Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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American Indians in Tennessee government volunteer service
TN Archaeological Advisory Council
mandated 3 Native American representatives
  • 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
  •   TN Historical Commission
    mandated inclusion of person/s
    of Native American ancestry

  • Brent A. Cox (2008-2012)
    444 Cades Atwood Road
    Milan, Tennessee 38358

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    Greene (CNO) v. TCIA   filed 30 June 2010
    Commission terminated     30 June 2010

    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee

    Issues Affecting American Indians in Tennessee
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    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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