Monarchies of the Americas

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aug 29, 2006
New Zealand
Here's a section that will interest those who have an interest in British Commonwealth native monarchies & their royal families.Does anyone know how many Native Canadian monarchies there are? Is the line of succession hereditary,like the Maoris,or are the Native Canadians' monarchs elected,like the Pope of Rome?

There are none.

Each reserve (or band) elects a chief. They in turn elect a leader of the Assembly of First Nations which is more a political/social activist group then any type of monarchy system. When the Queen makes an official visit to Canada or there is a large event (such as the recent AIDS conference) the Head of the Assembly of First Nations will also be there along with the chief of traditional land holders of the area. There are varouis other elected offices such as provinicial orgainziations, local orgainziations assembly of traditional tribes (Six Nations and the Oji-Cree for example)

No offense but because of the lack of aborginal monarchy system in Canada I think this thread should get closed. There is nothing to talk about and I have a feeling it could disintergate really quickly. Maybe starting a thread on Native Canadians in the Members Only forum if you want more information about the Social/Poltical organizations of the First Nations of Canada or try and search around for more information if anyone is interested.
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Oppie,New Zealand is not the only British Commonwealth country that has native monarchies within its borders.I didn't know that New Zealand was the only Dominion to have native monarchies.I always thought Canada has them as well,because of the different Native Canadian nations such as the Inuit,the Micmac,the Haida,& the Metis (who are mixed-race people like the Griquas of South Africa),among others.

Yes I went back and edited my post when I realized I wasn't 100% sure about that fact. My understanding that New Zealand native monarchy was a unique idea that they used to deal with the colonization. In Canada tribes were dealt with on a case by case basis so there was no formal organization until much later.

If you want to look at native monarchies I suggest you reserach into the former Hawaii monarchy. There may even be a thread on it in one of the other forums.
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Oppie,Hawaii was never part of the British Empire,but it does have a very interesting royal history,nonetheless.

Amerindian Monarchies

I've decided that a thread for the indigenous (Native American) monarchies of North and South America is necessary. Desired posts would include information and thoughts on:

Aztec and Mayan Royalty,

Inca Royalty,

Mosquito Royalty,

Caribbean Monarchies,

North American Indian Monarchies.

I realise that many people are ignorant as to the existence of such systems, and the fact that there are in many (and most) cases living descendents to this day (the Aztec Imperial house, for example, became the Dukes of Moctezuma de Tultengo in Spain).

Please attempt to keep popular myth / fiction out of this thread.
I'll start with this:

In 1730, Moytoy of Tellico (Moytoy II) was created "Emperor of the Cherokees" by the British envoy Sir Alexander Cumming. This united the Overhill Cherokee with the Middle Towns and Lower Towns. Moytoy was the son of Amatoya Moytoy of Chota (Moytoy I, born ca. 1660) and his wife, Quatsy of Tellico (children lived with their mother's family). Moytoy II was succeeded in 1760 by his brother, Old Hop, who ruled for one year. In 1761, the title of "Emperor" was claimed by Moytoy II's nephew (Old Hop's son), but the European title alone held no authority. Control of the nation passed to Attacullaculla, who was a grandson of Moytoy I (of Chota), and thus styled "Prince of Chota-Tenase" by the British. The descendents of Amatoya Moytoy ruled Chota ca. 1700-1780 and the Cherokee Nation 1730-ca. 1782. Their power declined when the capital at Chota-Tanasi was destroyed by the Continental (American) Army in 1780. Descendents include Major Ridge, Stand Watie, Elias Boudinot, and Nimrod Jarrett Smith (all prominent leaders of the 19th century.

Another example of North American Native monarchy (whether or not it is recognised as such) is Uncas, who founded the Mohegan (Mohican is an incorrect Dutch spelling) tribe in the first half of the seventeenth century due to a dynastic dispute with his father-in-law. There are many descendents living today, the twelfth generation from Uncas.

