This photo depicts the Temple of the Chief in the Grand Village of the Natchez. The Natchez were a related group of Mississippian peoples. I am seeking to recreate the temples of Talimeco which the Spanish raided on their first Grand Tour of the “The Great Northern Mystery” later identified as North America. I will continue to develop this asset with descriptions from my people’s archive which I have been assembling for the past year and a half
In antiquity, my people belonged to the polity of Cofitachequi and lived in the city of Xualla. Cofitachequi was the mysterious land of gold the Spanish sought in North America, which made it their first destination. It is commonly thought that the presence of gold was nothing but mythology. However, gold was discovered in the Uwharries in 1799, and America’s first gold rush was born. Before there was California, there was the Uwharries. The Uwharries are named for my people, the Duhare (dUwah-hare)/Usheree province of Cofitachequi. A medicine man had a prophecy foretelling of people coming on canoes to “end the world as we know it”. Boy, doesn’t that sound like an ancient warning about climate change, capitalism, and colonialism! For that reason my people removed to the Dan River area of Virginia (The Cheraw of Xualla, located in the paramount chiefdom of Cofitachequi) while some joined the Powhatan Confederacy (The Weyanoke or Eno of Oenock). My Eno ancestors (who were not mound builders) lived across the way from Jamestown, and were one of the first tribes encountered by the English. The Eno, the Cheraw, and others migrated away from the Virginia area due to territorial pressures. During the migration, they confederated into the nation of “Adshusheer”. The nation of Adshusheer, identified mostly by the Cheraw, eventually settled into the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. My genealogical studies and oral histories strongly suggest we later also intermixed with the Pee Dee peoples. This history is incredibly complex and hard to navigate, as there are few authorities to cite or widely available prior knowledge. I am presently attempting a cultural reconstruction of sorts based off of available archeology, renderings, and archival descriptions. A bigger challenge is finding a meaningful way to shape the aesthetic of this architecture. I want the viewer to experience the same fascination I had when reading about the temples of Talimeco, the grand mounds of North America, and the spectacularly lush lands of my forefathers. I want people to begin to experience our cultural treasures as I do. Below is a rendering of the Town Creek site of the Pee Dees. I am considering enhancing their temple and mound to be closer to that of Talimeco, as the Pee Dees too were subjects of Cofitachequi. Furthermore, many sites had multiple mounds of different sizes, which I believe is true for Talimeco as well. Talimeco is said to mean “The Kings Town”. Perhaps I will use Town Creek as a base to inform my general direction, but I may enhance it with further descriptions of Cofitachequi and Talimeco.
I am postulating that these mounds have been worn round by centuries of rain. Most depictions of mounds show a flat top for usage purposes.