Native Nations Map – 1491 Census

carpella native nations mapIndian Country reports that Aaron Carpella, of Cherokee lineage, created a map that shows the locations of the various tribes at first contact, along with their original names.  Aaron says that it took him 14 years to do the research to complete the map.

On Aaron’s website, you can see two or three closeups of various sections of the map, which includes the Albemarle Sound area at the North Carolina/Virginia border.  I am fairly familiar with the tribes in that region, and there are a couple of names here that I haven’t seen before.  I hope that he has someplace documented the sources and context of the Native Nation names he has found.

1491 map albemarle closeup

I wrote to Aaron asking about the source of tribal names, and he was very responsive.  He does provide a spreadsheet on his website for all of the tribes listed with their indigenous given name and a translation.

His next project, the same type of map for Canada.

You can purchase this map on his website.  Depending on the paper and finish, maps begin at $89.

Hat tip to Linda for the link to this article.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Maps. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Native Nations Map – 1491 Census

  1. The Southeastern portion of the map above, except for part of Florida, is a fairytale. It bears little resemblance to the many French, Spanish and English maps that located the indigenous ethnic groups during the colonial period. For starters, the Cherokees didn’t exist in 1492. No European map mentions the Cherokees until Delisle’s 1717 map places the two members of the Cherokee alliance in the area where VA, WVA, TN and KY come together and in the extreme NW corner of South Carolina. The language of the SC members of that alliance is not extinct, it was a dialect of Itstate Creek, which can be easily translated by any Creek speaker today.

    Maps prior to 1717 showed the Rickohockens occupying the extreme NE tip of Tennessee and the rest of eastern Tennessee being occupied by branches of the Creeks and Yuchi’s. Western North Carolina was occupied by branches of the Creeks and Shawnees until around 1715.

    There is a reason why about 85% of the Native American place names in the Southern Highlands are Muskogean words and have no meaning in Cherokee. The main river through the NC Cherokee Reservation (Oconaluftee) is derived from a Creek word – Okoni-lufte. There was a huge five-sided Okoni-Creek mound on the NC Cherokee reservation until 1987 when it was bulldozed to build the new sewage treatment plant. Too many tourists were asking questions.

    The word Muskogee that is shown on the map is English and did not appear on any documents until the late 1740s. The Creek word that it is derived from Mvskoke, does not appear in any documents until that time period. The map left out MANY ethnic groups in VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and AL, who were in the region at least until after the American Revolution.

    The core groups of the Seminoles were Itsate-speaking Creek province in western North Carolina until the early 1700s. They gradually worked their way southward until congealing into a distinct alliance in the period immediately before and after the American Revolution.

    Well, I could go on ad nauseum about this, but amateurs should not set themselves up as authority figures on a subject, when they have not gained sufficient knowledge to know what they don’t know. Students will see this map and think it is factual.

  2. Pingback: Native Nations Map – 1491 Census | 1bedouin

  3. Karen Marcum says:

    Awesome. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.