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Title: A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians - With a Linguistic, Historic and Ethnographic Introduction
Author: Gatschet, Albert S. (Albert Samuel)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians - With a Linguistic, Historic and Ethnographic Introduction" ***

Owing to the absence of the Author on official duties in the Indian
Territory, the Map which should accompany this volume has not been
prepared. It will therefore be issued with the second volume.










  Νᾱφε καὶ μέμνας' ὰπιστεῑν
  ᾰρθρα ταῦυτα τῶν φρενῶν.



In the present work, Mr. Gatschet has carried out a much needed
investigation. The tribes who inhabited the watershed of the north
shore of the Mexican Gulf must always occupy a prominent place in the
study of American Ethnology, as possibly connecting the races of North
and South America, and those of the Valley of the Mississippi with
those of Anahuac and Mayapan.

Years ago the general editor of this series stated, in various
publications, the problems that region offers, and on finding the
remarkable legend of Chekilli, translated it and published it, as
pointing to a solution of some of the questions involved. This legend
has, at his request, been taken by Mr. Gatschet as a centre around
which to group the ethnography of that whole territory, as well as a
careful analysis of the legend and its language.

The first volume contains the general discussion of the subject, and
closes with the Creek version of the Legend and its translation. The
second will contain the Hitchiti Version, the Notes, and Vocabulary.

One statement of the author, overlooked in the proof reading, seems of
sufficient importance to be corrected here. The _Choctaw Grammar_ of
the late Rev. Cyrus Byington was published _complete_, and from his
_last revision_ (1866-68), not as an extract from his first draft, as
stated on page 117. The full particulars are given in the Introduction
to the Grammar.

                                                           THE EDITOR.


The present publication proposes to bring before the public, in
popular form, some scientific results obtained while studying the
language and ethnology of the Creek tribe and its ethnic congeners.
The method of furthering ethnographic study by all the means which the
study of language can afford, has been too little appreciated up to
the present time, but has been constantly kept in view in this
publication. Language is not only the most general and important help
to ethnology, but outside of race, it is also the most ancient of all;
ethnologists are well aware of this fact, but do not generally apply
it to their studies, because they find it too tedious to acquire the
language of unlettered tribes by staying long enough among them.

The help afforded to linguistic studies by the books published in and
upon the Indian languages is valuable only for a few among the great
number of the dialects. The majority of them are laid down in
phonetically defective missionary alphabets, about which we are
prompted to repeat what the citizens of the young colony of Mexico
wrote to the government of Spain, in Cortez's time: "Send to us pious
and Christian men, as preachers, bishops and missionaries, but do not
send us scholars, who, with their pettifogging distinctions and love
of contention, create nothing but disorder and strife."[1] In the same
manner, some Creek scholars and churchmen agreed five times in
succession, before 1853, upon standard alphabets to be followed in
transcribing Creek, but, as Judge G. W. Stidham justly remarks, _made
it worse each time_. To arrive at trustworthy results, it is therefore
necessary to investigate the forms of speech as they are in use among
the Indians themselves.

    [Footnote 1: Quotation, _ad sensum_, from Bernal Diaz' "Historia

Very few statements of the Kasi'hta migration legend can be made
available for history. It is wholly legendary, in its first portion
even mythical; it is of a comparatively remote age, exceedingly
instructive for ethnography and for the development of religious
ideas; it is full of that sort of _naïveté_ which we like so much to
meet in the mental productions of our aborigines, and affords striking
instances of the debasing and brutalizing influence of the
unrestricted belief in the supernatural and miraculous. Of the
sun-worship, which underlies the religions of all the tribes in the
Gulf territories, only slight intimations are contained in the
Kasi'hta legend, and the important problem, whether the Creeks ever
crossed the Mississippi river from west to east in their migrations,
seems to be settled by it in the negative, although other legends may
be adduced as speaking in its favor.

Owing to deficient information on several Maskoki dialects, I have not
touched the problem of their comparative age. From the few indications
on hand, I am inclined to think that Alibamu and Koassáti possess more
and Cha'hta less archaic forms than the other dialect-groups.

From Rev. H. C. Buckner's Creek Grammar, with its numerous defects, I
have extracted but a few conjugational forms of the verb isita _to
take_, but have availed myself of some linguistic manuscripts of Mrs.
A. E. W. Robertson, the industrious teacher and translator of many
parts of the Bible into Creek.

The re-translation of the legend into Creek and Hitchiti is due to
Judge G. W. Stidham, of Eufaula, Indian Territory, who in infancy
witnessed the emigration of his tribe, the Hitchiti, from the
Chatahuchi river into their present location. My heartfelt thanks are
also due to other Indians, who have materially helped me in my
repeated revisions of the subject matter embodied in these volumes,
and in other investigations. They were the Creek delegates to the
Federal government, Chiefs Chicote and Ispahidshi, Messrs. S. B.
Callaghan, Grayson and Hodge.

I also fully acknowledge the services tendered by the officers of the
U. S. Bureau of Ethnology, as well as by Dr. Daniel G. Brinton and by
General Albert Pike, who placed the rich shelves of their libraries at
my disposition. In the kindest manner I was furnished with scientific
statements of various kinds by Messrs. W. R. Gerard, C. C. Royce and
Dr. W. C. Hoffmann.

                                                           THE AUTHOR.
  _Washington, August, 1884._




  THE SOUTHERN FAMILIES OF INDIANS                                   9

  _I. Linguistic Groups of the Gulf States._

      Timucua, 11. Calusa, 13. Tequesta, 15. Kataba, 15. Yuchi, 17.
      Cheroki, 24. Arkansas, 29. Taensa, 30. Tangipahoa, 34. Naktche,
      34. Tonica, 39. Adai, 41. Pani, 42. Shetimasha, 44. Atákapa, 45.
      Bidai, 47. Koroa, 47. The Westo and Stono Indians, 48. The
      Linguistic Map, 49.

  _II. The Maskoki Family._

      The Common Maskoki Language, 53. The Name Maskoki, 58. Tribal
      Divisions; the Yamassi, 62. Yamacraw, 65. Seminole, 66.
      Apalachi, 74. Mikasuki, 76. Hitchiti, 77. The Hitchiti Dialect,
      80. Alibamu, 85. Koassáti, 89. Chicasa, 90. Tribes on the Yazoo
      River, 97. Cha'hta, 100. The Cha'hta Language, 116.

  _III. The Creek Indians._

      Creek Settlements, 120. List of Towns, 124. The Indian Pathways,
      151. The Creek Government, 152. Tribal Divisions and Gentes,
      153. Civil Government, 156. The Warrior Class, 158. War Titles,
      160. War Customs, 164. Organization of the Confederacy, 168. The
      Public Square, 171. The Annual Busk, 177. Further Ethnographic
      Notes, 183. Creek History, 188. The Creek Dialect, 198. Lexical
      Affinities, 212.


  _The Kasi'hta Migration Legend._

      Indian Migration Legends, 214. Migration Legends of the Creek
      Tribes, 222. Tchikilli's Kasi'hta Legend, 235. The Text, 237.
      The Translation, 244.




The early explorers of the Gulf territories have left to posterity a
large amount of information concerning the natives whom they met as
friends or fought as enemies. They have described their picturesque
attire, their curious, sometimes awkward, habits and customs, their
dwellings and plantations, their government in times of peace and war,
as exhaustively as they could do, or thought fit to do. They
distinguished tribes from confederacies, and called the latter
kingdoms and empires, governed by princes, kings and emperors. But the
characteristics of race and language, which are the most important for
ethnology, because they are the most ancient in their origin, are not
often alluded to by them, and when the modern sciences of anthropology
and ethnology had been established on solid principles many of these
southern races had already disappeared or intermingled, and scientific
inquiry came too late for their investigation.

A full elucidation of the history and antiquities of the subject of
our inquiries, the Creeks, is possible only after having obtained an
exhaustive knowledge of the tribes and nations living around them. The
more populous among them have preserved their language and remember
many of their ancestors' customs and habits, so that active
exploration in the field can still be helpful to us in many respects
in tracing and rediscovering their ancient condition. Three centuries
ago the tribes of the Maskoki family must have predominated in power
over all their neighbors, as they do even now in numbers, and had
formed confederacies uniting distant tribes. Whether they ever crossed
the Mississippi river or not, the Indians of this family are as
thoroughly southern as their neighbors, and seem to have inhabited
southern lands for times immemorial. The scientists who now claim that
they descend from the mound builders, do so only on the belief that
they must have dwelt for uncounted centuries in the fertile tracts
where Hernando de Soto found them, and where they have remained up to
a recent epoch. In the territory once occupied by their tribes no
topographic name appears to point to an earlier and alien population;
and as to their exterior, the peculiar olive admixture to their
cinnamon complexion is a characteristic which they have in common with
all other southern tribes.

My introduction to the Kasi'hta national legend proposes to assign to
the Creeks: (1) their proper position in the Maskoki family and among
their other neighbors; and (2) to describe some of their ethnologic
characteristics. The material has been divided in several chapters,
which I have in their logical sequence arranged as follows:

    Linguistic families traceable within the Gulf States.

    The Maskoki group; its historic subdivisions.

    The Creek Indians; tribal topography, historic and ethnographic
    notices, sketch of their language.


In the history of the Creeks, and in their legends of migration, many
references occur to the tribes around them, with whom they came in
contact. These contacts were chiefly of a hostile character, for the
normal state of barbaric tribes is to live in almost permanent mutual
conflicts. What follows is an attempt to enumerate and sketch them,
the sketch to be of a prevalently topographic nature. We are not
thoroughly acquainted with the racial or anthropological peculiarities
of the nations surrounding the Maskoki proper on all sides, but in
their languages we possess an excellent help for classifying them.
Language is not an absolute indicator of race, but it is more so in
America than elsewhere, for the _large number_ of linguistic families
in the western hemisphere proves that the populations speaking their
dialects have suffered less than in the eastern by encroachment,
foreign admixture, forcible alteration or entire destruction.

Beginning at the southeast, we first meet the historic Timucua family,
the tribes of which are extinct at the present time; and after
describing the Indians of the Floridian Peninsula, southern extremity,
we pass over to the Yuchi, on Savannah river, to the Naktche, Taensa
and the other stocks once settled along and beyond the mighty Uk'hina,
or "water road" of the Mississippi river.


In the sixteenth century the Timucua inhabited the northern and middle
portion of the peninsula of Florida, and although their exact limits
to the north are unknown, they held a portion of Florida bordering on
Georgia, and some of the coast islands in the Atlantic Ocean, as Guale
(then the name of Amelia) and others. The more populous settlements of
these Indians lay on the eastern coast of Florida, along the St.
John's river and its tributaries, and in the northeastern angle of the
Gulf of Mexico. Their southernmost villages known to us were
Hirrihigua, near Tampa Bay, and Tucururu, near Cape Cañaveral, on the
Atlantic Coast.

The people received its name from one of their villages called
Timagoa, Thimagoua (_Timoga_ on De Bry's map), situated on one of the
western tributaries of St. John's river, and having some political
importance. The name means _lord, ruler, master_ [atimuca "waited
upon (muca) by servants (ati)];" and the people's name is written
Atimuca early in the eighteenth century. We first become acquainted
with their numerous tribes through the memoir of Alvar Nuñez Cabeça de
Vaca, the three chroniclers of de Soto's expedition, and more fully
through Réné de Laudonnière (1564). Two missionaries of the Franciscan
order, Francisco Pareja (1612 sqq.) and Gregorio de Mouilla (1635),
have composed devotional books in their vocalic language. De Bry's
_Brevis Narratio_, Frankfort a. M., 1591, contains a map of their
country, and engravings representing their dwellings, fights, dances
and mode of living.

A few words of their language (_lengua timuquana_ in Spanish) show
affinity with Maskoki, others with Carib. From 1595 A. D. they
gradually became converted to Christianity, revolted in 1687 against
their Spanish oppressors, and early in the eighteenth century (1706)
were so reduced in number that they yielded easily to the attacks of
the Yámassi Indians, who, instigated by English colonists, made
incursions upon their villages from the North. Their last remnants
withdrew to the Mosquito Lagoon, in Volusia County, Florida, where the
name of the Tomoco river still recalls their tribal name.

In 1564, Réné de Laudonnière heard of five head chiefs (paracusi) of
confederacies in the Timucua country, and from Pareja we can infer
that seven or more dialects were spoken in its circumference. The five
head chiefs, Saturiwa, Holata Utina, Potanu, Onethcaqua and Hostaqua
are only tribal names (in the second, Utina is the tribal
appellation), and the dialects, as far as known, were those of
Timagoa, Potanu, Itafi, the Fresh-Water district, Tucururu, Santa
Lucia de Acuera, and Mocama ("on the coast"). The last but one
probably coincided with that of Aïs.

The _Aïs Indians_, who held the coast from Cape Cañaveral, where the
Spaniards had the post Santa Lucia, to a lagoon once called
Aïsahatcha (viz., _Aïs river_), were considered as a people distinct
from the Timucua. They worshiped the sun in the shape of a stuffed
deer raised upon the end of a high beam planted in the ground; this
gave, probably, origin to their name Aïs, for B. Romans interprets
Aïsahatcha by _Deer river_ (itchi, itche _deer_, in Creek and
Seminole). Their territory formed the northern part of the "province"
of Tequesta. Cf. B. Romans, East and West Florida (New York, 1775),
pp. 2. 260. 273. 281. Herrera, Dec. IV, 4, 7. Barcia, Ensayo, p. 118.


The languages spoken by the Calusa and by the people next in order,
the Tequesta, are unknown to us, and thus cannot be mentioned here as
forming separate linguistic stocks. I simply make mention of these
tribes, because they were regarded as people distinct from the Timucua
and the tribes of Maskoki origin.

The Calusa held the southwestern extremity of Florida, and their
tribal name is left recorded in Calusahatchi, a river south of Tampa
bay. They are called Calos on de Bry's map (1591), otherwise Colusa,
Callos, Carlos, and formed a confederacy of many villages, the names
of which are given in the memoir of Hernando d'Escalante Fontanedo
(Mémoire sur la Floride, in Ternaux-Compans' Collection XX, p. 22;
translated from the original Spanish). These names were written down
in 1559, and do not show much affinity with Timucua; but since they
are the only remnants of the Calusa language, I present the full list:
"Tampa, Tomo, Tuchi, Sogo, No (which signifies 'beloved village'),
Sinapa, Sinaesta, Metamapo, Sacaspada, Calaobe, Estame, Yagua, Guaya,
Guevu, Muspa, Casitoa, Tatesta, Coyovea, Jutun, Tequemapo, Comachica,
Quiseyove and two others in the vicinity. There are others in the
interior, near Lake Mayaimi--viz., Cutespa, Tavaguemue, Tomsobe,
Enempa and twenty others. Two upon the Lucayos obey to the cacique of
Carlos, Guarunguve and Cuchiaga. Carlos and his deceased father were
the rulers of these fifty towns." Fontanedo states that he was
prisoner in these parts from his thirteenth to his thirtieth year;
that he knew four languages, but was not familiar with those of Aïs
and Teaga, not having been there.

One of these names is decidedly Spanish, Sacaspada or
"Draw-the-sword"; two others appear to be Timucua, Calaobe (kala
_fruit_; abo _stalk, tree_) and Comachica (hica _land, country_).
Some may be explained by the Creek language, but only one of them,
Tampa (itímpi _close to it, near it_) is Creek to a certainty; Tuchi
resembles tútchi _kidneys_; Sogo, sá-uka _rattle, gourd-rattle_, and
No is the radix of a-no-kítcha _lover_, anukídshās _I love_, which
agrees with the interpretation given by Fontanedo. Tavaguemue may
possibly contain the Creek táwa _sumach_; Mayaimi (Lake), which
Fontanedo explains by "_very large_," the Creek augmentative term
máhi, and Guevu the Creek u-íwa _water_.

The Spanish orthography, in which these names are laid down, is
unfitted for transcribing Indian languages, perhaps as much
so as the English orthography; nevertheless, we recognize the
frequently-occurring terminal -esta, -sta, which sounds quite like
Timucua. There are no doubt many geographic terms, taken from
Seminole-Creek, in the south of the peninsula as well as in the north;
it only remains to determine what age we have to ascribe to them.

The Calusa bore the reputation of being a savage and rapacious people,
and B. Romans (p. 292) denounces them as having been pirates. He
informs us (p. 289), that "at Sandy Point, the southern extremity of
the peninsula, are large fields, being the lands formerly planted by
the Colusa savages;" and that "they were driven away from the
continent by the Creeks, their more potent neighbors." In 1763 the
remnants, about eighty families, went to Havannah from their last
possessions at Cayos Vacos and Cayo Hueso (hueso, _bone_), where
Romans saw the rests of their stone habitations (p. 291); now called
Cayos bajos and Key West.

On the languages spoken in these parts more will be found under the
heading "Seminole."


Of the Tequesta people on the southeastern end of the peninsula we
know still less than of the Calusa Indians. There was a tradition that
they were the same people which held the Bahama or Lucayo Islands, and
the local names of the Florida coast given by Fontanedo may partly
refer to this nationality.

They obtained their name from a village, Tequesta, which lay on a
river coming from Lake Mayaimi (Fontanedo in Ternaux-C., XX, p. 14)
and was visited by Walter Raleigh (Barcia, Ensayo, p. 161). The lands
of the Aïs formed the northern portion of the Tequesta domains, and a
place called Mocossou is located there on de Bry's map.

This extinct tribe does not seem to have come in contact with the
Creeks, though its area is now inhabited by Seminoles.


The Kataba Indians of North and South Carolina are mentioned here only
incidentally, as they do not appear to have had much intercourse with
any Maskoki tribe. The real extent of this linguistic group is
unknown; being in want of any vocabularies besides that of the Kataba,
on Kataba river, S. C., and of the Woccons, settled near the coast of
N. C., we are not inclined to trust implicitly the statement of Adair,
who speaks of a large Kataba confederacy embracing twenty-eight
villages "of different nations," on Santee, Combahee, Congaree and
other rivers, and speaking dialects of the Kataba language. The
Waterees, seen by Lawson, probably belonged to this stock, and the
Woccons lived contiguous to the Tuscarora-Iroquois tribe.

The passage of Adair being the only notice on the extent of the Kataba
language found in the early authors, excepting Lawson, I transcribe it
here in full (History, pp. 224. 225): "About the year 1743, the nation
(of the Katahba) consisted of almost four hundred warriors, of above
twenty different dialects. I shall mention a few of the national names
of those who make up this mixed language; the _Kátahba_ is the
standard or court dialect--the _Wateree_, who make up a large town;
_Eenó, Charàh_, ||_-wah_, now _Chowan, Canggaree, Nachee, Yamasee,
Coosah_, etc. Their country had an old waste field of seven miles
extent, and several others of smaller dimensions, which shows that
they were formerly a numerous people, to cultivate so much land with
their dull stone axes, etc."

After Charàh a new page begins, and the _-wah_ following, which has no
connection with what precedes, proves that there is a printer's
lacune, perhaps of a whole line. Eenó is given by Lawson as a
Tuscarora town;[2] Charàh is the ancient Sara, Saura, Saraw or Sarau
mentioned by Lederer and others. The "Nachee" certainly did not speak
a Kataba language, nor is there much probability that the Yámassi did
so. By the Coosah are probably meant the Indians living on
Coosawhatchee river, South Carolina, near Savannah. Adair, in his
quality as trader, had visited the Kataba settlements personally.[3]

    [Footnote 2: Reprint of 1860, pp. 97. 100. 101. 383.]

    [Footnote 3: Cf. B. R. Carroll, Histor. Collect. of S. C., II,
    p. 243. Lawson states that the Congaree dialect was not
    understood by the Waterees and Chicarees.]

Pénicaut, in his "Relation,"[4] mentions a curious fact, which proves
that the alliances of the Kataba extended over a wide territory in the
South. In 1708, the Alibamu had invited warriors of the Cheroki, Abika
and Kataba (here called _Cadapouces, Canapouces_) to an expedition
against the Mobilians and the French at Fort Mobile. These hordes
arrived near the bay, and were supposed to number four thousand men;
they withdrew without inflicting much damage. More about this
expedition under "Alibamu," q. v.

    [Footnote 4: Margry, _Découvertes_, V, 477.]


None of all the allophylic tribes referred to in this First Part stood
in closer connection with the Creeks or Maskoki proper than the Yuchi
or Uchee Indians. They constituted a portion of their confederacy from
the middle of the eighteenth century, and this gives us the
opportunity to discuss their peculiarities more in detail than those
of the other "outsiders." They have preserved their own language and
customs; no mention is made of them in the migration legend, and the
Creeks have always considered them as a peculiar people.

General Pleasant Porter has kindly favored me with a few ethnologic
points, gained by himself from Yuchi Indians, who inhabit the largest
town in the Creek Nation, Indian Terr., with a population of about
500. "In bodily size they are smaller than the Creeks, but lithe and
of wiry musculature, the muscles often protruding from the body. Their
descent is in the male line, and they were once polygamous. It is a
disputed fact whether they ever observed the custom of flattening
their children's heads, like some of their neighbors. They call
themselves _children of the Sun_, and sun worship seems to have been
more pronounced here than with other tribes of the Gulf States. The
monthly efflux of the Sun, whom they considered as of the female sex,
fell to the earth, as they say, and from this the Yuchi people took
its origin. They increase in number at the present time, and a part of
them are still pagans. Popularly expressed, their language sounds
'like the warble of the prairie-chickens.' It is stated that their
conjurers' songs give a clue to all their antiquities and symbolic
customs. They exclude the use of salt from all drugs which serve them
as medicine. While engaged in making medicine they sing the above
songs for a time; then comes the oral portion of their ritual, which
is followed by other songs."

Not much is known of their language, but it might be easily obtained
from the natives familiar with English. From what we know of it, it
shows no radical affinity with any known American tongue, and its
phonetics have often been noticed for their strangeness. They are said
to speak with an abundance of arrested sounds or voice-checks, from
which they start again with a jerk of the voice. The accent often
rests on the ultima (Powell's mscr. vocabulary), and Ware ascribes to
them, though wrongly, the Hottentot _cluck_.

The numerals follow the decimal, not the quinary system as they do in
the Maskoki languages. The lack of a dual form in the intransitive
verb also distinguishes Yuchi from the latter.

The earliest habitat of the Yuchi, as far as traceable, was on both
sides of the Savannah river, and Yuchi towns existed there down to the
middle of the eighteenth century.

When Commander H. de Soto reached these parts with his army, the
"queen" (señora, caçica) of the country met him at the town Cofetaçque
_on a barge_, a circumstance which testifies to the existence of a
considerable water-course there. Cofetaçque, written also Cofitachiqui
(Biedma), Cofachiqui (Garcilaso de la Vega), Cutifachiqui (consonants
inverted, Elvas) was seven days' march from Chalaque (Cheroki)
"province," and distant from the sea about thirty leagues, as stated
by the natives of the place. There were many ruined towns in the
vicinity, we are told by the Fidalgo de Elvas. One league from there,
in the direction up stream, was Talomeco town, the "temple" of which
is described as a wonderful and curious structure by Garcilaso. Many
modern historians have located these towns on the middle course of
Savannah river, and Charles C. Jones (Hernando de Soto, 1880; pp. 27.
29) believes, with other investigators, that Cofetaçque stood at
Silver Bluff, on the left bank of the Savannah river, about
twenty-five miles by water below Augusta. The domains of that "queen,"
or, as we would express it, the towns and lands of that confederacy,
extended from there up to the Cheroki mountains.

The name Cofita-chiqui seems to prove by itself that these towns were
inhabited by Yuchi Indians; for it contains kowita, the Yuchi term for
_Indian_, and apparently "Indian of our own tribe." This term appears
in all the vocabularies: kawíta, _man, male_; kohwita, ko-ita, plural
kohino'h, _man_; kota, _man_, contracted from kow'ta, kowita; also in
compounds: kowĕt-ten-chōō, _chief_; kohítta makinnung, _chief of a
people_. The terms for the parts of the human body all begin with ko-.
The second part of the name, -chiqui, is a term foreign to Yuchi, but
found in all the dialects of Maskoki in the function of _house_,
_dwelling_, (tchúku, tchóko, and in the eastern or Apalachian
dialects, tchíki) and has to be rendered here in the collective sense
of _houses, town_. Local names to be compared with Cofitachiqui are:
Cofachi, further south, and Acapachiqui, a tract of land near

The signification of the name Yutchi, plural Yutchihá, by which this
people calls itself, is unknown. All the surrounding Indian tribes
call them Yuchi, with the exception of the Lenápi or Delawares, who
style them Tahogaléwi.

But there are two sides to this question. We find the local name
Kawíta, evidently the above term, twice on middle Chatahuchi river,
and also in Cofetalaya, settlements of the Cha'hta Indians in Tala and
Green counties, Mississippi. Did any Yuchi ever live in these
localities in earlier epochs? Garcilaso de Vega, Florida III, c. 10,
states that Juan Ortiz, who had been in the Floridian peninsula
before, acted as interpreter at Cofitachiqui. This raises the query,
did the natives of this "capital" speak Creek or Yuchi? Who will
attempt to give an irrefutable answer to this query?

The existence of a "queen" or caçica, that is, of a chief's widow
invested with the authority of a chief, seems to show that Cofetaçque
town or confederacy did not belong to the Maskoki connection, for we
find no similar instance in Creek towns. Among the Yuchi, succession
is in the male line, but the Hitchiti possess a legendary tradition,
according to which the first chief that ever stood at the head of
their community was a woman.

To determine the extent of the lands inhabited or claimed by the Yuchi
in de Soto's time, is next to impossible. At a later period they lived
on the eastern side of the Savannah river, and on its western side as
far as Ogeechee river, and upon tracts above and below Augusta,
Georgia. These tracts were claimed by them as late as 1736. John
Filson, in his "Discovery etc. of Kentucky" vol. II, 84-87 (1793),
gives a list of thirty Indian tribes, and a statement on Yuchi towns,
which he must have obtained from a much older source: "Uchees occupy
four different places of residence, at the head of St. John's, the
fork of St. Mary's, the head of Cannouchee and the head of St.
Tillis.[5] These rivers rise on the borders of Georgia and run
separately into the ocean." To Cannouchee answers a place _Canosi_,
mentioned in Juan de la Vandera's narrative (1569); the name, however,
is Creek and not Yuchi. Hawkins states that formerly Yuchi were
settled in small villages at Ponpon, Saltketchers and Silver Bluff, S.
C., and on the Ogeechee river, Ga. In 1739 a Yuchi town existed on the
Savannah river, twenty-five miles above Ebenezer, which is in
Effingham county, Georgia, near Savannah City (Jones, Tomochichi, p.
117; see next page).

    [Footnote 5: The present Satilla river; falsely written St.
    Illa, Santilla, St. Tillie.]

From notices contained in the first volume of Urlsperger's
"Ausführliche Nachricht," pp. 845. 850-851, we gather the facts that
this Yuchi town was five miles above the Apalachicola Fort, which
stood in the "Pallachucla savanna," and that its inhabitants
celebrated an annual busk, which was at times visited by the
colonists. Governor Oglethorpe concluded an alliance with this town,
and when he exchanged presents to confirm the agreement made, he
obtained skins from these Indians. Rev. Boltzius, the minister of the
Salzburger emigrants, settled in the vicinity, depicts their character
in dark colors; he states "they are much inclined to Robbing and
Stealing," but was evidently influenced by the Yámassi and Yamacraw in
their vicinity, who hated them as a race foreign to themselves. Of
these he says, "these Creeks are Honest, Serviceable and

    [Footnote 6: Extract from Rev. B's Journal; London, 1734, 12mo,
    p. 37.]

The reason why the Yuchi people gradually left their old seats and
passed over to Chatahuchi and Flint rivers is stated as follows by
Benj. Hawkins, United States Agent among the Creeks in his instructive
"Sketch of the Creek Country" (1799).[7]

    [Footnote 7: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, vol.
    III, part first, pp. 61-63 (Savannah, 1848).]

In 1729, "Captain Ellick," an old chief of Kasí'hta, married three
Yuchi women and brought them to Kasí'hta. This was greatly disliked by
his townspeople, and he was prevailed upon to move across Chatahuchi
river, opposite to where Yuchi town was in Hawkins' time; he settled
there with his three brothers, two of whom had intermarried with
Yuchis. After this, the chief collected all the Yuchi people, gave
them lands on the site of Yuchi town, and there they settled.

Hawkins eulogizes the people by stating that they are more civil,
orderly and industrious than their neighbors (the Lower Creeks), the
men more attached to their wives, and these more chaste. He estimates
the number of their warriors ("gun-men"), including those of the three
branch villages, at about two hundred and fifty. These branch towns
were Intatchkálgi, "beaver-dam people";[8] Padshiläíka, "pigeon
roost"; and Tokogálgi, "tad-pole people", on Flint river and its side
creeks; while a few Yuchi had gone to the Upper Creeks and settled
there at Sawanógi. Yuchi, the main town, lay on the western bank of
Chatahuchi river, on a tributary called Yuchi creek, ten and one-half
miles below Kawíta Talahássi, and two miles above Osutchi. Another
water course, called "Uchee river," runs from the west into Oklokoni
river, or "Yellow Water," in the southwestern corner of the State of
Georgia. Morse, in his list of Seminole settlements (1822), mentions a
Yuchi town near Mikasuki, Florida.

    [Footnote 8: See below: List of Creek Settlements.]

The main Yuchi town on Chatahuchi river was built in a vast plain
rising from the river. W. Bartram, who saw it in 1775, depicts it as
the largest, most compact, and best situated Indian town he ever saw;
the habitations were large and neatly built, the walls of the houses
consisted of a wooden frame, lathed and plastered inside and outside
with a reddish clay, and roofed with cypress bark or shingles. He
estimated the number of the inhabitants at one thousand or fifteen
hundred. They were usually at variance with the Maskoki confederacy,
and "did not mix" with its people, but were wise enough to unite with
them against a common enemy (Travels, pp. 386. 387).

The early reports may often have unconsciously included the Yuchi
among the Apalachi[9] and Apalatchúkla. Among the chiefs who
accompanied Tomochichi, miko of the Yamacraw Indians, to England in
1733, was Umphichi or Umpeachy, "a Uchee chief from Palachocolas."[10]

    [Footnote 9: Cf. Gallatin, Synopsis, p. 95.]

    [Footnote 10: Chas. C. Jones, Tomochichi, pp. 58. 83.]

William Bartram, who traveled through these parts from 1773 to 1778,
and published his "Travels" many years later,[11] calls them "Uche or
Savannuca," which is the Creek Sawanógi, or "dwellers upon Savannah
river." This name Savannuca, and many equally sounding names, have
caused much confusion concerning a supposed immigration of the
Sháwano or Shawnee Indians (of the Algonkin race) into Georgia, among
historians not posted in Indian languages. Sawanógi is derived from
Savannah river, which is named after the prairies extending on both
sides, these being called in Spanish sabana. Sabana, and savane in the
Canadian French, designate a grassy plain, level country, prairie,
also in Span. pasture extending over a plain; from Latin sabana
_napkin_. It still occurs in some local names of Canada and of Spanish
America. But this term has nothing at all in common with the Algonkin
word sháwano _south_, from which are derived the tribal names: Sháwano
or Shawnee, once on Ohio and Cumberland rivers and their tributaries;
Chowan in Southern Virginia; Siwoneys in Connecticut; Sawannoe in New
Jersey (about 1616); Chaouanons, the southern division of the Illinois
or Maskoutens.

    [Footnote 11: Published Philadelphia, 1791.]

These tribes, and many others characterized as _southerners_ by the
same or similar Algonkin names, had no connection among themselves,
besides the affinity in their dialects, which for the Chowans is not
even certain. The tradition that Sháwanos existed in Upper Georgia,
around Tugĕlo, and on the head waters of the large Georgia rivers,
requires therefore further examination. Milfort, in his Mémoire (pp.
9. 10) states that lands were obtained from "les Savanogués, sauvages
qui habitent cette partie (de Tougoulou)," for the plantation of
vineyards, about 1775. The name of the Suwanee river, Florida, and
that of Suwanee Creek and town, northeast of Atlanta, Georgia, seem to
contain the Creek term sawáni _echo_. By all means, these names cannot
serve to prove the presence of the Sháwano tribe in these eastern
parts, but a settlement of Sháwanos, also called Sawanógi, existed on
Tallapoosa river, where they seem to have been mixed with Yuchi.[12]

    [Footnote 12: Cf. List of Creek Towns, and Pénicaut, in B.
    French, Hist. Coll. La., new series, p. 126; Force, Some Notices
    on Indians of Ohio, p. 22.]

A. Gallatin, "Synopsis of the Indian Tribes," p. 95, mentions a
tradition, according to which "the ancient seats of the Yuchi were
east of the Coosa, and probably of the Chatahuchi river, and that they
consider themselves as the most ancient inhabitants of the country."
Of which country? If the whole country is meant, which was at the dawn
of history held by Maskoki tribes, the name of the Yazoo river may be
adduced as an argument for the truth of this tradition, for yasu,
yashu is the Yuchi term for _leaf_ and any _leaf-bearing tree_, even
_pines_ (from yá, _wood, tree_), and Kawíta has been mentioned
above. From a thorough comparative study of the Yuchi language, the
Maskoki dialects and the local nomenclature of the country, we can
alone expect any reliable information upon the extent and the area of
territory anciently held by the Yuchi; but at present it is safest to
locate their "priscan home" upon both sides of Lower Savannah river.


Intercourse between the Creek and the Cheroki Indians must have taken
place in prehistoric times, as evidenced by local names, and more so
by Cheroki terms adopted into the Creek language.

The Cheroki, or more correctly, Tsálagi nation is essentially a hill
people; their numerous settlements were divided into two great
sections by the watershed ridge of the Alleghany mountains, in their
language Unéga katúsi ("_white, whitish mountains_"), of which even
now a portion is called "Smoky Mountains." Northwest of that ridge lay
the Cheroki villages of the _Overhill settlement_, Ótari, Ótali ("_up,
above_"), along the Great and Little Tennessee rivers and their
tributaries, while southeast of it, in the mountains of North Carolina
and on the head waters of the Georgia rivers, extended the towns of
the _Lower Cheroki_, or Erati (in Cheroki élati, _below, nether_).
There were also a number of Cheroki villages in the northern parts of
Alabama State, and du Pratz distinctly states, that the "Chéraquies"
lived east of the Abé-ikas.[13] While calling a person of their own
people by the name of Atsálagi, in the plural Anitsálagi, they
comprise all the Creeks under the name of Kúsa, from Coosa river, or
more probably from the ancient, far-famed town of the same name:
Agúsa, Kúsa, Gúsa, _a Creek person_; Anigúsa, _the Creek people_; Gúsa
uniwoní'hsti, _the Creek language_.

    [Footnote 13: Le Page du Pratz, Hist. de la Louisiane, II, p.
    208 sq. (Paris, 1758): "A l'est des Abé-ikas sont les

The Cheroki language was spoken in many dialects before the people
emigrated to the lands allotted to them in the northeastern part of
the Indian Territory, and even now a difference may be observed
between the Western Cheroki and the Eastern or Mountain Cheroki, which
is the language of the people that remained in the hills of Western
North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.[14] Mr. Horatio Hale has
recently demonstrated the affinity of Cheroki with the Iroquois
stock;[15] Wendát and Tuscarora form other dialectic branches of it,
showing much closer relation to the Iroquois dialects of Western New
York than Cheroki. Thirty-two terms of the Keowe dialect (Lower
Cheroki), taken down by B. Hawkins, are embodied in an unpublished
vocabulary, which is in the possession of the American Philosophical
Society in Philadelphia.[16] Another ancient dialect is that of Kitówa
or Kitúa; this is the name by which the Cheroki are known among
several northern tribes, as Delawares and Sháwano (cf. below); it was
also the name of a secret society among the Cheroki, which existed at
the time of the Secession war.

    [Footnote 14: The Mountain Cheroki are centering around
    Quallatown, Haywood county, N. C., and an United States agent is
    residing in their country. Their population is about 1600;
    others live in Northern Georgia.]

    [Footnote 15: H. Hale, "Indian Migrations, as evidenced by
    language." American Antiquarian, vol. V, pp. 18-28 and 108-124

    [Footnote 16: The name Keowe is taken from a narcotic plant used
    for catching fish, which grew in the vicinity of that village.]

The Cheroki Indians are bodily well developed, rather tall in stature
and of an irritable temper, flashing up easily. In the eighteenth
century they were engaged in constant wars, and from their mountain
fastnesses made sallies upon all the surrounding Indian tribes. The
Iroquois or "Northern Indians" attacked them in their own country, as
they also did the Kataba and Western Algonkins. A warlike spirit
pervaded the whole Cheroki nation, and even women participated in
their raids and fights.[17]

    [Footnote 17: Lieut. H. Timberlake, Memoirs (London, 1765), pp.
    70. 71. Urlsperger, Nachricht, I, p. 658, where they are called
    "Tzerrickey Indianer." D. Coxe calls them Sulluggees.]

Wm. Bartram states, that the Cheroki men had a lighter and more olive
complexion than the contiguous Creek tribes, adding that some of their
young girls were nearly as fair and blooming as European women. H.
Timberlake, who visited a portion of their villages (on Great
Tennessee river) in 1762, represents them as of a middle stature,
straight, well built, with small heads and feet, and of an olive
color, though generally painted. They shaved the hair of their heads,
and many of the old people had it plucked out by the roots, the
scalp-lock only remaining. The ears were slit and stretched to an
enormous circumference, an operation which caused them incredible pain
and was adopted from the Sháwano or some other northern nation. The
women wore the hair long, even reaching to the knees, but plucked it
out from all the other parts of the body, especially the looser part
of the sex (Memoirs, pp. 49-51). Polygamy then existed among them.
They erected houses extending sometimes from sixty to seventy feet in
length, but rarely over sixteen in width, and covered them with narrow
boards. Some of these houses were two stories high, and a hot-house or
sudatory stood close to every one of these capacious structures. They
also made bark canoes and canoes of poplar[18] or pine, from thirty to
forty feet long and about _two_ feet broad, with flat bottoms and
sides. Pottery was made by them of red and white clay (_Ibid._, pp.

    [Footnote 18: The term for _poplar_, tsíyu, is also the term for
    _canoe_ and for _trough_.]

The male population was divided into a class of head-men or chiefs,
recruited by popular election, the selection being made among the most
valorous men and the best orators in their councils; and in two
classes of "yeomen": the "warriors" and the "fighting men," these
being inferior to the warriors.

