The Origin of Tobacco

A man had lost his horses and was looking for them. A woman was also hunting for horses. They, the man and the woman, met and talked to each other. They sat talking together under a hickory tree which cast a good shade. The woman said, “I am hunting for some horses that have been hidden away.” The man said, “I am also hunting for horses.” As they sat talking something occurred to the man and he spoke to his companion as follows, “I am hunting about for horses; you too are hunting about for horses. Let us be friends, and lie here together, after which we will start on.” The woman considered the matter and said, “All right.” Both lay down, and when they got up the man went on his way and the woman went on hers. Next summer the man was looking for horses again and happened to pass near the place where he and the woman had talked. The man thought, “I will go by that place just to look at it.” When he got there he saw that a weed had grown up right where they had lain, but he did not know what it was. He stood looking at it for a while and then started off. He traveled on and told the old men about it. He said, “I saw something like this and this growing,” and one answered, “Examine it to see whether it is good. When it is ripe we will find out what it is.” Afterwards the man started off to look at it. He saw that it had grown still bigger. He dug close about it to soften the soil and it grew still better. He took care of it and saw the leaves grow larger. When it blossomed the flowers were pretty, and he saw that they were big. When they ripened the seeds were very small. He took the seeds from the hull, gathered leaves, and took them to the old men. They looked at these but did not know what the plant was. After they had looked at them in vain for some time they gave it up. Then one of them pulverized the leaves and put them into a cob pipe, lighted it and smoked it. The aroma was grateful. All of the old men said, “The leaves of the thing are good,” and they named it. They called it hitci (which means both “see” and “tobacco”), they say. Therefore woman and man together created tobacco.
tobacco

Credit:

A Hitchiti Legend

John R. Swanton, 1929

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7 thoughts on “The Origin of Tobacco

  1. Dear Friends Dear Native Relative and friends,

    Today I was sent an email message as to “The Original Tobacco” from your Ya-Native website. I found it interesting to read that the so-called legend of the Hitchiti people a band with its origins in the State of Georgia and whom is believed to be a part of or a band related to the wider Muskogee tribal Nation. I however as an elder tribal leader and legend Keeper must however interject here, as to the origin of this most sacred of our plants that does not have its origins within the Hitchiti people of Georgia. The actual truth behind this is that the Taino people of the circum Caribbean and Florida had migrated and traveled to the State of Georgia thousands of years ago and had established formal settlements in George. The Taino as we are known today were known by other tribal names in the north and historically were the original Tobacco carriers whom migrating from southland to Florida and carrying our sacred Tobacu from South America and whom had traveled and had shared our sacred Tobacco plant with the Hitchiti and with other known neighboring tribal groups in the area in Pre-Columbian times before the first encounter and or contact with the Spanish Europeans in the year 1492.

    Much misinformation and invented legends have been spread by some new ager people and by contemporary writers and even by Native people whom further have been disseminated this so-called Tobacco legend as to the origin of Tobacco. This commentary being made here by me is solely for political correctness purposes as I am sure we had contact with the Hitchiti people thousands of years ago as this is the way they received our sacred Tobacu that was handed to them from the hands of our ancestors, the same way that the Potawatomi (Fire Keepers) of the Great Lakes region whom I will say are related to us tribally and whom had traveled from the Southlands, Eastward along the East Coast carrying our Tobacu and later traveling to the Great Lakes region and had shared some of our language and our sacred Tobacu with the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) people and whom had renamed it in their own native language as Asema.

    Note: Tobacco or Tobacu as we properly call it is actually a word in the Taino language of the wider Arawak family of languages of South America and this word Tobacco is not part of the Hitchiti language dialect of the Muskogree language.

