Thoughts Regarding Statue of Chief Tomochichi

There seems to be no end to the protests regarding any attempt to present anything positive about American history and the people who had roles in that history.  The WOK mindset finds wrong everywhere through their nitpicking spins on the facts, including the recently erected statue of Tomochichi in Atlanta.  In the Monroe Newstarr, an article by Michael Warren entitled “Atlanta statue dismays Muskogee (Creek),” Warren says some tribal historians of the Creek have issues regarding the statue. Those opposed to the statue claim:

  1. It’s disrespectful.
  2. It’s incredibly inappropriate.
  3. It presents an offensive and historically conception of Native Americans as primitive savages.
  4. It glorifies a heavily mythologized figure, whom the Muskogee say initiated a century of ethnic cleansing. The critics claim Atlanta is “erasing them again, acting as if they vanished without a fight after handing over their land and heritage
  5. The article finds fault in Tomochichi supplying slaves to the British and promising to return any escaped negro slaves,

Here’s my general observations about this article: Yes, the statue shows Tomochichi in a loincloth instead of buckskin breeches and long white shirt. Yes, he probably did generally wear western style clothes (as did the Seminole), but the loincloth is also accurate as Creek warriors would fight nearly (or often totally) naked when in battle or hunting. The statue honors a Creek leader who basically is responsible for founding the city of Savannah by giving the British permission to build there. He did not give ALL the Creek lands away.

He also did not initiate ethnic cleansing. If anything really started the Creek (Red Stick) war, it was the Fort Mims Massacre when 500 settlers (many Southern Creek among them) were attacked  and horribly killed and mutilated by hundreds of Northern Creek.  The Creek wars are proof that the nation did resist. Besides, much of the Creek nation had intermarried with the Scots and Irish, and they were sent also on the Trail of Tears.

About slavery: The Creek nation, just like other Native American tribes, as owned and took slaves, enslaving both blacks and Native Americans. There was no innocent party on the topic of slavery.

No statue can present all facts (whether good or bad) of a person. Statues can make the viewer think and research who the statue represents and their place in history. Would it be better to not know anything about Tomochichi? Whether tribal historians like it or not, Tomochichi is a part of Creek history. Are there other Creek leaders who should be represented as well or instead of Tomochichi?

Creek history, like that of other Native American tribes, is a complicated, and unfortunately often sad story. I encourage you to read and research for yourself. I’d suggest you visit the Georgia Historical Society page on Tomochichi:



Epigraphs and Krio Proverbs from Blood Diamonds of the Lost Bazaar: A Novel by Rickey Pittman, Bard of the South

Blood Diamonds of the Lost Bazaar: A Novel by Rickey Pittman, Bard of the South

My new novel will be released this year. To give my readers and writer friends a little taste of some discoveries they will make, I’ve included a list of the epigraphs I’ve used to set a tone or to encourage thinking or personal memories. If you read my other novels and short stories, you already know that I am fond of using epigraphs. Most are directly under the chapter number, but a few of the Krio proverbs are also in the text as quoted by characters. I hope you will find the Krio proverbs as delightful as I did. The Krio language is English based and is Sierra Leone’s de facto national language. I encourage you to do an online search of Krio. At the end of my list of epigraphs, is a short video that will teach the basics of speaking Krio:

Chap: 1 When Diamonds are a Legend,/And Diadem—a Tale—IBrooch and Earrings for myself/Do sow, and Raise for sale—Emily Dickinson

Chap. 2 The song is done, the words remain.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 3 If you look into the bride’s face, you’ll know that the bride is crying.
—Krio Proverb

Chap. 4 People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him.—Robert Kennedy

Chap. 5: I believe there is no sickness of the heart too great that it cannot be cured by a dose of Africa—John Hemingway.

Chap. 6 A stranger doesn’t know a bad road.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 7 The heart is not made of bone—Krio Proverb

Chap. 8 Enter quickly, leave quickly: If no one sees you, then ghosts will see you. There is always a witness.—Krio Proverb

Cap. 9 If a person isn’t used to dying, once he dies it will be hard to wake him.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 10 African art is functional, it serves a purpose. It’s not a dormant. It’s not a means to collect the largest cheering section. It should be healing, a source a joy. Spreading positive vibrations.—Mos Def

Chap. 11 If you are going to the hill to make a sacrifice for the devils there and you meet them on the way, will you still go?—Krio Proverb

Chap. 12 If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents.—Krio Proverb

A dance that makes a person poor, you nah forget the song.