Distinction in reward of exploits was conferred through the honorary
titles of Outacity, "man killer," Kolona, "raven" and "Beloved," names
to which parallels will be found among the Creeks. (_Ibid._, pp. 70,

Seven clans or gentes exist among the Cheroki, and many of them
observe to the present day the regulations imposed by the gentile
organization. They will not marry into their own gens or phratry, for
instance. The totems of these gentes (anatáyaⁿwe, _gens, clan_)
were obtained in 1880 from Mr. Richard Wolf, delegate of the people to
the United States government, as follows:

    1. Aniweyahiá anatáyaⁿwe, _wolf_ gens, the most important of

    2. Ane-igilóhi anatáyaⁿwe, _long hair_ gens.

    3. Anigodegē′we, the gens to which Mr. Wolf belongs. They can
    marry into all gentes, except into the _long hair_ clan, because
    this contains their "_aunts_" (ä`loki).

    4. Anitsī′skwa, _bird_ gens.

    5. Aniwō′te, _paint_ gens; (wō′te, wo′de, _clay_; aniwō′ti,

    6. Anigo-ulé, anikulé, _acorn_ gens.

    7. Anisahóne, _blue_ gens.

Besides the fact that gentes Nos. 2 and 3 belong to one phratry, the
other phratries and their names were not remembered by the informant.
The prefix ani- marks the plural of animate beings.

The list of totemic gentes printed in Lewis H. Morgan, Ancient
Society, p. 164, differs from the above in giving ten gentes, two
being extinct, and one or two being perhaps phratries and not

1. _Wolf_, aniwhíya. 2. _Red paint_, aniwóte. 3. _Long prairie_,
anigätagáni'h. 4. _Deaf_ (a bird), dsuliniana. 5. _Holly tree_,
anisdásdi. 6. _Deer_, anikáwi'h. 7. _Blue_, anisahókni. 8. _Long
hair_, anikalóhai. 9. _Acorn_, anidsúla (extinct). 10. _Bird_,
anidséskwa (extinct).

The names of several Cheroki towns are mentioned by the historians of
de Soto's expedition, which traversed a portion of their country; by
Adair, Timberlake and by Wm. Bartram, who has left a long list of
their settlements.

The rare publication: Weston (Pl. Chas. Jennett), Documents connected
with the History of South Carolina, London, 1856, 4to, contains an
article by de Brahm, which gives an ethnologic sketch and many other
particulars of the Southern Indians, and especially refers to the
Cheroki (pp. 218-227). The English-Cheroki war, from February to
August, 1760, is narrated pp. 208-213.

The tradition that the Cheroki, or rather a portion of them, were
found living in caves, is substantiated by the appellation
"Cave-dwellers," given to them by the Northern Indians. The Comanches
call them Ebikuita; the Senecas, Uyáda, cave-men; the Wendát,
Uwatáyo-róno, from uwatáyo, which in their language means "_hole_ in
the ground, _cave_;" the Sháwano call them Katowá, plural Katowági;
and the Delawares by the same name, Gatohuá (Barton, Appendix, p. 8:
Gattóchwa). This refers to Kitówa, one of their towns previously
mentioned. Caves of the old Cheroki country were examined by
archæologists, and some of them showed marks of former occupation,
especially caves in Sullivan and Hawkins counties, Tennessee. This
reminds us of the Troglodytæ and Mandritæ of ancient times, of the
Cliff-Dwellers on Upper Colorado river, New Mexico, and of other
American tribes, which lived in caves. Thus a Shasti tribe, the
Weohow, are reported to have received this name from a "stone house"
or rock dwelling situated in their country, east of Shasta River and
south of the Siskiyou Mountains.[19]

    [Footnote 19: Cf. Ind. Affairs' Report, 1864, p. 120.]

Lists of the ancient Cheroki towns will be found in W. Bartram's
Travels, p. 371-372 (forty-three), in H. Timberlake (his map is also
reproduced in Jefferys' Topography of N. A., an atlas in fol., 1762),
and in J. Gerar W. de Brahm, Hist. of the Prov. of Georgia, Wormsloe
1849, fol., p. 54.


None of the numerous Algonkin tribes lived in the immediate
neighborhood of the Maskoki family of Indians, but of the Dakotan
stock the Arkansas (originally Ákansā--the Akansea of Father
Gravier), dwelt in close proximity, and had frequent intercourse with
this Southern nation.

Pénicaut relates[20] that the French commander, Lemoyne d'Iberville,
sailed up the Mississippi river, and sixty leagues above the mouth of
the Yazoo found the mouth of the Arkansas river; eight leagues above,
on the same western shore, was the nation of the Arkansas, and in
their town were two other "nations," called Torimas and Kappas. By
these warlike and hunting tribes he was received in a friendly manner.
The men are described as stout and thick-set (gros et trapus), the
women as pretty and light-complexioned. Imahao, another Arkansas
village, is mentioned in Margry IV, 179. The affluent of the
Mississippi on which the Arkansas were settled was, according to D.
Coxe, Carolana, p. 11, the Ousoutowy river: another name for Arkansas

    [Footnote 20: Margry, P., Découvertes et Etablissements des
    Français dans l'ouest et dans le Sud de l'Amérique
    Septentrionale, Paris, 1876, etc., V, 402.]

    [Footnote 21: cf. D. Coxe, Carolana, pp. 11. 13.]

From Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, who makes a special study of all the Dakota
tribes, I obtained the following oral information, founded on his
personal intercourse with individuals of the Káppa tribe:

"Ákansa is the Algonkin name by which the Kápa, Quápa were called by
the eastern Indians, as Illinois, etc. They call themselves Ugáχpa
and once lived in four villages, two of which were on Mississippi, two
on Arkansas river, near its mouth: Their towns, though now transferred
to the Indian Territory, northeastern angle, have preserved the same

    "1. Ugaχpáχti or 'real Kápa.' Ugáχpa means 'down stream,' just
    as O′maha means 'up stream.'

    "2. Tiwadímaⁿ, called Toriman by French authors.

    "3. Uzutiúhe, corrupted into O′sotchoue, O′sochi, Southois by
    the French authors. Probably means: 'village upon low-land

    "4. Taⁿwaⁿzhika or 'small village;' corrupted into Topinga,
    Tonginga, Donginga by the French.

"The Pacaha 'province' of de Soto's historians is a name inverted from
Capaha, which is Ugáχpa. The form Quápa is incorrect, for Kápa (or
Kápaha of La Salle), which is abbreviated from Ugáχpa."

In 1721 LaHarpe saw three of their villages on the Mississippi river,
and noticed snake worship among these Indians.



On account of the recent discovery of their consonantic language,
which proves to be disconnected from any other aboriginal tongue
spoken in North America, a peculiar interest attaches itself to the
tribe of the Taensa Indians, whose cabins stood in Tensas county,
Louisiana, bordering east on Mississippi river. The Tensas river, in
French _Bayou Tensa_, which joins the Washita river at Trinity City,
after forming a prodigious number of bends, and flowing past a
multitude of artificial mounds, still keeps up the memory of this
extinct tribe.

In March 1700, the French commander L. d'Iberville calculated the
distance from the landing of the Natchez to that of the Taensas,
following the river, at about 15-1/2 leagues, and in the air-line,
11-1/4 leagues. That Taensa landing, at the foot of a bluff nine
hundred feet high (150 _toises_), was about 32°5´ Lat., while
d'Iberville, trusting his inaccurate methods of measuring, located it
at 32°47´ Lat. (Margry IV, 413).

The tribe occupied seven villages at the time of d'Iberville's visit,
which were distant four leagues from the Mississippi river, and
grouped around a semi-circular lake, probably _Lake St. Joseph_. One
hundred and twenty of these cabins were extending for two leagues on
the lake shore, and a "temple" was among them. The missionary
Montigny, who visited the locality about the same epoch, estimated the
population of that part of the Taensa settlement which he saw at 400
persons. "They were scattered over an area of eight leagues, and their
cabins lay along a river."

The seven villages visited by d'Iberville constitute _one town_ only,
as he was told. This means to say that they formed a confederacy. A
Taensa Indian, who accompanied him, gave their names in the Chicasa
trade language, or, as the French called it, the Mobilian jargon
(Margry IV, 179).

     1. Taënsas; from Cha'hta taⁿdshi _maize_.

     2. Ohytoucoulas; perhaps from úti _chestnut_; cf. utápa
        _chestnut eater_. For -ougoula, cf. p. 36.

     3. Nyhougoulas;

     4. Couthaougoulas; from Cha'hta uk'hátaχ _lake_.

     5. Conchayon; cf. Cha'hta kónshak _reed, species of cane_.

     6. Talaspa; probably from ta`lapi _five_, or ta`lepa _hundred_.

     7. Chaoucoula; from Cha'hta issi _deer_, or hátche _river,

In the Taensa Grammar and Vocabulary of Haumonté, Parisot and Adam
(Paris, 1882), the name by which the people called itself is
Hâstriryini "_warriors, men, tribe_;" cf. p. 91: hâstri _to fight_,
_make war_; hâstrir _warrior, man_; hâstriryi _people, tribe_; but
Tensagini also occurs in the texts, which would point to an extensive
maize culture.

The Taensa were sun worshipers, and had a temple with idols and a
perpetual fire. When d'Iberville sojourned among them, lightning
struck their temple and destroyed it, upon which the mothers
sacrificed their infants, to appease the wrath of the incensed deity,
by throwing them into the burning edifice (Margry IV, 414, etc.; V,
398). The people then rubbed their faces and bodies with _earth_.
Nothing definite is known about their gentes, phratries and totems.
Several French authors represent them as speaking the Naktche language
(which is untrue) and as being of the same nation.[22] D'Iberville
states that their language differed from that of the Huma tribe.

    [Footnote 22: Grammaire et Voc. Taensa, _Introd._, pp. xii. xiv.
    Compare also Margry, _Déc. et Etabl._, I, 556-557, 566-568,
    600-602, 609-610, 616; IV, 414. Their temple, described by le
    Sieur de Tonty (traveling with la Salle in 1682) in French,
    Hist. Coll. of La., I, pp. 61. 64.]

The remnants of a tribe called Mosopellea, probably of
Illinois-Algonkin origin and previously residing west of the "Isle of
Tamaroa," on western shore of Mississippi river, joined the Taensa,
and were met there in 1682 by Tonti. They had been almost annihilated
by the Iroquois.[23]

    [Footnote 23: Margry I, 610. Mosopolea, _ibid._ II, 237;
    Monsopela, on the map in D. Coxe, Carolana.]

The Taensa had, at one time, formed an alliance with the Koroa, then
on Yazoo river, and another with the Arkansas Indians.

The Taensa grammar speaks of a northern and of a southern, more
polished dialect, but does not locate them topographically. The only
word of Taensa which I have found to agree with any other language, is
ista _eye_; it also occurs in Southern Dakotan dialects.


In early colonial times a portion of the Northern Taensa, driven from
their homes on the Taensa river by the rage of the Chicasa, fled to
the Mobilians. The French settled them on the western side of Mobile
bay, below Fort St. Louis, and thirty miles above Fort Condé, which
stood on the site of the present city of Mobile.[24] The French called
them "les petits Taënsas" in contradistinction to the "great (or
northern) Taënsas," on Mississippi and Taensa rivers. About the middle
of the eighteenth century one hundred of their cabins stood _north_ of
the French fort St. Louis, and also north of the Tohome Indian
settlement. The Taensa were then speaking their native language and,
besides this, a corrupt Chicasa dialect, called the Mobilian language
by the French.[25] Subsequently they must have removed from there to
the eastern channel, for Bartram, Travels, pp. 401. 403, describes
Taensa there as a "pretty high bluff, on the eastern channel of the
great Mobile river, about thirty miles above Fort Condé, or city of
Mobile, at the head of the bay ... with many artificial mounds of
earth and other ruins." During the wars of 1813-15 the adjacent
country is called the "Tensaw country."

    [Footnote 24: At that time they were warring unsuccessfully
    against the Huma (1713); Pénicaut (in Margry V, 508. 509) saw
    them at Manchac.]

    [Footnote 25: T. Jefferys, Hist. of French Dominions in America;
    London, 1761; I, p. 162, sq.]

It is not unlikely that these Taensa were identical with the "petits
Taënsas" seen by Lemoyne d'Iberville at the Huma town in March 1700,
and described by him as migratory, but living most of the time at
three days' distance west of Huma, and then warring against the
Bayogoulas. They gained their sustenance by hunting, though buffaloes
were scarce in their country, and were men of a fine physique (Margry
IV, 408). In 1702 they defeated the Bayogoulas and burnt their village
on Mississippi river; the Bayogoulas fled to the French fort on that
river, then commanded by Mr. St. Denis. If identical with the Taensa
on Mobile river, these fights of theirs must have occurred during
their passage from the North to the bay of Mobile.


A third tribe, which may have stood in some connection with the two
tribes above, are the _Tangipahoa Indians_ settled in various places
east of New Orleans, especially on Tangipahoa river, in southeastern
Louisiana. A French author states that they formed one of the seven
villages of the Acolapissa. The name is written in different ways, and
is interpreted by Gov. Allen Wright as "those who gather maize
stalks," from táⁿdshe _maize_; ápi _stalk, cob_; áyua _they gather_.
Pénicaut defines the name differently, for he states (Margry V, 387)
"we found (northwest of Lake Pontchartrain) a river, Tandgepao, which
in the Indian signifies '_bled blanc_.'" The Taensapaoa tribe, on the
river of the same name, is referred to in Bartram, Travels, p. 422;
cf. p. 423. We have no notice concerning the language spoken by this
tribe, which was, perhaps, incorporated into the Cha'hta living now
around New Orleans; thus we are unable to decide whether they spoke
Cha'hta, like the other Acolapissa, or another tongue. The Tangibao
tribe was "destroyed by the Oumas," as stated in a passage of Margry
(IV, 168); by which is meant, that they were scattered and their
tribal connection disrupted.


Of the Lower Mississippi tribes the most powerful and populous was
that of the Naktche, settled at the beginning of the eighteenth
century in nine villages on and about St. Catherine creek (Lúkfi-ákula
in Cha'hta: "_clay-digging place_," to daub houses with), in a
beautiful and fertile country. This stream wends its way first south,
then west, in a semi-circular course, around the present city of
Natchez, Mississippi, and runs at an average distance of three to
four miles from it. Other Naktche villages existed in its vicinity.

Náktche is the correct form of the tribal name, though this people
appears to have called itself by some other appellation. Natchez is
the old-fashioned plural adopted from French orthography; we might
just as well write Iroquoiz, Islinoiz or Adayez, instead of the
terminal -s now designating the plural in French. The Cheroki Indians
call a Nache, Natche or Náktche person A′noχtse, A′nnoχtse,
the people or tribe Anínoχtse, shortened into Ani`htse, which proves
that a guttural has been elided from the present form of the name.
Isalakti, from whom Albert Gallatin obtained a vocabulary of the
language, called himself a Nahktse, not a Natche chief.

The name is of Shetimasha origin, I have reasons to assume. Náksh in
that language means _one that is in a hurry, one running_, náksh
así,[26] abbrev. náksh _warrior_; and the earliest French explorers
may have heard that name from the Shetimasha Indians settled on the
Mississippi, where Bayou Lafourche, also called the river of the
Shetimasha, branches off from it. Should the name belong to the
Chicasa trade language, we might think of the Cha'hta adverb: naksika
_aside, away from_, referring to the site of the Naktche villages at
some distance from the great "water-road," the Mississippi river.

    [Footnote 26: Literally, "a hurrying man." In the sign language
    of the Mississippi plains, the sign for _fighting_ or _battle_
    is the same as for _riding a horse_.]

The Naktche tribe owes its celebrity and almost romantic fame to
several causes: their towns were populous, the government more
centralized than that of the surrounding native populations; the
French settled in their vicinity, and hence their authors have left to
posterity more information concerning their confederacy than
concerning other tribes; their stubborn resistance to French
encroachments gave them a high reputation for bravery; their religious
customs, centering in a highly developed sun-worship, made of them an
object of curious interest and far-going ethnologic speculation for
the white colonists, whose views on the Naktche we must receive with
the utmost caution.

L. d'Iberville reports, that at the time of his visit (March 1699) the
villages of the Naktche made up _one town_ only, and formed a complex
of contiguous villages called Théloël or Thécoël[27] (Margry IV, 179).

    [Footnote 27: The handwriting of this name is indistinct, but in
    the sequel, wherever this name is mentioned, Margry prints it
    Théloël. There can scarcely be any doubt of its identity with
    Thoucoue, the seventh village in the list.]

The annalist Pénicaut, who visited these parts in 1704, states that
the nine villages were situated in a delightful country, swarming with
buffaloes, drained by rivulets and partly wooded. The village or
residence of the head chief, _the Sun_, lay one league from the
Mississippi river, and three other villages were on a brook, at a
distance of half a league from each other. He alludes to their human
sacrifices, the frequency of infanticide, and gives descriptions of
their temple, perpetual fire, their "_marche des cadavres_" and
articles of dress. The house of the Sun was large enough to contain
four thousand persons; he had female servants called _oulchil tichon_,
and thirty male attendants ("laquais") or _loüés_, the Allouez of
other chroniclers. Mother-right prevailed among them (Margry V,

The Taensa guide, who accompanied d'Iberville to the Naktche tribe in
1699, furnished him a list of the nine villages, their names being
given in the Chicasa trade language. I presume that they are given in
the topographical order as they followed each other on St. Catharine
creek, from its mouth upward, since the "Nachés" village or residence
of the Sun was distant one league only from the Mississippi river. We
are not acquainted with the names given to these villages in the
Naktche language. The etymologies of the Cha'hta language were
obtained from Allen Wright; the suffixed word -ougoula is the Cha'hta
ókla _people, tribe_.

     1. Nachés;

     2. Pochougoula; "_pond-lily people_," from Cha'hta pántchi
        _pond lily_.

     3. Ousagoucoulas; "_hickory people_," from Cha'hta û′ssak,
        óssak _hickory_.

     4. Cogoucoulas; "_swan people_," from ókok _swan_.

     5. Yatanocas;

     6. Ymacachas; almost homonymous with the Arkansas village
        Imahao, mentioned above.

     7. Thoucoue; probably identical with Théloël (cf. above) and
        the Thioux of later authors.

     8. Tougoulas; "_wood_ or _forest people_" from iti _wood_.

     9. Achougoulas; "_pipe people_," from ashunga _pipe_,
        literally, "the thing they smoke from;" cf. shúngali _I
        smoke from_.

Although these names are considerably frenchified in their
orthography, the meaning of some admits of no doubt. When I visited
Natchez city in January 1882, I was informed that the White Apple
village, called Apilua (Vpelois) and mentioned by Le Page du Pratz, is
supposed to have existed twelve to fifteen miles southeast of the
city. The White Earth village and the village of the Meal were other
settlements of theirs. Owing to incessant rains, I could not explore
the sites to their full extent, but found a flat mound south of St.
Catharine's creek, with a diameter of thirty-two feet and perfectly
circular, which lay at the same distance from the Mississippi as given
above for the residence of the Sun. Col. J. F. H. Claiborne's _History
of Mississippi_, vol. I, 40-47, gives valuable extracts from French
archives, pointing to the real sites of the Naktche habitations. The
colossal mound of Seltzer-town stands but a short distance from the
creek alluded to, and is fourteen miles from Natchez city to the

The settlement of the French on the heights of Natchez, the growing
animosity of the natives against the intruders, the three successive
wars, the massacre of the colonists in November, 1729, and the final
dispersion of the tribe in February 1730, are well-known historic
facts and need not be repeated in this volume. The disorganized
warriors retreated with their families to different parts of the
country. One party fled across Mississippi river to some locality near
Trinity City, La., where they entrenched themselves, but were
attacked, defeated and partly captured by a body of French troops two
years later. Another party reached the Chicasa country and was granted
a home and protection by that tribe; but the revengeful French
colonists declared war upon the hospitable Chicasa for sheltering
their mortal enemies, and invaded their lands by way of the Yazoo
river in 1736, but were compelled to retreat after suffering
considerable loss. Fort Tombigbee, constructed in 1735, served as a
second base for the French operations. Further French-Chicasa wars
occurred in 1739-40 and in 1748.[28]

    [Footnote 28: Cf. Adair, History, p. 354 sqq. On Fort Tombigbee,
    _ibid._, pp. 285, 291.]

Later on, we find their remnants among the Creeks, who had provided
them with seats on Upper Coosa river, and incorporated them into their
confederacy. They built a village called Naktche, and a part of them
went to reside in the neighboring Abikúdshi town. Naktche town lay, in
B. Hawkins' time (1799), on a creek of the same name, joining Coosa
river sixty miles above its confluence with Tallapoosa river, and
harbored from fifty to one hundred warriors (Hawkins, p. 42). A number
of Naktche families, speaking their paternal language, now live in the
hilly parts of the Cheroki Nation, Indian Territory.

A body of Indians, called by French and English writers Thioux and
Grigras, remained in the vicinity of the Natchez colony after the
departure of the Naktche Indians, who had been the ruling tribe of the
confederacy. It is doubtful whether these two divisions were of
foreign or of Naktche origin, though the latter seems improbable. The
Grigras were called so on account of a peculiarity in their
pronunciation; it probably referred to what the French call
_grasseyer_, and the Canadian French _parler gras_.[29] Eleven Sháwano
were once brought to the villages as captives, and were known there as
"Stinkards," "Puants," terms which served to interpret the Naktche
term métsmetskop _miserable, bad, wretched, inferior_.

    [Footnote 29: It is stated that the Thioux were a small body of
    Indians, reduced in numbers by the Chicasa, and then
    incorporated by the Naktche; their language possessed the sound
    R. If this latter statement is true, their language was neither
    of the Naktche nor of the Maskoki or Dakota family. In
    conversation the Grigras often used this word _grigra_, which
    also implies the use of the articulation R. Cf. Le Page du
    Pratz, IV, chap, ii, sect. 1; Jefferys, French Dom. in America,
    p. 162, and what is said of the Sháwano under Yuchi, p.]

The scanty vocabularies which we possess of the Naktche language
contain a sprinkling of foreign terms adopted from the Chicasa or
Mobilian. Two languages at least were spoken before 1730 in the
Naktche villages; the Naktche by the ruling class or tribe; the other,
the Chicasa or trade language by the "low people;" and hence the
mixture referred to. Du Pratz gives specimens of both. Naktche is a
vocalic language, rich in verbal forms, and, to judge from a few
specimens, polysynthetic to a considerable degree in its affixes.


Migratory dispositions seem to have inhered to the Tonica or Tunica
tribe in a higher degree than to their southern neighbors, for in the
short lapse of two centuries we see them stationed at more than three

In a letter addressed by Commander Lemoyne d'Iberville to the Minister
of the French Navy, dated from Bayogoulas, February 26th, 1700, he
states that an English fur-trader and Indian slave-jobber had just
visited the Tonica, who are on a river emptying into the Mississippi,
twenty leagues above the Taensa Indians, at some distance from the
Chicasa, and 170 leagues from the Gulf of Mexico. When d'Iberville
ascended the Yazoo river in the same year, he found a village of this
tribe on its right (or western) bank, four days' travel from the
Natchez landing. Seven villages were seen upon this river, which is
navigable for sixty leagues. The Tonica village, the lowest of them,
was two days' travel from Thysia, the uppermost (Margry IV, 180. 362.
398; V, 401). La Harpe mentions the establishment of a mission house
among the Tonica on Yazoo river.[30]

    [Footnote 30: French, Hist. Coll. III, 16; cf. Margry V, 525.
    The names of these villages to be given under Chicasa, q. v.]

In 1706, when expecting to become involved in a conflict with the
Chicasa and Alibamu Indians, the Tonica tribe, or a part of it, fled
southward to the towns of the Huma, and massacred a number of these
near the site where New Orleans was built afterwards (French, Hist.
Coll. of La., III, 35). The "Tunica Old Fields" lay in Tunica county,
Mississippi State, opposite Helena, Arkansas. Cf. Cha'hta.

They subsequently lived at the Tonica Bluffs, on the east shore of the
Mississippi river, two leagues below the influx of the Red river. T.
Jefferys, who in 1761 gave a description of their village and chief's
house, states that they had settled on a hill near the "River of the
Tunicas," which comes from the Lake of the Tunicas, and that in close
vicinity two other villages were existing (Hist. of French Dominions,
I, 145-146).[31] Th. Hutchins, Louisiana and West Florida, Phila.,
1784, p. 44, locates them a few miles below that spot, opposite Pointe
Coupée and ten miles below the Pascagoulas, on Mississippi river. So
does also Baudry de Lozières in 1802, who speaks of a population of
one hundred and twenty men.

    [Footnote 31: This was probably the place where Le Page du Pratz
    saw them (about 1720 or 1725): "vis-à-vis de la Rivière Rouge,"
    II, 220-221.]

In 1817, a portion of the tribe, if not the whole, had gone up the Red
river and settled at Avoyelles, ninety miles above its confluence
with the Mississippi. A group of these Indians is now in Calcasieu
county, Louisiana, in the neighborhood of Lake Charles City.

A separate chapter has been devoted to this tribe, because there is a
strong probability that their language differed entirely from the rest
of the Southern tongues. Le Page du Pratz, l.l., in confirming this
statement, testifies to the existence of the sound R in their
language, which occurs neither in Naktche nor in the Maskoki dialects
or Shetimasha (II, 220-221). We possess no vocabulary of it, and even
the tribal name belongs to Chicasa: túnnig _post, pillar, support_,
probably post of territorial demarcation of their lands on the Yazoo
river. The only direct intimation which I possess on that tongue is a
correspondence of Alphonse L. Pinart, who saw some Tonica individuals,
and inferred from their terms that they _might_ belong to the great
Pani stock of the Western plains.


Of this small and obscure Indian community mention is made much
earlier than of all the other tribes hitherto spoken of in this
volume, for Cabeça de Vaca, in his _Naufragios_, mentions them among
the inland tribes as Atayos. In the list of eight Caddo villages,
given by a Taensa guide to L. d'Iberville on his expedition up the Red
river (March 1699), they figure as the Natao (Margry IV, 178).

The Adái, Atá-i, Háta-i, Adayes (incorrectly called _Adaize_) seem to
have persisted at their ancient home, where they formed a tribe
belonging to the Caddo confederacy. Charlevoix (Hist. de la Nouvelle
France, ed. Shea VI, p. 24) relates that a Spanish mission was founded
among the Adaes in 1715. A Spanish fort existed there, seven leagues
west of Natchitoches, as late as the commencement of the nineteenth
century. Baudry de Lozières puts their population at one hundred men
(1802), and Morse (1822) at thirty, who then passed their days in
idleness on the Bayou Pierre of Red river. Even at the present time
they are remembered as a former division of the Caddo confederacy, and
called Háta-i by the Caddo, who are settled in the southeastern part
of the Indian Territory.

A list of about 300 Adái words was gathered in 1802 by Martin Duralde,
which proves it to be a vocalic language independent of any other,
though a few affinities are traceable with the Pani dialects. The
orthography of that vocabulary cannot, however, be fully relied on.
The original is in the library of the American Philosophical Society,
in Philadelphia. Rob. G. Latham, in his "Opuscula; Essays, chiefly
philological," etc., London 1860; pp. 402-404, has compared Adahi
words with the corresponding terms of other North American languages,
but without arriving at a definite result.


The great family of Pani Indians has, in historic times, extended from
the Platte river southward to the Gulf of Mexico. From the main stock,
the Sanish or Arikari have wandered on their hunting trips north to
the Middle Missouri river, while the Pani, in four divisions, had the
Platte and its tributaries for their headquarters. The southern tribes
are the Witchita, the Towákone or Three Canes, who speak the Witchita
dialect, the Kichai and the originally Texan tribes of the Caddo and
Waco (Wéko, in Spanish: Hueco.)[32]

    [Footnote 32: Cf. R. G. Latham, Opuscula, p. 400, who was the
    first to hint at a possible affinity of Caddo to Pani.]

The Pani family was too remote from the Maskoki tribes to enter in
direct connection with them. Some of the southern septs had
intercourse with them, mainly through the French colonists. Fights
between Caddos and Cha'hta are recorded for the eighteenth century.
The Pani family is mentioned here simply because the legendary caves
from which the Creek nation is said to have sprung lay on Red river,
within the limits of the territory held by some of the southern Pani

When L. d'Iberville ascended the western branch of the Red river, now
called Red river (the eastern branch being Washita or Black river), in
March 1699, he saw and visited eight villages of the Caddo connection.
His Taensa guide named them as follows:

     Yataché; called Yátassi by Americans.

     Nactythos; they are the Natchitoches.


     Natao; the Adái above.


     Cadodaquis; full form, Cado-hadatcho or "_chief tribe_."



The Cachaymons and the Cadodaquis had been previously visited by
Cavelier de la Salle, when returning from the Cenys, in the central
parts of Texas.[33]

    [Footnote 33: Cf. Margry IV, 178. 313. 409.]

The Caddo confederacy consists of the following divisions or tribes,
as given me by a Caddo Indian in 1882:

     Kado proper; kádo means _chief, principal_.

     Anadáko, Anadāku; also Nandako.

     Ainai, Ayenai; also Hini, Inies upon an affluent of Sabine
        river; identical with the Tachies (Sibley). From this tribal
        name is derived _Texas_, anciently Tachus, Taxus.

     Natchidosh, Nashédosh; the Natchitoches.


     Anabaidaítcho, Nabádatsu; the Nabedatches, who are nearly
        extinct now.

     Nátassi; identical with the Natachés above.

     Nakúhĕdōtch, Nakohodótse; the Nagogdoches.

     Assine, Assíni; the Asinays of French explorers.

     Hadaí; the Adái, Adáye, q. v.

     Yowā′ni, now in Texas.

     A′-ish; a few of these are now living in Texas, called Alish,
        Eyish by former writers.

The Caddo relate, as being the mythical origin of their nation, that
they came from a water-sink in Louisiana, went westward, shoved up
earth by means of arrow-heads, and thus made a mountain. The totems of
their gentes once were, as far as remembered, _bear_ ná-ustse,
_panther_ kö′she, _wolf_ tá-isha, _snake_ kíka, _wild-cat_ wadó,
_owl_ néa, ó-ush.

When Milfort passed through the Red river country about 1780, the
Caddo, whom he describes as fallacious in trading, were at war with
the Cha'hta (Mémoire, p. 95).

In 1705 some Colapissa from the Talcatcha river, four leagues from
Lake Pontchartrain, settled upon the northern bank of this lake at
Castembayouque (now Bayou Castin, at Mandeville), and were joined, six
months after, by a party of "Nassitoches," whom famine had driven from
their homes on Red river.[34]

    [Footnote 34: Pénicaut, in Margry V, 459-462.]


These natives once dwelt in numerous settlements clustering around
Bayou Lafourche, Grand river (or Bayou Atchafalaya), and chiefly
around Grand Lake or Lake of the Shetimasha. All that is left of
them--about fifty-five Indians, of a parentage strongly mixed with
white blood, reside at Charenton, St. Mary's Parish, on the
southwestern side of the lake, though a few are scattered through the
forests on Grand river. They call themselves _Pántch pínunkansh_, "men
altogether red." The name Shetimasha, by which they are generally
known, is of Cha'hta origin, and means "they possess (imásha) cooking
vessels (tchúti)." Their central place of worship was three miles
north of Charenton, on a small inlet of Grand Lake. They worshiped
there, by dances and exhaustive fasting, their principal deity,
Kút-Nähänsh, the "mid-day sun."

They were not warlike, and never figured prominently in colonial
history. When a portion of the tribe, settled on Bayou Lafourche, had
murdered Mr. Saint-Cosme, a Naktche missionary descending the
Mississippi river in 1703, they were attacked by the colonists and
their Indian allies. The war ended with a speedy submission of the
savages. They called the Naktche Indians their brothers, and their
myths related that their "Great Spirit" created them in the country of
that people, and gave them laws, women and tobacco. The Cha'hta
tribes, who attempted to deprive them of their native land, made
continual forays upon them during the eighteenth century.

These Indians were strict monogamists. The chieftaincy was a life-long
office among them. The chiefs lived in lodges larger than those of the
common people, and their tobacco pipes were larger than those of the
warriors. The foreheads of the children were subjected to the
flattening process.[35]

    [Footnote 35: Of these Indians I have given an ethnographic
    sketch in: Transact. Anthropolog. Society of Washington, 1883,
    Vol. II, pp. 148-158.]

Their language is extremely polysynthetic as far as derivation by
suffixes is concerned, and there are also a number of prefixes. For
the pronouns _thou_ and _ye_ a common and a reverential form are in
use. The faculty for forming compound words is considerable, and the
numerals show the decimal form of computation.


To close the list of the linguistic families encircling the Maskoki
stock, we mention the Atákapa, a language which has been studied but
very imperfectly. This tribe once existed upon the upper Bayou Tèche
northwest and west of the Shetimasha, north and northwest of the
Opelousa Indians, and from the Tèche extended beyond Vermilion river,
perhaps down to the sea coast. The Atákapa of old were a well-made
race of excellent hunters, but had, as their name indicates, the
reputation of being anthropophagists (Cha'hta: hátak, hattak _person_,
ápa _to eat_). At first, they suffered no intrusion of the colonists
into their territory and cut off expeditions attempting to penetrate
into their seats. During the nineteenth century they retreated toward
the Sabine river. The name by which they call themselves is unknown;
perhaps it is Skunnemoke, which was the name of one of their villages
on Vermilion river, six leagues west of New Iberia. Cf. Th. Hutchins
(Phila., 1784).

The scanty vocabulary of their language, taken in 1802, shows clusters
of consonants, especially at the end of words, but with its queer,
half-Spanish orthography does not appear to form a reliable basis for
linguistic conclusions. A few words agree with Tónkawē, the
language of a small Texan tribe; and according to tradition, the
Karánkawas, once the giant people of Matagorda bay, on the Texan
Coast, spoke a dialect of Atákapa. These three tribes were, like all
other Texan tribes, reputed to be anthropophagists. In extenuation of
this charge, Milfort asserts that they "do not eat men, but roast them
only, on account of the cruelties first enacted against their
ancestors by the Spaniards" (p. 90). This remark refers to a tribe,
also called Atákapas, which he met at a distance of five days' travel
west of St. Bernard bay.

We have but few notices of expeditions sent by French colonists to
explore the unknown interior of what forms now the State of Louisiana.
One of these, consisting of three Frenchmen, was in 1703 directed to
explore the tribes about the river de la Madeleine, now Bayou Tèche.
The two men who returned reported to have met seven "nations" there;
the man they lost was eaten by the natives, and this misfortune
prompted them to a speedy departure. The location seems to point to
the territory of the Atákapa.[36]

    [Footnote 36: Pénicaut, in Margry V, 440.]

The enumeration of the southern linguistic stocks winds up with the
Atákapa; but it comprises only the families the existence of which is
proved by vocabularies. Tonica and the recently-discovered Taensa
furnish the proof that the Gulf States may have harbored, or still
harbor, allophylic tribes speaking languages unknown to us. The areas
of the southern languages being usually small, they could easily
escape discovery, insomuch as the attention of the explorers and
colonists was directed more toward ethnography than toward aboriginal

The southern tribes which _I suspect_ of speaking or having spoken
allophylic languages, are the Bidai, the Koroa, the Westo and Stono


Rev. Morse, in his Report to the Government (1822), states that their
home is on the western or right side of Trinity river, Texas,
sixty-five miles above its mouth, and that they count one hundred and
twenty people. In 1850 a small settlement of five or six Bidai
families existed on Lower Sabine River.

The Opelousas of Louisiana and the Cances of Texas spoke languages
differing from all others around them.[37]

    [Footnote 37: American State Papers, I, pp. 722-24.]


The earliest home of this tribe, which figures extensively in French
colonial history, is a mountainous tract on the western shore of
Mississippi river, eight leagues above the Natchez landing. They were
visited there, early in 1682, by the explorer, C. de la Salle, who
noticed the compression of their skulls (Margry I, 558. 566). They
were a warlike and determined people of hunters. In 1705 a party of
them, hired by the French priest Foucault to convey him by water to
the Yazoos, murderously dispatched him with two other Frenchmen
(Pénicaut, in Margry V, 458). A companion of C. de la Salle (in 1682)
noticed that the "language of the Coroa differed from that of the
Tinsa and Natché," but that in his opinion their manners and customs
were the same (Margry I, 558).

Koroas afterward figure as one of the tribes settled on Yazoo river,
formerly called also River of the Chicasa, and are mentioned there by
D. Coxe, Carolana (1742), p. 10, as Kourouas. They were then the
allies of the Chicasa, but afterward merged in the Cha'hta people, who
call them Kólwa, Kúlua. Allen Wright, descended from a grandfather of
this tribe, states that the term is neither Cha'hta nor Chicasa, and
that the Koroa spoke a language differing entirely from Cha'hta.[38] A
place Kolua is now in Coahoma county, probably far distant from the
ancient home of this tribe. The origin of the name is unknown; the
Cha'hta word: káⁿlo _strong, powerful_, presents some analogy in sound.

    [Footnote 38: This is corroborated by the fact that the sound R
    did exist in the Koroa language: Jefferys (1761), I, 163.]


lived in the vicinity of the English colony at Charleston, South
Carolina. Their predatory habits made them particularly troublesome in
1669-1671 and in 1674, when they had to be repulsed by an army of
volunteers. The Stonos must have lived north of the colony, or on the
upper course of some river, for, in 1674, they are described as
"coming down" (Hewat, Histor. Account of S. C. and Ga., London 1779;
I, 51. 77). Stono Inlet is the name of a cove near Charleston. Both
tribes also met with disastrous reverses at the hands of the Savannah
Indians, probably the Yámassi (Archdale). They are both mentioned as
having belonged to the Kataba confederacy, but this does not by any
means prove that they spoke Kataba or a dialect of it. As to the name,
the Westo Indians may be identified with the Oustacs of Lederer (who
are reported as being at war with the Usherees), and with the Hostaqua
of René de Laudonnière, who mentions them as forming a confederacy
under a paracusi in the northern parts of the "Floridian" territory.
Possibly the Creek word ō′sta _four_, in the sense of "four
allied tribes," has given origin to this tribal name (ostáka in

The affinity of the extinct Congaree Indians, on Congaree river, is
doubtful also; Lawson relates that they did not understand the speech
of the Waterees and Chicarees. Cf. Kataba. Owing to the inactivity of
the local historians, our ethnographic information on the North and
South Carolina Indians is extremely meagre and unsatisfactory.