(I should mention that I have borrowed my "name" from Attacullaculla)

It should also be noted that the Cherokee Nation officially became a democratic republic in 1827 (although it had been such unofficially since the turn of the nineteenth century). An American-style system of government replaced the traditional one which was a mixture of monarchy and democracy (and actually rather similar to the HRE in format).
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Hawai'i was once VERY strongly aligned with the British (esp. Queen Emma of Hawai'i and Queen Victoria), but it was never a part of the actual empire. However, I seem to remember that the country was taken over by some European country in the 1830s...I'll have to go digging around...anyway, it wasn't for long enough to have an effect on the people or the government. The Hawaiian-British alliance ended with the election of King David Kalakaua, who was pro-American.
I've merged these two threads - Canadian and Amerindian - as there's probably not enough subject matter to sustain separate threads in the long term.

A reminder that The Royal Family of Hawaii has a dedicated thread.
The Moundbuilder (or Mississippian) culture migrated from Mexico, where they were heavily under the influence of Teotihuacan, and flourished in the Southeast ca. 950-1450. They were ruled by the hereditary priesthood (called Ani Kutani in Cherokee), which was violently overthrown and massacred sometime between 1250 and 1450. Since then a more egalitarian form of government has been favoured among the native people of this area.

By the way, Warren, thank you for merging the two threads.
I know there is a separate forum, but let us not forget to mention the fairly successful monarchy in Brazil from 182(3)-1889. And that Rio de Janeiro served as the capital of the Portuguese Empire for many years.

Also, there is the less successful and even dubious monarchy of Araucania and Patagonia, which is a pretty interesting subject. I won't give my opinions, but for those interested in South America, it is a very fun subject to read about.

I am trying to devise a way to handle the subject of monarchy in North America in an overview. (i.e. the First Nations and Native American people). I'll see what I can sum up and explain easily, because it's a pretty complicated subject (there are 500 mediatised nations in the USA, alone).
hey, i like the idea of american tribes with monarchies. i couldn't think of any, so if they come with some - im a cheerleader too :)
Hawaii was indeed under heavy British influence in the 1830s, but was not taken over by anyone yet

New Zealand had sevaral localised rulers , but never a traditional over-king. There was a movement in the 1800s to establish such an hereditary position, which still exists. But, that person is not generally recognised as THE king of the Maori and only enjoys the support of his followers, who are in a minority

Also, if we are referring to the Americas, there were also the inka, who also have living descendants
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Canadian first Nations

Canadians have always treated their indigenous Nations with much more respect than the republic south of their border,being a person with 1/8th Blackfoot heritage,I appreciate this fact greatly.
Royalty of the Americas

Apart from Commonwealth countries in the Americas, the only "post-colonial" nation-state in the Americas to have been an independent monarchy had been Brazil. However, ancient traditions of royalty existed among the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but hardly any of which survive today. For instance, the last Mayan kingdoms in Central America were not conquered until 1697.

The Naso people of Panama are a rare exception. They remain one of the few indigenous peoples of the Americas to have a monarchy of their own. Many of Panama's indigenous peoples enjoy self-rule within comarcas (autonomous regions)- and the Nasos are trying to get their kingdom recognised as a comarca through negotiations. Here's a photo of the current Naso king, Valentin Santana:

Hereditary chiefs can be found among several indigenous peoples in the US and Canada. Indeed, the mound-building Mississippian culture from which several Native American nations are descended today, was a collection of various organised monarchical polities. One of the most famous of such are the Natchez, who were governed by a monarch known as the Great Sun. Their descendants live today in Oklahoma, and they still call their hereditary chief the Great Sun.

Another interesting case is that of the Miskito people of Nicaragua, who were under British protection up to the early 20th century, and a strong indigenist movement exists in that part of the country today.
Oops yeah, forgot about that. Mexico began its independence as an empire under Agustin de Iturbide as Emperor. He has living descendants today.

To correct it too, Haiti had a few monarchs who were unrelated- Jacques I (Dessalines), Henri I (Christophe), and Faustin I (Soulounque). They created noble titles, whose descendants I have not been able to find out anything about. Interesting that the Haitian monarchs were unable to perpetuate a dynasty, whereas the Duvalier family did so!
At the begining of this thread, Oppie put forward a cogent argument that North America had no native dynasties. True, legislation regarding the noble tribes and bands puts them on a democratic setting, it does not abrogated the claims of descendants of earlier paramount chiefs; they are often acknowledged within the band by being voted on to the tribal councils and assemblies.

Even in early colonial days paramount chiefs were sometimes elected, and even if hereditary were subject to checks by their inferior chiefs. The British kings made treaties with these "sovereigns" - to Britain's credit it mainly observed the contents of such sovereign treaties, unlike the government of the United States.

