion as the Europeans applied the term. The Europeans did not have clan mothers to put these leaders into place and did not truly understand or employ the democratic process that the indigenous people used to choose their leaders.

    Micco did not always mean "war leader," either. The Native Nations of the Southeast often had Peace Chiefs and War Chiefs. And their were Miccos on the town levels as well as the national level. Although the Creeks called these people by what could be interpreted as "town king" or "war king" and various other titles that were bestowed upon various miccos, the more appropriate titles might be "govenor" or "general," depending upon an individual's particular standing.

    Some miccos started out as war leaders (red chiefs/red kings)in their youth, but often became peace chiefs (white kings/white chiefs)in their later years. The peace kings were the town and national civic leaders.

    In most tribes east of the Mississippi and north of Mexico that we have accumulated many years of knowledge about, the designation of royalty did not exist, but de-facto ruling lineages did exist, especially noticeable among the Cherokee.

    This happened because of the old adage that "an apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Therefore, the brother, son or nephew of a popular ruler/leader was often chosen as the next ruler - not by his family, but by the clan mothers and tribal council - because they thought this person was well-equipped to follow in their predecessor's footsteps.

    The most notable exception is the Natchez, which did, indeed, have a royal family and whose leader, the Great Sun, was held in awe by the rest of the populace. Whenever a Great Sun died, all of his servants were also put to death so that they may continue to serve him in the afterlife. He was always succeeded by his sister's eldest son.

    And while the Creeks do equate the title of Micco with King, it doesn't have the same connotation today as the tradition use of the word.

    Re: As ususal, Dale, you did a good job of explaning

    The Natchez ritual of the Great Sun (which I had read somewhere and forgotten about) sound a great deal like Aztec and Mayan traditions, anyone know if their oral traditions say they came from the south?

    My main objection to the whole idea of "kings" is the "royal lineage" which goes along with it.

    I'm not sure what the Natchez oral traditions say

    There aren't a whole lot of them left to ask, but they do have some descendents among the Creek & Cherokee in Oklahoma, and maybe a few other peoples & places. Tommy Wildcat has Nah-chee (the real pronunciation)ancestry.

    I don't know if any of the remnants still have any origin stories among them, or if they were ever written down by ethnologists over the years. Most of the Muskogee peoples say they came here from the southwest. The Natchez lived in the midst of the Western Muskogees (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Houma, etc.), but, like the Yuchi, were of an unrelated and isolated linguistic stock. Their customs do bear more resemblance to Aztec & Maya customs than do other Southeastern tribes, except that their pyramids were largely made of earth instead of stone. But that resource was probably harder to come by in the great Mississippi Valley.

    Re: I'm not sure what the Natchez oral traditions say

    Next time I see Tommy I'll see if he knows anything about that. He took a job with the museum last I heard--he said he was the only applicant. Anyway, it's a good job, but I don't think we'll be seeing him as much though I know he'll still do Ocmulgee and a few others.

    Which museum did Tommy take a job at?

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: OMG! Royal Indians!

    Yo uncle tomahawk chill the heck out or STFU your royal anus

    Re: OMG! Royal Indians!

    LOL royal whatever a bunch of azzmonkeys playing ego trips with or without papers(whitemans term for good camp dogs) gee playing indians what of bunch of BS

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