The linguistic map added to this volume is an attempt to locate, in a
general way, the settlements pertaining to the Indians of each of the
linguistic stocks of the Gulf States, as far as traceable in the
eighteenth century. Some of them, as the Timucua and Yámassi
settlements, are taken from dates somewhat earlier, while the location
of the Atákapa tribe is known to us only from the first decennium of
the nineteenth century. The marking of the linguistic areas by dots,
pointing to the tribal settlements, answers much better the purpose
than the coloring of large areas, which conveys the erroneous
impression that the population was scattered all over a certain
country. This will do very well for densely populated countries, or
for tracts inhabited by roving, erratic Indians, whom we meet only on
the west side of the Mississippi river. The Gulf States' Indians were
no longer in the condition of pure hunting tribes; they had settled in
stationary villages, and derived the main part of their sustenance
from agriculture and fishing.

The location of the Chicasa, Cheroki, Seminole and Caddo (Pani) tribes
were not indicated with that completeness which the subject requires.
The northwest corner of the map shows the tracts occupied at present
in the Indian Territory by tribes of Maskoki lineage.


Among the various nationalities of the Gulf territories the Maskoki
family of tribes occupied a central and commanding position. Not only
the large extent of territory held by them, but also their numbers,
their prowess in war, and a certain degree of mental culture and
self-esteem made of the Maskoki one of the most important groups in
Indian history. From their ethnologic condition of later times, we
infer that these tribes have extended for many centuries back in time,
from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and beyond that river, and from
the Apalachian ridge to the Gulf of Mexico. With short intermissions
they kept up warfare with all the circumjacent Indian communities, and
also among each other. All the various dispositions of the human mind
are represented in the Maskoki tribes. We have the cruel and lurking
Chicasa, the powerful and ingenious but treacherous and corruptible
Cha'hta, the magnanimous and hospitable, proud and revengeful Creek,
the aggressive Alibamu, the quarrelsome Yámassi, and the self-willed,
independent Seminole, jealous of the enjoyment of his savage freedom
in the swamps and everglades of the semi-tropical peninsula.

The irresolute and egotistic policy of these tribes often caused
serious difficulties to the government of the English and French
colonies, and some of them constantly wavered in their adhesion
between the French and the English cause. The American government
overcame their opposition easily whenever a conflict presented itself
(the Seminole war forms an exception), because, like all the Indians,
they never knew how to unite against a common foe.

The two main branches of the stock, the Creek and the Cha'hta Indians,
were constantly at war, and the remembrance of their deadly conflicts
has now passed to their descendants in the form of folklore. The two
differ anthropologically in their exterior, the people of the western
or Cha'hta branch being thick-set and heavy, that of the eastern or
Creek connection more lithe and tall. Prognathism is not frequent
among them, and the complexion of both is a rather dark cinnamon, with
the southern olive tinge. The general intelligence of this gifted race
renders it susceptible for civilization, endows it with eloquence, but
does not always restrain it from the outbursts of the wildest passion.

Among the tribes of the Maskoki family, we notice the following
ethnographic practices: the use of the red and white colors as symbols
of war and peace, an extensive system of totemic gentes, the use of
the Ilex cassine for the manufacture of the black drink, the erection
of artificial mounds, the belief in a deity called "Master of Life,"
and original sun-worship. The eastern tribes all had an annual
festival in the town square, called a _fast_ (púskita in Creek), and
some traces of it may be found also among the western connection. In
the eastern and western branch (also among the Naktche people) the
children belong to the gens of the mother, a custom which differs from
that of the Yuchi and dates from high antiquity. No instances of
anthropophagy are recorded, but the custom of scalping seems to have
been indigenous among them. The early Timucua scalped their enemies
and dried the scalps over their camp-fires. The artificial flattening
of the foreheads of male infants seems to have prevailed in the
western branch only, but some kind of skull deformation could be
observed throughout the Gulf territories. The re-interment of dead
bodies, after cleaning their bones from the adhering muscles several
months after death, is recorded more especially for the western
branch, but was probably observed among all tribes in various

None of the customs just enumerated was peculiar to the Maskoki
tribes, but common throughout the south, many of them being found in
the north also. They were mentioned here only, to give _in their
totality_ a fair ethnographic picture of the Maskoki nationality.

The genealogy of the Maskoki tribes cannot be established on
anthropological, that is racial, characteristics; these Indians
formerly incorporated so many alien elements into their towns, and
have become so largely mixed with half-castes in the nineteenth
century, that a division on racial grounds has become almost

Hence, the only characteristic by which a subdivision of the family
can be attempted, is that of _language_. Following their ancient
topographic location from east to west, we obtain the following

_First branch, or Maskoki proper._ The Creek, Maskokálgi or Maskoki
proper, settled on Coosa, Tallapoosa, Upper and Middle Chatahuchi
rivers. From these branched off by segmentation the Creek portion of
the Seminoles, of the Yámassi and of the little Yamacraw community.

_Second, or Apalachian branch._ This southeastern division, which may
be called also _a parte potiori_ the Hitchiti connection, anciently
comprised the tribes on the Lower Chatahuchi river and, east from
there, the extinct Apalachi, the Mikasuki, and the Hitchiti portion of
the Seminoles, Yámassi and Yamacraws.

_Third, or Alibamu branch_ comprised the Alibamu villages on the river
of that name; to them belonged the Koassáti and Witumka on Coosa
river, its northern affluent.

_Fourth, Western or Cha'hta branch._ From the main people, the
Cha'hta, settled in the middle portions of the State of Mississippi,
the Chicasa, Pascagoula, Biloxi, Huma and other tribes once became
separated through segmentation.

       *       *       *       *       *

The strongest evidence for a community of origin of the Maskoki tribes
is furnished by the fact that _their dialects belong to one linguistic
family_. The numerous incorporations of foreign elements have not been
able to alter the purity of their language; the number of intrusive
words is very small, and the grammar has repelled every foreign
intrusion. This is the inference we draw from their best studied
dialects, for with some of them, as with Ábika, we are not acquainted
at all, and with others very imperfectly. The principal dialects of
the family greatly differ from each other; Cha'hta, for instance, is
unintelligible to the Creek, Koassáti and Hitchiti people, and the
speech of each of these three tribes is not understood by the two
others. When Albert Gallatin published his vocabularies of Cha'hta and
Creek, he was uncertain at first whether they were related to each
other or not. On the other side, the difference between Cha'hta and
Chicasa, and between Creek and Seminole, is so insignificant that
these dialects may be considered as practically identical. The degree
of dialectic difference points approximately to the date of the
separation of the respective communities, and untold centuries must
have elapsed since the two main branches of the family were torn
asunder, for Cha'hta differs about as much from Creek as the literary
German does from Icelandic.


Although the dialects of Maskoki do not now diverge from each other
more than did the Semitic dialects two thousand years ago, the time
when they all had a common language, or, in other words, the time
preceding the separation into four divisions must lie further back
than eight or ten thousand years. We cannot expect to reconstruct the
parent Maskoki language spoken at that time but very imperfectly,
since the oldest text known to exist in any of the dialects dates from
A. D. 1688 only. An approach to its reconstruction could be attempted
by carefully comparing the lexicon and grammatic forms of the dialects
presently spoken, and an individual acquainted with them all, or at
least with their four representatives, might also compose _a
comparative grammar_ of these dialects as spoken at the present epoch
of their development, which would reveal many points concerning the
ancient or historic shape of the language once common to all these

What the Maskoki dialects presently spoken, _as far as published_,
have in common, may be stated in a general way in the following

_Phonetics._--The dialects possess the sound f and the palatalized l
(`l), but lack th, v and r, while nasalization of the vocalic element
is more peculiar to the western than to the eastern divisions. There
is a tendency to pronounce the _mutes_ or checks by applying the
tongue to the alveolar part of the palate. The phonetic system is as

                       EXPLOSIVES:                   BREATHS:

              Not aspirated.  Aspirated.   Spirants.  Nasals.  Trills.

  Gutturals  k         g          χ            h

  Palatals   tch, ts   dsh, ds                 y         ń       `l

  Linguals   k′        g′                      sh                 l

  Dentals    t         d                       s         n

  Labials    p         b           f           w         m

  _Vowels_:--i, e, ā, a, o, u; with their long and nasalized sounds.

The syllable is quite simple in its structure; it consists either of a
vowel only, or begins with one consonant (in the eastern division with
one or two), and ends in a vowel. Deviations from this rule must be
explained by phonetic alteration, elision, etc. The frequent
occurrence of homonymous terms forms a peculiar difficulty in the
study of the dialects.

_Morphology._--No thorough distinction exists between the different
parts of speech, none especially between the nominal and the verbal
element. The fact that all adjectives can be verbified, could be
better expressed as follows: The adjectives used attributively are
participles of attributive verbs and inflected for number like these,
their so-called plural being the plural form of a verb. This we
observe in Iroquois, Taensa and many other American languages; it also
explains the position of the adjective _after_ the noun qualified.
Some forms of the finite verb represent true verbs, while others, like
the Creek forms, with tcha-, tchi-, pu-, etc., prefixed, which is the
possessive pronoun, are nominal forms, and represent _nomina agentis_
and _nomina actionis_. The three cases of the noun are not accurately
distinguished from each other in their functions; substantives form
diminutives in -odshi, -osi, -usi, etc. The distinction between
animate and inanimate gender is not made in this language family; much
less that between the male and the female sex. The possessive pronoun
of the third person singular and plural (im-, in-, i-) is prefixed in
the same manner to substantives to indicate possession, as it is to
verbs to show that an act is performed in the interest or to the
detriment of the verbal subject or object. The Cha'hta alone
distinguishes between the inclusive and the exclusive pronouns _we,
our, ours_. A dual exists neither in the noun nor in the pronoun,
but in most of the intransitive verbs. The numerals are built upon the
quinary system, the numeral system most frequent in North America. The
verb forms a considerable number of tenses and incorporates the
prefixed object-pronoun, the interrogative and the negative particle;
it has a form for the passive and one for the reflective voice. By a
sort of reduplication a distributive form is produced in the verb,
adjective and some numerals, which often has a frequentative and
iterative function. The lack of a true relative pronoun and of a true
substantive verb is supplied in different ways by the various
dialects; the former, for instance, by the frequent use of the verbal
in -t. Derivatives are formed by prefixation and suffixation, many of
the derivational being identical with inflectional affixes in these

Although Maskoki speech, taken as a whole, belongs to the
agglutinative type of languages, some forms of it, especially the
predicative inflection of the verb and the vocalic changes in the
radicals, strongly remind us of the inflective languages. Words,
phrases and sentences are sometimes composed by syncope, a process
which is more characteristic of the agglutinative than of the
inflective type, and is by no means confined to the languages of

In the following _comparative table_ I have gathered some terms of
Maskoki which coincide in two or more of the dialects. The table may
be helpful for giving a general idea of the lexical differences
existing between the dialects explored:

              | Cha'hta. |  Chicasa.  |  Alibamu.   | Koassáti. |   Creek.
  Warrior     |táska     |táska       |tastenukíha  |tastanóki  |taskáya
  Woman       |ohóyo     |ehó, ihó    |             |téyi       |hókti
  Foot        |íyi       |iyi         |i-pát'ha     |i-pát'ha   |íli
  Village,town|támaha    |ókla        |óla          |óla        |tálofa
  Chief       |míngo     |mínko       |míko         |míku       |miko
  House       |tchúka    |tchúka      |ishá         |ísa        |tchú'ku
  Knife       |báshpo    |bushpo      |             |           |isláfka
  Canoe       |píni      |píni        |             |           |pi`lúdshi
  Fire        |lúak      |lúak        |íti          |tigba      |tútka
  Water       |óka, uk'ha|óka         |óki          |óki        |o-íwa, u-íwa
  Earth, land |yákni     |yák'ne      |iháni        |iháni      |íkana
  Stone, rock |táli      |tále        |táli         |táli       |tcháto
  Wood        |íti       |iti         |itu          |ítu        |itu
  Sun         |háshi     |hashé       |hasie        |hási       |hási
  Moon        |háshi     |hashé nenaká|hasi-nissi   |ni′la hási |hás-'lisi
  Thunder     |hilóha    |hilóha      |tonokóχha    |winei'hká  |tinítki
  Pine        |tíak      |tíak        |tchúye       |tchúye     |
  Maize       |tántchi   |tántchi     |tchasié      |tchási     |ádshi, átchi
  Grass       |háshuk    |háshuk      |ássi         |páhi       |páhi
  Bear        |níta      |nita        |níkta        |nikta      |nok'húsi
  Deer        |issi      |íssi        |ítchu        |idshu      |ítchu
  Bird        |húshi     |fushé       |fósi         |fosi       |fúsua
  Fish        |naní      |nanné       |'lá`lu       |'lá`lu     |'lá`lu
  Good        |atchúkma  |atchúkma    |kanóasu      |káheno,kánu|hi`li
  White       |háta, tóbi|tohobi      |hátka        |hátga      |hátki
  Red         |húmma     |hómma       |húmma        |húmma      |tcháti
  Black       |lúsa      |lósa        |lótcha       |lúdsa      |lásti
  All         |móma      |oklunhá     |wayamúlu     |wayili     |omálga
  One         |atcháfa   |tcháffa     |tchafáka     |tchafáka   |hámgin
  Two         |túklo     |tókolo      |tokoló       |túglo      |hokólin
  Three       |tutchína  |totchéna    |tut'tchína   |tutchínan  |tut'tchínin
  Four        |úshta     |oshtá       |ostáka       |ostákan    |óshtin
  Five        |ta`lápi   |ta`lápe     |ta`lápi      |tsahupága  |tcha'hkípin
  Six         |hanáli    |hannále     |hánali       |ahanna′lin |ipákin
  Seven       |untúklo   |ontokló     |hontók'lo    |hontóklun  |kolapákin
  Eight       |untotchína|ontutchéna  |hontot'tchina|undetsínan |tchinapákin
  Nine        |tchakáli  |tchakále    |ibitchá'hkali|pitchakálin|ostapàkin
  Ten         |pokóli    |pokóle      |pokóli       |pokóle     |pálin
  To see      |pisa      |píssa       |hitchas      |hitchus    |hídshita

              |  Seminole.   |   Hitchiti.   |    Apalachi.   |  Mikasuki.
  Warrior     |taskáya       |hú′li-tipi     |taskaia         |tasikiá'hli
  Woman       |hókti         |täígi          |                |taiki
  Foot        |ili           |i-paláshi      |ia, ya          |ili-palasi
  Village,town|tálofa        |ókli           |tófun(obj. case)|ókli
  Chief       |miko          |miki           |                |miki
  House       |tchûku        |tchíki         |tchíka          |tchíki
  Knife       |islátka       |iskalafki      |                |iskalafki
  Canoe       |pi`lódshi(dim)|pi`lótsi, pi`li|                |pi`lódshi(dim)
  Fire        |tútka         |íti            |                |íti
  Water       |o-íwa         |óki            |                |óki
  Earth, land |íkana         |yákni          |                |yákni
  Stone, rock |tcháto        |táli           |                |tale
  Wood        |ítu           |ahí            |                |a`li
  Sun         |hási          |hási           |                |hasi
  Moon        |              |has-ótali      |hitok (_month_) | has-otali
  Thunder     |tinítki       |tonuká'htchi   |                |tonokatchi
  Pine        |tchóli        |               |                |tchoyi
  Maize       |ádshi         |áspi           |                |áspi
  Grass       |páhi          |               |                |páhi
  Bear        |nokose        |noχū'si        |                |nókosi
  Deer        |ítcho         |itchi          |                |itchi
  Bird        |fosua, fúswa  |fosi           |                |fusi
  Fish        |'la`lu        |'lá`li         |                |'lá`li
  Good        |hi`li         |hí`li          |                |hí`li
  White       |hátki         |hátgi          |                |hatki
  Red         |tcháti        |kitistchi      |                |kitiski
  Black       |lásti         |lódshi         |                |lútchi
  All         |omálga        |lápki          |ámali, ilúngta  |lápki
  One         |hámgin        |`lámin         |                |'lámin
  Two         |hokólin       |túklan         |                |tóklan
  Three       |tut'tchinin   |tutchínan      |tusa            |tot'tchínan
  Four        |óshtin        |sitákin        |                |tchitákin
  Five        |tcha'hki′pin  |tchákgipan     |                |tcha′hkípin
  Six         |ipákin        |ipagin         |                |ipákin
  Seven       |kolapákin     |kolapákin      |                |kolapákin
  Eight       |tchinapákin   |tusnapákin     |                |tosnapákin
  Nine        |ostapákin     |ustapakin      |                |ostapákin
  Ten         |pálin         |pokólin        |                |pokólin
  To see      |hidshita      |hitchígi       |pitcha          |hidshíki

The Chicasa of this comparative table is from a vocabulary taken by G.
Gibbs (1866); the Seminole and the Mikasuki from Buckingham Smith's
vocabularies printed in the Historical Magazine (Morrisania, N. Y.)
for August, 1866, and in W. W. Beach's: Indian Miscellany, Albany
1877, p. 120-126. The latter differs but little from the Mikasuki of
G. Gibbs, in the linguistic collection of the Bureau of Ethnology in
Washington. The few words of Apalachi were drawn from the missive
sent, A. D. 1688, to the king of Spain, to be mentioned under
"Apalachi"; the Koassáti terms I obtained in part at the Indian
training school at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, partly from Gen. Alb.
Pike's vocabularies, which also furnished the Alibamu terms.

Readers will perceive at the first glance that Cha'hta is practically
the same language as Chicasa, Creek as Seminole and Hitchiti as
Mikasuki. Alibamu forms a dialect for itself, leaning more toward
Cha'hta than Creek. The southeastern group holds a middle position
between Cha'hta and Creek. As far as the queer and inaccurate Spanish
orthography of Apalachi enables us to judge, this dialect again
differs somewhat from Hitchiti and Mikasuki. It will be well to
remember that in Indian and all illiterate languages the sounds of the
same organ-class are _interchangeable_; thus, a word may be
_correctly_ pronounced and written in six, ten, or twelve different
ways. Tcháto _rock, stone_ can be pronounced tchátu, tchádo, tchádu,
tsáto, tsátu, tsádo, tsádu, etc. This explains many of the apparent
discrepancies observed in the comparative table, and in our texts
printed below.

A comparative study of the existing Maskoki vocabularies would be very
fruitful for the ethnographic history of the tribes, and likely to
disclose the relative epochs of their settlement, if those that we
have now could be thoroughly relied on. In the comparative table
subjoined I have received only such terms that answer to this

There are terms which occur in all dialects in the same or nearly the
same form, as hási _sun_, ítchu, íssi _deer_, ófi, ífa _dog_, the
terms for _chief, black, yellow, bird, snake, buffalo, turtle, fox_
(also in Cheroki: tsu'hlá), the numerals and the personal pronouns;
they must, therefore, have been once the common property of the still
undivided, primordial tribe. The fact that the words for _chief_
(míki, míngo, míko), for holá'hta, and for _warrior_ (táska, taskáya),
agree in all dialects, points to the fact that when the tribes
separated they lived under similar social conditions which they have
kept up ever since. The terms for _maize_ disagree but apparently, and
seem to be reducible to one radix, atch or ash; the terms for _dog_
agree in all dialects--hence, the Maskoki tribes planted maize and
kept dogs before, probably many centuries before they separated; and
the term ífa went over from them to the Timucua. The word for
_buffalo_, yánase, is the same in all dialects, and was probably
obtained from the North, since the term occurs in Cheroki also (yá'hsa
in Eastern Cheroki). The name for _salt_, hápi, a mineral which had a
sacrificial importance, is found also in Yuchi in the form tápi, but
Creek has ók-tchanua, Hitchiti: ok-tcháhane. The term for _tobacco_
agrees in all divisions of the stock (haktchúmma), except in the Creek
branch, where it is called hítchi, hídshi. This weed is said to have
received its Maskoki names from a similarity of the top of the green
plant with the phallus, which is called in Alibamu and Hitchiti:
óktchi or áktchi.


Maskóki, Maskógi, isti Maskóki, designates a single person of the
Creek tribe, and forms, as a collective plural, Maskokálgi, the Creek
community, the Creek people, the Creek Indians. English authors write
this name Muscogee, Muskhogee, and its plural Muscogulgee. The first
syllable, as pronounced by the Creek Indians, contains a clear, short
a, and that the name was written Muscogee and not Mascogee, is not to
be wondered at, for the English language, with its surd, indistinct
and strongly modified vocalization, will convert the clearest a into a
u. Whether the name Maskoki was given to the Creeks before or after
the incorporation of the towns speaking other languages than theirs,
we are unable to tell, but the name figures in some of the oldest
documents on this people. The accent is usually laid on the middle
syllable: Maskóki, Maskógi. None of the tribes are able to explain the
name from their own language.

The Cheroki call a Creek Indian Kúsa, the nation Ani-kúsa, probably
because Kúsa was the first Creek town they met, when coming from their
country along Coosa river, Alabama. But why did the English colonists
call them _Creek_ Indians? Because, when the English traders entered
the Maskoki country from Charleston or Savannah, they had to cross a
number of streams and creeks, especially between the Chatahuchi and
Savannah rivers. Gallatin thought it probable that the inhabitants of
the country adjacent to Savannah river were called Creeks from an
early time (Synopsis, p. 94). The French settlers rendered the term
Lower Creeks by "Basses-Rivières."

The Wendát or Hurons call the Creek people Ku-û′sha, having obtained
the name from the Cheroki. The Foxes or Utagami call one Creek man
U'mashgo ánene-u, the people U′mashgohak. B. S. Barton, New Views
(1798), Appendix p. 8, states that the Delawares call the Creeks
Masquachki: "swampland."

Caleb Swan, who wrote a report on the Creek people in 1791, mentions
(Schoolcraft V, 259) a tradition current among them, that they
incorporated the Alibamu first, then the Koassáti, then the Naktche,
and finally the Sháwano. In his time the Sháwano had four towns on the
Tallapoosa river, and other Sháwano (from the northwest) increased
their population every year by large numbers. One of these towns was
called Sawanógi, another Kanhatki. A Muscogee creek is near Columbus,
running into Chatahuchi river from the east. "Muskhogans" inhabited
the tract north of Pensacola.

The term is not derived from any known Maskoki word. If oki _water_
formed a component part of it, it would stand first, as in the
Hitchiti geographic terms Okĕlákni "_yellow water_," Okifenóke
"_wavering, shaking waters_," Okmúlgi "_bubbling water_," Okitchóbi
"_river_," lit. "_large river_." We are therefore entitled to look out
for a Sháwano origin of the tribal name, and remember the fact that
the Creek Indians called the Sháwano and the Lenápe (Delawares) their
grandfathers. It will be appropriate to consult also the other
Algonkin languages for proper names comparable with the one which
occupies our attention.

The Sháwano call a Creek person Humásko, the Creek people Humaskógi.
Here the hu- is the predicative prefix: _he is, she is, they are,_ and
appears often as ho-, hui-, ku-. Thus Humaskógi means "_they are
Masko_", the suffix -gi, -ki being the plural ending of the animate
order of substantives in Sháwano. A word masko is not traceable at
present in that language, but muskiégui means _lake, pond_,
m'skiegu-pki or muskiégu-pki _timbered swamp_, musk'hánui nepí _the
water_ (nepí) _rises up to, surrounds_, but does not cover up.
Miskekopke in Caleb Atwater's vocabulary (Archæol. Americ. I, p. 290),
signifies _wet ground, swamp_. Rev. Lacombe's Cree or Knisteno
Dictionary gives: maskek _marsh, swamp, trembling ground_ unsafe to
walk upon; Maskekowiyiniw _the Maskegons_ or _Bogmen_, a tribe of
Crees, also called Maskekowok, who were formerly Odshibwē Indians, but
left Lake Superior to join the Crees; their name forms a striking
parallel to our southern Maskoki. Rev. Watkins' Cree Dictionary, with
its English, unscientific orthography, has muskāg, muskāk _swamp,
marsh_; Muskāgoo _Swampy Indian, Maskegon_; Muskāgoowew _he is a
Swampy Indian_. Here the predicative suffix -wew is placed after the
noun, while hu- of Sháwano stands before it. The Odshibwē Dictionary
of Bishop Baraga has máshkig, plur. máskigon _swamp, marsh_; Mashki
sibi _Bad River_; a corrupt form standing for Mashkigi sibi _Swamp
River_. In Abnáki we have meguä'k _fresh water marsh_, maskehegat
_fetid water_.

The Sháwano word for _creek, brook, branch of river_ is methtékui;
Sháwano often has th where the northern dialects have s (thípi
_river_, in Potawat. and Sauk: sibe, in Odshibwē: sibi) and hence
the radix meth- is probably identical with mas- in maskek.

The country inhabited by the Maskoki proper abounds in creek bottoms
overflowed in the rainy season, as the country around Opelíka
"_swamp-site_" (from Creek: opílua, apílua _swamp_, läíkita _to be
stretched out_), Opil-`láko "_great swamp_," west of the above
(Hawkins, p. 50) and many other places rendered uninhabitable by the
moisture of the ground. The countries of the Cha'hta and Chicasa also
formed a succession of swamps, low grounds and marshes. In view of the
fact that no other general name for the whole Creek nation was known
to exist save Maskoki, and that the legend and the chroniclers of de
Soto's expedition speak of single tribes only, we are entitled to
assume this foreign origin for the name until a better one is
presented. Another instance of an Algonkin name of an Indian
nationality adopted by the Maskoki is that of isti Natuági, or the
"_enemies creeping up stealthily_," lit., "_snake-men_," by which the
Iroquois, or Five Nations, are meant.[39]

    [Footnote 39: By this same name the Algonkins designated many
    other Indians hostile to them; it appears in Nottoway,
    Nadouessioux, etc.]

In this publication I call the Maskoki proper by the name of Creeks
only, and have used their name on account of the _central_ location
and commanding position of the Maskoki proper, to whom this
appellation properly belongs, to designate _the whole Cha'hta-Maskoki
family of Indians_.

It will also be remembered that several of the larger communities of
American Indians are known to the white population exclusively
through names borrowed from other languages than their own, as, for
instance, the Kalapúya of Oregon, who call themselves Amē′nmei,
Kalapúya (anciently Kalapúyua) being of Chinook origin, and the Pani,
whose name is, according to J. H. Trumbull, taken from an Algonkin
dialect, and means _lungy, not bellicose, inferior_, while their
own name is Tsaríksi tsáriks "_men of men_."[40] Foreign names have
also been given to the smaller tribes of the Shetimasha and Atákapa,
names which are of Cha'hta origin; v. supra. The Patagonian and
Argentinian tribes are mostly known to us under Chilian names, and the
Aimboré or Nkrä′kmun of Brazil we know only under the Portuguese
name Botocudos.

    [Footnote 40: Prof. J. B. Dunbar, who composed an interesting
    ethnologic article on this tribe, thinks that Pani is a true
    Pani word: páriki _horn_, meaning their scalp lock; Magazine of
    American History, 1880 (April number), p. 245.]



As early as the latter half of the sixteenth century, a tribe speaking
a Maskoki language was settled on the shores of the Atlantic ocean, on
lands included at present in the State of South Carolina, and from
these shores they extended to some distance inland. In that country
René de Laudonnière in 1564 established a fortification in Port Royal
Bay, called Charlefort, and the terms transmitted by him, being all of
Creek origin, leave no doubt about the affinity of the natives,
yatiqui _interpreter_, tola _laurel_, Olataraca, viz.: holá'hta `láko,
nom. pr. "_the great leader_." Shortly after, the Spanish captain Juan
Pardo led an expedition (1566-67) through the countries along Savannah
river, and the local names found in the report made of it by Juan de
la Vandera (1569) also point to the presence of a people speaking
Creek established on both sides of that river:[41] Ahoya "_two
going_"; Issa Cr. ídshu "_deer_"; Solameco, Cr. súli miko "_buzzard
chief_"; Canosi, Cr. ikanō′dshi "_graves are there_"--the name of
Cannouchee river, Georgia.

    [Footnote 41: Cf. Buck. Smith, Coleccion de Documentos ineditos,
    I, p. 15-19 (Madrid, 1857).]

After the lapse of a century, when British colonists began to settle
in larger numbers in these parts, a tribe called Yámassi (Yemasee,
Yamasee, Yemmassaws, etc.) appears in the colonial documents as
settled there, and in the maritime tracts of Georgia and Eastern
Florida. Thus G. R. Fairbanks, History of St. Augustine (1858), p.
125, mentions the following dates from Spanish annals: "The Yemasees,
always peaceful and manageable, had a principal town, Macarisqui, near
St. Augustine. In 1680 they revolted, because the Spaniards had
executed one of their principal chiefs at St. Augustine; and in 1686
they made a general attack on the Spaniards, and became their mortal

The inroads of the Yámassi, in Cr. Yamassálgi, made in 1687 and 1706
upon the christianized Timucua have been alluded to under "Timucua"
(p. 12).

The English surveyor Lawson, who traveled through these parts in 1701,
calls them Savannah Indians, stating that they are "a famous, warlike,
friendly nation of Indians, living at the south end of Ashley river."
(Reprint of 1860, p. 75.) Governor Archdale also calls them
_Savannahs_[42] in 1695; hence they were named like the Yuchi, either
from the Savannah river, or from the savanas or prairies of the
southern parts of South Carolina. The Yuchi probably lived northwest
of them. A few miles north of Savannah city there is a town and
railroad crossing, Yemassee, which perpetuates their tribal name.
Another ancient authority locates some between the Combahee and the
Savannah river, and there stood their largest town, Pocotaligo.[43]
Hewat (1779) states that they possessed a large territory lying
backward from Port Royal Island, in his time called Indian Land (Hist.
Acc., I, 213). Cf. Westo and Stono Indians, p. 48.

    [Footnote 42: Description of Carolina, London, 1707. The Yámassi
    then lived about eighty miles from Charleston, and extended
    their hunting excursions almost to St. Augustine.]

    [Footnote 43: Gallatin, Synopsis, p. 84, recalls the
    circumstance that Poketalico is also the name of a tributary of
    the Great Kanawha river. This seems to point to a foreign origin
    of that name.]

They had been the staunchest Indian supporters of the new British
colony, and had sent 28 men of auxiliary troops to Colonel Barnwell,
to defeat the Tuscarora insurrection on the coast of North Carolina
(1712-13), when they suddenly revolted on April 15th, 1715, committed
the most atrocious deeds against helpless colonists, and showed
themselves to be quite the reverse of what their name indicates
(yámasi, yámassi, the Creek term for _mild, gentle, peaceable_[44]).
Among their confederates in the unprovoked insurrection were Kataba,
Cheroki and Congari Indians. Wholesale massacres of colonists occurred
around Pocotaligo, on Port Royal Island and at Stono, and the number
of victims was estimated at four hundred. A force of volunteers,
commanded by Governor Craven, defeated them at Saltketchers, on Upper
Combahee river, southern branch, and drove them over Savannah river,
but for a while they continued their depredations from their places of
refuge (Hewat, Histor. Acc., I, 213-222).

    [Footnote 44: Verbified in tchayámassïs: I am friendly, liberal,
    generous, hospitable.]

Names of Yámassi Indians mentioned at that period also testify to
their Creek provenience. The name of a man called Sanute is explained
by Cr. sanódshäs _I encamp near_, or _with somebody_; that of
Ishiagaska (Tchiagaska?) by íka akáska _his scraped_ or _shaved head_;
or issi akáska _his hair (on body) removed_. At a public council held
at Savannah, in May 1733, a Lower Creek chief from Kawíta expressed
the hope that the Yámassi may be in time _reunited to his people_; a
fact which fully proves the ethnic affinity of the two national

    [Footnote 45: Cf. Jones, Tomochichi, p. 31.]

In Thomas Jeffery's Map of Florida, which stands opposite the
title-page of John Bartram, Descr. of East Florida, London, 1769, 4to,
a tract on the northeast shore of Pensacola bay is marked "Yamase

A tradition is current among the Creeks, that the Yámassi were reduced
and exterminated by them, but it is difficult to trace the date of
that event. W. Bartram, Travels, p. 137, speaks of the "sepulchres or
tumuli of the Yamasees who were here slain in the last decisive
battle, the Creeks having driven them to this point, between the
doubling of the river (St. Juan, Florida), where few of them escaped
the fury of the conquerors.... There were nearly thirty of these
cemeteries of the dead," etc.; cf. _ibid._, p. 183. 516. Forty or
fifty of them fled to St. Augustine and other coast fortresses, and
were protected by the Spanish authorities; p. 55. 485. 390.

After the middle of the eighteenth century the name Yámassi disappears
from the annals as that of a distinct tribe. They were now merged into
the Seminoles; they continued long to exist as one of their _bands_
west of the Savannah river, and it is reported "that the Yemasi band
of Creeks refused to fight in the British-American war of 1813."

All the above dates permit us to conclude that, ethnographically, the
Yámassi were for the main part of Creek origin, but that some foreign
admixture, either Kataba or Yuchi, had taken place, which will account
for the presence of their local names of foreign origin. The
Apalachian or Hitchiti branch of the Maskoki family must have also
furnished elements to those Yámassi who were settled southwest of
Savannah city, for that was the country in which the Apalachian branch
was established.


This small tribe is known only through its connection with the young
British colony of Savannah and the protection which its chief,
Tomochichi, extended over it. This chief, from some unknown reason,
had separated from his mother tribe of Apalatchúkla town, and went to
reside upon a river bluff four miles above the site of Savannah city.
He subsequently visited England and its court with Esquire Oglethorpe
(in 1733), and died, about ninety-seven years old, in 1739, highly
respected by his Indians and the colonists. The Yamacraw Indians, who
had followed him to the Savannah river, consisted mainly of
disaffected Lower Creek and of some Yámassi Indians.

The Creeks cannot give any account of the name Yamacraw, and the R,
which is a component sound of it, does not occur in any of the Maskoki
dialects nor in Yuchi. Cf. Chas. C. Jones, Historical Sketch of
Tomo-chi-chi, mico of the Yamacraws. Albany, 1868, 8vo.


The term semanóle, or isti simanóle, signifies _separatist_ or
_runaway_, and as a tribal name points to the Indians who left the
Creek, especially the Lower Creek settlements, for Florida, to live,
hunt and fish there in entire independence. The term does not mean
_wild, savage_, as frequently stated; if applied now in this sense
to animals, it is because of its original meaning, "what has become a
runaway": pínua simanóle _wild turkey_ (cf. pín-apúiga _domesticated
turkey_), tchu-áta semanóli, _antelope_, literally, "goat turned
runaway, wild," from tchu-áta, ítchu háta _goat_, lit., "bleating
deer."[46] The present Seminoles of Florida call themselves
Ikaniú-ksalgi or "Peninsula-People" (from íkana _land_, niúksa, for
in-yúksa _its point, its promontory_, -algi: collective ending);
another name for them is Tallaháski, from their town Tallahassie, now
capital of the State of Florida. The Wendát or Hurons call them
Ungiayó-rono, "Peninsula-People," from ungiáyo _peninsula_. In Creek,
the Florida peninsula is called also Ikan-fáski, the "Pointed Land,"
the Seminoles: Ikanafáskalgi "people of the pointed land." The name
most commonly given to the Seminoles in the Indian Territory by the
Creeks is Simanō′lalgi, by the Hitchiti: Simanō′la'li.

    [Footnote 46: This adjective is found verbified in
    isimanōlăidshit "he has caused himself to be a runaway."]

Indians speaking the Creek language lived in the south of the
peninsula as early as the sixteenth century. This fact is fully proved
by the local names and by other terms used in these parts transmitted
by Fontanedo (in 1559, cf. Calusa): seletega! "_run hither!_" now
pronounced silítiga, silítka, abbrev. from isilítka; isilítkäs _I run
away_, lit., I carry myself away, off; lítkäs _I am running_. Silítiga
is now used as a personal name among the Creeks.

We have seen that a portion of Fontanedo's local names of the Calusa
country are of Creek origin, and that another portion is probably
Timucua. The rest of them, like Yagua and others, seem to be of
Caribbean origin, and a transient or stationary population of Caribs
is mentioned by Hervas, _Catalogo de las lenguas_ I, p. 386 as having
lived in the Apalachi country.[47]

    [Footnote 47: Cf. Proceed. Am. Philos. Society of Phila., 1880,
    pp. 466, 478.]

The hostile encounter between Creeks and Calusa, mentioned by Romans
(cf. Calusa), probably took place about A. D. 1700, but the name
Seminole does not appear as early as that. Previous to that event the
Creeks seem to have held only the coast line and the north part of
what is now the area of Florida State. A further accession resulted
from the arrival of the Yámassi, whom Governor Craven had driven into
Georgia and into the arms of their enemies, the Spaniards of Florida,
after suppressing the revolt of 1715 in which they had participated.

The Seminoles of modern times are a people compounded of the following
elements: separatists from the Lower Creek and Hitchiti towns;
remnants of tribes partly civilized by the Spaniards; Yámassi Indians
and some negroes. According to Hawkins, Sketch of the Creek Country
(1799), pp. 25. 26, they had emigrated from Okóni, Sáwokli, Yufála,
Tamá`la, Apalatchúkla and Hitchiti (all of which are Lower Creek
towns), being invited to Florida by the plenty of game, the mildness
of the climate and the productiveness of the soil. The Seminoles
mentioned by him inhabited the whole peninsula, from Apalachicola
river to the "Florida Point," and had the following seven towns:
Semanóle Talahássi, Mikasuki, Witchotúkmi, Alachua, Oklawáha `láko,
Talua-tchápk-apópka, Kalusa-hátchi. Some of the larger immigrations
from the Creek towns into those parts occurred: in 1750, after the end
of the Revolutionary war, in 1808 and after the revolt of the Upper
Creeks in 1814.

When Wm. Bartram traveled through the Seminole country, about 1773, he
was informed that Cuscowilla, a town on a lake of the same name and a
sort of Seminole capital, had been built by Indians from Okóni old
town, settled upon the Alachua plains: "They abdicated the ancient
Alachua town on the borders of the savanna, about fifty miles west
from the river San Juan, and built here, calling the new town
Cuscowilla. (About 1710) they had emigrated from Oconee town, on the
Oconee river, on account of the proximity of the white people." They
formerly waged war with the "Tomocos (Timucua), Utinas, Calloosas,
Yamases" and other Florida tribes.[48]

    [Footnote 48: Wm. Bartram, Travels, p. 97. 179. 190-193. 216.
    217. 251. 379-380. The name Cuscowilla bears a curious
    resemblance to the Chicasa town Tuskawillao, mentioned by Adair,
    History, p. 353. Cf. also Okóni, in List of Creek Settlements.]

The Seminoles were always regarded as a sort of outcasts by the Creek
tribes from which they had seceded, and no doubt there were reasons
for this. The emigration included many of the more turbulent elements
of the population, and the mere fact that many of them spoke another
dialect than the Maskoki proper (some belonging to the Hitchiti or
southeastern division of the family) is likely to have cast a shadow
upon them. The anecdote narrated by Milfort (Mémoire, p. 311-317)
furnishes ample proof of the low esteem in which the Seminoles were
held by the Creeks. But, on the other side, emigration was favored by
the Creek communities themselves through the practice observed by some
of their number to send away a part of their young men to form branch
villages, whenever the number of the inhabitants began to exceed two
hundred. Several towns will be found in our "List of Creek
Settlements," in which the process of segmentation was going on upon a
large scale in the eighteenth century.

