1. Similar story was in our Alabama History textbook in junior high school. Slightly different plot; told of how Alabama got its name. Native peoples from Georgia were seeking new hunting lands and living space away from encroaching European settlers, and after traveling west for many days, the people asked their leader how much farther did they have to travel. He stuck a pole in the ground and told them whichever way it was leaning in the morning would be the direction they would go. Morning came, and it was standing straight up. Their leader said “Alibamu”, meaning “Here we stay.” There was a tribe called the Alibamu somewhere in south central part of the state, encountered by the Spaniards.

  2. Reminds me of a legend I ran across while doing genealogy, and wrote a short paper for genealogical journal:

    A Grain of Truth: Tradition

    by Ward H. Oliver
    Those who dabble in genealogy soon come to realize that no source is perfect. Court records are perhaps the most reliable, but these are written by men and occasionally will contain an error. As someone once said, we depend on our parents for our own dates of birth. Perhaps the source which is least reliable is family tradition. As these stories are passed from one family member to another, they tend to change as memories fade. However, they are important clues – there is always at least a grain of truth to be followed.
    The same might be said for historical tradition. An interesting example: In 1670, Virginia Governor William Berkeley sent out an exploring party. Fearing an Indian attack, all soon turned back except John Lederer and an Indian guide. Lederer spent some time with an Indian tribe and wrote of his findings upon his return. His report is recorded in the book Charlotte County, Rich Indeed, pp 16-17.
    Quoting from Lederer’s report: “From four women, viz. Pash, Sepoy, Askarin, and Maraskrin, they derive the Race of Mankinde, which they therefore divide into four Tribes, distinguished under those several names.”
    This tradition becomes most interesting in light of an article found in the journal Science 1/. This article reports on the findings of scientists who have studied the DNA of American Indians, from Alaska to South America. Quoting from that article: “The researchers have found that all present-day American Indians can trace their descent to one of four maternal lineages originating in Asia – an important confirmation of the anthropologists’ long standing suspicion that the first Americans came from Asia.” Thus the Virginia Indians were correct, in that all their ancestors descend from only four women!


    1. Science, Vol. 259, Jan. 1993, p. 312

  3. I think the “Mikes” are “Micco’s” Southeastern Native name for a leader

  4. Donna, once again, a very enjoyable article! As the young married women say, “You go, girl!”

  5. Barbara Stephens David Law.

  6. “Seven mikes in the other camp”. What/who are the mikes?

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