Ohio Valley Pygmies

Yunwi Tsunsdi - Cherokee Little People

Preserved Pygmy Skeletons

An 1876 NY Times Article describes numerous graves discovered in Tennessee that contain skeletons of Pygmies.

Initially , the remains were thought to be those of Children, however later examination reveals that this is probably not the case. The History And Geography Of The Mississippi ValleyPaperback  March 11, 2012

Cherokee Legend does contain stories of Little people known as 'Yunwi Tsunsdi' Considered to be wonder workers, they spent much of their time drumming and dancing. Could the"Yunwi Tsunsdi" be the mysterious race of pygmies ?

"In this state {Tennessee} burying grounds have been found where the skeleton appear all to have been pygmies ... it is affirmed that the skulls are found to have possessed the dentes sapientiae {Wisdom teeth} and must have belonged to persons of mature age...

... two bodies that were found in the vast limestone cavern .. neither of them more than four feet high: the hair seemed to be sandy or inclining to the yellow "

Wild scenes in the forest and prairie: Or, : The romance of natural history.Paperback  January 1, 1855 states the size of these pygmies to be 3 feet

Ohio Pygmies

America B.C.Paperback January 2, 2008 - Ancient Settlers in the New World A similar find was reported in 1837 near Coshocton, Ohio , a number of "pygmy" skeletons were said to have been found. Various reports give the number as being "several" on the low end, to "very numerous" and "tenants of a large city" on the high end. Remains of wood found near some of them suggested that they may have originally been buried in coffins. The skeletons were three to four feet tall, and no objects were found that may have helped identify them. Unfortunately the skeletons were "reduced to chalky ashes" and could not be preserved or documented. -"

The Following was Extracted From - Centennial history of Coshocton County, OhioPaperback  June 5, 2011

"The long rows of graves of the pygmy race at Coshocton were regularly arranged with heads to the west, a circumstance which has given rise to the theory that these people were sun-worshippers, facing the daily approach of the sun god over the eastern hills. In this re- spect, however, there is no resemblance to the various positions of skeletons found in our mounds. Acceptance of the sun-worship sur- mise does not necessarily imply a deduction that this pygmy race may have descended from the river-people of Hindostan or Egypt. Prim-eval man, wherever found, seems to have been a sun-worshiper.

The iron nails mentioned by Hildreth as found in this ancient cemetery take on added interest in view of the discovery in a mound near Cincinnati, reported by Frederick W. Putnam, curator of the Peabody Museum. Masses of meteoric iron were found on an altar, with bars of iron and other objects made from the metal.

A statement appears in Graham's History of Coshocton County that a Moravian minister from Pennsylvania visited the ancient cem- etery here and remarked a custom among Moravians of burying the old in separate rows from the young. While this would explain the uniform smallness of some Moravian graves, it does not explain the absence from the missionaries' records of any considerable mortality among the younger or even for that matter the elder members of the Moravian mission. Moreover, the mission in this valley comprised but eight families, and they dwelt here only a few years. And finally, the Moravians themselves first spoke of the discovery here of the many pygmy graves.

The plow has long since turned these acres of mystery into corn- fields, and obliterated this last vestige of a human population that once flourished within our borders..... "

"A discovery of pygmy graves on the Keene-Bethlehem township line is credited to J. C. Milligan. Hildreth relates that in one of the Coshocton graves was found a skeleton five and a half feet long, with decayed pieces of oak and iron nails. The skull was triangular in shape, much flattened at the sides and back, though not with the slant-brow of flat-head Indians seen in the West."

Connection to Philippines and Malaysian Pygmies

One far flung theory is presented by Virgilio R. Pilapil, who asserts that the Tennessee graves did contain pygmy remains, and that the pygmies arrived in ancient times from southeast Asia, where today's diminutive Aetas live.

"To support his case, Pilapil recalls Barry Fell's examination of the Tennessee skeletal material. Fell noted that: (1) The skull brain capacity was equivalent to only about 950 cubic centimeters, about the volume of a non-pygmy 7-year old; (2) The teeth were completely developed and showed severe wear characteristic of mature individuals; and (3) The skulls were brachycephalic with projecting jaws. Which actually describes the skulls of Modern Adult Philippine Aetas." - The Graves of the Golden Bear: Ancient Fortresses and Monuments of the Ohio Valley - Rick Osmon

"Pygmy skulls from Tennessee, have been found that match a race of pygmies from the Philippines and Malaysia. The Malaysian and Philippine pygmies are regarded by archaeologists as remnants of a formerly extensive Mongoloid pygmy race that once occupied much of southern East Asia. Some Scholars believe that their characteristics can still be recognized in the sporadic dark skin, squat stature and nappy hair observed among some southern Chinese. However, there's a further riddle of the Tennessee pygmies - they were found in association with " Europoids and inscribed artifacts of Europoid type"

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