The Seminoles first appear as a distinct politic body in American
history under one of their chiefs, called King Payne, at the beginning
of this century. This refers more particularly to the Seminoles of the
northern parts of what is now Florida; these Indians showed, like the
Creeks, hostile intentions towards the thirteen states during and
after the Revolution, and conjointly with the Upper Creeks on
Tallapoosa river concluded a treaty of friendship with the Spaniards
at Pensacola in May, 1784. Although under Spanish control, the
Seminoles entered into hostilities with the Americans in 1793 and in
1812. In the latter year Payne míko was killed in a battle at Alachua,
and his brother, the influential Bowlegs, died soon after. These
unruly tribes surprised and massacred American settlers on the Satilla
river, Georgia, in 1817, and another conflict began, which terminated
in the destruction of the Mikasuki and Suwanee river towns of the
Seminoles by General Jackson, in April, 1818. After the cession of
Florida, and its incorporation into the American Union (1819), the
Seminoles gave up all their territory by the treaty of Fort Moultrie,
September 18th, 1823, receiving in exchange goods and annuities. When
the government concluded to move these Indians west of the Mississippi
river, a treaty of a conditional character was concluded with them at
Payne's Landing, in 1832. The larger portion were removed, but the
more stubborn part dissented, and thus gave origin to one of the
gravest conflicts which ever occurred between Indians and whites. The
Seminole war began with the massacre of Major Dade's command near
Wahoo swamp, December 28th, 1835, and continued with unabated fury for
five years, entailing an immense expenditure of money and lives. A
number of Creek warriors joined the hostile Seminoles in 1836.

A census of the Seminoles taken in 1822 gave a population of 3899,
with 800 negroes belonging to them. The population of the Seminoles in
the Indian Territory amounted to 2667 in 1881 (Ind. Affairs' Rep.),
and that of the Florida Seminoles will be stated below. There are some
Seminoles now in Mexico, who went there with their negro slaves.

The settlements of the Seminoles were partly erratic, comparable to
hunters' camps, partly stationary. The stationary villages existed
chiefly in the northern parts of the Seminole lands, corresponding to
Southern Georgia and Northern Florida of our days. A very instructive
table exists of some of their stationary villages, drawn up by Capt.
Young, and printed in Rev. Morse's Report on the Indians of the United
States (1822), p. 364. This table however includes, with a few
exceptions, only places situated near Apalachicola river (east and
west of it), in Alabama, Georgia and Florida; the list was probably
made at a time when Florida was still under Spanish domination, which
accounts for the fact that the county names are not added to the
localities. Many of these towns were, in fact, Lower Creek towns and
not belonging to the Seminole proper, all of whom lived east of
Apalachicola river, mostly at some distance from it. Seminole and
Lower Creek were, in earlier times, often regarded as identical
appellations; cf. Milfort, Mém., p. 118.

The remarks included in parentheses were added by myself.


     Micasukeys--(In eastern part of Leon county, Florida).

     Fowl Towns--Twelve miles east of Fort Scott (a place "Fowl
        Town" is now in Decatur county, Georgia, on eastern shore of
        Chatahuchi river).

     Oka-tiokinans--Near Fort Gaines (the Oki-tiyákni of our List of
        Creek Settlements; Fort Gaines is on Chatahuchi river, Clay
        county, Georgia, 31° 38´ Lat.)

     Uchees--Near the Mikasukey.

     Ehawhokales--On Apalachicola (river).

     Ocheeses--At Ocheese Bluff (Ocheese in southeast corner of
        Jackson county, Florida, western shore of Apalachicola
        river; cf. List).

     Tamatles--Seven miles from the Ocheeses. (Cf. Tamá`li, in List
        of Creek Settlements.)

     Attapulgas--On Little river, a branch of Okalokina (now
        Oklokonee river, or "Yellow Water," from óki _water_, lákni
        _yellow_, in Hitchiti; the place is in Decatur county,
        Georgia. From ítu-púlga, _boring holes into wood_ to make
        fire: púlgäs _I bore_, ítu _wood_).

     Telmocresses--West side of Chatahoochee river (is Tálua
        mútchasi, "Newtown").

     Cheskitalowas--West side of Chatahoochee river (Chiska talófa
        of the Lower Creeks, q. v.)

     Wekivas--Four miles above the Cheskitalowas.

     Emussas--Two miles above the Wekivas (Omussee creek runs into
        Chatahuchi river from the west, 31° 20´ Lat.; imússa
        signifies: _tributary, branch, creek joining another
        water-course_; from the verb im-ósäs).

     Ufallahs--Twelve miles above Fort Gaines (Yufála, now Eufaula,
        on west bank of Chatahuchi river, 31° 55´ Lat.)

     Red Grounds--Two miles above the line (or Georgia boundary;
        Ikan-tcháti in Creek).

     Etohussewakkes--Three miles above Fort Gaines (from ítu _log_,
        hássi _old_, wákäs, _I lie on the ground_).

     Tattowhehallys--Scattered among other towns (probably tálua
        hállui "upper town").

     Tallehassas--On the road from Okalokina (Oklokonee river) to
        Mikasukey (now Tallahassie, or "Old City," the capital of
        Florida State).

     Owassissas--On east waters of St. Mark's river (Wacissa, Basisa
        is a river with a Timucua name).

     Chehaws--On the Flint river (comprehends the villages planted
        there from Chiaha, on Chatahuchi river).

     Tallewheanas--East side of Flint river (is Hótali huyána; cf.
        List of Creek Settlements).

     Oakmulges--East of Flint river, near the Tallewheanas.

From reports of the eighteenth century we learn that in the south of
the Floridian peninsula the Seminoles were scattered in small bodies,
in barren deserts, forests, etc., and that at intervals they assembled
to take black drink or deliberate on tribal matters. It is also stated
that in consequence of their separation the Seminole language had
changed greatly from the original Creek; a statement which is not
borne out by recent investigations, and probably refers only to the
Seminole towns speaking Hitchiti dialects.

By order of the Bureau of Ethnology, Rev. Clay MacCauley in 1880
visited the Seminoles settled in the southern parts of the peninsula,
to take their census and institute ethnologic researches. He found
that their population amounted to 208 Indians, and that they lived in
five settlements to which he gave the following names:

    1. Miami settlement; this is the old name of Mayaimi Lake, and
    has nothing in common with the Miami-Algonkin tribe.

    2. Big Cypress, 26° 30´ Lat.

    3. Fish-eating Creek, 26° 37´; head-chief Tustenúggi.

    4. Cow Creek, fifteen miles north of Lake Okitchóbi.

    5. Catfish Lake, 28° Lat. The late Chipko was chief there, who
    had been present with Osceola at the Dade massacre in 1835.

Traces of languages other than the Seminole were not discovered by

In December 1882 J. Francis Le Baron transmitted to the Smithsonian
Institution a few ethnologic notices and a vocabulary obtained from
the Seminole Indians of Chipko's (since deceased) band, which he had
visited in March 1881 in their village near Lake Pierce. The dialect
of the vocabulary does not differ from Creek in any appreciable
degree. On marriage customs and the annual busk of these Indians he
makes the following remarks: "They do not marry or intermix with the
whites, and are very jealous of the virtue of their women, punishing
with death any squaw that accepts the attentions of a white man. Some
Seminoles exhibit a mixture of negro blood, but some are very tall,
fine-looking savages. Their three tribes live at Chipko town, near
Lake Oketchobee, and in the Everglades. They have a semi-religious
annual festival in June or July, called the green corn dance, the new
corn being then ripe enough to be eaten. Plurality of wives is
forbidden by their laws. Tom Tiger, a fine-looking Indian, is said to
have broken this rule by marrying two wives, for which misdemeanor he
was banished from the tribe. He traveled about one hundred miles to
the nearest tribe in the Everglades, and jumped unseen into the ring
at the green corn dance. This procured him absolution, conformably to
their laws."

We have deemed it appropriate to dwell at length on the history,
topography and peculiar customs of the Seminoles on account of their
identity with the Creek Indians, the main object of this research. We
now pass over to the Southeastern or Apalachian group of Maskoki.


The Hitchiti, Mikasuki and Apalachi languages form a dialectic group
distinct from Creek and the western dialects, and the people speaking
them must once have had a common origin. The proper names Apalachi and
Apalatchúkli are now extinct as tribal names, but are of very ancient
date. The auriferous ledges of the Cheroki country were said to be
within "the extreme confines of the Apalachi province" (Fontanedo,
1559), and the Apalachi found by Narvaez was fifteen days' march north
of Aute,[49] a roadstead or harbor on the Gulf of Mexico, though the
Indians had stated to him that it lay at a distance of nine days'
travel only. The "province" of Apalachi probably included the upper
part or the whole of the Chatahuchi river basin, and on account of the
ending -okla in Apalatchúkla, its origin must be sought in the Cha'hta
or Hitchiti dialect. Rev. Byington explains it by _helping people_,
_allies_, in the Cha'hta apălătchi ókla, but the original form
of the name is Apalaχtchi ókli, not apálatchi; -χtchi is a
Hitchiti suffix of adjectives, and apálui in that dialect means "_on
the other side of_." Hence the adjective apálaχtchi: "those
(_people_ ókli) on the other side, shore or river."

    [Footnote 49: Perhaps from the Hitchiti term a-útilis "_I build
    or kindle a fire_."]

The town of Apalachi, on Apalache bay, must be kept clearly distinct
from the town of Apalachicola, or Apalatchúkla, about fifty miles
further west, on the river then called by the same name.

Apalachi town was north of Apalachi bay, the principal port of which
is now St. Marks. This was probably the place after which "Apalache
provincia" was named in de Soto's time; Biedma, one of his historians,
states (in Smith, Docum. ined., I, 48. 49), that "this province was
divided by a river from the country east of it, having Aguile as
frontierstown. Apalachi has many towns and produces much food, and
(the Indians) call this land visited by us Yustaga." This river was
probably the St. Mark's river. Both names are also distinguished as
belonging to separate communities in Margry IV, 96. 117 (1699) and IV,
309. The western "Palachees" are laid down on the map in Dan. Coxe,
Carolana, on Chatahuchi river, the eastern "Palachees" on a river in
the northeast angle of the Gulf of Mexico; north of the latter are the
Tommachees (Timucua). At present, a northwestern affluent of Okoni
river, in Upper Georgia, is called Apalache river.

Apalatchúkla, a name originally belonging to a _tribe_, was in early
times transferred to the river, now Chatahuchi, and from this to all
the towns of the Lower Creeks. An instance of this is given by L.
d'Iberville, who states (Margry IV, 594. 595) that in 1701 a
difficulty arose between the Apalachicolys and the Apalachis on
account of depredations committed; that the Spanish call those Indians
Apalachicolys, the French Conchaques, and that they counted about 2000
families--an equal number of men being ascribed to the Apalachis, who
were under Spanish rule.

The name of the tribe and town was Apalatchúkla, also written
Pallachucla, Palachicola. This town was on the western bank of
Chatahuchi river, 1-1/2 miles below Chiaha. In early times its tribe
was the most important among the Lower Creeks, adverse to warfare, a
"peace or white town," and called by the people Tálua `láko, _Great
Town_. Like the town Apalachi, the inhabitants of this town spoke a
dialect resembling Hitchiti very closely. Apalachicola river is now
the name of Chatahuchi river below its junction with the Flint river.
More about this town in the: List of Creek Settlements.

Later in the sixteenth century the boundary between the Timucua and
the _Apalachi_ lands is stated to have been on or near the Vacissa
river; Ibitachuco or _Black Lake_ being the eastern Apalachi boundary,
the westernmost town of the Timucua being Asile (Ausile, Oxilla).

In 1638 the Indians of Apalachi made war against the Spanish
colonists. Although the governor of Florida had but few troops to
oppose, he marched against them and daunted their aggressiveness
(sobervia) by forcing them to a disastrous retreat and following them
into their own country (Barcia, Ensayo, p. 203).

In 1688 a number of Apalachi chiefs (caciques) addressed a letter of
complaint to Charles the Second, king of Spain (†1700), concerning the
exactions to which their former governors had subjected them, and
other topics relating to their actual condition. The towns mentioned
in the letter are San Luis de Apalachi, Ibitachuco, Pattali, Santa
Cruz, Talpatqui, Vasisa, San Marcos. The original, with its Spanish
translation, was reproduced in a fac-simile edition in 1860 by
Buckingham Smith (fol.), and other documents written in Apalachi are
preserved in the archives of Havana, the seat of the archbishopric, to
which Apalachi and all the other settlements comprised within the
diocese of St. Helena belonged.

Christianized Apalachis, who had been frequently raided by Alibamu
Indians, fled in 1705 to the French colony at Mobile, where Governor
de Bienville gave them lands and grain-seed to settle between the
Mobilian and Tohome tribe; cf. Pénicaut in Margry V, 461. 485, where
their religious festivals and other customs are described. Like the
Apalachis, the tribe of the heathen Taouachas had quitted the Spanish
territory for being harassed by the Alibamu, and fled southwest to the
French, who settled them on Mobile river, one league above the
Apalachis (1710; in Margry V, 485-487). Some Cha'hta refugees had been
settled at the "Anse des Chactas," on Mobile bay, the year preceding.
In the nineteenth century the last remnants of the Apalachi tribe were
living on the Bayou Rapide, in Louisiana, and about A. D. 1815 counted
fourteen families.


"Miccosukee" is a town of Florida, near the northern border of the
State, in Leon county, built on the western shore of the lake of the
same name. The tribe established there speaks the Hitchiti language,
and must hence have separated from some town or towns of the Lower
Creeks speaking that language.

The tribe was reckoned among the Seminole Indians, but does not figure
prominently in Indian history before the outbreak of the Seminole war
of 1817. It then raised the "red pole" as a sign of war, and became
conspicuous as a sort of political centre for these Southern
"soreheads." The vocabularies of that dialect show it to be
practically identical with that of Hitchiti town. Cf. the comparative
table, p. 56. More notices on this tribe will be found under: Seminole.


The Hitchiti tribe, of whose language we present an extensive specimen
in this volume, also belongs to the southeastern group, which I have
called Apalachian.

Hitchiti town was, in Hawkins' time, established on the eastern bank
of Chatahuchi river, four miles below Chiaha. The natives possessed a
narrow strip of good land bordering on the river, and had the
reputation of being honest and industrious. They obtained their name
from Hitchiti creek, so called at its junction with Chatahuchi river,
[and in its upper course Ahíki (Ouhe-gee); cf. List] from Creek:
ahítchita "_to look up_ (the stream)." They had spread out into two
branch settlements: Hitchitúdshi or Little Hitchiti, on both sides of
Flint river, below the junction of Kitchofuni creek, which passes
through a county named after it; and Tutalósi on Tutalosi creek, a
branch of Kitchofuni creek, twenty miles west of Hitchitúdshi
(Hawkins, p. 60. 65). The existence of several Hitchiti towns is
mentioned by C. Swan in 1791; and Wm. Bartram states that they "speak
the Stincard language." There is a popular saying among the Creeks,
that the ancient name of the tribe was Atchík'hade, a Hitchiti word
which signifies _white heap_ (of ashes).

Some Hitchiti Indians trace their mythic origin to a fall from the
sky, but my informants, Chicote and G. W. Stidham, gave me the
following tale: "Their ancestors first appeared in the country by
coming out of a canebrake or reed thicket (útski in Hitchiti) near the
sea coast. They sunned and dried their children during four days, then
set out, arrived at a lake and stopped there. Some thought it was the
sea, but it was a lake; they set out again, traveled up a stream and
settled there for a permanency." Another tradition says that this
people was the first to settle at the site of Okmulgi town, an ancient
capital of the confederacy.

The tribe was a member of the Creek confederacy and does not figure
prominently in history. The first mention I can find of it, is of the
year 1733, when Gov. Oglethorpe met the Lower Creek chiefs at
Savannah, Ga., to conciliate their tribes in his favor. The "Echetas"
had sent their war-chiefs, Chutabeeche and Robin with four attendants
(Ch. C. Jones, Tomochichi, p. 28). The Yutchitálgi of our legend, who
were represented at the Savannah council of 1735 by "Tomehuichi, dog
king of the Euchitaws," are probably the Hitchiti, not the Yuchi. Wm.
Bartram calls them (1773) "Echetas" also.

The dialect spoken by the Hitchiti and Mikasuki once spread over an
extensive area, for local names are worded in it from the Chatahuchi
river in an eastern direction up to the Atlantic coast. To these
belong those mentioned under "the name Maskoki," p. 58.

According to Wm. Bartram, Travels, pp. 462-464, the following towns on
Chatahuchi river spoke the "Stincard" language, that is a language
differing from Creek or Muscogulge: Chíaha (Chehaw), Hitchiti
(Echeta), Okóni (Occone), the two Sáwokli (Swaglaw, Great and Little).
From this it becomes probable, though not certain, that the dialect
known to us as Hitchiti was common to them all. The Sáwokli tribe,
settled in the Indian Territory, have united there with the Hitchiti,
a circumstance which seems to point to ancient relationship.

Like the Creeks, the Hitchiti have an ancient _female_ dialect, still
remembered and perhaps spoken by the older people, which was formerly
the language of the males also. The woman language existing among the
Creek Indians is called by them also the _ancient_ language. A
thorough study of these archaic remnants would certainly throw light
on the early local distribution of the tribes and dialects of the
Maskoki in the Gulf States.


The following ancient hunting song may serve as a specimen of the
female dialect of Hitchiti; the ending _-i_ of the verbs, standing
instead of _-is_ of the male dialect, proves it to be worded in that
archaic form of speech. Obtained from Judge G. W. Stidham:

      Hántun talánkawati ā′klig; éyali.
        Sutá! kayá! kayap'hú!
      aluktchabakliwáti ā′klig; éyali.
        Sutá! kayá! kayap'hú!
      aluktigonknawáti ā′klig; áyali.
        Sutá! kayá! kayap'hú!
      aluk'hadshá-aliwati ā′klig; éyali.
        Sutá! kayá! kayap'hú!
      hántun ayawáti ā′klig; áyali.
        Sutá! kayá! kayap'hú!

      Somewhere (the deer) lies on the ground, I think; I walk about.
                Awake, arise, stand up!
      It is raising up its head, I believe; I walk about.
                Awake, arise, stand up!
      It attempts to rise, I believe; I walk about.
                Awake, arise, stand up!
      Slowly it raises its body, I think; I walk about.
                Awake, arise, stand up!
      It has now risen on its feet, I presume; I walk about.
                Awake, arise, stand up!

At every second line of this song the singer kicks at a log, feigning
to start up the deer by the noise from its recesses in the woods. The
song-lines are repeated thrice, in a slow and plaintive tune, except
the refrain, which is sung or rather spoken in a quicker measure, and
_once_ only. For the words of the text and of the refrain, cf. the
Hitchiti Glossary.


of the Maskoki language-family is analogous, though by no means
identical with the Creek dialect in its grammatic outlines. Many
points of comparison will readily suggest themselves to our readers,
and enable us to be comparatively short in the following sketch.

The female dialect is an archaic form of Hitchiti parallel to archaic
Creek; both were formerly spoken by both sexes. Only the common form
(or male language) of Hitchiti will be considered here.


The _phonetic system_ is the same as in Creek, except that the sonant
mutes, b, g, are more distinctly heard (d is quite rare). The
processes of alternation are the same in both dialects. Many vowels of
substantives are short in Creek, which appear long in Hitchiti: ă′pi
_tree_: H. ā′pi; hă′si _sun, moon_: H. hā′si; nĭ′ta _day_: H. níta


_Noun._ The case inflection of the substantive, adjective, of some
pronouns and of the nominal forms of the verb is effected by the
suffixes: -i for the absolute, -ut for the subjective, -un for the
objective case: yáti _person_, yátut, yátun; náki _what, which_,
nákut, nákun. A few verbals inflect in -a, -at, -an; for instance,
those terminating in -hunga.

The diminutive ending is the same as in Creek: -odshi, -udshi.

To the Creek collective suffix -algi corresponds -a'li, which is, in
fact, the third person of a verbal plural: míki _chief_, miká'li _the
class of chiefs_ and: "_they are chiefs_." Maskóki: Maskoká'li _the
Creek people_; fápli'hitchi wind, fápli'htcha'li _wind clan, wind gens_.

Hitchiti has a greater power of verbifying substantives than Creek:
míki _chief_, mikólis _I am chief_; tchóyi _pine-tree_, tchóyus _it is
a pine tree_.

There is no real substantive verb in the language, and adjectives,
when becoming verbified, are turned into attributive verbs, as in
Creek: wánti _strong, hard_; tsawántus _I am strong_; wántus _he, it
is strong, hard_; wántatik _not strong_; wántigus _he is very strong_;
wántatis he is not strong; wanta'hlátis _he is not strong at all_.

The gradation of the adjective is expressed either by the attributive
verb, to which isi-, is- is prefixed, or in some other ways

     Kúdsuni tchátu-kunáwun isínwantûs _iron is harder than silver_.

     ukitchúbi okilósi ihayuχkíki o'latíwats a _lake is deeper
        than a river_; lit. "to river the lake in its depth does not
        come up." This may also be expressed: okilósi (u)kitchóbi
        isihayuχkúwats; lit. "a lake (than) a river more-deepens."

     yá hali'hlósăka lápkun uⁿweíkas _this boy is the tallest_;
        lit. "this boy all surpasses in height."

     yát yákni tchäíh'-apiktchaχáyus _this is the highest
        mountain_; lit. "this ground-high stands ahead."

The numeral has two forms for the cardinal number: one used
attributively, and another, abbreviated from it, used exclusively for
counting; there are, outside of this, forms for the ordinal, for the
distributive, and for the adverbial numeral. The list of the numerals
is as follows:

          _Cardinals._       _Ordinals._      _Distributive._    _Adverbial._
    1 `lámin     `láhai'h índshuatki        `láhamin         a`la'hmi
    2 túklan     tukā′    satóklaka         tuklákan         satúkla'h
    3 tutchínan  tutchi   satotchínaka      tutchinákan      atutchína'h
    4 sitákin    síta'h   isítagika         sitahákin        asítagi
    5 tchaχgípan tchá'hgi istchaχgípaka     tchaχgipákan     atsá'hgipi
    6 ípagin     ípa      isipágaka         ipahákan         isípagi
    7 kulapákin  kúlapa   iskulapákika      kulapáhakan      iskulapáki
    8 tusnapákin tusnapá  istusnapákika     tusnapáhakan     istusnapáki
    9 ustapákin  ustapá   isustapákika      ustapáhakan      isustapáki
   10 pokólin    pukú     ispokólika        pukúlakan        ispukúli
   20   pokóli túklan     ispokol-túklaka   pokó-tukúlakan   ispukúli-túklan
  100   tchúkpi `lámin    istchukpi-`lámika tchukpi-`lámakan istchukpi-`lámin

  _Folded four times_ is expressed by the cardinal: po`lótki sítaki;
  _folded eight times_: po`lótki tusnapákin.

The _personal pronoun_ appears in different forms: subjective
absolute; subjective prefixed to verbs and objective pronoun.

      Subjective absolute:      Subj. prefixed:         Objective:
  _I_           ā′ni          tcha-, am-, an-, a-     tcha-
  _thou_        tchí'hni      tchi-                   tchi-
  _he, she, it_ í'hni                                 im-, in-, i-
  _we_          pú'hni        pu-, po-                pu-
  _ye_          tchi'hnitáki  tchi-, inverted: ítch-  tchi-, w. suffix
  _they_        i'hnitáki                             im-, in-, i-

ánāli (usually ánalut) _myself_, 2 s. tchí'hnāli, 3 s.
í'hnāli; pú'hnāli _ourselves_, 2 pl. tchi'hnālitáki, 3 pl.

  _The possessive pronoun._

  _my_              am-, an-, a-         tcha-, inverted: atch-
  _thy_             tchi-,               tchi-, inverted: itch-
  _his, her, its_   im-, in-, i-         im-, in-, i-
  _our_             pú'hni, pu-          pun-, pu-, po-
  _your_            tchíχtchi, tchi-     tchi-, with suffix
  _their_           im-, in-, i-         i- etc., with suffix.

     tchálbi _my hand_ or _hands_, tchílbi, ílbi; púlbi _our hand_
        or _hands_, tchílbuχtchi, ílbi.

     ántchiki _my house_ or _houses_; tchíntchiki, íntchiki;
        púntchiki, tchíntchigoχtchi, íntchigoχtchi.

     _Demonstrative pronouns_: ma, mût, mûn (Cr. ma); yá, yát, yán
        or yûn (Cr. hía); yákti, yáktut, yáktun (Cr. ása); má'hmali
        _the same_.

     _Demonstr.-relat. pronoun_: náki, nákut, nákun _which, what_.

     _Interrogative pronouns_: nó`li? nó`lut or nó`lut i? nó`lun or
        nó`lun i? _who?_ náki? nákut? nákun? _which? what?_ nákon
        i? _what is it_?

_The Hitchiti verb_ equals the Creek verb in the abundance of
inflectional forms. In order to show the inflection of a verb (or
rather a part of it), going parallel to the one chosen as the Creek
paradigm, we select ísiki _to take, to carry_; áwiki being used when
a plurality of objects is concerned; Creek: ísita, tcháwita.

     ísilis _I take_, 2 s. ísitskas, 3 s. ísis; 1 pl. ísikas, 2 pl.
        isátchkas, 3 pl. ísa`li.

     áwalis _I take_, pl. of obj., 2 s. awitskas, 3 s. áwas; 1 pl.
        áwikas, 2 pl. áwatskas, 3 pl. áwa`lis.

     í'hsilis _I took_ a short time ago (Cr. ísayanks); á'hwalis.

     ísānis _I took_ several days ago (Cr. isāímatas); also _I
        had taken_; áwānis.

     ísiliktas _I have taken_ many years ago (Cr. īsáyantas);

     ísilālis _I shall take_ (Cr. isá`lis); áwalālis.

     ísis! pl. ísitis! _take it_! ā′wis! ā′witis! (or ā'watis!)

     ísiχtchi _having taken, holding in one's hands_; áwiχtchi.

     í'hsik (object) _taken_, part. pass.; á′hwak.

     ísigi, ísiki _to take, the taking_; áwigi, áwiki.

     ísi, ísut, ísun _one who takes, carries_; áwi, áwut, áwun.

     isihúnka, -at, -an _one who took, has taken_; awihúnka, -at, -an.

     isáhika, -at, -an _one who is going to take_; awáhika, -at, -an.

From this verb ísiki, áwiki the language does not form any passive,
reciprocal, reflective and causative voice, but employs verbs from
other radices instead. The interrogative and negative inflection is as

     ísatas _I do not take_, 2 s. ísitskatis, 3 s. ísitis; 1 pl.
        isíkatis, 2 pl. isátskatis, 3 pl. (?); áwatas _I do not
        take_, pl. of obj., awítskatis etc.

     ísilus? _do I take_? 2 s. ísitskus? 3 s. ísus? 1 pl. ísigō?
        2 pl. ísatskō? 3 pl. (?). áwalus? _do I take_? etc.

     isatä′sōs? _do I not take_? 2 s. isitskatibōs? 3 s. isitísōs?
        1 pl. isikatíbōs? 2 pl. isatskatíbōs? 3 pl. (?). awatä′sōs?
        _do I not take_? etc.

A form for the 3. pl. was remembered by none of my informants, who
state that the Hitchiti render it by a circumscriptive sentence.

A specimen of the objective or compound conjugation of the verb _I
strike_, batā′plilis, runs as follows:

  _I strike thee once_       tchibatáplilis, _repeatedly_ tchibátaspilis
  _I strike him, her once_   batā′plilis                  batáspilis
              _ye_           tchibatap'hólilis            tchibatas'hópilis
              _them_         batas'húpilis                batas'húpilis
  _He, she strikes me once_: tchábataplis, _repeatedly_:  tchabátaspis
              _thee_         tchíbataplis                 tchibátaspis
              _him, her_     batáplis                     batáspis
              _us_           púbataplis                   pubátaspis
              _ye_           tchibatap'hólis              tchibatas'hópis
              _them_         batáspis                     batas'hópis

The same verb _to strike_ gives origin to the following _genera
verbi_, each appearing under two different forms, and all being quoted
in the present tense of the declarative mode, affirmative voice:

  _Active_:     batā′plilis    _I strike_ (now) _by one blow_
                batā′spilis    _I strike_ (now) _by several blows_
  _Passive_:    tchabátapkas   _I am struck once, by one blow_
                tchabátaspkas  _I am struck more than once_ (obsolete)
  _Reciprocal_: itibatáplikas  _we strike each other once_
                itibatáspigas  _we strike each other repeatedly_
  _Reflective_: ilbatā′plilis  _I strike myself by one blow_
                ilbatáspilis   _I strike myself by several blows_
  _Causative_:  bataplídshilis _I cause to strike once_
                bataspídshilis _I cause to strike repeatedly_.

     _Postpositions_ govern the absolute case of the noun just as
        they do in Creek:

     kónut tchígi í-aχnun i-aulídshis _the skunk stays under the

     sáwut áhi ígapun untchóχolis _the racoon sits on the top of
        the tree_.

     ótaki labáki _near_ or _around an island_.

     ótagi apálu-un _on the other side of the island_.

     yántuntun hitchkátigan _beyond sight_, is an instance of a
        postposition figuring as preposition, and is connected with
        the objective case of a noun. It is not a real postposition,
        but an adverb used in this function.


The disconnected remarks on the Alibamu Indians which we find in the
documents and chronicles represent them as early settlers on Alabama
river, at a moderate distance from the confluence of Coosa and
Tallapoosa rivers. In our legend they are introduced among the four
tribes contending for the honor of being the most ancient and

D. Coxe, Carolana, p. 24 mentions their tribal name in the following
connection: "On Coussa river[50] are the Ullibalies[51], Olibahalies,
Allibamus; below them the Tallises." Allen Wright derives Alibamu
(also written Allibamous, Alibami, Albámu, incorrectly Alibamon) from
Cha'hta: álba _thicket_ and áyalmu, _place cleared_ (of trees,
thickets): álba ayamúle _I open_ or _clear the thicket_. If this
derivation is correct, the name, with its generic definition, could
apply to many localities simultaneously. Let us hear what Sekopechi or
"Perseverance," an old man of that tribe, related to Agent Eakin
concerning their early migrations and settlements. (Schoolcraft,
Indians I, 266 sqq):

    [Footnote 50: Anciently Coosa, Coussa river was a name given to
    our Coosa river, as well as to its lower course below the
    junction of Tallapoosa, now called Alabama river. Wright's Ch.
    Dictionary has: alua _a burnt place_.]

    [Footnote 51: In the report of the Fidalgo de Elvas, Ullibahali,
    a walled town, is not identical with Alimamu. Ullibahali is a
    name composed of the Alibamu: óli _village, town_ and the
    Hitchiti: báhali _down stream_, and _southward_, which is the
    Creek wáhali _South_.]

"The Great Spirit brought the Alabama Indians from the ground between
the Cahawba and Alabama rivers, and they believe that they are of
right possessors of this soil. The Muscogees formerly called
themselves Alabamians ("thicket-clearers"?), but other tribes called
them Oke-choy-atte, "life."[52] The earliest oral tradition of the
Alibamu of a migration is, that they migrated from the Cahawba and
Alabama rivers to the junction of the Tuscaloosa (?) and Coosa rivers,
where they sojourned for two years. After this they dwelt at the
junction of the Coosa and Alabama rivers, on the west side of what was
subsequently the site of Fort Jackson. It is supposed that at this
time they numbered fifty effective men. They claimed the country from
Fort Jackson to New Orleans for their hunting grounds."

    [Footnote 52: Oktchóyi is the Cha'hta term for _living, alive_.]

Whatever may be the real foundation of this confused narrative, it
seems that the Alibamu reached their later seats from a country lying
to the west or southwest, and that they showed a preference for
river-junctions, for this enabled them to take fish in two rivers
simultaneously. Another migration legend of this tribe, as related by
Milfort, will be given and accounted for below.

Biedma relates that H. de Soto, when reaching the "Alibamo province,"
had to fight the natives entrenched within a palisaded fort (fuerte de
Alibamo, Garc., de la Vega) and the Fidalgo of Elvas: that the
cacique of Chicaça came with the caciques of Alimamu and of
Nicalasa,[53] whereupon a fight took place. But that Alibamo province
lay _northwest_ of Chicaça town and province, and was reached only
after passing the Chocchechuma village on Yazoo river; it was probably
not the Alibamu tribe of the later centuries. In the report of Tristan
de Luna's expedition no mention is made of the Alibamu Indians, though
it speaks of "Rio Olibahali."

    [Footnote 53: Gallatin, Syn. p. 105, proposes to read Nita-lusa,
    _Black Bear_.]

In 1702 five French traders started with ten Alibamu natives from
Mobile, for the country where the tribe resided. They were killed by
these guides when at a distance of ten leagues from the Alibamu
village, and M. de Bienville, then governor of the French colony,
resolved to make war on the tribe. He started with a force of seventy
Frenchmen and eighteen hundred Indian auxiliaries; the latter deserted
after a march of six days, and finally the party was compelled to
return. A second expedition, consisting of Frenchmen only, was not
more successful, and had to redescend Alabama river in canoes. Mr. de
Boisbriand, the leader of a third expedition, finally succeeded in
destroying a camp of Alibamu, sixty-five miles up the river, in
killing the inmates and capturing their women and children, who were
given to the Mobilians, their allies.[54] This action was only the
first of a series of subsequent troubles.

    [Footnote 54: Relation of Pénicaut, in Margry V, 424-432.]

An alliance concluded by the Alibamu with the Mobilians did not last
long, for in 1708 they arrived with a host of Cheroki, Abika and
Kataba Indians, in the vicinity of the French fort on Mobile Bay,
where Naniabas, Tohomes and Mobilians had settled, but were foiled in
their attack upon the Mobilians through the watchfulness of the tribe
and of the French colonists. The whole force of their aggressors and
their allies combined was estimated at four thousand warriors (_id._,
Margry V, 477-478; cf. 427).

In 1713, after the Alibamu had made an inroad into the Carolinas with
a host of Kataba and Abika Indians, their confederates, the head-chief
of the first-named tribe besought the French commander at Mobile bay
to erect a fort in his own country. The offer was accepted, and the
tribe was helpful in erecting a spacious fort of about three hundred
feet square, on a bluff overlooking the river, and close to their
village (_id._, Margry V, 510-511). This fort, built near the junction
of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, was called Fort Toulouse, and by the
British colonists Fort Albamu, or Alebama garrison.

When Fort Toulouse was abandoned in 1762, some Alibamu Indians
followed the French, and established themselves about sixty miles
above New Orleans, on Mississippi river, near the Huma village. Th.
Hutchins (1784), p. 39. estimates the number of their warriors settled
there at thirty. Subsequently they passed into the interior of
Louisiana, where some are hunting and roving in the woods at the
present time. The majority, however, settled in Polk county, in the
southeastern corner of Texas, became agriculturists, and about 1862
numbered over two hundred persons. Some Alibamu reside in the Indian
Territory. Cf. Buschmann, Spuren d. azt. Spr., p. 424.

The former seats of the tribe, near the site of the present capital,
Montgomery, are described as follows:

Colonel Benj. Hawkins, United States Agent among the Creeks, saw four
Alibamu towns on Alabama river, below Koassáti. "The inhabitants are
probably the ancient Alabamas, and formerly had a regular town."
(Sketch of the Creek Country, pp. 35-37, 1799.) The three first were
surrounded by fertile lands, and lay on the eastern bank of Alabama
river. Their names were as follows:

Ikan-tcháti or "Red Ground," a small village, with poor and indolent

Tawássa or Tawasa, three miles below Ikan-tcháti, a small village on
a high bluff. Called Taouacha by the French, cf. Tohome. The Koassáti
word tabasa means _widower, widow_.

Pawókti, small town on a bluff; two miles below Tawássa.

A′tagi, a village four miles below the above, situated on the
western bank, and spreading along it for two miles. Also written
At-tau-gee, Autaugee, Autobi. Autauga county is named after it.

These Alibamu could raise in all about eighty warriors; they did not
conform to Creek custom, nor did they apply the Creek law for the
punishment of adultery. Although hospitable to white people, they had
very little intercourse with them. Whenever a white person had eaten
of a dish and left it, they threw the rest away, and washed everything
handled by the guest immediately. The above towns, together with
Oktchoyúdshi and Koassáti were, upon a decree of the national council
at Tukabatchi, November 27th, 1799, united into one group or class
under one "warrior of the nation." The dignitary elected to that post
of honor was Hu`lipoyi of Oktchoyúdshi, who had the war titles of
hádsho and tustĕnúggi. (Hawkins, pp. 51. 52.) Cf. Witumka.


The ancient seat of this tribe was in Hawkins' time (1799), on the
right or northern bank of Alabama river, three miles below the
confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. Coosada, Elmore county,
Alabama, is built on the same spot. "They are not Creeks," says
Hawkins (p. 35), "although they conform to their ceremonies; a part of
this town moved lately beyond the Mississippi, and have settled
there." G. W. Stidham, who visited their settlement in Polk county,
Texas, during the Secession war, states that they lived there east of
the Alibamu, numbered about 200 persons, were pure-blooded and very
superstitious. Some Creek Indians are with them, who formerly lived in
Florida, between the Seminoles and the Lower Creeks.

Their tribal name is differently spelt: Coosadas, Koösati, Kosádi,
Coushatees, etc. Milfort, Mém. p. 265, writes it Coussehaté. This
tribe must not be confounded with the Conshacs, q. v.

From an Alibamu Indian, Sekopechi, we have a statement on the
languages spoken by the people of the Creek confederacy (Schoolcraft,
Indians, I, 266 sq.): "The Muskogees speak six different dialects:
Muskogee, Hitchitee, Nauchee, Euchee, Alabama and Aquassawtee, but all
of them generally understand the Muskogee language." This seems to
indicate that the Alibamu dialect differs from Koassáti, for this is
meant by Aquassawtee; but the vocabularies of General Albert Pike show
that both forms of speech are practically one and the same language.

Historic notices of this tribe after its emigration to western parts
were collected by Prof. Buschmann, Spuren d. aztek. Sprache, p. 430.
Many Koassáti live scattered among the Creeks in the Creek Nation,
Indian Territory, at Yufála, for instance.