Chap. 13 The memories we make with our family is everything.—Candace Cameron Bure

Chap. 14 Adoption is a journey of faith, from beginning to end. — Johnny Carr

Chap. 15 I’ve seen the future and it is murder.—Leonard Cohen

Chap. 16 A bad husband is better than an empty bed.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 17 If you’re not dead yet, you haven’t heard all the news.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 18 Songwriting is too mysterious and uncontrolled a process for me to direct it towards any one thing.—James Taylor

Chap. 19 Sometimes life gives you a second chance . . . It’s what you do with those second chances that counts.—Dave Wilson.

Chap. 20 A true friend is never truly gone. Their spirit lives on in the memories of those who loved them.

Chap. 21 I grew up among wise men and found that there is nothing better for men than
silence—Krio Proverb

Chap. 22 You can recognize a person’s tribe by the way he cries.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 23 The role of the artist is to not look away.—Akiro Kurosawa

Chap. 24 Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music. –Jimi Hendrix

Chap. 25 As you sell yourself, so the world will buy you.—Krio Proverb

Chap. 26 I can resist everything except temptation—Oscar Wilde

Chap. 27 The jealous are possessed by a mad devil—Johann Kaspar Lavater

Chap. 28 Without hearts there is no home.—Byron.

The turtle wants to box, but his arms are too short
Money in the hand, back on the ground.

Chap. 29 On the streets, unrequited love and death go together almost as often as in Shakespeare—Scott Turow.

Chap. 30 Stalking is a cruel and incessant crime with often terrifying consequences.
—Amber Rudd

Chap. 31 Salomé, Salomé, dance for me. I pray thee dance for me. I am sad to-night. Yes, I am passing sad to-night. When I came hither I slipped in blood, which is an evil omen; and I heard, I am sure I heard in the air a beating of wings, a beating of giant wings. I cannot tell what they mean—Oscar Wilde

Chap. 32 If they carry you on their back, you won’t know that the road is long.—Krio Proverb.

Chap. 33 When a cunning man dies, it’s a cunning man who buries him.—Krio Proverb

“Orchids of the Everglades” a poem by Rickey Pittman, Bard of the South

“Orchids of the Everglades” by Rickey Pittman, Bard of the South

In the quiet of the mysterious Everglades,
Where there are no roads or footpaths,
I discovered many orchids,
Mother Nature’s Masterpiece!
Plants with beauty in this unexpected place,
Living on trees blanketed with moonflowers.
Orchids are millions of years old—colorful, showy and fragrant,
Exotic flowers finding nutrients in air and water,
Sought by tourists, authors, and orchid thieves.
I saw the Cowhorn, once removed by wagonloads,
With its unique stems, flowers, and fruits,
The Butterfly, with its small yellow petals,
The Clamshell, dark in color but
With white and yellow inside,
The Nodding Ladies Tresses,
A wild orchid with a distinct fragrance,
The Butterfly, with its small yellow petals,
The Longclaw, with brown spotted leaves,
The Grass Pink Orchid, bearing
Up to ten flowers on each plant,
The Fakahatchee Beaked Orchid, living on logs,
That suddenly appears when swamps are low,
And the elusive, and much sought Ghost Orchid,
With no leaves, but a large white flower.

Here’s a website on orchids you may enjoy:

“If I Were a Politician” A poem by Rickey Pittman, Bard of the South

If I Were a Politician . . .

Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians.—Muhammad-Iqbal

If I were a politician,
I could make myself rich,
I could get the media,
To make a biased pitch!

I could deny any obvious truth,
Put a spin on any fact,
I could even lie if needed,
To keep Trump from coming back.

I could give out lots of money,
To make people so dependent,
That I’d keep their votes forever,
And wipe out all dissent.

If I were a politician,
Soft on crimes I see,
Ignoring the growing violence,
As long as it avoids me.

If I were a politician,
I’d attend parties galore,
Mingle with rich elite,
And celebrities I adore!

High prices won’t bother me
Though others suffer from inflation,
Anyway, all the so-called problems,
Come from misinformation.

I’d praise the fact checkers,
Though often ignorant as can be,
They censor anything conservative,
And seem to hate our history.

I’d protect Ukraine’s border,
From attack by any foreign nation,
But leave our own border open
To a horrible invasion.
–2022 Rickey Pittman
Bard of the South