As an aside can I say that the first Stuart king acknowledged Powhattan as emperor, and his daughter, Matoaka or Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe) was afforded the style of princess at the Court of James I. Pocahontas has many descendants in the UK.
There are some hereditary monarchies in the Americas.

The Miskito of Nicaragua have a monarchy within the same family since the seventeenth century. The king since 1978 is called Norton Cuthbert Clarence. In 2009 the Miskito announced their "independence".

In Canada a number of tribes have "hereditary chiefs" which, fundamentally, is the same institution as a monarchy as we would know it in "the west". The term "chief" is applied, in my opinion, to deliberately denigrate the native people and their traditional institutions. If such persons existed in Europe then they would likely be styled "Duke", "Prince" or "King".

The most well known of these is the Gitxsan Nation of British Colombia.

Gitxsan hereditary chiefs are named "Delgamuukw" and this title is passed from generation-to-generation. Earl Mudoe is the Sim’oogit Delgamuukw today and lives in Hazelton. He is leading ongoing negotiations with the government of British Colombia.

Others first nations with hereditary chiefs include the Manhousaht (Vancouver Island) led by hereditary chief Uu-Kwa-Qum (aka James Swan). There is also Hereditary Chief Dan George of the Coast Salish tribe of British Colombia.

The Blackfoot Nation's "last" hereditary chief, Ninastoko, died in 1942.
james: where can one find lists and genealogies of the chiefs of the tribes you mention?

Paraguay: Last Maka Indian chief has no male heir

Paraguay: Last Maka Indian chief has no male heir - The Denver Post
Britain isn't the only place where people are concerned about the rules of royal succession. In Paraguay, the leader of the Maka (ma-KAA) Indian tribe is lamenting that he has no male heir. Andres Chemhei is 65 years old and has three daughters, but no sons.
As the leader of one of Paraguay's 20 surviving indigenous tribes, he knows that without a son, his family's ancestral rule must come to an end. According to Paraguayan law, his death will trigger a democratic election for a new leader of his 1,500 people.
US: Pocahontas Princess

Beverly Straube, senior archaeological curator at the site of Jamestown, Virginia, shows on November 22, 2011 a copper medallion presumably portraying the Algonquian chief Powhatan.
The medallion of the father of famous native Princess Pocahontas was found at the archaeological site of Historic Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America.
Photo - credits Getty
daylife gallery
Ecuador may have found last Inca emperor’s tomb | The Raw Story
It has been sought for centuries but remained a mystery, still out of reach. Now an expert has pinpointed a site that could be Atahualpa’s resting place: the last Inca emperor’s tomb.
The Inca empire, in the 1400s and early 1500s, spanned much of South America’s Andean region, over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers), from modern-day Bolivia and Peru to Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia. It included dozens of ethnic groups with different languages, cities, temples, farming terraces and fortresses.
Atahualpa was the last of his dynasty. During the Spanish conquest he was taken captive in what is now Cajamarca, Peru.
He had been pressed to convert to Christianity and then the Spanish executed him by strangulation, then after his death in 1533, the empire began to fall apart.
This year Ecuador’s state Cultural Patrimony Institute will start work on a promising archeological site, and Estupinan will be front and center to raise the curtain on a massive complex sprawling over a ridge at 1,020 meters.
Yes I went back and edited my post when I realized I wasn't 100% sure about that fact. My understanding that New Zealand native monarchy was a unique idea that they used to deal with the colonization. In Canada tribes were dealt with on a case by case basis so there was no formal organization until much later.

If you want to look at native monarchies I suggest you research into the former Hawaii monarchy. There may even be a thread on it in one of the other forums.

Thats true, there is no native monarchy in NZ, there is a Maori King who is a hereditary chief of a few tribes in the north island but does not represent every tribe in NZ.
The treaty of Waitangi was signed by each tribal chief from what was really a confederacy.
Perhaps it could be said that there were native principalities?
You might declare that with Henri I of Haiti everything was Henry/Henri.
He founded the Royal Military Order of Saint Henry.
Le Cap was renamed by him as Cap-Henri.
His son and heir was Jacques-Victor Henry.
Let's not forget the French/Spanish Baroness Pontabla in New
Orleans territory.
Am I the only one who found the history of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia to be rather fascinating?

-Frozen Royalist
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