_Witumka_, on Coosa river, spoke, according to Bartram, the "Stincard"
language, and was a town of the Alibamu division. Cf. List of Creek


The northern parts of Mississippi State contain the earliest homes of
the warlike tribe of Chicasa Indians which historical documents enable
us to trace. Pontotoc county was the centre of their habitations in
the eighteenth century, and was so probably at the time of the
Columbian discovery; settlements of the tribe scattered along the
Mississippi river, in West Tennessee and in Kentucky up to Ohio river,
are reported by the later chroniclers.

In the year 1540 the army of Hernando de Soto crossed a portion of
their territory, called by its historians "Chicaça provincia," and
also visited a town of this name, with a smaller settlement
(alojamiento) in its vicinity named Chicaçilla.

Two rivers anciently bore the name of "Chicasa river," not because
they were partially or exclusively inhabited by tribes of this
nationality, but because their headwaters lay within the Chicasa
boundaries. This gives us a clue to the topographic position of the
Chicasa settlements. Jefferys (I, 153), states that "Chicasa river is
the Maubile or Mobile river, running north and south (now called Lower
Alibama river), and that it takes its rise in the country of the
Chicasaws in three streams." When L. d'Iberville traveled up the Yazoo
river, the villages on its banks were referred to him as lying on "la
rivière des Chicachas."[55]

    [Footnote 55: Margry IV, 180.]

The most lucid and comprehensive account of the Chicasa _settlements_
is found in Adair's History.

James Adair, who was for several years a trader among the Chicasa,
gives the following account of their country and settlements (History,
p. 352, sq.): "The Chikkasah country lies in about thirty-five degrees
N. Lat., at the distance of one hundred and sixty miles from the
eastern side of the Mississippi ... about half way from Mobille to the
Illinois, etc. The Chikkasah are now settled between the heads of two
of the most western branches of Mobille river and within twelve miles
of Tahre Hache (Tallahatchie).... In 1720 they had four contiguous
settlements, which lay nearly in the form of three parts of a square,
only that the eastern side was five miles shorter than the western,
with the open part toward the Choktah. One was called Yaneka, about a
mile wide and six miles long ...; another was ten miles long ... and
from one to two miles broad. The towns were called Shatara,
Chookheereso, Hykehah, Tuskawillao, and Phalacheho. The other square,
Chookka Pharáah or "the long-house," was single and ran four miles in
length and one mile in breadth. It was more populous than their whole
nation contains at present ... scarcely 450 warriors." From Adair's
text it appears that the three towns were but a short distance from
the fortified places held by them at the time when he composed his
History (published 1775). They were about Pontotoc or Dallas counties,

The Chicasa settlements are referred to in detail by B. Romans, East
and West Florida, p. 63: "They live in the centre of an uneven and
large nitrous savannah; have in it one town, long one mile and a half,
very narrow and irregular; this they divide into seven (towns), by the
names of Melattaw 'hat and feather,' Chatelaw 'copper town,'
Chukafalaya 'long town,' Tuckahaw 'a certain weed,' Ashuck hooma 'red
grass.' Formerly the whole of them were enclosed in palisadoes."
Unfortunately, this list gives only five towns instead of the seven
referred to.

D. Coxe, Carolana (1741) says, when speaking of the Tennessee river
(p. 13. 14): "River of the Cusates, Cheraquees or Kasqui river ...; a
cataract is on it, also the tribe of the Chicazas." An early French
report alludes to one of their villages, situated thirty leagues
inward from a place forty leagues above the mouth of Arkansas river.
"From Abeeka to the Chickasaw towns the distance is about one hundred
and fifty-nine miles, crossing many savannahs;" B. Romans, E. and W.
Florida, p. 313.

Through all the epochs of colonial _history_ the Chicasa people
maintained their old reputation for independence and bravery. They
were constantly engaged in quarrels and broils with all their Indian
neighbors: sometimes with the cognate Cha'hta and with the Creeks, at
other times with the Cheroki, Illinois, Kickapu, Sháwano, Tonica,
Mobilians, Osage and Arkansas (Kapaha) Indians. In 1732 they cut to
pieces a war party of the Iroquois invading their territory, but in
1748 coöperated against the French with that confederacy. J. Haywood,
in his Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee (1823), p. 240,
alludes to a tradition purporting that the Chicasa had formerly
assisted the Cheroki in driving the Shawanese from the Cumberland
river; the Cheroki desired war, and attacked the Chicasa shortly
before 1769, but were utterly defeated by them at the "Chicasa Old
Fields," and retreated by way of Cumberland river and the Cany Fork.
On the authority of chief Chenubbee, the same author states (p. 290)
that a part of the Chicasa established themselves on Savannah river,
opposite Augusta, but that misunderstandings with the Creeks made them
go west again. In 1795 the Chicasa claimed the land opposite Augusta,
and sent a memorial to the United States Government to substantiate
that claim. Another fraction of the tribe, called the Lightwood-Knots,
went to war with the Creeks, but were reduced by them, and have lived
with them in peace ever since. These facts seem to have some reference
to the settlement of a Chicasa band near Kasíχta, and east of that
town; cf. Kasí'hta.

Pénicaut mentions an intertribal war between them and the Cha'hta, and
relates a case of treason committed by a Cha'hta chief in 1703.[56] A
war with the Creeks occurred in 1793, in which the Americans stood on
the Chicasa side.

    [Footnote 56: Margry V, 433 sqq.]

The policy of the Chicasa in regard to the white colonists was that of
a steady and protracted enmity against the French. This feeling was
produced as well by the intrigues of the British traders residing
among them as by their hatred of the Cha'hta, who had entered into
friendly relations with the French colonists, though they could not,
by any means, be called their trusty allies. By establishing fortified
posts on the Yazoo and Little Tombigbee rivers,[57] the French
threatened the independence of these Indians, who began hostilities
against them in 1722, near the Yazoo post, and urged the Naktche to a
stubborn resistance against French encroachments. They sheltered the
retreating Naktche against the pursuing French,[58] besieged the
commander Denys at Fort Natchitoches, though they were repulsed there
with considerable loss, defeated the French invading their country at
Amalahta (1736), at the Long House, or Tchúka faláya (Adair, p. 354),
and other points, and in the second attack of 1739-40 also baffled
their attempts at conquering portions of Chicasa territory.

    [Footnote 57: The site once occupied by Fort Tombigbee is now
    called Jones' Bluff, on Little Tombigbee river. Cf. Dumont in B.
    F. French, Histor. Coll. of La., V, 106 and Note.]

    [Footnote 58: Adair, History, p. 353, asserts that the real
    cause of the third Naktche-French war lay in the instigations of
    the Chicasa. On the causes and progress of the hostilities
    between the French and the Chicasa, cf. pp. 353-358. They
    attacked there his own trading house, cf. p. 357. Cf. also
    Naktche, in this vol., pp. 34-39.]

The relations of these Indians with the United States were regulated
by a treaty concluded at Hopewell, 1786, with Pio mico and other
Chicasa chiefs. Their territory was then fixed at the Ohio river on
the north side, and by a boundary line passing through Northern
Mississippi on the south side. They began to emigrate to the west of
Arkansas river early in this century, and in 1822 the population
remaining in their old seats amounted to 3625. Treaties for the
removal of the remainder were concluded at Pontotoc creek, October
20th, 1832, and at Washington, May 24th, 1834.

After their establishment in the Indian Territory the political
connections still existing between them and the Cha'hta were severed
by a treaty signed June 22d, 1855. The line of demarcation separating
the two "nations," and following the meridian, is not, however, of a
binding character, for individuals of both peoples settle east or west
of it, wherever they please (G. W. Stidham).

No plausible analysis of the _name_ Chicasa, which many western
tribes, as well as the Chicasa themselves, pronounce Shikasa,
Shíkasha, has yet been suggested. Near the Gulf coast it occurs in
many local names, and also in Chickasawhay river, Mississippi, the
banks of which were inhabited by Cha'hta people.

In language and customs they differ but little from their southern
neighbors, the Cha'hta, and must be considered as a northern branch of
them. Both have two phratries only, each of which were (originally)
subdivided, in an equal manner, into four gentes; but the
thorough-going difference in the totems of the 8-12 gentes points to a
very ancient separation of the two national bodies.

The Chicasa _language_ served as a medium of commercial and tribal
intercourse to all the nations inhabiting the shores of the great
Uk-'hina ("water road"), or Lower Mississippi river. Jefferys (I,
165), compares it to the "lingua franca in the Levant; they call it
the vulgar tongue." A special mention of some tribes which spoke it is
made by L. d'Iberville[59]: "Bayagoula, Ouma, Chicacha, Colapissa show
little difference in their language;" and "The Oumas, Bayogoulas,
Theloël, Taensas, the Coloas, the Chycacha, the Napissa, the Ouachas,
Choutymachas, Yagenechito, speak the same language and understand the
Bilochy, the Pascoboula." As we have seen before, three of the above
tribes, the Naktche portion of the Théloël settlements, the Taensa and
the Shetimasha had their own languages, but availed themselves of the
Chicasa for the purposes of intertribal barter, exchange and
communication. The most important passages on this medium of trade are
contained in Le Page du Pratz, _Histoire_ (II, 218. 219): "La langue
Tchicacha est parlée aussi par les Chatkas (sic!) et (corrompue) par
les Taensas; cette langue corrompue est appelée _Mobilienne_ par les
Français," etc., and in Margry V, 442, where Pénicaut alleges to have
studied the languages of the Louisiana savages pretty thoroughly for
five years, "surtout le Mobilien, qui est le principal et qu'on entend
par toutes les nations." Cf. the article Naktche.

    [Footnote 59: Margry IV, 412 and 184.]

A few terms in which Chicasa differs from main Cha'hta are as follows:

  Chicasa kuíshto _panther_,   Cha'hta kuítchito
          kóe _domestic cat_,          káto (Spanish)
          ísto _large_,                tchíto
          iskitinúsa _small_,          iskitinĕ
          húshi _bird_,                fúshi

The Chicasa trade language also adopted a few terms from northern
languages, as:

     píshu _lynx_, from Odshibwē pishīu; also an Odshibwē totem-clan.

     piakímina _persimmon_, changed in the French Creole dialect to

     shishikushi _gourd-rattle_ or _drum_, Margry IV, 175.

     sacacuya _war-whoop_, la huée.

Lewis H. Morgan published in his _Ancient Society_ (New York, 1877).
p. 163, a communication from Rev. Chas. C. Copeland, missionary among
the Chicasa Indians, on the totemic _gentes_ observed by him. Copeland
states that the descent is in the female line, that no intermarriage
takes place among individuals of the same gens, and that property as
well as the office of chief is hereditary in the gens. The following
list will show how considerably he differs from Gibbs' list inserted

_Panther phratry_, kóa. Its gentes: 1. kó-intchush, _wild cat_; 2.
fúshi, _bird_; 3. nánni, _fish_; 4. issi, _deer_.

_Spanish phratry_, Ishpáni. Its gentes: 1. sháwi _racoon_; 2. Ishpáni
_Spanish_; 3. míngo _Royal_; 4. huskóni; 5. túnni _squirrel_; 6.
hotchon tchápa _alligator_; 7. nashóba _wolf_; 8. tchú'hla

Further investigations will show whether the two gentes, Ishpáni and
mingo, are not in fact one and the same, as they appear in Gibbs'
list. This list is taken from a manuscript note to his Chicasa
vocabulary, and contains nine "clans" or iksa, yéksa:

     Spáne or _Spanish_ gens; míngos or chiefs could be chosen from
        this gens only, and were hereditary in the female line;
        shă-é or _racoon_ gens; second chiefs or headmen were
        selected from it; kuishto or _tiger_ gens; ko-intchūsh or
        _catamount_ gens; náni or _fish_ gens; íssi or _deer_ gens;
        halóba or? gens; foshé or _bird_ gens; huⁿshkoné or
        _skunk_ gens, the least respected of them all.

An account in Schoolcraft, Indians I, 311, describes the mode of
tribal government, and the method by which the chiefs ratified the
laws passed. Sick people, when wealthy, treated their friends to a
sort of donation party (or pótlatch of the Pacific coast) after their
recovery; a custom called tonshpashúpa by the tribe.


Along the Yazoo river existed a series of towns which seem to have
been independent at the time of their discovery, but at a late period,
about 1836, were incorporated into the Chicasa people. Some were
inhabited by powerful and influential tribes, but it is uncertain
whether any of them were of Maskoki lineage and language or not.[60]
During the third Naktche-French war, the Yazoo tribes suffered
considerably from attacks directed upon them by the Arkansas Indians.
The countries along Yazoo river are low and swampy grounds, subject to
inundations, especially the narrow strip of land extending between
that river and the Mississippi.

    [Footnote 60: I have treated of some of these tribes (Tonica,
    Koroa) in separate articles. Moncachtape said to du Pratz, that
    the Yazoo Indians regarded the Chicasa as their elders, "since
    from them came the language of the country."]

The Taensa guide who accompanied Lemoyne d'Iberville, up the Yazoo
river in March 1699, enumerated the villages seen on its low banks in
their succession from southwest to northeast, as follows (Margry IV,

     1. Tonica, four days' travel from the Naktche and two days'
        travel from the uppermost town, Thysia. Cf. Tonica, p. 39 sqq.

     2. Ouispe; the Oussipés of Pénicaut.

     3. Opocoulas. They are the Affagoulas, Offogoula, Ouféogoulas
        or "Dog-People" of the later authors, and in 1784 some of
        them are mentioned as residing eight miles above Pointe
        Coupée, on W. bank of Mississippi river.

     4. Taposa; the Tapouchas of Baudry de Lozière.

     5. Chaquesauma. This important tribe, written also Chokeechuma,
        Chactchioumas, Saques'húma, etc., are the Saquechuma visited
        by a detachment of de Soto's army in their walled town
        (1540). The name signifies "red crabs." Cf. Adair, History,
        p. 352: "Tahre-hache (Tallahatchi),[61] which lower down is
        called Chokchooma river, as that nation made their first
        settlements there, after they came on the other side of
        Mississippi.... The Chicasaw, Choktah and also the
        Chokchooma, who in process of time were forced by war to
        settle between the two former nations, came together from
        the west as one family," etc. Cf. B. Romans, p. 315. _Crab,
        crawfish_ is sóktchu in Creek, sáktchi in Hitchiti.

    [Footnote 61: A large northern affluent of Yazoo river, in
    northern parts of Mississippi State.]

     6. Outapa; called Epitoupa, Ibitoupas in other documents.

     7. Thysia; at six days' canoe travel (forty-two leagues) from
        the Naktche. They are the Tihiou of Dan. Coxe (1741).

Pénicaut, who accompanied d'Iberville in this expedition, gives an
account of the Yazoo villages, which differs in some respects from the
above: Going up the river of the Yazoux for four leagues, there are
found on the right the villages inhabited by six savage nations,
called "les Yasoux, les Offogoulas, les Tonicas, les Coroas, les
Ouitoupas et les Oussipés." A French priest had already fixed himself
in one of the villages for their conversion.[62]

    [Footnote 62: Cf. Margry V, 401 and Note.]

D'Iberville was also informed that the Chicasa and the Napissas formed
a union, and that the villages of both were standing close to each
other. The term Napissa, in Cha'hta naⁿpissa, means _spy, sentinel,
watcher_, and corresponds in signification to Akolapissa, name of a
tribe between Mobile Bay and New Orleans, q. v. Compare also the
Napochies, who, at the time of Tristan de Luna's visit, warred with
the Coça (or Kusa, on Coosa river?): "Coças tenian guerra con los
Napochies"; Barcia, Ensayo, p. 37.

D. Coxe, Carolana, p. 10, gives the Yazoo towns in the following
order: The lowest is Yassaues or Yassa (Yazoo), then Tounica, Kouroua,
Samboukia, Tihiou, Epitoupa. Their enumeration by Baudry de Lozière,
1802, is as follows: "Yazoos, Offogoulas, Coroas are united, and live
on Yazoo river in one village; strength, 120 men. Chacchioumas,
Ibitoupas, Tapouchas in one settlement on Upper Yazoo river, forty
leagues from the above." Cf. Koroa.

Another Yazoo tribe, mentioned at a later period as confederated with
the Chicasa are the Tchúla, Chola or "Foxes."

Yazoo is not a Cha'hta word, although the Cha'hta had a "clan" of that
name: Yā′sho ókla, Yáshukla, as I am informed by Gov. Allen
Wright.[63] T. Jefferys (I, 144) reports the Yazoos to be the allies
of the "Cherokees, who are under the protection of Great Britain." He
also states that the French post was three leagues from the mouth of
Yazoo river, close to a village inhabited by a medley of Yazoo,
Couroas and Ofogoula Indians, and mentions the tribes in the following
order (I, 163): "Yazoo Indians, about 100 huts; further up, Coroas,
about 40 huts; Chactioumas or "red lobsters", about 50 huts, on same
river; Oufé-ouglas, about 60 huts; Tapoussas, not over 25 huts."

    [Footnote 63: Cf. article on Yuchi, p. 24.]


The southwestern area of the Maskoki territory was occupied by the
Cha'hta people, and in the eighteenth century this was probably the
most populous of all Maskoki divisions. They dwelt in the middle and
southern parts of what is now Mississippi State, where, according to
early authors, they had from fifty to seventy villages; they then
extended from the Mississippi to Tombigbee river, and east of it.

The tribes of Tuskalusa or Black Warrior, and that of Mauvila, which
offered such a bold resistance to H. de Soto's soldiers, were of
Cha'hta lineage, though it is not possible at present to state the
location of their towns at so remote a period.

On account of their vicinity to the French colonies at Mobile, Biloxi,
New Orleans, and on other points of the Lower Mississippi, the Cha'hta
associated early with the colonists, and became their allies in Indian
wars. The French and British traders called them Têtes-Plattes,
Flatheads. In the third French war against the Naktche a large body of
Cha'hta warriors served as allies under the French commander, and on
January 27, 1730, before daylight, made a furious onslaught on their
principal village, killing sixty enemies and rescuing fifty-nine
French women and children and one hundred and fifty negro slaves
previously captured by the tribe (Claiborne, Mississippi, I, 45. 46).
In the Chicasa war fourteen hundred Cha'hta Indians aided the French
army in its attack on the Chúka p'háraah or Long-House Town, as
auxiliaries (Adair, History, p. 354).

They continued friends of the French until (as stated by Romans,
Florida, p. 74) some English traders found means to draw the eastern
party and the district of Coosa (together called Oypat-oocooloo,
"small nation") into a civil war with the western divisions, called
Oocooloo-Falaya ("long tribe"), Oocooloo-Hanalé ("six tribes"), and
Chickasawhays, which, after many conflicts and the destruction of East
Congeeto, ended with the peace of 1763.

The Cha'hta did not rely so much on the products of the chase, as
other tribes, but preferred to till the ground extensively and with
care. Later travelers, like Adair, depict their character and morality
in very dark colors. In war, the Cha'hta east of the Mississippi river
were less aggressive than those who resided west of it, for the policy
of keeping in the defensive agreed best with their dull and slow
disposition of mind. About 1732, the ordinary, though contested
boundary between them and the Creek confederacy was the ridge that
separates the waters of the Tombigbee from those of the Alabama river.
Their principal wars, always defensive and not very sanguinary, were
fought with the Creeks; in a conflict of six years, 1765-1771, they
lost about three hundred men (Gallatin, Synopsis, p. 100). Claiborne
mentions a battle fought between the two nations on the eastern bank
of Noxubee river, about five miles west of Cooksville, Noxubee County,
Mississippi. Charles Dobbs, the settler at the farm including the
burying-ground of those who fell in that battle, opened it in 1832,
and found many Spanish dollars in the graves. It was some three
hundred yards northeast of the junction of Shuqualak creek with the
river. A decisive victory of the Cha'hta took place at Nusic-heah, or
Line creek, over the Chocchuma Indians, who belonged to the Chicasa
connection; the battle occurred south of that creek, at a locality
named Lyon's Bluff.[64]

    [Footnote 64: Claiborne, Mississippi, Appendix, I, p. 485. 486.]

Milfort establishes a thorough distinction between the northern and
the southern Cha'hta as to their pursuits of life and moral character.
The Cha'hta of the northern section are warlike and brave, wear
garments, and crop their hair in Creek fashion. The southern Cha'hta,
settled on fertile ground west of Mobile and southwest of Pascogoula,
are dirty, indolent and cowardly, miserably dressed and inveterate
beggars. Both sections could in his time raise six thousand warriors
(p. 285-292). The mortuary customs, part of which were exceedingly
barbaric, are spoken of with many details by Milfort (p. 292-304);
their practices in cases of divorce and adultery (p. 304-311) are
dwelt upon by several other writers, and were of a revolting

    [Footnote 65: Cf. B. Romans, E. and W. Florida, p. 86-89.]

No mention is made of the "great house" or "the square" in Cha'hta
towns, as it existed in every one of the larger Creek communities, nor
of the green corn dance. But they had the favorite game of chunké, and
played at ball between village and village (B. Romans, p. 79. 80). The
men assisted their wives in their agricultural labors and in many
other works connected with the household.[66] The practice of
flattening the heads extended to the male children only; the Aimará of
Peru observed the same exclusive custom.

    [Footnote 66: B. Romans, p. 86. He describes education among the
    Cha'hta, p. 76. 77; the sarbacane or blow-gun, p. 77.]

The collecting and cleaning of the bones of corpses was a custom
existing throughout the southern as well as the northern Indians east
of Mississippi river, and among some tribes west of it. Every tribe
practiced it in a different manner; the Cha'hta employed for the
cleaning: "old gentlemen with very long nails," and deposited the
remains, placed in boxes, in the bone houses existing in every
town.[67] Tombigbee river received its name from this class of men:
itúmbi-bíkpi "coffin-maker." The Indians at Fort Orange or Albany
(probably the Mohawks) bound up the cleaned bones in small bundles and
buried them: De Vries, Voyages (1642) p. 164; the Nanticokes removed
them to the place from which the tribe had emigrated (Heckewelder,
Delawares, p. 75 sq.) Similar customs were observed among the
Dakota-Santees, Shetimashas and several South American tribes.
Captain Smith mentions the quiogozon or burial place of Virginia

    [Footnote 67: B. Romans, p. 89. 90.]

    [Footnote 68: Cf. Lawson, History of Carolina (Reprint 1860), p.
    297. More information on Cha'hta burials will be found in H. C.
    Yarrow, _Indian mortuary customs_; in First Report of U. S.
    Bureau of Ethnology, 1879-1880; especially p. 185.]

The Cha'hta also had the custom, observed down to the present century,
of setting up poles around their new graves, on which they hung hoops,
wreaths, etc., for the spirit to ascend upon. Around these the
survivors gathered every day at sunrise, noon, sunset, emitting
convulsive cries during thirty to forty days. On the last day all
neighbors assembled, the poles were pulled up, and the lamentation
ended with drinking, carousing and great disorders.[69]

    [Footnote 69: Missionary Herald of Boston, 1828 (vol. xxiv) p.
    380, in an article on Religious Opinions, etc., of the Choctaws,
    by Rev. Alfred Wright.]

The Chicasa are not known to have settled _west_ of the Mississippi
river to any extensive degree, but their southern neighbors and
relations, the Cha'hta, did so at an early epoch, no doubt prompted by
the increase of population. The Cha'hta emigrating to these western
parts were looked at by their countrymen at home in the same light as
the Seminoles were by the Creeks. They were considered as outcasts, on
account of the turbulent and lawless elements which made up a large
part of them.

On the middle course of Red river Milfort met a body of Cha'hta
Indians, who had quitted their country about 1755 in quest of better
hunting grounds, and were involved in frequent quarrels with the
Caddos (p. 95).

The French found several Cha'hta tribes, as the Bayogoula, Huma and
Acolapissa, settled upon Mississippi river. In the eighteenth century
the inland Shetimasha on Grand Lake were constantly harassed by
Cha'hta incursions. About 1809 a Cha'hta village existed on Washita
river, another on Bayou Chicot, Opelousas Parish, Louisiana. Morse
mentions for 1820 twelve hundred Cha'hta Indians on the Sabine and
Neche rivers, one hundred and forty on Red river near Nanatsoho, or
Pecan Point, and many lived scattered around that district. At the
present time (1882), encampments of Biloxis, who speak the Cha'hta
language, exist in the forests of Louisiana south of Red river.

The Cha'hta nation is formally, though not locally, divided into two
íksa (yéksa) or _kinships_, which exist promiscuously throughout their
territory. These divisions were defined by Allen Wright as: 1.
Kasháp-úkla or kashápa úkĕla (ókla) "part of the people;" 2. Úkla
iⁿhulá'hta "people of the headmen."

Besides this, there is another formal division into three ókla,
districts or _fires_, the names of which were partly alluded to in the
passage from B. Romans:

     ókla fálaya "long people";

     áhepat ókla "potato-eating people";

     ókla hánnali "Sixtown people," who used a special dialect.

The list of Cha'hta gentes, as printed in Lewis H. Morgan, _Ancient
Society_,[70] stands as follows:

    [Footnote 70: Published New York, 1877. pp. 99. 162.]

_First phratry:_ kúshap ókla or Divided People. Four gentes: 1.
kush-iksa, _reed gens_. 2. Law okla. 3. Lulak-iksa. 4. Linoklusha.

_Second phratry:_ wátaki huláta or Beloved People, "people of
head-men": Four gentes: 1. chufan íksa, _beloved people_. 2. iskuláni,
_small (people)_; 3. chito, _large (people)_; 4. shakch-úkla,
_cray-fish people_.

Property and the office of chief was hereditary in the gens.

As far as the wording is concerned, Morgan's list is not satisfactory,
but being the only one extant I present it as it is.

Rev. Alfred Wright, missionary of the Cha'hta, knows of six gentes
only, but states that there were two great families who could not
intermarry. These were, as stated by Morgan, the reed gens and the
chufan gens. Wright then continues: "Woman's brothers are considered
natural guardians of the children, even during father's lifetime;
counsel was taken for criminals from their phratry, the opposite
phratry, or rather the principal men of this, acting as accusers. If
they failed to adjust the case, the principal men of the next larger
division took it up; if they also failed, the case then came before
the itimoklushas and the shakch-uklas, whose decision was final. This
practice is falling in disuse now." A business-like and truly judicial
proceeding like this does much honor to the character and policy of
the Cha'hta, and will be found in but a few other Indian communities.
It must have acted powerfully against the prevailing practice of
family revenge, and served to establish a state of safety for the
lives of individuals.

More points on Cha'hta ethnography will be found in the Notes to B. F.
French, Histor. Collect, of La., III, 128-139.

The _legends_ of the Cha'hta speak of a giant race, peaceable and
agricultural (nahúllo)[71], and also of a cannibal race, both of which
they met east of the Mississippi river.

    [Footnote 71: Nahúllo, nahúnlo means: greater, higher race,
    eminent race; though the original meaning is that of "more
    sacred, more honorable." A white man is called by the Cha'hta:

The Cha'hta trace their _mythic origin_ from the "Stooping, Leaning or
Winding Hill," Náni Wáya, a mound of fifty feet altitude, situated in
Winston county, Mississippi, on the headwaters of Pearl river. The top
of this "birthplace" of the nation is level, and has a surface of
about one-fourth of an acre. One legend states, that the Cha'hta
arrived there, after crossing the Mississippi and separating from the
Chicasa, who went north during an epidemic. Nanna Waya creek runs
through the southeastern parts of Winston county, Miss.

Another place, far-famed in Cha'hta folklore, was the "House of
Warriors," Taska-tchúka, the oldest settlement in the nation, and
standing on the verge of the Kúshtush[72]. It lay in Neshoba county,
Mississippi. It was a sort of temple, and the Unkala, a priestly
order, had the custody or care of it. The I′ksa A′numpule or
"clan-speakers" prepared the bones of great warriors for burial, and
the Unkala went at the head of the mourners to that temple, chanting
hymns in an unknown tongue.[73]

    [Footnote 72: _Custusha_ creek runs into Kentawha creek,
    affluent of Big Black river, in Neshoba county.]

    [Footnote 73: Claiborne, Mississippi, I, p. 518.]

The curious tale of the origin of the Cha'hta from Náni Wáya has been
often referred to by authors. B. Romans states that they showed the
"hole in the ground," from which they came, between their nation and
the Chicasa, and told the colonists that their neighbors were
surprised at seeing a people rise at once out of the earth (p. 71).
The most circumstantial account of this preternatural occurrence is
laid down in the following narrative.[74] "When the earth was a level
plain in the condition of a quagmire, a superior being, in appearance
a _red man_, came down from above, and alighting near the centre of
the Choctaw nation, threw up a large mound or hill, called Nanne
Wayah, _stooping_ or _sloping hill_. Then he caused the red people to
come out of it, and when he supposed that a sufficient number had come
out, he stamped on the ground with his foot. When this signal of his
power was given, some were partly formed, others were just raising
their heads above the mud, emerging into light,[75] and struggling
into life.... Thus seated on the area of their hill, they were told by
their Creator they should live forever. But they did not seem to
understand what he had told them; therefore he took away from them the
grant of immortality, and made them subject to death. The earth then
indurated, the hills were formed by the agitation of the waters and
winds on the soft mud. The Creator then told the people that the earth
would bring forth the chestnut, hickory nut and acorn; it is likely
that maize was discovered, but long afterward, by a crow. Men began to
cover themselves by the long moss (abundant in southern climates),
which they tied around their waists; then were invented bow and
arrows, and the skins of the game used for clothing."

    [Footnote 74: Missionary Herald, 1828, p. 181.]

    [Footnote 75: Compare the poetic vision, parallel to this,
    contained in Ezekiel, ch. 39.]

Here the creation of the Cha'hta is made coeval with the creation of
the earth, and some features of the story give evidence of modern and
rationalistic tendencies of the relator. Other Cha'hta traditions
state that the people came from the west, and stopped at Nani Waya,
only to obtain their laws and phratries from the Creator--a story made
to resemble the legislation on Mount Sinai. Other legends conveyed the
belief that the emerging from the sacred hill took place only four or
five generations before.[76]

    [Footnote 76: Missionary Herald, 1828, p. 215.]

The emerging of the human beings from the top of a hill is an event
not unheard of in American mythology, and should not be associated
with a simultaneous _creation_ of man. It refers to the coming up of
primeval man from a lower world into a preëxistent upper world,
through some orifice. A graphic representation of this idea will be
found in the Návajo creation myth, published in Amer. Antiquarian V,
207-224, from which extracts are given in this volume below. Five
different worlds are there supposed to have existed, superposed to
each other, and some of the orifices through which the "old people"
crawled up are visible at the present time.

The published maps of the Cha'hta country, drawn in colonial times,
are too imperfect to give us a clear idea of the situation of their
_towns_. From more recent sources it appears that these settlements
consisted of smaller groups of cabins clustered together in tribes,
perhaps also after _gentes_, as we see it done among the Mississippi
tribes and in a few instances among the Creeks.

The "old Choctaw Boundary Line," as marked upon the U. S. Land Office
map of 1878, runs from Prentiss, a point on the Mississippi river in
Bolivar county (33° 37´ Lat.), Miss., in a southeastern direction to a
point on Yazoo river, in Holmes county. The "Chicasaw Boundary Line"
runs from the Tunica Old Fields, in Tunica county, opposite Helena, on
Mississippi river (34° 33´ Lat.), southeast through Coffeeville in
Yallabusha county, to a point in Sumner county, eastern part. The
"Choctaw Boundary Line" passes from east to west, following
approximately the 31° 50´ of Lat., from the Eastern boundary of
Mississippi State to the southwest corner of Copiah county. All these
boundary lines were run after the conclusion of the treaty at Doak's

The _Cusha_ Indians, also called Coosa, Coosahs, had settlements on
the Cusha creeks, in Lauderdale county.

The _Ukla-faláya_, or "Long People," were settled in Leake county. (?)

The _Cofetaláya_ were inhabiting Atala and Choctaw counties, settled
at French Camp, etc., on the old military road leading to Old Doak's
Stand; General Jackson advanced through this road, when marching south
to meet the English army.

_Pineshuk Indians_, on a branch of Pearl river, in Winston county.

_Boguechito Indians_, on stream of the same name in Neshoba county,
near Philadelphia. Some Mugulashas lived in the Boguechito district;
Wiatakali was one of the villages. "Yazoo Old Village" also stood in
Neshoba county.

_Sixtowns_ or English-Towns, a group of six villages in Smith and
Jasper counties. Adair, p. 298, mentions "seven towns that lie close
together and next to New Orleans", perhaps meaning these. The names of
the six towns were as follows: Chinokabi, Okatallia, Killis-tamaha
(kílis, in Creek: inkílisi, is _English_), Tallatown, Nashoweya,

_Sukinatchi_ or "Factory Indians" settlement, in Lowndes and Kemper
counties. Allamutcha Old Town was ten miles from Sukinatchi creek.

_Yauana_, Yowanne was a palisaded town on Pascagoula river, or one of
its affluents; cf. Adair, History, 297-299. 301. He calls it remote
but considerable; it has its name from a worm, very destructive to
corn in the wet season. French maps place it on the same river, where
"Chicachae" fort stood above, and call it: "Yauana, dernier village
des Choctaws." "Yoani, on the banks of the Pasca Oocooloo
(Pascagoula)"; B. Romans, p. 86.

An old Cha'hta _Agency_ was in Oktibbeha county.

_Cobb Indians_; west of Pearl river.

_Shuqualak_ in Noxubee county.

_Chicasawhay Indians_ on river of the same name, an affluent of the
Pascagoula river; B. Romans, p. 86, states, that "the Choctaws of
Chicasahay and the Yoani on Pasca Oocooloo river" are the only Cha'hta
able to swim.

It may be collected from the above, that the main settlements of the
Northern Cha'hta were between Mobile and Big Black river, east and
west, and between 32° and 33° 30´ Lat., where their remnants reside
even nowadays.


In the southern part of the Cha'hta territory several tribes,
represented to be of Cha'hta lineage, appear as distinct from the main
body, and are always mentioned separately. The French colonists, in
whose annals they figure extensively, call them Mobilians, Tohomes,
Pascogoulas, Biloxis, Mougoulachas, Bayogoulas and Humas (Oumas). They
have all disappeared in our epoch, with the exception of the Biloxi,
of whom scattered remnants live in the forests of Louisiana, south of
the Red river.

_The Mobilians_ seem to be the descendants of the inhabitants of
Mauvila, a walled town, at some distance from the seat of the
Tuscalusa chief, and dependent on him. These Indians are well known
for their stubborn resistance offered in 1540 to the invading troops
of Hernando de Soto.

Subsequently they must have removed several hundred miles south of
Tuscalusa river, perhaps on account of intertribal broils with the
Alibamu; for in the year 1708 we find them settled on Mobile Bay,
where the French had allowed them, the Naniaba and Tohome, to erect
lodges around their fort. Cf. Alibamu. On a place of worship visited
by this tribe (1702), Margry IV, 513.

_The Tohome_, Thomes, Tomez Indians, settled north of Mobile City,
stood in the service of the French colony, and adopted the Roman
Catholic faith. Besides the Naniaba[77] and Mobilian Indians, the
French had settled in their vicinity a pagan Cha'hta tribe from the
northwest and an adventitious band of Apalaches, who had fled the
Spanish domination in Florida. We are informed that the language and
barbarous customs of the Tohomes differed considerably from those of
the neighboring Indians. Their name is the Cha'hta adjective tohóbi,
contr. tóbi _white_.

    [Footnote 77: "Fish-eaters," from Cha'hta náni, nánni _fish_,
    ápa _to eat_. On Turner's map (1827), Nanihaba Island lies at
    the junction of Alabama with Tombigbee river, and Nanihaba Bluff
    lies west of the junction.]

In 1702 they were at war with the Chicasa. Their cabins stood eight
leagues from the French settlement at Mobile, on Mobile river, and the
number of their men is given as three hundred. They spoke a dialect of
the Bayogoula. Cf. Margry IV, 427. 429. 504. 512-14. 531. The
Mobilians and the Tohomes combined counted three hundred and fifty
families: Margry IV, 594. 602.

The _Touachas_ settled by the French upon Mobile bay in 1705, were a
part of the Tawasa, an Alibamu tribe mentioned above.[78]

    [Footnote 78: Margry V, 457.]

_The Pascogoula_, incorrectly termed Pascoboula Indians, were a small
tribe settled upon Pascogoula river, three days' travel southwest of
Fort Mobile. Six different nations were said to inhabit the banks of
the river, probably all of Cha'hta lineage; among them are mentioned
the Pascogoulas, Chozettas, Bilocchi, Moctoby, all insignificant in
numbers. The name signifies "bread-people," and is composed of the
Cha'hta páska _bread_, ókla _people_, the Nahuatl tribal name of the
Tlascaltecs being of the same signification: tlaxcalli _tortilla_,
from ixca _to bake_. Cf. Margry IV, 154-157. 193. 195. 425-427. 451.
454. 602.

A portion of these Indians may have been identical with the
Chicasawhay Indians, and with the inhabitants of Yauana.

_The Biloxi Indians_ became first known to the whites by the erection
of a French settlement, in 1699, on a bay called after this tribe,
which is styled B'lúksi by the Cha'hta, and has some reference to the
catch of turtles (lúktchi _turtle_).

"We thought it most convenient to found a settlement in the Bilocchy
bay; ... it is distant only three leagues from the Pascoboula river,
upon which are built the three villages of the Bilocchy, Pascoboula
and Moctoby." Margry IV, 195; cf. 311. 451. We also find the statement
that the Bayogoulas call the Annocchy: Bilocchy (pronounced:
Bilokshi), Margry IV, 172. Pénicaut refers to their place of
settlement on Biloxi bay in 1704 in Margry V, 442. On their language
cf. Margry IV, 184; quoted under Chicasa, q. v.

Later on they crossed the Mississippi to its western side, and are
mentioned as wanderers on Bayou Crocodile and its environs (1806),
which they frequent even now, and on the Lake of Avoyelles.

_The Mugulashas_ (pron.: Moogoolashas) were neighbors of the French
colonists at Biloxi bay, and a people of the same name lived in the
village occupied by the Bayogoulas. Mougoulachas is the French
orthography of the name. Their name is identical with Imuklásha or
the "opposite phratry" in the Cha'hta nation, from which Muklásha, a
Creek town, also received its name. In consequence of this generic
meaning of the term this appellation is met with in several portions
of the Cha'hta country.

Previous to March 1700, there had been a conflict between them and the
Bayogoulas, in which the latter had killed all of the Mugulashas who
were within their reach, and called in families of the Colapissas and
Tioux to occupy their deserted fields and lodges. Cf. Margry IV, 429.,
Boguechito Indians, Bayogoula and Acolapissa.