    Signed, Cacike (Chief) Don Pedro Guanikeyu, Jatibonicu Taino People of Puerto Rico

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Native Relative, Family and Friends,

    Today I was sent an email message as to “The Original Tobacco” from your Ya-Native website. I found it interesting to read that the so-called legend of the Hitchiti people a band with its origins in the State of Georgia and whom is believed to be a part of or a band related to the wider Muskogee tribal Nation. I however as an elder tribal leader and legend Keeper must however interject here, as to the origin of this most sacred of our plants that does not have its origins within the Hitchiti people of Georgia. The actual truth behind this is that the Taino people of the cir-cum Caribbean and Florida had migrated and traveled to the State of Georgia thousands of years ago and had established formal settlements in George. The Taino as we are known today were known by other tribal names in the north and historically were the original Tobacco carriers whom migrating from south land to Florida and carrying our sacred Tobacu from South America and whom had traveled and had shared our sacred Tobacco plant with the Hitchiti and with other known neighboring tribal groups in the area in Pre-Colombian times before the first encounter and or contact with the Spanish Europeans in the year 1492.
    Much misinformation and invented legends have been spread by some new age people and by contemporary writers and even by Native people whom further have been disseminated this so-called Tobacco legend as to the origin of Tobacco. This commentary being made here by me is solely for political correctness purposes as I am sure we had contact with the Hitchiti people thousands of years ago as this is the way they received our sacred Tobacu that was handed to them from the hands of our ancestors, the same way that the Pottawatomie (Fire Keepers) of the Great Lakes region whom I will say are related to us and whom had traveled from the South lands, Eastward along the East Coast carrying our Tobacu and later traveling to the Great Lakes region and had shared some of our language and our sacred Tobacu with the Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) people and whom had renamed it in their own native language as Asema.

    Note: Tobacco or Tobacu as we properly call it is actually a word in the Taino language of the wider Arawak family of languages of South America and this word Tobacco is not part of the Hitchiti language dialect of the Muskogee language.

    Signed, Cacike (Chief) Don Pedro Guanikeyu, Jatibonicu Taino People of Puerto Rico

    NOTE: TO THE YA-NATIVE ADMINISTRATORS:AS TO CENSORSHIP”: FREEDOM OF THE PRESS AND SPEECH IS A US FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT. The truth must be told as to this published article on THE ORIGIN OF TOBACCO found on your website.

    Liked by 1 person

    • … First of all, I appreciate insights … I encourage you to write a Legend of the Origin of Tobacco and share it somewhere else!!

      … Second of all, WTH you talking about Censorship or Administration !!? I am not sure of your intentions or your common practices, but show a little respect!!! I am a one manned show and I do this all myself. I have sacrificed a hell of a lot to make this network happen …

      … You could have just mentioned something respectfully, but you come across like I am trying to deface Southwest Culture! If you are an elder you would have sat back and analysis the entire picture instead of jumping to your own conclusion …

      I apologize that you are ignorant enough to be offended by the 1929 publishing of “The Legend of Tobacco” that I shared. I took it as a love story of two humans meeting at a tobacco plant, you don’t have to take it personally.

      Have an open mind, you are not the only one in the universe …
      ___________________________________

      … “taken down by my own people again” …

      I expect and I can handle the thousands of “native” haters the plague this network, but when an elder degrades his own people —that is pathetic!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Taireycu Guaitao (Good Morning Friend), If you like you can delete whatever I posted here on your Ya-Native website. It was not my intention to offend you here on your own site. Again please forgive as that was not my purpose as I have in the past had a posting deleted. It’s however Interesting to see how you have reacted. I had no idea that you would react in such an angry personal way. I am an educator and the Legend Keeper of my tribal nation and have been a witness am aware of many untrue stories and romantic created stories being spread in our modern times even as far back in the early 1990s. As a 64 year old tribal elder and a traditional Native person, I feel that it’s my duty to correct any untrue misinformation that I happen to come across. Again please delete my comments and I will simply go on my way. I Thank You for your kind comments. Have a nice day, Cacike (Chief) Pedro Guanikeyu, Jatibonicu Taino

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  4. I had attempted to be nice about this misunderstanding between us and now you turn around and send a reply with a message of insult that is uncalled for, as I see it as being disrepectful.. Please delete any and all comments that I have made here as I wish not to have anything to do with you and your Ya-Native website. Cacike (Chief) Pedro Guanikeyu, Jatibonicu Taino

    Like

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