LIKE A STREAM OF ants, the trade caravan snaked through the deep forest along the well-worn trail that would lead them to their next market. Women trudged along silently carrying their large tump baskets followed by stout men paired together to carry heavy cargo slung beneath poles resting on their shoulders. Heavily armed warriors guarded from the flanks.
The caravan had travelled an immense distance in its quest for markets. It flowed like the blood of Turtle Island, the Cherokee name for the world, carrying vital nutrients to its extremities. From the jungles of the Maya, over the mountains of the Toltec, through the arid deserts of the Chacoans, across massive mountains and rolling plains of the nomadic tribes, along the wide, muddy rivers of the prosperous Mississippians, to the lush forests and blue mountains of the sophisticated eastern tribes, the caravan found great markets for trade.
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