_The Acolapissa Indians_ appear under various names in the country
northwest to northeast of New Orleans. They are also called Colapissa,
Quinipissa, Quiripissa, Querepisa, forms which all flow from Cha'hta
ókla-písa "those who look out for people," _guardians, spies,
sentinels, watching men_. This term refers to their position upon the
in- and out-flow of Lake Pontchartrain and other coast lagoons,
combined with their watchfulness for hostile parties passing these
places. It is therefore a generic term and not a specific tribal name;
hence it was applied to several tribes simultaneously, and they were
reported to have seven towns, Tangibao among them, which were distant
eight days' travel by land E. N. E. from their settlement on
Mississippi river. Cf. Margry IV, 120. 167. 168. Their village on
Mississippi river was seen by L. d'Iberville, 1699-1700, twenty-five
leagues from its mouth (IV, 101). Their language is spoken of, _ibid._
IV, 412. At the time of Tonti's visit, 1685, they lived twenty leagues
further down the Mississippi than in 1699-1700. They suffered terribly
from epidemics, and joined the Mugulashas, q. v., whose chief became
the chief of both tribes; Margry IV, 453. 602. On "Colapissas"
residing on Talcatcha or Pearl river, see Pani, p. 44. The Bayogoulas
informed d'Iberville in 1699, that the "Quinipissas" lived fifty
leagues east of them, and thirty or forty leagues distant from the
sea, in six villages: Margry IV, 119. 120. Are they the Sixtown

_The Bayogoula Indians_ inhabited a village on the Mississippi river,
western shore (Margry IV, 119. 155), conjointly with the Mugulashas,
sixty-four leagues distant from the sea, thirty-five leagues from the
Humas, and eight days' canoe travel from Biloxi bay.

Commander Lemoyne d'Iberville graphically describes (Margry IV,
170-172) the village of the Bayogoula with its two temples and 107
cabins. The number of the males was rather large (200 to 250) compared
to the paucity of women inhabiting it. A fire was burning in the
centre of the temples, and near the door were figures of animals, the
"choucoüacha" or opossum being one of them. This word shukuasha is the
diminutive of Cha'hta: shukata _opossum_, and contains the diminutive
terminal -ushi. Shishikushi or "_tambours faits de calebasses_,"
gourd-drums, is another Indian term occurring in his description,[79]
probably borrowed from an Algonkin language of the north. A curious
instance of sign language displayed by one of the Bayogoula chiefs
will be found in Margry IV, 154. 155.

    [Footnote 79: Margry IV, 175: "des tambours chychycouchy, qui
    sont des calebasses."]

The full form of the tribal name is Bayuk-ókla or _river-tribe,
creek-_ or _bayou-people_; the Cha'hta word for a smaller river, or
river forming part of a delta is báyuk, contr. bōk, and occurs in
Boguechito, Bok'húmma, etc.

_The Húma_, Ouma, Houma or Omma tribe lived, in the earlier periods of
French colonization, seven leagues above the junction of Red river, on
the eastern bank of Mississippi river. L. d'Iberville describes their
settlement, 1699, as placed on a hill-ridge, 2-1/2 leagues inland, and
containing 140 cabins, with about 350 heads of families. Their village
is described in Margry IV, 177. 179. 265-271. 452, located by degrees
of latitude: 32° 15´, of longitude: 281° 25´. The limit between the
lands occupied by the Huma and the Bayogoula was marked by a high pole
painted red, in Cha'hta Istr-ouma (?), which stood on the high shores
of Mississippi river at Baton Rouge, La.[80] Their hostilities with
the Tangipahoa are referred to by the French annalists, and ended in
the destroying of the Tangipahoa town by the Huma; Margry IV, 168. 169.
Cf. Taensa. A tribe mentioned in 1682 in connection with the Huma is
that of the Chigilousa; Margry I, 563.

    [Footnote 80: Thomas Hutchins, French America, Phila., 1784, p.

Their language is distinctly stated to have differed from that of the
Taensa, IV, 412. 448, and the tribal name, a Cha'hta term for _red_,
probably refers to red leggings, as Opelúsa is said to refer to black
leggings or moccasins.

They once claimed the ground on which New Orleans stands, and after
the Revolution lived on Bayou Lafourche.[81] A coast parish, with
Houma as parish seat, is now called after them.

    [Footnote 81: Pénicaut in Margry V, 395.]

_The country south_ of the Upper Creek settlements, lying between
Lower Alabama and Lower Chatahuchi river, must have been sparsely
settled in colonial times, for there is but one Indian tribe, the
Pensacola (páⁿsha-ókla or "hair-people") mentioned there. This name
is of Cha'hta origin, and there is a tradition that the old homes, or
a part of them, of the Cha'hta nation lay in these tracts. On Escambia
river there are Cha'hta at the present time, who keep up the custom of
family vendetta or blood revenge, and that river is also mentioned as
a constant battle-field between the Creeks and Cha'hta tribes by W.
Bartram.[82] When the Cha'hta concluded treaties with the United
States Government involving cessions of land, they claimed ownership
of the lands in question, even of some lands lying on the east side of
Chatahuchi river, where they had probably been hunting from an early
period. A list of the way-stations and fords on the post-road between
Lower Tallapoosa river and the Bay of Mobile is appended to Hawkins'
Sketch, p. 85, and was probably written after 1813; cf. p. 83. This
post-road was quite probably an old Indian war-trail traveled over by
Creek warriors to meet the Cha'hta.

    [Footnote 82: _Travels_, p. 436: "the bloody field of Schambe";
    cf. 400. 414.]

The _Conshac tribe_, the topographic and ethnographic position
of which is difficult to trace, has been located in these
thinly-inhabited portions of the Gulf coast. La Harpe, whose annals
are printed in B. F. French, Histor. Coll. of Louisiana, Vol. III,
states (p. 44) that "two villages of Conshaques, who had always been
faithful to the French and resided near Mobile Fort, had been driven
out of their country because they would not receive the English among
them (about 1720)." The Conshacs and Alibamu were at war with the
Tohome before 1702; cf. Margry IV, 512. 518. L. d'Iberville, in 1702,
gives their number at 2000 families, probably including the Alibamu,
stating that both tribes have their first settlements 35 to 40 leagues
to the northeast, on an eastern affluent of Mobile river, joining it
five leagues above the fort. From these first villages to the E. N. E.
there are other Conshac villages, known to the Spaniards as
Apalachicolys, with many English settled among them, and 60 to 65
leagues distant from Mobile.[83] Du Pratz, who speaks of them from
hearsay only, places them north of the Alibamu, and states that they
spoke a language almost the same as the Chicasa (Hist. p. 208). "A
small party of Coussac Indians is settled on Chacta-hatcha or Pea
river, running into St. Rose's bay, 25 leagues above its mouth."[84]
On the headwaters of Ikanfina river, H. Tanner's map (1827) has a
locality called: Pokanaweethly Cootsa O. F.

    [Footnote 83: Margry IV, 594. 595. 602.]

    [Footnote 84: Thom. Hutchins, French America, p. 83 (1784). B.
    Romans, Florida, p. 90.]

The origin of these different acceptations can only be accounted for
by the generic meaning of the appellation Conshac. It is the Cha'hta
word kánshak: (1) a species of _cane_, of extremely hard texture, and
(2) _knife made from it_. These knives were used throughout the Gulf
territories, and thus d'Iberville and du Pratz call by this name the
Creek Indians or Maskoki proper, while to others the Conchaques are
the Cusha, Kúsha, a Cha'hta tribe near Mobile bay, which is called by
Rev. Byington in his manuscript dictionary Konshas, Konshaws. That the
Creeks once manufactured knives of this kind is stated in our Kasí'hta
migration legend.


the representative of the western group of Maskoki dialects, differs
in its _phonetics_ from the eastern dialects chiefly by the more
general vocalic nasalization previously alluded to. Words cannot begin
with two consonants; the Creek _st_ is replaced by _sht_, and
combinations like _tl, bt, nt_ do not occur (Byington's Grammar,
p. 9). In short words the accent is laid upon the penultima.

The cases of the noun are not so distinctly marked as they are in the
eastern dialects by the case-suffixes in _-t_ and _-n_, but have often
to be determined by the hearer from the position of the words in the
sentence. But in other respects, case and many other relations are
pointed out by an extensive series of suffixed or enclitic syllables,
mostly monosyllabic, which Byington calls article-pronouns, and writes
as separate words. They are simply suffixes of pronominal origin, and
correspond to our articles _the, a_, to our relative and
demonstrative pronouns, partly also to our adverbs, prepositions and
conjunctions. They form combinations among themselves, and supply
verbal inflection with its modal suffixes or exponents. Adjectives
possess a distinct plural form, which points to their origin from
verbs, but in substantives number is not expressed except by the verb
connected with them, or by means of separate words.

There are two classes of personal pronouns, the relative and the
absolute (the former referring to something said previously), but the
personal inflection of the verb is effected by prefixes, the
predicative suffix _'h_ being added to the end of each form in the
affirmative conjugation. Only the first person of the singular is
marked by a suffix: _-li_ (increased by _'h_: _-li'h_). The lack of a
true substantive verb _to be_ is to some extent supplied by this
suffix _-'h_. Verbal inflection is rich in tenses and other forms, and
largely modifies the radix to express changes in voice, mode and
tense. The sway of phonetic laws is all-powerful here, and they
operate whenever a slight conflict of syllables disagreeing with the
delicate ear of the Cha'hta Indian takes place.

Of abstract terms there exists a larger supply than in many other
American languages.

Several dialects of Cha'hta were and are still in existence, as the
Sixtown dialect, the ones spoken from Mobile bay to New Orleans, those
heard on the Lower Mississippi river, and that of the Chicasa. The
dialect now embodied in the literary language of the present Cha'hta
is that of the central parts of Mississippi State, where the American
Protestant missionaries had selected a field of operation.

Rev. Cyrus Byington (born 1793, died 1867) worked as a missionary
among this people before and after the removal to the Indian
territory. He completed the first draft of his "Choctaw Grammar" in
1834, and an extract of it was published by Dr. D. G. Brinton.[85] His
manuscript "Choctaw Dictionary," now in the library of the U. S.
Bureau of Ethnology, fills five folio volumes, contains about 17,000
items (words, phrases and sentences), and was completed about 1833.
The missionary alphabet used by him, which is also the alphabet of
Cha'hta literature, is very imperfect, as it fails to express _all_
sounds of the language by _signs for each_, and entirely neglects
accentuation. The pronunciation of Cha'hta is so delicate and pliant
that only a superior scientific alphabet can approximately express its
peculiar sounds and intonations.

    [Footnote 85: Published in Proceedings of American Philosoph.
    Society, 1870 (56 pages), 8vo.]

Cha'hta has been made the subject of linguistic inquiry by Fr. Müller,
Grundzüge d. Sprachwissenschaft, II, 232-238, and by Forchhammer in
the Transactions of the Congrès des Américanistes, 2d session, 1877,
8vo.; also by L. Adam.


The Creek Indians or Maskoki proper occupy, in historic times, a
central position among the other tribes of their affiliation, and
through their influence and physical power, which they attained by
forming a comparatively strong and permanent national union, have
become the most noteworthy of all the Southern tribes of the United
States territories. They still form a compact body of Indians for
themselves, and their history, customs and antiquities can be studied
at the present time almost as well as they could at the beginning of
the nineteenth century. But personal presence among the Creeks in the
Indian Territory is necessary to obtain from them all the information
which is needed for the purposes of ethnologic science.

There is a tradition that when the Creek people incorporated tribes of
other nations into their confederacy, these tribes never kept up their
own customs and peculiarities for any length of time, but were subdued
in such a manner as to conform with the dominant race. As a
confirmation of this, it is asserted that the Creeks annihilated the
Yámassi Indians completely, so that they disappeared entirely among
their number; that the Tukabatchi, Taskígi and other tribes of foreign
descent abandoned their paternal language to adopt that of the
dominant Creeks.

But there are facts which tend to attenuate or disprove this
tradition. The Yuchi, as well as the Naktche tribe and the tribes of
Alibamu descent[86] have retained their language and peculiar habits
up to the present time, notwithstanding their long incorporation into
the Creek community. The Hitchiti, Apalatchúkla and Sawokli tribes,
with their branch villages, have also retained their language to this
day, notwithstanding their membership in the extensive confederacy, a
membership which must have lasted for centuries; and in fact we cannot
see how the retention of vernacular speech could hurt the interests of
the community even in the slightest way. There were tribes among the
Maskoki proper, which were said to have given up not only their own
language, but also their customs, at a time which fell within the
remembrance of the living generation. Among their number was the
Taskígi tribe,[87] on the confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers,
whose earlier language was probably Cheroki. But, on the other side, a
body of Chicasa Indians lived near Kasíχta in historic times, which
during their stay certainly preserved their language as well as their
traditional customs. From Em. Bowen's map it appears that Chicasa
Indians also lived on Savannah river (above the Yuchi) for some time,
and many Cheroki must have lived within the boundaries of the
consolidated Creek confederacy. The more there were of them, and the
nearer they were to their own country, the more it becomes probable
that they preserved their own language and paternal customs. The
existence of Cheroki local names amid the Creek settlements strongly
militates in favor of this; we have Etowa, Okóni, Chiaha, Tamá`li,
Átasi, Taskígi, Amakalli.

    [Footnote 86: Wítumka (Great), Muklási, and the four Alibamu
    villages named by Hawkins. To these we may add Koassáti.]

    [Footnote 87: Hawkins, p. 39.]

In the minds of many of our readers it will ever remain doubtful that
the Creek tribes immigrated into the territories of the Eastern Gulf
States by crossing the Lower Mississippi river. But there is at least
one fact which goes to show that the settling of the Creeks proceeded
from west to east and southeast. The oldest immigration to Chatahuchi
river is that of the Kasíχta and Kawíta tribes, both of whom, as our
legend shows, found the Kúsa and the Apalatchúkla with their
connections, _in situ_, probably the Ábiχka also. If there is any
truth in the Hitchiti tradition, the tribes of this division _came
from the seashore_, an indication which seems to point to the coast
tracts afterwards claimed by the Cha'hta. All the other settlements on
Chatahuchi river seem younger than Kasíχta and Kawíta, and therefore
the Creek immigration to those parts came from Coosa and Tallapoosa
rivers. At one time the northern or Cheroki-Creek boundary of the
Coosa river settlements was Talatígi, now written Talladega, for the
name of this town has to be interpreted by "Village at the End,"
itálua atígi. If the name of Tallapoosa river, in Hitchiti Talepúsi,
can be derived from Creek talepú`la _stranger_, this would furnish
another indication for a former allophylic population in that valley;
but `l rarely, if ever, changes into s. The Cheroki local names in
these parts, and east from there, show conclusively who these
"strangers" may have been.

It appears from old charts, that Creek towns, or at least towns having
Creek names, also existed west of Coosa river, as on Canoe creek:
Litafatcha, and on Cahawba river: Tálua hádsho, "Crazy Town," together
with ruins of other villages above this.


The towns and villages of the Creeks were in the eighteenth century
built along the banks of rivers and their smaller tributaries, often
in places subject to inundation during large freshets, which occurred
once in about fifteen years. The smallest of them contained from
twenty to thirty cabins, some of the larger ones up to two hundred,
and in 1832 Tukabatchi, then the largest of all the Creek settlements,
harbored 386 families. Many towns appeared rather compactly built,
although they were composed of irregular clusters of four to eight
houses standing together; each of these clusters contained a gens
("clan or family of relations," C. Swan), eating and living in common.
The huts and cabins of the Lower Creeks resembled, from a distance,
clusters of newly-burned brick kilns, from the high color of the

    [Footnote 88: Cf. Yuchi, p. 22. At the time of the conquest of
    Mexico by Cortez, many of the interior towns of that country
    were whitewashed in the same manner, by means of a shining white
    clay coating.]

It will be found appropriate to distinguish between Creek towns and
villages. By _towns_ is indicated the settlements which had a public
square, by _villages_ those which had none. The square occupied the
central part of the town, and was reserved for the celebration of
festivals, especially the annual busk or _fast_ (púskita), for the
meetings of chiefs, headmen and "beloved men," and for the performance
of daily dances. Upon this central area stood the "great house,"
tchúka `láko, the council-house, and attached to it was a play-ground,
called by traders the "chunkey-yard." Descriptions of these places
will be given below.

Another thoroughgoing distinction in the settlements of the Creek
nation was that of the _red_ or _war towns_ and the _white_ or _peace

The _red_ or _kipáya towns_, to which C. Swan in 1791 refers as being
already a thing of the past, were governed by _warriors only_. The
term _red_ refers to the warlike disposition of these towns, but does
not correspond to our adjective _bloody_; it depicts the wrath or
anger animating the warriors when out on the war-path. The posts of
their cabin in the public square were painted red on one side.

The present Creeks still keep up _formally_ this ancient distinction
between the towns, and count the following among the kipáya towns:

Kawíta, Tukabátchi, `Lá-`láko, Átasi, Ka-iläídshi, Chiáha, Úsudshi,
Hútali-huyána, Alibamu, Yufala, Yufala hupáyi, Hílapi, Kitcha-patáki.

_The white towns_, also called peace towns, conservative towns, were
governed by _civil officers_ or míkalgi, and, as some of the earlier
authors allege, were considered as places of refuge and safety to
individuals who had left their tribes in dread of punishment or
revenge at the hand of their pursuers. The modern Creeks count among
the peace towns, called tálua-míkagi towns, the following settlements:

Hitchiti, Okfúski, Kasíχta, Ábi'hka, Abiχkúdshi, Tálisi, Oktcháyi,
Odshi-apófa, Lutchapóka, Taskígi, Assi-lánapi or Green-Leaf,

Quite different from the above list is the one of the white towns
given by Col. Benj. Hawkins in 1799, which refers to the Upper Creeks
only: Okfúski and its branch villages (viz: Niuyáχa, Tukabátchi
Talahássi, Imúkfa, Tutokági, Atchinálgi, Okfuskū′dshi, Sukapóga,
Ipisógi); then Tálisi, Átasi, Fus'-hátchi, Kulúmi. For this list and
that of the kipáya towns, cf. his "Sketch," p. 51. 52.

The ancient distinction between red and white towns began to fall into
disuse with the approach of the white colonists, which entailed the
spread of agricultural pursuits among these Indians; nevertheless
frequent reference is made to it by the modern Creeks.

Segmentation of villages is frequently observed in Indian tribes, and
the list below will give many striking instances. It was brought about
by over-population, as in the case of Okfúski; and it is probable that
then only certain gentes, not a promiscuous lot of citizens, emigrated
from a town. Other causes for emigration were the exhaustion of the
cultivated lands by many successive crops, as well as the need of new
and extensive hunting grounds. These they could not obtain in their
nearest neighborhood without warring with their proprietors, and
therefore often repaired to distant countries to seek new homes
(Bartram, Travels, p. 389). The frequent removals of towns to new
sites, lying at _short_ distances only, may be easily explained by the
unhealthiness of the old site, produced by the constant accumulation
of refuse and filth around the towns, which never had anything like
sewers or efficient regulations of sanitary police.

The distinction between Muscogulge and _Stincard_ towns, explicitly
spoken of in Wm. Bartram's Travels (see Appendices), refers merely to
the form of speech used by the tribes of the confederacy. This epithet
(_Puants_ in French) may have had an opprobrious meaning in the
beginning, but not in later times, when it simply served to
distinguish the principal people from the accessory tribes. We find it
also used as a current term in the Naktche villages.

Bartram does not designate as Stincards the tribes speaking languages
of another stock than Maskoki, the Yuchi, for instance; not even all
of those that speak dialects of Maskoki other than the Creek. He calls
by this savorous name the Muklása, Witúmka, Koassáti, Chíaha,
Hitchiti, Okóni, both Sáwokli and a part of the Seminoles. He mentions
the _towns_ only, and omits all the _villages_ which have branched off
from the towns.

The present Creeks know nothing of such a distinction. Although I do
not know the Creek term which corresponded to it in the eighteenth
century, it is not improbable that such a designation was in vogue;
for we find many similar opprobrious epithets among other Indians, as
Cuitlateca or "excrementers" in Mexico; Puants or Metsmetskop among
the Naktche[89]; Inkalik, "sons of louse-eggs" among the Eskimo;
Kā′katilsh or "arm-pit-stinkers" among the Klamaths of
Southwestern Oregon; Móki or Múki, "cadaverous, stinking," an epithet
originally given to _one_ of the Shínumo or Móki towns for lack of
bravery, and belonging to the Shínumo language: múki _dead_.

    [Footnote 89: Dumont, Mém. histor. de la Louisiane, I, 181.]

The plural forms: tchilokóga and tchilokogálgi designate in Creek
persons speaking another than the Creek language; tchilókäs _I speak
an alien language_. "Stincards" would be expressed in Creek by ísti
fámbagi. Of all the gentes of the Chicasa that of the _skunk_ or
hushkoni was held in the lowest esteem, some of the lowest officials,
as runners, etc., being appointed from it; therefore it can be
conjectured that from the Chicasa tribe a term like "skunks,"
"stinkards," may have been transferred and applied to the less
esteemed gentes of other nations.


In this alphabetic list of ancient Creek towns and villages I have
included all the names of inhabited places which I have found recorded
before the emigration of the people to the Indian Territory. The
description of their sites is chiefly taken from Hawkins' "_Sketch_,"
one of the most instructive books which we possess on the Creeks in
their earlier homes. Some of these town names are still existing in
Alabama and Georgia, although the site has not unfrequently changed. I
have interspersed into the list a few names of the larger rivers. The
etymologies added to the names contain the opinions of the Creek
delegates visiting Washington every year, and they seldom differed
among each other on any name. The local names are written according to
my scientific system of phonetics, the only change introduced being
that of the palatal _tch_ for _ch_.


     _Ábi'hka_, one of the oldest among the Upper Creek towns; the
        oldest chiefs were in the habit of naming the Creek nation
        after it. Hawkins speaks of Abikúdshi only, not of Abi'hka.
        It certainly lay somewhere near the Upper Coosa river, where
        some old maps have it. Emanuel Bowen, "A new map of
        Georgia," has only "Abacouse," and this in the wrong place,
        below Kúsa and above Great Talasse, on the western side of
        Coosa river. A town Abi'hka now exists in the Indian
        Territory. The name of the ancient town was pronounced
        Ábi'hka, Apíχka and written Obika, Abeka, Abeicas, Abecka,
        Beicas, Becaes, etc.; its people are called Apiχkanági.
        Some writers have identified them with the Kúsa and also
        with the Conshacs, e. g. du Pratz.[90] D. Coxe, Carolana, p.
        25, states that "the Becaes or Abecaes have thirteen towns,
        and the Ewemalas, between the Becaes and the Chattas, can
        raise five hundred fighting men" (1741). A part of the most
        ancient Creek customs originated here, as, for instance, the
        law for regulating marriages and for punishing adultery. The
        Creek term ábi'hka signifies "pile at the base, heap at the
        root" (ábi _stem, pole_), and was imparted to this tribe,
        "because in the contest for supremacy its warriors heaped up
        a pile of scalps, covering the base of the war-pole only.
        Before this achievement the tribe was called sak'hútga
        _door, shutter_, or simat'hútga itálua _shutter, door of
        the towns_ or _tribes_." Cf. ak'hútäs _I close a door_,
        sak'hútga hawídshäs _I open a door_.

    [Footnote 90: The map appended to the French edition of Bartram
    identifies them with the Kúsa: "Abikas ou Coussas."]

     _Abikū′dshi_, an Upper Creek town on the right bank of
        Natche (now Tallahatchi) creek, five miles east of Coosa
        river, on a small plain. Settled from Ábika, and by some
        Indians from Natche, q. v. Bartram (1775) states, that they
        spoke a dialect of Chicasa; which can be true of a part of
        the inhabitants only. A spacious cave exists in the

     _Ahíki creek_, Hitchiti name of the upper course of Hitchiti
        creek, an eastern tributary of Chatahuchi river. Hawkins (p.
        60) writes it Ouhe-gee creek. The name signifies "sweet
        potato-mother" (áhi, íki), from the circumstance that when
        planting sweet potatoes (áhi), the fruit sown _remains in
        the ground_ until the new crop comes to maturity.

     _Alabama river_ is formed by the junction of Coosa and
        Tallapoosa rivers; pursues a winding course between banks
        about fifty feet high, and joins Tombigbee river about
        thirty miles above Mobile bay, when it assumes the name of
        Mobile river. Its waters are pure, its current gentle; it
        runs about two miles an hour, and has 15-18 feet depth in
        the driest season of the year. Boats travel from the
        junction to Mobile bay in about nine days, through a fertile
        country, with high, cleared fields and romantic landscapes
        (Hawkins). The hunting grounds of the Creeks extended to the
        water-shed between the Tombigbee and the Coosa and Alabama

     _Amakalli_, Lower Creek town, planted by Chiaha Indians on a
        creek of that name, which is the main water-course of
        Kitchofuni creek, a northern affluent of Flint river,
        Georgia. Inhabited by sixty men in 1799. The name is not
        Creek; it seems identical with Amacalola, the Cheroki name
        of a picturesque cascade on Amacalola creek, a northern
        affluent of Etowa river, Dawson county, Georgia. The
        derivation given for it is: ama _water_, kalola _sliding_,

     _Anáti tchápko_ or "Long Swamp," a Hillabi village, ten miles
        above that town, on a northern tributary of Hillabi creek. A
        battle occurred there during the Creek or Red Stick war,
        January 24th, 1814. Usually written Enotochopko. The Creek
        term anáti means a _brushy, swampy place_, where persons can
        secrete themselves.

     _Apalatchúkla_, a Lower Creek town on the west bank of
        Chatahuchi river, 1-1/2 miles below Chíaha. In Hawkins' time
        it was in a state of decay, but in former times had been a
        _white_ or _peace_ town, called (even now) Itálua `láko
        "large town," and the principal community among the Lower
        Creek settlements. The name was abbreviated into
        Palatchúkla, and has also been transferred to the Chatahuchi
        river; that river is now called Apalachicola below its
        confluence with the Flint river. Cf. Sawokli-údshi. Bartram
        (Travels, p. 522) states: The Indians have a tradition that
        the vast four-square terraces, chunk yards, etc., at
        Apalachucla, old town, were "the ruins of an ancient Indian
        town and fortress." This "old town" lay one mile and a half
        down the river from the new town, and was abandoned about
        1750 on account of unhealthy location. Bartram viewed the
        "terraces, on which formerly stood their town-house or
        rotunda and square or areopagus," and gives a lucid
        description of them. About fifty years before his visit a
        general killing of the white traders occurred in this town,
        though these had placed themselves under the protection of
        the chiefs (Travels, pp. 388-390). Concerning the former
        importance of this "white" town, W. Bartram (Travels, p.
        387) states, that "this town is esteemed the mother town or
        capital of the Creek confederacy; sacred to peace; no
        captives are put to death or human blood spilt there;
        deputies from all Creek towns assemble there when a general
        peace is proposed." He refers to the town existing at the
        time of his visit, but implicitly also to the "old
        Apalachucla town." The ancient and correct form of this name
        is Apalaχtchúkla, and of the extinct tribe east of it, on
        Apalache bay, Apaláχtchi. Judge G. W. Stidham heard of the
        following etymology of the name: In cleaning the ground for
        the town square and making it even, the ground and sweeping
        finally formed a ridge on the outside of the chunk-yard or
        play-ground; from this ridge the town was called
        apálaχtch'-ukla. More upon this subject, cf. Apalachi. An
        Apalachicola Fort on Savannah river is mentioned on p.

     _Apatá-i_, a village of the Lower Creeks, settled by Kasí'hta
        people on Big creek or Hátchi `láko, twenty miles east of
        Chatahuchi river, in Georgia. The name refers to a
        sheet-like covering, from apatáyäs _I cover_; cf. patákäs _I
        spread out_; the Creek word apatá-i signifies any _covering_
        comparable to wall-papers, carpets, etc. The town of Upotoy
        now lies on Upotoy creek, Muscogee county, Alabama, in 32°
        38´ Lat.

     _Ássi-lánapi_, an Upper Creek town, called Oselanopy in the
        Census list of 1832. It probably lay on Yellow Leaf creek,
        which joins Coosa river from the west about five miles below
        Talladega creek. From it sprang Green-leaf Town in the
        Indian Territory, since láni means yellow _and_ green at the
        same time. Green is now more frequently expressed by

     _Átasi, or Átassi_, an Upper Creek town on the east side of
        Tallapoosa river, below and adjoining Kalibi hátchi creek.
        It was a miserable-looking place in Hawkins' time, with
        about 43 warriors in 1766. Like that of all the other towns
        built on Tallapoosa river, below its falls, the site is low
        and unhealthy. The name is derived from the war-club
        (ă′tăssa), and was written Autossee, Ottossee,
        Otasse, Ot-tis-se, etc. Battle on November 29th, 1813. A
        town in the Indian Territory is called after it A′tĕsi,
        its inhabitants Atĕsálgi. "A post or column of pine,
        forty feet high, stood in the town of Autassee, on a low,
        circular, artificial hill." Bartram, Travels, p. 456. Cf.

     _Atchina-álgi_, or "Cedar Grove," the northernmost of all the
        Creek settlements, near the Hillabi-Etowa trail, on a side
        creek of Tallapoosa river and forty miles above Niuya'áχa.
        Settled from Lutchapóga.

     _Atchina Hátchi_, or "Cedar Creek," a village settled by
        Indians from Ka-iläídshi, q. v. on a creek of the same name.

     _Chatahuchi_, a former town of the Lower Creeks, on the
        headwaters of Chatahuchi river. Probably abandoned in
        Hawkins' time; he calls it "old town Chatahutchi;" cf.
        Chatahuchi river. Called Chata Uche by Bartram (1775),
        Chatahoosie by Swan (1791).

     _Chatahuchi river_ is the water-course dividing, in its lower
        portion, the State of Alabama from that of Georgia. On its
        banks were settled the towns and villages of the Lower
        Creeks. Its name is composed of tchátu _rock, stone_ and
        hútchi _marked, provided with signs_, and hence means:
        "Pictured Rocks." Rocks of this description are in the bed
        of the river, at the "old town Chatahuchi," above
        Hú`li-täíka (Hawkins, p. 52). Other names for this river
        were: Apalachukla river (Wm. Bartram), Cahouita or
        Apalachoocoly river (Jefferys' map in John Bartram's

     _Che`láko Nini_, or "Horse-Trail," a Lower Creek town on the
        headwaters of Chatahuchi river, settled by Okfuski Indians.
        Mentioned in 1832 as Chelucconinny. Probably identical with
        Okfuski Nini; see Okfuskúdshi, and: Indian Pathways.

     _Chíaha_, or Tchíaha, Chehaw, a Lower Creek town just below
        Ósotchi town and contiguous to it, on western bank of
        Chatahuchi river. The Chíaha Indians had in 1799 spread out
        in villages on the Flint river, of which Hawkins names
        Amakalli, Hótali-huyána; and at Chiahúdshi. Here a trail
        crossed the Chatahuchi river (Swan, 1791). A town of the
        same name, "where otters live," existed among the Cheroki.
        An Upper Creek town of this name, with twenty-nine heads of
        families, is mentioned in the Census list of 1832
        (Schoolcraft IV, 578).

     _Chiahū′dshi_, or "Little Chíaha," a Lower Creek town
        planted by Chíaha Indians in a pine forest one mile and a
        half west of Hitchiti town. Cf. Hitchiti, pp. 77. sqq.

     _Chíska talófa_, a Lower Creek town on the west side of
        Chatahuchi river. Morse, Report, p. 364, refers to it under
        the name of "Cheskitalowas" as belonging to the Seminole
        villages. Is it Chisca, or "Chisi provincia", visited by the
        army of H. de Soto in 1540? Hawkins states that Chiske
        talófa hatche was the name given to Savannah river (from
        tchíska _base of tree_).

     _Coosa River_, (1) an affluent of Alabama river in Eastern
        Alabama, in Creek Kusa-hátchi, runs through the roughest and
        most hilly district formerly held by the Creek Indians. "It
        is rapid, and so full of rocks and shoals that it is hardly
        navigable even for canoes": Swan, in Schoolcraft V, 257.
        Cusawati is an affluent of Upper Coosa river, in
        northwestern Georgia, a tract where Cheroki local names may
        be expected.

     (2) A water-course of the same name, Coosawhatchie, passes
        southeast of Savannah City, South Carolina, into the
        Atlantic ocean. For the etymology, see Kúsa.

     _Fin'-hálui_, a town of the Lower Creeks or Seminoles. The name
        signifies a high bridge, or a high foot-log, and the
        traders' name was "High Log" (1832).

     A swamp having the same name, Finholoway Swamp, lies in Wayne
        county, between the lower Altamaha and Satilla rivers,

     _Fish-Ponds, or Fish-Pond Town_; cf. `Lá`lo-kálka.

     _Flint River_, in Creek `Lonotíska hátchi, an eastern Georgian
        affluent of Chatahuchi river, and almost of the same length.
        Creeks, Yuchi and Seminole Indians were settled on it and on
        its numerous tributaries, one of which is `Lónoto creek,
        also called Indian creek, Dooley county, Georgia. From
        `lónoto _flint_.

     _Fort Toulouse_; cf. Taskígi. This fort was also called, from
        the tribe settled around it, Fort Alibamu, Fort Albamo, Fort
        Alebahmah, Forteresse des Alibamons. Abandoned by the French
        in 1762.

     _Fusi-hátchi, Fus'-hátchi_, or "Birdcreek," a town of the
        Upper Creeks, built on the right or northern bank of
        Tallapoosa river, two miles below Hu`li-Wáli. Remains of a
        walled town on the opposite shore.

     _Hátchi tchápa_, or "Half-way Creek," a small village settled
        in a pine forest by Ka-iläídshi Indians, q. v.

     _Hickory Ground_; cf. Odshi-apófa.

     _Hillabi_, pronounced Hî′lapi, an Upper Creek town on
        Ko-ufadi creek, which runs into Hillabi creek one mile from
        the village. Hillabi creek is a western tributary of
        Tallapoosa river, and joins it eight miles below Niuyáχa.
        The majority of the Hillabi people had settled in four
        villages of the vicinity in 1799, which were: `Lánudshi
        apála, Anáti tchápko, Ístudshi-läíka, Úktaha `lási.

     A battle took place in the vicinity on November 18th, 1813.
        Though the name is of difficult analysis, it is said to
        refer to quickness, velocity (of the water-course?)

     _Hitchiti_, a Lower Creek town with branch villages; cf.
        Hitchiti, p. 77 sqq.

     _Hitchitū′dshi_; cf. Hitchiti, p. 77.

     _Hótali-huyána_, a Lower Creek town, planted by Chiaha Indians
        on the eastern bank of Flint river, six miles below the
        Kitchofuni creek junction. Ósotchi settlers had mingled with
        the twenty families of the village. The name means:
        "Hurricane Town," for hútali in Creek is _wind_, huyána
        _passing_; it therefore marks a locality once devastated by
        a passing hurricane. Called Tallewheanas, in Seminole list,
        p. 72.

     _Hu`li-täíga_, a Lower Creek village on Chatahuchi river,
        planted by Okfuski Indians. Bartram calls it Hothtetoga, C.
        Swan: Hohtatoga (Schoolcraft, Indians V, 262); the name
        signifies "war-ford," military river-passage.

     _Hul′i-Wá'hli_, an Upper Creek town on the right bank of
        Tallapoosa river, five miles below Átasi. This town obtained
        its name from the privilege of declaring war (hú`li _war_,
        awá'hlita _to share out, divide_); the declaration was first
        sent to Tukabatchi, and from there among the other tribes.
        The town bordered west on Atas'-hátchi creek. The name is
        written Clewauley (1791), Ho-ithle-Wau-lee (Hawkins),
        Cleu-wath-ta (1832), Cluale, Clewulla, etc.

     _Ikanatcháka_, or Holy Ground, a town on the southern side of
        Alabama river, built on holy ground, and therefore said to
        be exempt from any possible inroads of the white people.
        Weatherford, the leader of the insurgent Creeks, and their
        prophet Hilis'-háko resided there; the forces gathered at
        this place by them were defeated December 23d, 1813. From
        íkana _ground_, atcháka _beloved, sacred_.

     _Ikan'-hátki_, or "white ground," a Sháwano town just below
        Kulumi, and on the same side of Tallapoosa river. "Cunhutki
        speaks the Muscogulge tongue"; W. Bartram (1775).

     _Imúkfa_, an Upper Creek town on Imukfa creek, west of
        Tallapoosa river. Near this place, in a bend or peninsula
        formed by the Tallapoosa river, called Horse Shoe by the
        whites, the American troops achieved a decisive victory over
        the Red Stick party of the Creek Indians on March 25th,
        1814, which resulted in the surrender of Weatherford, their
        leader, and put an end to this bloody campaign. Not less
        than five hundred and fifty-seven Creek warriors lost their
        lives in this battle. The term imúkfa is Hitchiti, for (1)
        shell; (2) metallic ornament of concave shape; Hawkins
        interprets the name by "gorget made of a conch." In
        Hitchiti, _bend of river_ is hátchi paχútchki;
        ha'htchafáshki, hatsafáski is _river-bend_ in Creek.
        Tohopeka is another name for this battle-field, but does not
        belong to the Creek language.

     _Intatchkálgi_, or "collection of beaver dams," a Yuchi town of
        Georgia settled twenty-eight miles up Opil-`láko creek, a
        tributary of Flint river. A square was built by the fourteen
        families of this town in 1798. Tátchki means anything
        _straight_, as a dam, beaver dam, line, boundary line, etc.,
        íkan'-tátchka _survey-line_; the above creek was probably
        Beaver-dam creek, an eastern tributary of Flint river,
        joining it about 32° 15´ Lat.

     _Ipisógi_, an Upper Creek town upon Ipisógi creek, a large
        eastern tributary of Tallapoosa river, joining it opposite
        Okfuski. Forty settlers in 1799. Cf. Pin-hóti.

     _Istapóga_, an Upper Creek settlement not recorded in the
        earlier documents; a place of this name exists now east of
        Coosa river, Talladega county, Alabama. The name, usually
        written Eastaboga, signifies: "where people reside" (ísti
        _people_; apókita _to reside_).

     _Ístudshi-läíka_, or "child lying there," a Hillabi village, on
        Hillabi creek, four miles below Hillabi town. It owes its
        name to the circumstance that a child was found on its site.

     _Ka-iläídshi_, an Upper Creek town, on a creek of the same
        name, which joins Oktchóyi creek, a western tributary of
        Tallapoosa river, joining it fifteen miles above Tukabatchi.
        The two villages, Atchina Hátchi and Hátchi tchápa, branched
        off from this town. The name was variously written
        Ki-a-li-ge, Kiliga, Killeegko, Kiolege, and probably
        referred to a warrior's head dress: íka _his head_;
        iläídshäs _I kill_.

