Native American Man Refuses $1.8M Offer For Home He Believes Is On Sacred Ground

Ishmael Bermudez, 65, (pictured) has excavated the backyard of his Miami home for almost 50 years and claims it is a sacred place

Ishmael Bermudez, 65, (pictured) has excavated the backyard of his Miami home for almost 50 years and claims it is a sacred place

By Keiligh Baker for MailOnline

A Native American man has refused to sell his tiny wooden Miami house to developers for $1.8million because he believes it is on sacred ground.

Ishmael Bermudez, 65, also known as Golden Eagle, has been excavating the backyard of his home for almost 50 years and claims it is a mystical place sacred to the Tequesta tribe.

He says he will not sell his home unless the garden, where he discovered a natural spring, is protected.

The small house, which is decorated with colorful paintings, sits incongruously in the heart of Miami’s bustling city center, surrounded by high rise buildings, heavy traffic and ongoing construction projects.

Developers have offered Mr Bermudez $1.8million for the tiny property in the heart of Miami which is surrounded by skyscrapers

Mr Bermudez, also known as Golden Eagle, has refused to sell his home to developers because he believes it is a sacred Native American site

Mr Bermudez claims he has found evidence of the earliest native inhabitants of the area in his garden, which sits just two blocks from busy Brickell Avenue and is surrounded by skyscrapers, bars and restaurants.

Set directly in front of a Miami Metrorail station, the tiny wooden house surrounded by mango trees bares more than passing resemblance to an oasis in a concrete jungle.

Mr Bermudez calls his garden the ‘Well of Ancient Mysteries’ and told the Miami Herald that over the last half century he has discovered ‘artifacts used in ancient rituals, humanoid fossils, prehistoric objects’ – and, of course, the spring.

 Despite the fact his property has now been valued at $1.8million – and is likely to keep rising – he maintains he will not sell.

‘There’s not enough money that can buy what’s on this land because it’s simply priceless,’ Mr Bermudez told the Herald. ‘How can you put a price on the history of humanity? It has none.’

He said he would only entertain selling if he had a guarantee the property would be kept intact and unchanged.

‘Maybe like a museum or an archaeological landmark for the city,’ he said. ‘But in these difficult times, it’s hard to believe that someone would have a clean enough soul to do something like this because people only care about making money.’

The colorful house and surrounding walls were painted by artist Burke Keogh (pictured) who is also Bermudez’s partner

For more than 50 years Mr Bermudez has excavated the garden and found a number of ancient Native American artifacts and a spring

Mr Bermudez blows into a conch shell he found in the backyard of his home, which is surrounded by huge buildings and construction projects

Mr Bermudez, who has lived in the house since he was eight, refuses to sell it because he believes the site will be razed by developers

The small house sits incongruously in the heart of Miami’s centre, surrounded by high rise buildings and heavy traffic

Mr Bermudez was born in Colombia to a Colombian mother and an American soldier father, who was a descendant of the Pueblo and Navajo tribes.

The family moved to Miami when he was eight. When he was 12 his sixth-grade teacher told him to search for one of the springs the Tequesta drank from before they escaped from the Europeans during colonization – which sparked the excavation project in his back garden.

‘Many thought I was crazy,’ he told the Herald. ‘While other children played, I spent the time digging.’

When he was 19 he finally discovered the pure water spring, close to a mango tree.

Since its discovery it has supplied his home with water, and is also used by dozens of Mariel refugees who live nearby.

Mr Bermudez claims other residents in the area were ‘cruel’ to the refugees and denied them basic rights – so now they queue in his garden with buckets and fill them with water from the spring.

The walls of the colorful house were painted by artist Burke Keogh,Mr Bermudez’s partner.

While a couple of archaeologists have visited , the home remains mainly unheard of – despite the discovery of the Miami Circle in the 1990s just a few blocks away, which is also believed to be an ancient Tequesta site.

Archaeologists have confirmed that some of the items found by Mr Bermudez are part of the Tequesta culture while other discoveries include animal bones and prehistoric shells.

Mr Bermudez, his partner and a small group of environmentalists have launched a Facebook page called ‘Well of Ancient Mysteries‘ in an attempt to raise awareness of the site and the importance of preserving ‘Pachamama’ – Mother Earth.

He told the Herald: ‘I’m committed to sharing the knowledge I have acquired through an excavation of more than 50 years, waiting for people to understand that we can’t keep destroying our natural resources. If there’s no water, there’s no humanity.’

Mr Bermudez was born in Colombia to an an American soldier father, who was a descendant of the Pueblo and Navajo tribes

Burke Keogh stands in the backyard of her home and surveys her artwork which covers the site’s walls and even the house itself

Mr Bermudez works on excavating the backyard of his home where he has previously found a number of Tequesta artifacts

Mr Bermudez washes his hands in water from the natural spring he discovered in his backyard when he was 19 years old

Ishmael Bermudez and his partner, Burke Keogh, sit in the backyard of their home which they are refusing to sell to developers

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3081386/Miami-man-refuses-1-8million-offer-house-sacred-ground.html#ixzz3aQmiBct1

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5 thoughts on “Native American Man Refuses $1.8M Offer For Home He Believes Is On Sacred Ground

  1. Mary Lou Manion Flood

    He’s right to refuse to sell. guaranteed some slimy realtor will tear it all down, and build a high rise condo on top of it. They’ll just have to wait till they die off, and then the govt. will seize it and sell it off to the highest bidder. Disgusting, money hungry world we live in today. 😦

    Like

  2. pamela wetzel

    a woman in seattle did not sell to developers, it was her home for more than 40 years. so they just built around her.

    Like

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