     _Kan'-tcháti_, Kansháde, "Red dirt," "Red earth," an Upper
        Creek town, mentioned in 1835 as "Conchant-ti." Conchardee
        is a place a few miles northwest of Talladega.

     _Kasí'hta_, a Lower Creek town on the eastern bank of
        Chatahuchi river, two and a half miles below Kawíta
        Talahássi; Kasí'hta once claimed the lands above the falls
        of the Chatahuchi river on its eastern bank. In this town
        and tribe our migration legend has taken its origin. Its
        branch settlements spread out on the right side of the
        river, the number of the warriors of the town and branches
        being estimated at 180 in 1799; it was considered the
        largest among the Lower Creeks. The natives were friendly to
        the whites and fond of visiting them; the old chiefs were
        orderly men, desirous and active in restraining the young
        "braves" from the licentiousness which they had contracted
        through their intercourse with the scum of the white
        colonists. Hawkins makes some strictures at their
        incompetency for farming; "they do not know the season for
        planting, or, if they do, they never avail themselves of
        what they know, as they always plant one month too late" (p.
        59). A large conical mound is described by him as standing
        on the Kasí'hta fields, forty-five yards in diameter at its
        base, and flat on the top. Below the town was the "old
        Cussetuh town," on a high flat, and afterwards "a Chicasaw
        town" occupied this site (p. 58). A branch village of
        Kasí'hta is Apatá-i, q. v. The name Kasí'hta, Kasiχta, is
        popularly explained as "coming from the sun" (hă′si)
        and being identical with hasí'hta. The Creeks infer, from
        the parallel Creek form hasóti, "sunshine," that Kasí'hta
        really meant "light," or "bright splendor of the sun;"
        anciently, this term was used for the sun himself, "as the
        old people say." The inhabitants of the town believed that
        they came from the sun. Cf. Yuchi. A place Cusseta is now in
        Chatahuchi county, Georgia, 32° 20´ Lat.

     _Kawäíki_, a town of the Lower Creeks, having forty-five heads
        of families in 1832. Kawäíki Creek is named after _quails_.

     _Kawíta_, a Lower Creek town on the high western bank of
        Chatahuchi river, three miles below its falls. The fishery
        in the western channel of the river, below the falls,
        belonged to Kawíta, that in the eastern channel to
        Kasí'hta. In Hawkins' time (1799) many Indians had settled
        on streams in the vicinity, as at Hátchi íka, "Creek-Head."
        Probably a colony of Kawíta Talahássi.

     _Kawíta Talahássi_, "old Kawíta Town," a Lower Creek town two
        miles and a half below Kawíta, on the western side of the
        river, and half a mile from it. Old Kawíta town was the
        "public establishment" of the Lower Creeks, and in 1799
        could raise sixty-five warriors; it was also the seat of the
        United States agent. Kawíta Talahássi had branched off by
        segmentation from Kasí'hta, as shown in the migration
        legend, and itself has given origin to a village called
        Witúmka, on Big Yuchi creek. The town was a political centre
        for the nation, and is referred to by the traveler Wm.
        Bartram (1775), p. 389. 463, in the following terms: "The
        great Coweta town, on Chatahuchi or Apalachucly river,
        twelve miles above Apalachucla town, is called the bloody
        town, where the micos, chiefs and warriors assemble, when a
        general war is proposed, and here captives and state
        malefactors are put to death. Coweta speaks the Muscogulgee
        tongue." Colden, Five Nations, p. 5, mentions an alliance
        concluded between the Iroquois of New York and the Cowetas;
        but here the name Cowetas is used in the wider sense of
        Creek Indians or Lower Creek Indians. The Creek form is
        Kawítalgi, or ísti Kawítalgi. Written Caouita by French
        authors. Cf. Apalatchúkla.

     _Kitcho-patáki_, an Upper Creek town, now name of a Creek
        settlement in the Indian Territory. From kítchu
        "maize-pounding _block of wood_"; patáki "_spreading out_."
        Kitchopatáki creek joins Tallapoosa river from the west a
        few miles below Okfuskee, in Randolph county, Alabama.

     _Koassáti_, an Upper Creek town. Cf. special article on this
        tribe, pp. 89. 90.

     _Kulumi_, Upper Creek town on right side of Tallapoosa river,
        small and compact, below Fusi-hátchi and contiguous to it. A
        conical mound, thirty feet in diameter, was seen by Hawkins,
        opposite the "town-house." A part of the inhabitants had
        settled on Likasa creek. The signification of the name is
        unknown, but it may have connection with a'hkolúmäs _I
        clinch_ (prefix a- for áni _I_). Of the "old Coolome town,"
        which stood on the opposite shore of Tallapoosa river, a few
        houses were left at the time of Bartram's visit, c. 1775
        (Travels, p. 395).

     _Kúsa_, (1) an old capital of the Creek people, referred to as
        Coça by the historians of de Soto's expedition, on the
        eastern bank of Coosa river, between Yufála and Natche
        creeks, which join Coosa river from the east, a quarter of a
        mile apart.[91] The town stood on a high hill in the midst
        of a rich limestone country, forty miles above
        Pakan-Talahássi and sixty above Taskígi, q. v. Bartram saw
        it (1775), half deserted and in ruins. "The great and old
        beloved town of refuge, Koosah, which stands high on the
        eastern side of a bold river, about two hundred and fifty
        yards broad, that runs by the late dangerous Alebahma fort,
        down to the black poisoning Mobille, and so into the gulph
        of Mexico:" Adair, History, p. 395. This town, which was
        also, as it seems, the sojourning place of Tristan de Luna's
        expedition (1559), must have been one of the earliest
        centres of the Maskoki people, though it does not appear
        among its "four leading towns". Its inhabitants may at one
        time have been comprised under the people of the neighboring
        Abi'hka town, q. v. Kósa is the name of a small forest-bird,
        resembling a sparrow; but the name of the town and river
        could possibly be an ancient form of ō′sa, ōsá, 'osá
        _poke_ or _pokeweed_, a plant with red berries, which grows
        plentifully and to an enormous height throughout the South.
        Cf. Coosa river. It is more probable, however, that the name
        is of Cha'hta origin; cf. (3).

    [Footnote 91: Now called Talladega and Tallahatchi creeks.]

     (2) A town, "Old Kúsa" or "Coussas old village," is reported a
        short distance below Fort Toulouse, on the northern shore of
        Alabama river, between Taskígi and Koassáti. It was,
        perhaps, from this place that the Alabama river was, in
        earlier times, called Coosa or Coussa river, but since
        Hawkins and others make no mention of this town, I surmise
        that it was identical with Koassáti, the name being an
        abbreviation from the latter.

     (3) The Kúsa, Cusha or Coosa towns, on the Kúsa Creeks, formed
        a group of the eastern Cha'hta settlements. From Cha'hta
        kush _reed, cane_ which corresponds to the kóa, kóe of
        Creek. Cf. p. 108.

     _`Lá`lo-kálka_, "_Fish-Pond Town_," or "Fish-Ponds," an Upper
        Creek town on a small creek forming ponds, fourteen miles
        above its junction with Alkohátchi, a stream running into
        Tallapoosa river from the west, four miles above Okfuski.
        The name is abbreviated from `lá`lo-akálka _fish separated,
        placed apart_; from `lá`lo _fish_, akálgäs _I am separated
        from_. This was a colony planted by Oktcháyi Indians, q. v.

     _`Lánudshi apála_, or "beyond a little mountain," a Hillabi
        place fifteen miles from that town and on the northwest
        branch of Hillabi creek; had a "town-house" or public square.

     _`Láp`láko_, or "Tall Cane," "Big Reed," the name of two
        villages of the Upper Creeks, mentioned in 1832. `Láp is a
        tall cane, from which sarbacanes or blow-guns are made.

     _`Lè-kátchka, `Li-i-kátchka_, or "Broken Arrow," a Lower
        Creek town on a ford of the southern trail, which crossed
        Chatahuchi river at this point, twelve miles below Kasi'hta
        and Kawíta (Swan, 1791). Bartram calls it Tukauska, Swan:
        Chalagatsca. Called so because reeds were obtained there for
        manufacturing arrow shafts.

     _Lutchapóga_, or "Terrapin-Resort," an Upper Creek town,
        probably near Tallapoosa river. The village Atchina-álgi was
        settled by natives of this town (Hawkins, p. 47), but
        afterwards incorporated with Okfuski. Also mentioned in the
        Census list of 1832. A place called Loachapoka is now in Lee
        county, Alabama, about half-way between Montgomery and West
        Point. From lútcha _terrapin_, póka _killing-place_; póyäs
        _I destroy, kill_; póka occurs only in compound words.

     H. S. Tanner's map (1827) marks an Indian town Luchepoga on
        west bank of Tallapoosa river, about ten miles above
        Tukabátchi Talahássi; also Luchanpogan creek, as a western
        tributary of Chatahuchi river, in 33° 8´ Lat., just below
        Chatahuchi town.

     _Muklása_, a small Upper Creek town one mile below Sawanógi and
        on the same side of Tallapoosa river. In times of freshet
        the river spreads here nearly eight miles from bank to bank.
        Bartram states, that Mucclasse speaks the "Stincard tongue,"
        and the list of 1832 writes "Muckeleses." They are Alibamu,
        and a town of that name is in the Indian Territory. "The
        Wolf-king, our old, steady friend of the Amooklasah Town,
        near the late Alebahma" (Adair, History, p. 277). The name
        points to the Imuklásha, a division of the Cha'hta people;
        imúkla is the "opposite people," referring to the two iksa,
        Kasháp-ukla and Úkla iⁿhulá'hta. Cf. Cha'hta, p.
        104, and Mugulasha, p. 111. 112.

     _Natche_ (better Náktche), on "Natche creek, five miles above
        Abikū′dshi, scattering for two miles on a rich flat
        below the fork of the creek, which is an eastern tributary
        of Upper Coosa river."[92] Peopled by the remainder of the
        Naktche tribe on Mississippi river, and containing from
        fifty to one hundred warriors in 1799. The root tálua was
        dug by them in this vicinity. Bartram states, that "Natchez
        speak Muscogee and Chicasaw" (1775).

    [Footnote 92: Now called Tallahatchi creek.]

     _Niuyáχa_, village of the Upper Creeks, settled by Tukpáfka
        Indians in 1777, twenty miles above Okfuski, on the east
        bank of Tallapoosa river. It was called so after the Treaty
        of New York, concluded between the United States Government
        and the Creek confederacy, at a date posterior to the
        settlement of this town, August 7th, 1790.

     _Nofápi creek_, an affluent of Yufábi creek. Cf. Yufábi, and
        Annotations to the Legend.

     _Odshi-apófa_, or "Hickory-Ground," an Upper Creek town on the
        eastern bank of Coosa river, two miles above the fork of the
        river; from ō′dshi _hickory_, ápi _tree, stem, trunk_, -ófa,
        -ófan, a suffix pointing to _locality_. The falls of Coosa
        river, one mile above the town, can be easily passed in
        canoes, either up or down. The town had forty warriors at the
        time of Hawkins' visit (1799). Identical with Little Tálisi;
        Milfort, p. 27: "le petit Talessy ou village des Noyers." A
        map of this section will be found in Schoolcraft, Indians, V,
        255. Literally: "in the hickory grove."

     _Okfuski_ (better Akfáski), an Upper Creek town, erected on
        both sides of Tallapoosa river, about thirty-five miles
        above Tukabatchi. The Indians settled on the eastern side
        came from Chatahuchi river, and had founded on it three
        villages, Che`láko-Ni′ni, Hul′i-täíga, Tchúka l′áko,
        q. v. In 1799 Okfuski (one hundred and eighty warriors)
        _with_ its seven branch villages on Tallapoosa river (two
        hundred and seventy warriors) was considered the largest
        community of the confederacy. The shrub _Ilex cassine_ was
        growing there in clumps. These seven villages were:
        Niuyáχa, Tukabátchi Talahássi, Imúkfa, Tuχtukági,
        Atchina-álgi, Ipisógi, Suka-ispóka. The Creek term akfáski,
        akfúski signifies _point, tongue_ of a confluence,
        _promontory_, from ak-_down in_, fáski _sharp, pointed_.
        Tallapoosa river was also called Okfuski river.

     _Okfuskū′dshi_, or "Little Okfuski," a part of a small
        village four miles above Niuyáχa. Some of these people
        formerly inhabited Okfuski-Níni, on Chatahuchi river, but
        were driven from there by Georgian volunteers in 1793. Cf.

     _Oki-tiyákni_, a lower Creek village on the eastern bank of
        Chatahuchi river, eight miles below Yufála. Hawkins writes
        it O-ke-teyoc-en-ni, and Morse, Report, p. 364, mentions
        among the Seminole settlements, "Oka-tiokinans, near Fort
        Gaines." Oki-tiyakni, a Hitchiti term, means either
        _whirlpool_, or _river-bend_.

     _Okmúlgi_ (1), a Lower Creek town on the east side of Flint
        river, near Hótali-huyána. The name signifies "bubbling,
        boiling water," from H. óki _water_; múlgis _it is boiling_,
        in Creek and Hitchiti.

     (2) East of Flint river is Okmúlgi river, which, after joining
        Little Okmúlgi and Okóni rivers, forms Altamaha river.

     _Okóni_, a small Lower Creek town, six miles below Apalachúkla,
        on the western bank of Chatahuchi river; settled by
        immigrants from a locality below the Rock Landing on Okóni
        river, Georgia. They spoke the "Stincard tongue," and
        probably were Apalachians of the Hitchiti-Mikasuki dialect.
        Cf. Cuscowilla, under the head of: Seminole. The name is the
        Cheroki term ekuóni _river_, from ékua _great, large_,
        viz.: "great water." Bartram, who encamped on the site of
        the old Okóni town on Okóni river, states (Travels, p. 378),
        that the Indians abandoned that place about 1710, on account
        of the vicinity of the white colonists, and built a town
        among the Upper Creeks. Their roving disposition impelled
        them to leave this settlement also, and to migrate to the
        fertile Alachua plains, where they built Cuscowilla on the
        banks of a lake, and had to defend it against the attacks of
        the Tomocos, Utinas, Calloosas (?), Yamases and other
        remnant tribes of Florida, and the more northern refugees
        from Carolina, all of whom were helped by the Spaniards.
        Being reinforced by other Indians from the Upper Creek
        towns, "their uncles," they repulsed the aggressors and
        destroyed their villages, as well as those of the Spaniards.
        This notice probably refers to the Indian troubles with the
        Yámassi, which occurred long before 1710, since inroads are
        recorded as early as 1687. Hawkins, p. 65, states that the
        town they formerly occupied on Okóni river stood just below
        the Rock Landing, once the site of a British post about four
        miles below Milledgeville, Georgia.

     _Oktcháyi_, an Upper Creek town built along Oktchayi creek, a
        western tributary of Tallapoosa river. The town, mentioned
        as Oak-tchoy in 1791, lay three miles below Ka-iläídshi, in
        the central district. Cf. `La`lo-kálka. Milfort, Mémoire, p.
        266. 267, calls the tribe: les Oxiailles.

     _Oktchayū′dshi_, a "little compact town" of the Upper
        Creek Indians, on the eastern bank of Coosa river, between
        Otchi-apófa and Taskígi, its cabins joining those of the
        latter town. Their maize fields lay on the same side of the
        river, on the Sambelo grounds, below Sambelo creek. They
        removed their village to the eastern side of Tallapoosa
        river on account of former Chicasa raids. The name of the
        town, "Little Oktcháyi," proves it to be a colony or branch
        of Oktcháyi, q. v.; Pl. Porter says it is a branch of

     _Opíl'-`láko_, or "Big Swamp," from opílua _swamp_, `láko
        _large_. (1) An Upper Creek town on a stream of the same
        name, which joins Pákan'-Talahássi creek on its left side.
        The town was twenty miles from Coosa river; its tribe is
        called Pinclatchas by C. Swan (1791).

     (2) A locality west of Kasi′hta; cf. Tálisi.

     (3) A stream running into Flint river, Georgia. Cf.

     _Ósotchi, Ósutchi, Ósudshi,_ or _Úsutchi_, a Lower Creek
        town about two miles below Yuchi town, on the western bank
        of Chatahuchi river, whose inhabitants migrated to this
        place in 1794 from Flint river. The town adjoins that of
        Chiaha; Bartram calls it Hoositchi. The descendants of it
        and of Chíaha have consolidated into one town in the Creek
        Nation, Indian Territory. Cf. Hawkins, p. 63.

     _Padshiläíka_, or "Pigeon Roost;" (1) a Yuchi town on the
        junction of Padshiläíka creek with Flint river, Macon
        county, Georgia, about 32° 38´ Lat. The village suffered
        heavily by the loss of sixteen warriors, who were murdered
        by Benjamin Harrison and his associates; cf. Hawkins, p. 62

     (2) Patsiläíka river was the name of the western branch of
        Conecuh river, in Southern Alabama, Covington county, which
        runs into Escambia river and Pensacola bay. From pádshi
        _pigeon_, and läíkäs _I sit down, am sitting_.

     _Pákan'-Talahássi_, Upper Creek town on a creek of the same
        name, which joins Coosa river from the east, forty miles
        below Kúsa town. From ipákana, _mayapple_, itálua _town_,
        hássi _ancient_, in the sense of _waste_. G. W. Stidham
        interprets the name: "Old Peach Orchard Town."

     _Pin'-hóti_, or "Turkey-Home," an Upper Creek town on the right
        side of a small tributary of Ipisógi creek; cf. Ipisógi. The
        trail from Niuyáχa to Kawíta Talahássi passed through this
        settlement. From pínua _turkey_, húti, hóti _home_.

     _Pótchus'-hátchi_, Upper Creek town in the central district, on
        a stream of the same name, which joins Coosa river from the
        northeast, four miles below Pákan'-Talahássi. The town was
        in Coosa or Talladega county, Alabama, forty miles above the
        junction; the name signifies "Hatchet-Stream": potchúsua
        _hatchet, ax_; hátchi _water-course_.

     _Sakapatáyi_, Upper Creek town in the central district, now
        Socopatoy, on a small eastern tributary of Pótchus'-hátchi,
        or Hatchet creek, Coosa county, Alabama; pronounced also
        Sakapató-i by Creek Indians. Probably refers to water-lilies
        covering the surface of a pond, the seeds of them being
        eaten by the natives; from sakpatágäs _I lie inside_ (a
        covering, blanket, etc.) A legend, which evidently
        originated from the name already existing, relates that
        wayfarers passing there had left a large provision-basket
        (sáka) at this locality, which was upset and left rotting,
        so that finally it became flattened out: from patäídshäs _I
        spread out something_; patáyi, partic. pass., _shaken out_.

     _Sauga Hátchi_, Upper Creek town on a stream of the same name,
        which runs into Tallapoosa river from the east, ten miles
        below Yufála. In 1799 the thirty young men of this place had
        joined Tálisi town. Hawkins, p. 49, renders the name by
        "cymbal creek." Sauga is a hard-shelled fruit or gourd,
        similar to a cocoa-nut, used for making rattles; saúkäs _I
        am rattling_.

     _Sawanógi_, or "Sháwanos," a town settled by Sháwano-Algonkins,
        but belonging to the Creek confederacy. It stood on the left
        or southern side of Tallapoosa river, three miles below
        Likasa creek. The inhabitants (in 1799) retained the customs
        and language of their countrymen in the northwest, and had
        joined them in their late war against the United States.
        Some Yuchi Indians lived among them. The "town-house" was an
        oblong square cabin, roof "eight feet pitch," sides and
        roof covered with pine-bark. Cf. Ikan'-hátki.

     _Sáwokli_, or Great Sáwokli, Sá-ukli, a Lower Creek town, six
        miles below Okóni, on the west bank of Chatahuchi river, and
        four miles and a half above Wiláni ("Yellow Water") Creek
        junction. The Hitchiti word sáwi means _racoon_, úkli
        _town_; and both Sáwokli towns spoke the "Stincard tongue"
        (Bartram). Called Chewakala in 1791; Swaglaw, etc. Among the
        Hitchiti the míkalgi were appointed from the racoon gens

     _Sawokli-ū′dshi_, or "Little Sáwokli," a Lower Creek town
        on the eastern bank of Chatahuchi river, four miles below
        Okóni town; contained about twenty families in 1799. About
        1865 both Sáwokli towns in the Indian Territory have
        disbanded into the Tálua `láko; cf. Apalatchúkla.

     _Suka-ispóka_, or Suka-ishpógi, called "Hog Range" by the
        traders, a small Upper Creek village situated on the western
        bank of Upper Tallapoosa river, twelve miles above Okfuski;
        its inhabitants had in 1799 moved, for the larger part, to
        Imúkfa. It is the place called elsewhere Soguspogus,
        Sokaspoge, Hog Resort, the name meaning literally:
        "hog-killing place." Cf. Lutchapóga.

     _Talatígi_, now Talladega, an Upper Creek settlement in the
        central district east of Coosa river. A battle was fought
        there November 7th, 1813. The name signifies "border town,"
        from itálua _town_ and atígi _at the end, on the border_;
        cf. atígis "it is the last one, it forms the extremity." Cf.
        Kúsa (1).

     _Tálisi_, abbrev. Tálsi, or: "Old Town," a contraction of the
        term itálua hássi; a town of the Upper Creeks on the eastern
        bank of Tallapoosa river, opposite Tukabatchi, in the fork
        of Yufábi creek. In Hawkins' time the natives of this place
        had for the larger part left the town and settled up Yufábi
        creek, and the chief, Hobo-í`li míko, was at variance with
        the United States and Spanish colonial authorities. The
        traders' trail from Kasí'hta to the Upper Creek settlements
        crossed Yufábi creek twice at the "Big Swamp," Opil'-`láko.
        The Census of 1832 calls Tálisi: "Big Tallassie or the
        Halfway House."

     _Tálisi, Little_, a town of the Upper Creeks, identical with
        Odshi-apófa, q. v.

     _Tallapoosa river_, a considerable tributary of Alabama river,
        full of rocks, shoals and falls down to Tukabatchi town; for
        thirty miles from here to its junction with the Coosa, it
        becomes deep and quiet. The Hitchiti form of the name is
        Talapúsi; cf. Okfuski. A little village named Tallapoosa
        lies on the headwaters of Tallapoosa river, from which the
        river perhaps received its name; cf. talepú`li _stranger_
        (in Creek).

     _Tálua `láko_, properly Itálua `láko, "the Great Town," the
        popular name of Apalatchúkla, q. v., the latter being no
        longer heard at the present time.

     _Tálua mutchási_, (1) The new name for Tukabátchi Talahássi, q.
        v. It is commonly abbreviated into Talmodshási "Newtown."
        From itálua _town_, mutchási _new_.

     (2) A Lower Creek town, on west shore of Chatahuchi river,
        mentioned by Morse (1822) as: Telmocresses, among the
        Seminole towns.

     _Támá`li_, a Lower Creek town on Chatahuchi river, seven miles
        from Odshísi (Morse, Report, p. 364). Hawkins writes it
        Tum-mult-lau, and makes it a Seminole town. Probably a
        Cheroki name; there was on the southern shore of Tennessee
        river, between Ballplay creek and Toskegee, a settlement
        called Tommotley town in early maps; cf. Jefferys' Atlas of
        N. America (map of 1762).

     _Taskígi_ or Tuskíki, a little, ancient Upper Creek town, built
        near the site of the former French Fort Toulouse, at the
        confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. It stood on the
        high shore of Coosa river, forty-six feet above its waters,
        where the two rivers approach each other within a quarter of
        a mile, to curve out again. On this bluff are also five
        conic mounds, the largest thirty yards in diameter at the
        base. The town, of 35 warriors, _had lost its ancient
        language_ and spoke the Creek (1799). The noted A.
        MacGillivray, head chief of the Creeks in the latter part of
        the eighteenth century, or as he was styled, "Emperor of the
        Creek Nation," lived at Taskígi, where he owned a house and
        property along Coosa river, half a league from Fort
        Toulouse; Milfort, Mémoire, p. 27. On the immigration of the
        tribe, cf. Milfort, pp. 266. 267.

     The name of the town may be explained as: "jumping men,
        _jumpers_," from Cr. tāská-is, tā′skäs _I jump_
        (tulúp-kalis in Hitchiti); or be considered an abbreviated
        form of táskialgi _warriors_; cf. taskáya _citizen_ (Creek),
        and Hawkins, Sketch, p. 70. But since the town formerly
        spoke another language, it is, in view of the frequency of
        Cheroki names in the Creek country, appropriate to regard
        Taskígi as linguistically identical with "Toskegee," a
        Cheroki town on Great Tennessee river, southern shore,
        mentioned by several authors, and appearing on Lieutenant H.
        Timberlake's map in his Memoir, reproduced in Jefferys'
        Topography (Atlas) of North America, dated March, 1762.

     _Tchúka `láko_, or "Great Cabin" of the public square, (1) A
        Lower Creek town on Chatahuchi river, settled by Okfuski

     (2) A place of the same name is mentioned in the Census of 1832
        as an _Upper_ Creek town.

     _Tokogálgi_, or "tadpole place," a small Yuchi settlement on
        Kitchofuni creek, a northern affluent of Flint river,
        Georgia, which joins it about 31° 40´ Lat. Beaver dams
        existed on branches of Kitchofuni creek; cf. Hawkins, p.
        63. The present Creeks call a _tadpole_ tokiúlga.

     _Tukabátchi_, an Upper Creek town built upon the western bank
        of Tallapoosa river, and two miles and a half below its
        falls, which are forty feet in fifty yards. Opposite was
        Tálisi town, q. v. Tukabatchi was an ancient capital,
        decreasing in population in Hawkins' time, but still able to
        raise one hundred and sixteen warriors. The town suffered
        much in its later wars with the Chicasa. Cf. Hú`li-Wáli. The
        traders' trail crossed the Tallapoosa river at this place.
        Bartram (1775) states that Tuccabatche spoke Muscogulge, and
        the Census of 1832 considers it the largest town among the
        Creeks, with three hundred and eighty-six houses. Here, as
        at a national centre, the Sháwano leader, Tecumseh, held his
        exciting orations against the United States Government,
        which prompted the Upper Creeks to rise in arms (1813).
        Tugibáχtchi, Tukipá'htchi, and Tukipáχtchi are the
        ancient forms of the name (Stidham), which is of foreign
        origin. The inhabitants believe that their ancestors fell
        from the sky, or according to others, came from the sun.
        Another tale is, that they did not originate on this
        continent; that when they arrived from their country they
        landed at the "Jagged Rock," tcháto tchaχàχa `láko, and
        brought the metallic plates with them, which they preserve
        to the present day with anxious care. In Adair's time (cf.
        Adair, History, pp. 178. 179, in Note) they consisted of
        five copper and two brass plates, and were, according to Old
        Bracket's account, preserved under the "beloved cabbin in
        Tuccabatchey Square" (A. D. 1759). Bracket's forefathers
        told him that they were given to the tribe "by the man we
        call God," and that the Tukabatchi were a people different
        from the Creeks. The plates are mentioned in Schoolcraft's
        Indians, V, 283 (C. Swan's account), and rough sketches of
        them are given in Adair, 1.1. They appear to be of Spanish
        origin, and are produced at the busk. The town anciently was
        known under two other names: Ispokógi, or Itálua ispokógi,
        said to mean "town of survivors," or "surviving town,
        remnant of a town"; and Itálua fátcha-sígo, "incorrect town,
        town deviating from strictness." With this last appellation
        we may compare the Spanish village-name _Villa Viciosa_.

     On national councils held there, cf. Hawkins, Sketch, p. 51 (in
        the year 1799) and Milfort, p. 40 (in the year 1780) and p.

     _Tukabátchi Talahássi_, or "old town of Tukabatchi," an Upper
        Creek town on west side of Tallapoosa river, four miles
        above Niuyáχa. Since 1797 it received a second name, that
        of Tálua mutchási or "new town." The Census list of 1832
        calls it Talmachussa, Swan in 1791: Tuckabatchee Teehassa.

     _Tukpáfka_, "Spunk-knot," a village on Chatahuchi river,
        Toapáfki in 1832, from which was settled the town of
        Niuyáχa, q. v. A creek of the same name is a tributary of
        Potchus'-Hátchi, q. v. Tukpáfka, not Tutpáfka, is the
        correct form; it means _punky wood, spunk, rotten wood,

     _Tuχtu-kági_, or "Corn cribs set up" by the Okfuski natives
        to support themselves during the hunting season, was an
        Upper Creek town on the western bank of Tallapoosa River,
        twenty miles above Niuyáχa. The trail from Hillabi to
        Etowa in the Cheroki country passed this town, which is near
        a spur of mountains. Mentioned as "Corn House" in the Census
        list of 1832, as Totokaga in 1791. Túχtu means a _crib_;
        kági is the past participle of kákīs, q. v.

     _Tutalósi_, a branch village of Hitchiti town. Cf. Hitchiti, p.
        77. The Creek word tutalósi means _chicken_, in
        Hitchiti tatayáhi; its inhabitants, who had no town-square,
        are called by the people speaking Hitchiti: Tatayáhukli.

     _Úktaha-sàsi'_, or "Sand-Heap," two miles from Hillabi town, of
        which it was a branch or colony. Cf. Hillabi. If the name
        was pronounced Úktaha lási, it is "sand-lick."

     _U-i-ukúfki_, Uyukúfki, an Upper Creek town, on a creek of the
        same name, a tributary of Hatchet creek (Hawkins, p. 42);
        Wiogúfka (1832). The name points to muddy water: o-íwa
        _water_, ukúfki _muddy_; and is also the Creek name for the
        Mississippi river. Exists now in Indian Territory. Cf.

     _Wako-káyi, Waχoká-i_, or "Blow-horn Nest," an Upper Creek
        town on Tukpáfka creek, a branch of Potchus'-Hátchi, a
        water-course which joins Coosa river from the east. Also
        written Wolkukay by cartographers; Wacacoys, in Census List
        of 1832; Wiccakaw by Bartram (1775). Wáko is a species of
        _heron_, bluish-grey, 2' high; káyi _breeding-place_.
        Another "Wacacoys" is mentioned, in 1832, as situated on
        Lower Coosa river, below Witúmka.

     _Watúla Hóka hátchi._ The location of this stream is marked by
        Watoola village, which is situated on a run joining Big
        Yuchi creek in a southern course, about eighteen miles west
        of Chatahuchi river, on the road between Columbus, Ga., and
        Montgomery, Ala.

     _Wí-kai `láko_, or "Large Spring," a Lower Creek or Seminole
        town, referred to by Morse under the name Wekivas. From u-íwa,
        abbrev. ú-i _water_, káya _rising_, `láko _great, large_.
        A Creek town in the Indian Territory bears the same name.

     _Witumka_, (1) Upper Creek town on the rapids of Coosa river,
        east side, near its junction with Tallapoosa. Hawkins does
        not mention this old settlement, but Bartram, who traveled
        from 1773 to 1778, quotes Whittumke among the Upper Creek
        towns speaking the "Stincard tongue," which in this instance
        was the Koassáti dialect.

     (2) A branch town of Kawíta Talahássi, and twelve miles from
        it, on Witumka creek, the main fork of Yuchi creek. The
        place had a town-house, and extended for three miles up the
        creek. The name signifies "rumbling water;" from ú-i,
        abbrev. from u-íwa "water," and túmkīs "it rumbles, makes

     _Witumka Creek_, called Owatunka river in the migration legend,
        is the northern and main branch of Yuchi creek, which runs
        into the Chatahuchi river from the northwest, and joins it
        about 32° 18´ Lat. The other branch was Little Yuchi creek
        or Hosapo-läíki; cf. Note to Hawkins, p. 61.

     _Wiwúχka_, or Wiwóka, Upper Creek town on Wiwóka creek, an
        eastern tributary of Coosa river, joining it about ten miles
        above Witumka. The town was fifteen miles above Odshi-apófa,
        and in 1799 numbered forty warriors. Called Weeokee in 1791;
        it means: "water roaring,": ú-i _water_, wóχkīs _it is

     _Woksoyū′dshi_, an Upper Creek town, mentioned in the
        Census List of 1832 as "Waksoyochees, on Lower Coosa river,
        below Wetumka."

     _Yuchi_, a town of foreign extraction belonging to the Lower
        Creeks; has branched out into three other villages. Cf.
        Yuchi, p. 21.

     _Yufábi creek_, an eastern tributary of Tallapoosa river,
        joining it a short distance from Tukabatchi. Nofápi creek,
        mentioned in the legend, is now Naufába creek, an upper
        branch of "Ufaupee creek," joining it in a southwestern

     _Yufála_, (1) Y. or Yufála Hátchi, Upper Creek town on Yufála
        creek, fifteen miles above its confluence with Coosa river.
        Called Upper Ufala in 1791.

     (2) Upper Creek town on the west bank of Tallapoosa river, two
        miles below Okfuski in the air line.

     (3) town of the Lower Creeks, fifteen miles below Sáwokli, on
        the eastern bank of Chatahuchi river. In 1799 the natives
        had spread out down to the forks of the river in several
        villages, and many had negro slaves, taken during the
        Revolutionary war. The Census of 1832 counted 229 heads of
        families. This name, of unknown signification, is written


A correct and detailed knowledge of the Indian trails leading through
their country, and called by them warpaths, horse trails, and by the
white traders "trading roads," forms an important part of Indian
topography and history. Their general direction is determined by
mountain ranges and gaps (passes), valleys, springs, water-courses,
fordable places in rivers, etc. The early explorers of North American
countries all followed these Indian trails: Narvaez, Hernando de Soto,
Tristan de Luna, Juan del Pardo, Lederer and Lawson, because they were
led along these tracks by their Indian guides. If we knew with
accuracy the old Indian paths of the West, we would have little
difficulty in rediscovering the routes traveled by Coronado's and
Peñalossa's troops in New Mexico and in the great wastes of the
Mississippi plains. In hilly lands these trails are, of course, easier
to trace than in level portions of the country.

The best-known trails leading from the east to the Creek towns were as

1. The _upper_ trail or "warpath" crossed Chatahuchi river at
Che`láko-Nini by a horse ford, about sixty miles above Kasiχta; cf.
Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 255, and Adair, History, pp. 258. 368.

2. The "High Tower path" started from High Shoals on Apalachi river,
which is the southern branch of Okóni river, and went almost due west
to "Shallow Ford" of Chatahuchi river, about twelve miles right north
of Atlanta, Georgia, in the river bend.

3. The _southern_ trail crossed the Chatahuchi river, coming from the
Okóni and Okmúlgi rivers,[93] at the "Broken Arrow," `Lé-kátchka,
while other travelers crossed it at the Yuchi towns, which cannot have
been distant from the "Broken Arrow." The Tallapoosa river was passed
at Tukabatchi; cf. Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 254.

    [Footnote 93: Bartram, Travels, p. 54, gives the following
    particulars: "On the east bank of the Okmulgee this trading road
    runs nearly two miles through ancient Indian fields, the
    Okmulgee fields ... with artificial mounds or terraces, squares,
    etc." This horsepath began at the Rock Landing on Okóni river, a
    British post just below Wilkinson and about four miles below
    Milledgeville, Georgia, passed Fort Hawkins built upon the
    Okmúlgi old fields, then the site of Macon, on the shore
    opposite, then Knoxville, then the old Creek agency on Flint
    river, then crossed Patsilāíka creek, the usual ford on
    Chatahuchi river lying between Kasíχta and Apatá-i Creek.]

From Tukabatchi it crossed over almost due west, as represented in Em.
Bowen's map, to Coosa river, which was passed by a horse-ford, then
followed the Coosa river up to Coosa old town. This is the trail
partly traveled over by the Kasiχta tribe, as described in the
migration legend.

4. The _trail_ leading from St. Mary's river, Georgia, to the Creek
towns went into disuse since 1783, and at the time of Swan's visit
(1791) was difficult to trace. Cf. Schoolcraft, V, 256. If correctly
represented in Tanner's map of 1827, a road then running from St.
Mary's river to the Hitchiti ford of the Chatahuchi river crossed that
river at Hitchitū′dshi.


The social organization of all the Indian nations of America is based
upon the existence of the _tribe_. The tribe itself is based upon
smaller units of individuals which are joined together by a common
tie; this tie is either the archaic maternal descent, or the more
modern tie of paternal descent, or a combination of both. Among the
Indians of North America east of the Rocky mountains, and also among
many tribes west of them, the single groups descending from the same
male or female ancestor form each a _gens_ provided with a proper name
or _totem_ generally recalling the name of an animal.

Among the Creeks, Seminoles and all the other Maskoki tribes descent
was in the female line. Every child born belonged to the gens of its
mother, and not to that of its father, for no man could marry into his
own gens. In case of the father's death or incapacity the children
were cared for by the nearest relatives of the mother. Some public
officers could be selected only from certain gentes, among which such
a privilege had become hereditary. Regulations like these also
controlled the warrior class and exercised a profound influence upon
the government and history of the single tribes, and it often gave a
too prominent position to some gentes in certain tribes, to the
detriment or exclusion of others. The Hitchiti and Creek totems were
the same.

The administration of public affairs in the Creek nation can be
studied to best advantage by dividing the dates on hand into three
sections: the civil government of the Creek tribe; the warrior class;
the confederacy and its government. What we give below will at least
suffice to give readers a better understanding of some points in the
migration legend. But before we enter upon these points, let us
consider the basis of Indian social life, the _gens_.


Parallel to the two íksa of the Cha'hta the Creeks are divided into
two _fires_ (tútka), a civil fire and a military fire. The term _fire_
evidently refers to council fires, which had to be kindled
ceremonially by the friction of two pieces of wood. The term _fire_
was also applied by Sháwanos and other Northern Indians to the States
formed by the early colonists, and is still used of the States now
constituting the American Union: the thirteen fires, the seventeen
fires, etc.

Concerning the gentes (aläíkita) of the Creek people, it is important
to notice that in their towns each group of houses contained people of
one gens only,[94] and these gentes are often mentioned in their local
annals; and that the gens of each individual was determined by that of
his mother. Some of the towns had separate gentes for themselves, all
of which had privileges of their own.

    [Footnote 94: A similar distribution is observed in the
    villages, hunting and war camps of the Pani and Southern Dakotan
    tribes, and was very strictly enforced by them.]

Marriage between individuals of the same gens was prohibited; the
office of the míko and the succession to property of deceased persons
was and is still hereditary in the gens. In the Tukabatchi town the
civil rulers or míkalgi were selected from the _eagle_ gens; those of
Hitchiti town from the _racoon_ gens only; of Kasiχta from the
_bear_ gens; those of Taskígi probably from the _wind_ gens. The
beloved men or ístitchakálgi of Kasiχta were of the _beaver gens_.

In adultery and murder cases the relatives of the gens of the injured
party alone had the right of judging and of taking satisfaction; the
míko and his council were debarred from any interference. This custom
explains why treaty stipulations made with the colonists or the
Federal Government concerning murders committed have never been

    [Footnote 95: Cf. Hawkins, p. 75.]

There is probably no Indian tribe or nation in North America having a
larger number of gentes than the Maskoki proper. This fact seems to
point either to a long historic development of the tribe, through
which so large a segmentation was brought about, or to internal
dissensions, which could produce the same result. About twenty gentes
are now in existence, and the memory of some extinct ones is not lost
in the present generation.

The _list_ of Creek gentes, as obtained from Judge G. W. Stidham, runs
as follows:

    Nokósalgi bear gens; from nokósi bear.

    Itchúalgi deer gens, from ítchu deer.

    Kátsalgi panther gens; kátsa panther, cougar.

    Koákotsalgi wild-cat gens; kóa-kótchi wild-cat.

    Kunipálgi skunk gens; kúno, kóno skunk.

    Wótkalgi racoon gens; wō′tko racoon.

    Yahálgi wolf gens; yáha wolf.

    Tsúlalgi fox gens; tsúla fox.

    Itch'hásualgi beaver gens; itch'hásua beaver.

    Osánalgi otter gens; osána otter.

    Hálpadalgi alligator gens; hálpada alligator.

    Fúsualgi bird gens; fúswa forest bird.

    Ítamalgi, Támalgi, (?) cf. támkita to fly.

    Sopáktalgi toad gens; sopáktu toad.

    Tákusalgi mole gens; táku mole.

    Atchíalgi maize gens; átchi maize.

    Ahalaχálgi sweet potato gens; áha sweet potato, long

    Hútalgalgi wind gens; hútali wind.

    Aktäyatsálgi (signification unknown).

    (-algi is the sign of collective plurality--the ókla of

The following gentes are _now extinct_, but still occur in war names:

    Pahósalgi; occurs in names like Pahós'-hádsho.

    Okílisa; cf. Killis-tamaha, p. 109.

    `Lá`lo-algi fish gens; `lá`lo fish, occurs in war names like
    `Lá`lo yahóla, etc.

    Tchukótalgi, perhaps consolidated with another gens; it stood in
    a close connection with the Sopáktalgi. Also pronounced Tsuχódi;
    Chief Chicote is named after it.

    Odshísalgi hickory nut gens; ō′dshi hickory nut. Some believe
    this gens represented the people of Otchísi town, p. 71.

    Oktchúnualgi salt gens; oktchúnua salt.

    Isfánalgi; seems analogous to the Ispáni phratry and gens of the

    Wá'hlakalgi; cf. Hú`li-wá'hli, town name.

    Muχlásalgi; said to mean "people of Muklása town"; cf.
    Imuklásha, under Cha'hta.

The Creek _phratries_ and their names were not fully remembered by my
informants. The only points which could be gathered were, that
individuals belonging to the panther and the wildcat gentes could not
intermarry, nor could the Tchukótalgi with the individuals of the toad
gens or Sopáktalgi. This proves that the two groups formed each a
phratry, which perhaps comprised other gentes besides. It is possible
that among the above totemic gentes some are in fact phratries and not
gentes; and the two _fires_ (or tútka) of the Creeks are not real
phratries, but formal divisions only.


Several gentes, with their families, united into _one_ town or
settlement, live under one chief, and thus constitute a _tribe_. The
tribe, as far as constituting a politic body governing itself, is
called in Creek itálua, which could also be rendered by: community or
civil district. Amitáluadshi is "my own town, where I belong,"
amitálua "my own country." Itálua also signifies _nation_. Another
term, talófa, means _town_ or _village, city_ as a collection of
houses without any reference to its inhabitants.

The executive officer of each town is the _míko_ or _chief_, formerly
called "king" by the whites. His duty is to superintend all public and
domestic concerns, to receive public characters, to listen to their
speeches, the contents of which were referred to the town, and to
"deliver the talks" of his community. The town elects him for life
from a certain gens. When he becomes sick or old he chooses an
assistant, who is subject to the approval of the counsellors and head
men. When the míko dies the next of kin in the maternal line succeeds
him, usually his nephew, if he is fit for office.

Next in authority after the míko are the míkalgi and the counsellors,
both of whom form the _council_ of the town. The council appoints the
Great Warrior, approves or rejects the nominations for a míko's
assistant, and gives advice in law, war or peace questions.

Next in authority after the council is the body of the _hinihálgi_,
old men and advisers, presided over by the híniha `láko. They are in
charge of public buildings, supervise the erection of houses for new
settlers, direct the agricultural pursuits and prepare the black
drink. They are the "masters of ceremonies," and the name híniha,
íniha, which is no longer understood by the present generation, is
said to signify "self-adorner," in the sense of "warrior embellished
with body paint." Hiniha `láko, abbreviated into Nia`láko, is now in
use as a personal name, and recalls the name of the celebrated
Seminole chief Neamáthla (híniha imá`la). In the Hitchiti towns they
were comprised among the class of the beloved men. Before the broken
days, níta χátska, they consulted about the time of the busk, and
during the busk directed the performances.

_Beloved men_ or _isti-tchákalgi_ follow next in rank after the above.
They are the men who have distinguished themselves by long public
service, especially as war leaders, and the majority of them were
advanced in age. C. Swan states that the beloved men were formerly
called míkalgi in white towns.

Then follows the common people. For the tustĕnúggi `láko or Great
Warrior, cf. "Warrior Class" and "Creek Confederacy."

Since Indian character expresses itself in the most pronounced,
self-willed independence, the power of the authorities was more of a
persuasive than of a constraining or commanding nature. This will
appear still better when we speak of the warrior class; and it may be
appropriate to remember that no man felt himself bound by decrees of a
popular assembly, by edicts of chiefs and their counsellors, or by
treaties concluded by these with alien tribes or governments. The law
exercised by the gens was more powerful than all these temporary
rulings, and, in fact, was the real motive power in the Indian

The distinction between red and white towns is not clearly remembered
now, and there are very few Creeks living who are able to tell whether
such or such a town was red or white. As soon as the agricultural
interests began to prevail over the military, through the approach of
the colonial settlements, this feature had to disappear, and the
social order also changed from the _gens_ or φύλη into that
of _civitas_. Adair, Hist., p. 159, seems inclined to identify the
white (or "ancient, holy, old beloved, peaceable towns") with the
"towns of refuge," one of which was Kúsa.


The geographic position of the Creeks in the midst of warlike and
aggressive nations was a powerful stimulant for making "invincibles"
of their male offspring. The ruling passion was that of war; second to
it was that of hunting. A peculiar incentive was the possession of
war-titles, and the rage for these was as strong among the younger men
as that for plunder among the older. The surest means of ascending the
ladder of honor was the capture of scalps from the enemy, and the
policy of the red or bloody towns was that of fostering the warlike
spirit by frequent raids and expeditions. In some towns young men were
treated as menials before they had performed some daring deeds on the
battle-field or acquired a war title.[96] To become a warrior every
young man had to pass through a severe ordeal of privations called
_fast_, púskita, from the fifteenth to the seventeenth year of his
age. This _initiation_ into manhood usually lasted from four to eight
months, but in certain rare instances could be abridged to twelve

    [Footnote 96: Milfort, Mémoire, p. 251.]

A distinction of a material, not only honorific character was the
election of a warrior to actual command as pakā′dsha or
tustĕnúggi `láko.


After the young man had passed through the hardships of his
initiation, the career of distinction stood open before him, for he
was now a tassikáya or _brave_.[97] According to Hawkins' Sketch, the
three degrees of advancement in command were as follows:

    [Footnote 97: Tassikáya, contr. taskáya, pl. taskiálgi--in
    Cha'hta táska, in Apalache taskáya, etc.]

The tassikáya, who after initiation appears qualified for actual
service in the field, and is promising, is appointed _leader_ (isti
pakā′dsha, or pakā′dsha) by the míko or chief of his town.
When he distinguishes himself, he obtains a seat in the central cabin
of the public square. When out on the warpath the leader was called
imísi, immíssi, q. v., and when initiated to the faculty of charming
the approaching enemy by physic and songs, ahopáya, q. v.

Warriors of the pakā′dsha class, who had repeatedly distinguished
themselves on expeditions, could be promoted, when a general war was
declared, to the charge of _upper leader_, isti pakā′dsha `láko,
or tustĕnúggi.

The highest distinction was that of the _great warrior_, tustĕnúggi
`láko, of whom there was one in every town. This dignitary was
appointed by the míko and his counsellors, and selected by them among
the best qualified warriors. His seat was at the western end of the
míkalgi cabin in the public square. In Milfort's time this dignitary
had become a civil _and_ military officer,[98] and nowadays his
functions are those of a civil functionary only.

    [Footnote 98: Milfort, Mémoire, p. 237: "Aujourd'hui il est le
    premier chef de la nation pour le civil et pour le militaire."]

In cases when the towns had resolved upon a general war, a leader for
all the town-tustĕnúggis was appointed in the person of a
"generalissimo," called also pakā′dsha, tustĕnúggi, or
tustĕnúggi `láko.

Among the Creeks now inhabiting the Indian Territory the nomenclature
has been altered from the above. A young man is called tassikáya after
receiving the war-title and having some employment during the busk; he
becomes tustĕnúggi after being declared as such by a vote of his
town; but in aboriginal times a young man was not called tustĕnúggi
before he had shown his bravery by the taking of at least one scalp.


War-titles are important distinctions bestowed in almost every part of
the world, for military achievements; but, to preserve their
distinctive value, are usually conferred only on a small portion of
the warriors. Among the Creeks war-names are, however, so common that
at present one is conferred upon every young man of the people.
According to the old reports, a Creek warrior of the eighteenth
century could obtain a war-title only after taking one or several
scalps, but the traditions current among the modern Creeks are silent
on this point. In earlier days many warriors had several, even four or
five of these titles (tassikáya inhotchífka), and when participants of
a war party were present in numbers at the taking of a scalp, each of
them obtained a war-title according to the report of the fight made by
the pakā′dsha on his return home. The war-titles were not always,
though most frequently, conferred upon the warriors during the busk,
or within the square.

Chief Chicote informs me, that the names in question were distributed
by the "beloved men" or ist'-atsákalgi while sitting in their cabins
or arbors on two opposite sides of the square. The ist'-atsákalgi
called out young men from the side opposite to them, and imparted one
of the five titles to be mentioned below, according to their free
choice, and simultaneously intrusted each with some office connected
with the busk. These offices consisted either in sweeping the area or
in carrying water, in building and keeping up the fire in the centre,
in setting up the medicine-pots or in helping to prepare black drink.
War-titles and busk-offices were formerly given also to such who had
never joined a war party. The use of the other name, which every man
had obtained during childhood, was prohibited within the square.

To the five war-titles below, the totem of the gens was often added,
so that, for instance, one of the yahólalgi, who offered the black
drink, could be called ítcho yahóla hádsho, or y. míko, y. fíksiko,
etc. It is said, that anciently some titles were limited to certain
clans only. The idea that advancement by degree was connected with
these titles is an erroneous inference from our own military
institutions. Although regarded as war-names at the present time, they
seem to have been mere busk-titles from the beginning, and are such
even now. In connection with ítcho _deer_, a gens name, they are as

     ítcho tassikáya _deer warrior_.

     ítcho hádsho tassikáya _deer crazy_ (foolish, mad, drunken)

     ítcho fíksiko tassikáya _deer heartless warrior_.

     ítcho yahóla tassikáya _deer hallooing warrior_.

     ítcho ima′`la tassikáya _deer (leading?) warrior_.

Other war-titles were: holá'hta tustĕnúggi, míko tustĕnúggi,
híniha, híniha `láko. Inholá'hti, plur. inholáχtagi figures in
war-titles, but stands in no connection with the busk. The appellation
of immíkagi comprehends all the men of _that_ gens from which the míko
in the town ceremonies, not the míko as a political office-holder, is
selected. The pronoun im-, in-, i- in all these names (ihinihálgi,
intastĕnaχálgi, etc.), signifies that they "belong to the míko"
of the tribal ceremonies.

War-titles should be clearly distinguished from war-names and other
names. Any of the nine appellations contained in the item above, and
any name composed with one of them, is a war-title; all others, as
_Old Red Shoe_, are simply names or war-names. Women and boys never
had but one name, and whenever a warrior had, by successive campaigns,
five or six honorific titles conferred upon him, he became generally
known by one or two of these only.

These names and war-titles are highly important for the study of Creek
ethnography, and have been already referred to in the chapter on
_gentes_. A brief list of war-names of influential men is contained in
Major C. Swan's Report, as follows:[99]

    [Footnote 99: 1791--Schoolcraft, Indians, V, 263.]

"Hallowing King (Kawíta); White Lieutenant (Okfuski); Mad Dog
(Tukabatchi míko); Opilth míko (Big Talahássi); Dog Warrior (Náktche);
Old Red Shoe (Alibamu and Koassáti). To these may be added the "dog
king," Tamhuídshi, of the Hitchiti, mentioned in the prooemium of the
legend, and "a war-leader, the son of the dog-king of the Huphale
town."[100] The Cha'hta war-titles frequently end in -ábi, -ápi:
_killer_; cf. the Creek term póyäs, tipóyäs _I kill_."

    [Footnote 100: Adair, History, p. 278.]

The Creeks often conferred war-titles on white men of note, and made
Milfort, who became a relative of the chief McGillivray by marriage,
the chief warrior of the nation. The ceremonies performed on that
occasion are described at length by himself.[101]

    [Footnote 101: Milfort, Mémoire, p. 41 sqq., 220 sqq. The
    council of the nation, assembled at Tukabatchi, conferred this
    charge on him in May 1780.]

We give a few instances of historical and recent Creek war-names and

     Abiχkúdshi míko, Hútalg'-imá`la, Kawíta tustĕnúggi, all
        members of the Creek "House of Kings."

     Ássi yahóla "the black drink hallooer;" Osceola, chief.

     Híniha `láko hupáyi "great híniha charmer," a Creek leader in
        the battle at Átasi and other engagements.

     Hopú-i hí`l'-míko "good child-chief."

     Hopú-i hí`li yahóla "handsome child yahóla"; a Creek chief.

     Hú`li 'má'hti "war-leader," a frequently occurring war-name;
        'má'hti is abbreviated from homáχti.

     Hutálgi míku "chief from wind gens;" is chief of Taskígi town.

     Ifa hádsho, or "dog warrior"; cf. Hawkins, p. 80.

     Ispahídshi, name of a headman, and usually spelt Spiechee:
        "whooping, brawling" while taking off the scalp.

     Kátsa hádsho "tiger-hádsho," a Seminole chief, erroneously
        called Tigertail.

     Kósisti, abbr. Kósti; occurs in Kósti fíksiko, etc. The
        signification is lost, but we may compare the town Acostehe,
        visited by de Soto's army in coming south from the Cheroki

     `Lawaχaíki "lying in ambush; creeping up clandestinely."

     Míko imá`la "chief leader."

     Núkusi íli tchápko "long-footed bear," war-name of S. B.
        Callahan, Creek delegate to the United States Government.

     Sutak'háχki "men fighting in a line."

     Tálua fíksiko "heartless town;" presently judge of the
        Wiwúχka district, I. T.

     Tassikáya míku "chief warrior;" president House of Kings.

     Uχtáha-sasi hádsho "sandy-place hádsho;" chief.

     Wáksi, Cha'hta term referring to the drawing up of the prepuce.
        Occurs in Wáksi holá'hta and other Creek titles, perhaps
        also in the tribal name of the Waxsaws on Santee river, S.
        C., and in Waxahatchi, town in Alabama. The name conveyed
        the idea of a low, unmanly behavior, but had no obscene
        meaning. Other nations regard epithets like these (ὰπελλαι,
        _verpi_) as highly injurious, and load their enemies with
        them, as the Tchiglit-Inuit do the Tinné Indians of the
        interior: taordshioit, ortcho-todsho-eitut.[102]

    [Footnote 102: E. Petitot, Tchiglit, preface p. xi.]


A few notes on the war-customs of the Creeks, which resembled those of
most Southern tribes, may be useful for shedding light on the early
migrations of the people and upon the tactics observed in their

The principal motive for Indian wars being the conquest of scalps,
slaves, plunder and hunting grounds, the Creeks, conscious of their
great power, were not very particular in finding causes for warfare,
and did not even advance specious reasons for declaring war. Thus,
Adair gives as the true cause of a long war between the Creeks and
Cheroki, the killing and scalping of two Chicasa hunters by a Shawano
"brave." This man took refuge among the Cheroki people, and war was
declared to them by the Creeks, because they then had concluded a war
alliance with the Chicasa (History, p. 278).

It is rather improbable that a declaration of war always preceded the
attack, for the advance into the hostile territory was made
clandestinely[103]; but the resolution of starting upon the warpath
was heralded in the towns with great ceremonies. Of these we shall
speak under the heading: Confederacy.

    [Footnote 103: The Timucua of Florida declared war by sticking
    up arrows in the ground around the town or camp of the enemy on
    the evening before the attack (René de Laudonnière, "Histoire

The Creeks of old were in the habit of carrying on their warfare
chiefly in small bodies, like other Indian tribes. Small commands are
better enabled to surprise the enemy or his camps in clandestine or
night attacks, or to cut off hostile warriors, than large ones. There
are instances that the Creeks formed war-parties of four men only.
Their leader was then styled imísi, immíssi or "the one carrying it
for them," this term referring to the battle-charm or war-physic.
War-parties of forty to sixty men are mentioned also.

When warriors started for the "field of honor" in larger or smaller
bodies, they were led by a commander (pakā′dsha) who
simultaneously was an ahopáya or hopáya, "_charmer at a distance_."
Men of this order had, like other warriors, to undergo, while quite
young, a severe course of initiation into manhood, which also
comprised instructions in herb-physicking. To become initiated they
camped away from other people, and had for their only companion the
old conjuror, who for four months initiated them and taught them the
incantations intended to act as charms upon the enemy. To begin with,
a fast of either four or eight days and the eating of certain bitter
weeds was prescribed, to purify the system and to prepare the youth
for a ready comprehension of the objects of tuition. The whole process
was sometimes repeated for another four months, in the spring of the
year following, and differed in every town. The knowledge thus
acquired, it was believed, imparted to the person a full conjuring
power and charmer's influence over the antagonist, and enabled him to
conquer the hostile warriors at a distance (hupá-i) and before
reaching them, or to make them come near enough for easy capture.

When the Great Warrior started on the warpath he gave notice to the
participants where he would strike camp that night, and then set out,
sometimes with one or two men only. A war-whoop and the discharge of
his gun were the signals of his departure, and were responded to by
his followers by acting in the same manner. The other warriors took
their time, and went to rejoin him one or two days after. A man taking
part in a war-expedition was called hú`li-á`la.

A war party always proceeded in Indian file, each man stepping into
the footprints of the foregoing, to prevent the enemy from knowing
their number. This explains also the episode of the legend referring
to the tracks lost in the bottom of the river, q. v.[104] The tracks,
footprints, strokes of hatchets visible on the bark of trees, etc.,
differed in every American tribe. Among the Creeks the last man in the
file often sought to cover the tracks by placing grass upon them. A
considerable force of scouts hovered around the marching file, to
prevent surprises; the leader marched at the head of the file.

    [Footnote 104: Milfort, Mém., p. 217. 218. Walking through
    watercourses necessarily destroyed all vestiges of a marching
    body of warriors.]

The attack was made in true Indian and savage fashion, before
daybreak. The warriors crept up as silently as possible, tried to dart
their missiles from secret spots, and never exposed their bodies to
the enemy when they could cover them by some eminence or rock, tree or
bush. The leader took a position in the rear. The Chicasa Indians
continually taunted the colonial troops upon the fearless but useless
exposure of their men to the battle-fire of the wary Indian braves.
Milfort relates that his men fought nude, because they had noticed
that the fragments of clothing entering the body with the point of the
missile rendered the wound much more dangerous than the missile

When making prisoners the Creeks habitually spared only the lives of
children, killing mercilessly the adult males and females. They even
burnt many of them at the stake, and Milfort claims that this barbaric
custom was abandoned only through his influence (Mém., pp. 219-220).

The food on which they subsisted, on their expeditions, was pounded
maize, contained in a small bag, which they carried upon their bodies.

The encampments for the night (hápu) were round-shaped, every man
lying in contiguity to another in a circle, and leaving only a small
issue, which was guarded by the commander. After the commander's
signal no one was allowed to move from his place. The same order was
observed when the army halted during the day, and the same arrangement
is conspicuous in the campings of the Southern Dakota tribes, as Iowa,
Ponka, Ugáχpa, etc.

A graphic description of southern war-camps is found in B. Romans,
Florida, p. 65: "A Choctaw war-camp is circular, with a fire in the
centre, and each man has a crutched branch at his head to hang his
powder and shot upon and to set his gun against, and the feet of all
to the fire; a Cherokee war-camp is a long line of fire, against which
they also lay their feet. A Choctaw makes his camp, in traveling, in
form of a sugar loaf; a Chicasa makes it in form of our arbours; a
Creek like to our sheds or piazzas, to a timber-house." The Creek
war-camps in the woods were constructed in such a manner that the
exact number of the party could at once be ascertained.[105]

    [Footnote 105: Swan, in Schoolcraft V, 280.]

After their return the warriors placed the scalps in the public
square, or divided them among their acquaintances. Anciently the
privilege of raising the scalp-pole (itu tcháti) belonged to two
tribes only, the Kasíχta and the Kawíta.[106] The cause for this is
shown in our half-mythic migration legend. The tradition that the
custom of scalping was but recently imported among the Creeks from the
Northern Indians was manufactured for a purpose, and invented by many
other tribes also, to appear more human in the eyes of the white
settlers. Scalping and the drying of scalps had been observed in
Florida as early as 1564 by René de Laudonnière.

    [Footnote 106: Cf. Hu`li-Wá'hli, and the _name_ of this town.]


The Creek confederacy, or "league of the Muscogulgee" was a purely
political organization connecting the various and disparate elements,
which composed it, for common action against external aggression. It
had no direct influence on the _social_ organization of the tribes,
and the most appropriate term for this, and other Indian confederacies
as well, is that of war-confederacy, war-league or symmachy. In Creek
the Maskoki confederacy is called ísti Maskóki imitihalátka.

To call this _loose assemblage_ of towns and tribes a military
democracy, in the sense that the majority of the votes decided a
question brought before the people in a manner that was binding for
the citizens, is entirely wrong and misleading, for Indians regard
their actions subject to their own decisions only, or, at the utmost,
to those of their individual _gens_. Every Creek town or individual
could go on the warpath or stay at home, in spite of any wish or
decree issued by the chiefs or assembled warriors. The young warriors,
anxious to obtain fame and war-titles, joined the war-parties on the
call of a leader. In questions of war unanimity was seldom attained in
the council of a town, much less in the whole nation; "it is not
recollected by the oldest man, that more than one-half of the nation
went to war at the same time or 'took the war-talk.'"

"When the míko and his councillors are of opinion that the town has
been injured, the Great Warrior lifts the war-hatchet, átăsi,
against the offending nation. But as soon as it is taken up, the míko
and his council may interpose, and by their prudent counsels stop it,
and proceed to adjust the misunderstanding by negotiation. If the
Great Warrior persists and 'goes out,' he is followed by all who are
for war."

These words, quoted from the "Sketch" of the United States agent, B.
Hawkins, plainly show, that the _initiative_ for war rested with the
civil authority, and not with the military. But it is possible that
Hawkins speaks of white or peace-towns only, and not of the red towns
(p. 72). He continues as follows:

"Peace is always determined on and concluded by the míko and
councillors, and peace-talks are always addressed to the cabin of the
míko. In some cases, where the resentment of the warriors has run
high, the míko and council have been much embarrassed."

All this proves that every town had the privilege to begin warfare for
itself, independent of the confederacy, provided that the civil
government consented to the undertaking. This fact plainly shows the
perfect independence of the Indian tribe from the war-confederacy, and
forms a striking contrast to our ideas of a centralized state power.
In some instances the Creek towns left their defensive position to act
on the offensive principle, but they were not sustained then by the
Maskoki confederacy.

The chief of the confederacy had to advise only, and not to command;
he was of influence only when endowed with superior talent and
political ability. The chief and principal warriors had annual
meetings in the public square of some central town, on public affairs;
they drank ássi, exchanged tobacco, and then proceeded to debate. Time
and place of these conventions were fixed by a chief, and the space of
time between warning and that of assembly was called "broken days."
Major C. Swan, after whose report this passage is quoted (Schoolcraft
V, 279) states that the title of the chief of the confederacy was the
_great beloved man_, while Milfort, who was himself invested with the
charge of great warrior of the nation, styles him "Le Tastanégy ou
grand chef de guerre," adding, however, that in his time he was the
highest authority in _civil and military_ affairs (Mémoire, Note to p.
237). The English, French and Spaniards frequently called him the
_Emperor_ of the Upper and Lower Creeks, a term which is not entirely
misapplied when taken in its original sense of "military commander,"
the _imperator_ of the Romans.

At a later period the meeting of the confederacy usually took place at
Tukabatchi, which had become the largest community. From the above it
results, however, that the Creeks had no _capital_ town in the sense
as we use this term. Col. B. Hawkins, who attempted to introduce some
unity among the towns for the purpose of facilitating the transaction
of business of the nation, and their intercourse with the United
States Government, proposed various measures, as the classing of the
towns into nine districts; these were adopted at Tukabatchi by the
chiefs of the nation, on November 27th, 1799.[107]

    [Footnote 107: Cf. his Sketch, pp. 51. 52. 67. 68.]

The small degree of respect which the Creek towns paid to
international treaties (sitimfátchita) or other solemn engagements
made with the whites, as sales of territory, etc., is another proof
for the looseness of the "powerful Creek confederacy." After giving a
list of six influential headmen of different towns, Major C. Swan
declares that a treaty made with these chiefs would probably be
communicated to all the people of the country, and be believed and
relied upon (Schoolcraft V, 263). Subsequent events have shown this to
be founded on a misapprehension of the Indian character, which is that
of the most outspoken individuality.

Major C. Swan, who only traveled through the country to leave it
again, makes the following interesting statement concerning the
political and social status of the disparate tribes composing the
Creek confederacy (1791; in Schoolcraft V, 259. 260):

"Their numbers have increased faster by the acquisition of foreign
subjects than by the increase of the original stock. It appears long
to have been a maxim of their policy to give equal liberty and
protection to tribes conquered by themselves, as well as to those
vanquished by others, although many individuals taken in war are
slaves among them, and their children are called of the slave race,
and cannot arrive to much honorary distinction in the country, on that


All the Creek _towns_, viz., the more populous settlements, had laid
out a square-shaped piece of ground in or near their central part. It
contained the only public buildings of the town, the great house and
the council-house, and, as an appurtenance, the play-ground. The
square was the focus of the public and social life of the town; its
present Creek name, intchúka `láko, is taken from the "great house" as
its principal portion.

From the eighteenth century we possess three descriptions of the
square and the ceremonies enacted in it, which are entering into
copious details; that of W. Bartram, describing the square of Átasi
town (about 1775); that of C. Swan, describing that of Odshi-apófa, or
the Hickory Ground (1791), and last, but not least, the description of
the square at Kawíta, by B. Hawkins (1799). All the towns differed
somewhat in the structure of the great house and of the council-house,
but in the subsequent sketch we shall chiefly dwell upon those points
in which they all seem to agree. Public squares still exist at the
present time in some of the pure-blood towns of the Creek nation,
Indian Territory, and the busk, in its ancient, though slightly
modified form, is annually celebrated in them. The ground-plan of the
square at the Hickory Ground is represented in Schoolcraft's Indians
V, 264.

Of other buildings destined for public use I have found no mention,
except of granaries or corn-cribs, which were under the supervision of
the míko.

The _great house_, tchúku `láko, also called "town-house," "public
square," like the square in the midst of which it was placed, was
formed by four one-story buildings of equal size, facing inward, and
enclosing a square area of about thirty feet on each side.[108] They
were generally made to face the east, west, north and south.

    [Footnote 108: Hawkins says: Forty by sixteen feet, eight feet
    pitch, the entrance at each corner (p. 68).]

These buildings, which had the appearance of sheds, consisted of a
wooden frame, supported on posts set in the ground and covered with
slabs. They were made of the same material as their dwelling houses,
but differed by having the front facing the square open, and the walls
of the back sides had an open space of two feet or more next to the
eaves, to admit a circulation of air. Each house was divided into
three apartments, separated by low partitions of clay, making a total
of twelve partitions. These apartments, called cabins (tópa) had
three[109] seats, or rather platforms, being broad enough to sleep
upon; the first of them was about two feet from the ground, the second
eight feet above the first, and the third or back seat eight feet
above the second. Over the whole of these seats was spread a covering
of cane-mats, as large as carpets. They were provided with new
coverings every year, just before the busk; and since the old covers
were not removed, they had in the majority of the squares eight to
twelve coverings, laid one above the other. Milfort states that each
cabin could seat from forty to sixty persons (Mémoire, p. 203).

    [Footnote 109: Hawkins: two seats.]

Caleb Swan, who, in his above description of the cabins in the square,
copied the original seen at Odshi-apófa or Little Talassie, where he
stopped, differs in several particulars, especially in the allotment
of the cabins to the authorities, from Hawkins, who resided in Kawíta.
Swan assigns the eastern building to the beloved men, the southern to
the warriors, the northern to the second men, etc., while the western
building served for keeping the apparatus for cooking black drink, war
physic, and to store lumber. According to Hawkins, the western
building, fronting east, contained the míkos and high-ranked people;
the northern building was the warriors'; the southern that of the
beloved men, and the eastern that of the young people and their
associates. "The cabin of the great chief faces east," says Milfort,
p. 203, "to indicate that he has to watch the interests of his nation
continually." The three cabins of the míkalgi or old men, facing west,
are the only ones painted white, and are always ornamented with
guirlands (at Kawíta). On the post, or on a plank over each cabin, are
painted the emblems of the gens to which it is allotted; thus the
buffalo gens have the buffalo painted on it.

From the roofs were dangling on the inside heterogeneous emblems of
peace and trophies of war, as eagles' feathers, swans' wings, wooden
scalping knives, war clubs, red-painted wands, bunches of hoops on
which to dry their scalps, bundles of a war-physic called snake-root
(_sínika_ in Cheroki), baskets, etc. Rude paintings of warriors' heads
with horns, horned rattlesnakes, horned alligators, etc., were visible
upon the smooth posts and timbers supporting the great house. In the
"painted squares" of some of the red or war-towns the posts and smooth
timber were painted red, with white or black edges, this being
considered as a mark of high distinction. Other privileged towns
possessed a covered square, by which term is meant a bridging over of
the entrance spaces left between the four buildings by means of canes
laid on poles.

In the centre of the area of the "great house" a perpetual fire was
burning, fed by four logs, and kept up by public ministrants
especially appointed for the purpose. The inside area is called
impaskófa, "dedicated ground."

The "square" was hung over with green boughs, in sign of mourning,
when a man died in the town; no black drink was then taken for four
days. When an Indian was killed who belonged to a town which had a
square, black drink had to be taken on the outside of the square, and
every ceremony was suspended until the outrage was atoned for. To each
great house belonged a black drink cook, and from the young warriors
two or three men were appointed to attend to those who took this
liquid every morning; they called the townspeople to this ceremony by
beating drums (C. Swan).

After the close of their council-meeting in the council-house, the
míko, his councillors and warriors repaired to the chief's cabin in
the "great house." They met there every day, drank the ássi or black
drink, continued deliberations on public and domestic affairs,
attended to complaints and redressed them; then conversed about news
while smoking, or amused themselves at playing "roll the bullet" in a
sort of ten-pin alley. The name of this game is `li-i tchallítchka.
Bartram, p. 453, states that the chief's cabin at Átasi was of a
different construction from the three other buildings.

But besides being the central point of the town for all meetings of a
public character, the great house was the festive place for the annual
busk and the daily dance; it occasionally served as a sleeping place
for Indians passing through the town on their travels. The special
locations allotted to the persons in authority and the gentes on the
cabin-sheds are described under the heading: The annual busk.

The _council-house_ or tchukófa `láko stood on a circular mound or
eminence, in close contiguity to the northeast corner of the "great
house." It is variously called by travelers: hot-house, sudatory,
assembly-room, winter council-house, mountain-house,[110] or, from its
circular shape, rotunda. Its appearance is generally described as that
of a huge cone placed on an octagonal frame about twelve feet high,
and covered with tufts of bark. Its diameter was from twenty-five to
thirty feet, and in the larger towns the building could accommodate
many hundred persons.[111] Its perpendicular walls were made of thick
posts, daubed with clay on the outside. Contiguous to the walls, one
broad circular seat, made of cane-mats, was going around the structure
on the inside, and in the centre the fire was burning on a small
elevation of the ground. The fuel consisted of dry cane or dry pine
slabs split fine; and, as if it were to give a concrete image of the
warming rays of the sun, these split canes were disposed in a spiral
line which exhibited several revolutions around the centre. No opening
was provided for the escape of the smoke or the admission of fresh
air, and the building soon became intolerably hot; but at dance-feasts
the natives danced around the fire in the terrible heat and dust,
without the least apparent inconvenience.[112]

    [Footnote 110: Adair, History, p. 421.]

    [Footnote 111: Hawkins, Sketch, p. 71, Bartram, Travels, p. 448

    [Footnote 112: Bartram states that the Creek rotundas were of
    the same architecture as those of the Cheroki, but of much
    larger dimensions: Travels, p. 449.]

The council-house served, to some extent, the same purposes as the
"great house," but was more resorted to in the inclement season than
in summer. Every night during winter the old and young visited it for
conversation or dance, and in very cold weather the old and destitute
went there to sleep. In all seasons it was the assembly-room of the
míko and his counsellors for deliberations of a private character;
there they decided upon punishments to be inflicted, as whipping etc.,
and entrusted the Great Warrior with the execution of the sentences.
Previous to a war-expedition the young men visited the hot-house for
four days, prepared and drank their war-physic, and sang their war-
and charm-songs under the leadership of conjurers.[113] Milfort was
installed into the charge of "Great Warrior of the Nation" in the
Kawíta council-house by solemn orations, the smoking of the pipe, the
drinking of the ássi-decoct and other ceremonies,[114] and then
conducted to the "great house."

    [Footnote 113: Hawkins, Sketch, p. 79.]

    [Footnote 114: Milfort, Mémoire, p. 211.]

When the natives gathered in this structure for sweating, either for
promoting their health or as a religious ceremony, they developed
steam by throwing water on heated stones, then danced around the fire,
and went to plunge into the chilling waves of the river flowing past
their town.

The _play-ground_ occupied the northwestern angle of the public
square, and formed an oblong segment of it, of rather irregular shape.
It was made distinct from the rest of the square by one or two low
embankments or terraces; in its centre stood, on a low circular mound,
a four-sided pole or pillar, sometimes forty feet high. A mark
fastened on its top served at appointed times as a target to shoot at
with rifles or arrows. Around the pole the floor of the yard was
beaten solid.

The play-ground, tă′dshu in Creek, was called by the white
traders chunkey-yard, chunk-yard, from the principal game played in
it. This game, the chunkey- or tchungke-game, consisted in throwing a
pole after the _chunke_, a rounded stone which was set rolling upon
its edge. Cf. Adair, Hist., p. 401. 402. There was also a sort of ball
play in use among the Creeks and many other Indian tribes, by which a
ball (púku) was aimed at an object suspended on the top of a high
pole, or, as it is played now, at the top of two twin poles (puk-ábi),
called sometimes "maypoles." In summer time dances were also performed
in this yard, and Bartram saw "at the corner of each farther end a
slave-post or strong stake, where the captives that are burnt alive
are bound."[115]

    [Footnote 115: Travels, p. 518.]


The solemn annual festival held by the Creek people of ancient and
modern days is the púskita, a word now passed into provincial English
(busk); its real meaning is that of _a fast_. In the more important
towns it lasted eight days; in towns of minor note four days only, and
its celebration differed in each town in some particulars. The day on
which to begin it was fixed by the míko and his council, and depended
on the maturity of the maize crop and on various other circumstances.
Its celebration took place mainly in the "great house" of the public
square, and from Hawkins' description, who saw it celebrated in
Kasiχta,[116] we extract the following particulars:

    [Footnote 116: Remember well that Kasiχta is a _white_ or
    _peace town_.]

In the morning of the _first day_ the warriors clean the area of the
great house and sprinkle it with _white_ sand, at the time when the
black drink is being prepared. The fire in the centre is made by
friction, very early in the day, by a ministrant especially appointed
for the purpose, called the fire-maker. Four logs, as long as the span
of both arms, are brought to the centre of the area by the warriors,
and laid down end to end, so as to form a cross. Each end of this
cross points to one of the cardinal points of the compass. At the spot
where the logs converge, the new fire is kindled and the logs are
consumed during the first four days of the púskita. The women of the
turkey gens dance the turkey-dance, pínua opánga, while the powerful
emetic pā′ssa is being brewed. It is drank from noon to
mid-afternoon, after which the tadpole-dance, tokiúlka opánga, is
danced by four males and four females, who are called the tokiúlka or
_tadpoles_. In the evening the men dance the dance of the híniha:
híniha opánga, and continue it till daylight.

The _second day_ begins with the performance of the gun-dance, ítch'ha
opánga, danced by females about ten o'clock in the forenoon.[117] At
noon the men approach the new fire, rub some of its ashes on the chin,
neck and belly, jump head foremost into the river, and then return to
the great house. Meanwhile the females prepare the new maize for the
feast, and the men on arriving rub some of it between their hands,
then on their face and breast, after which feasting begins.

    [Footnote 117: The dance is called so, because the men fire off
    guns during its performance; another name for this dance is
    tapútska opánga; cf. tapodshídshās _I am shooting_.]

The _third day_ the men pass by sitting in the square.

On the _fourth day_ the women rise early to obtain a spark of the new
fire; they bring it to their own hearths, which were previously
cleaned and sprinkled with sand, and then kindle their fires on them.
When the first four logs are consumed, the men repeat the ceremony of
rubbing the ashes on their chin, neck and belly, and then plunge into
water. Subsequently they taste salt and dance the long dance, opánga

The _fifth day_ is devoted to the bringing in of four other logs,
which are disposed and kindled as aforementioned, and then the men
drink ássi.

On the _sixth_ and _seventh day_ the men remain in the "great house."

The ceremonies of the _eighth_ or _last day_ in the square and outside
of it are of a peculiarly impressive character. Fourteen species of
physic plants are placed in two pots containing water, then stirred
and beaten up in it. After the aliktchálgi or conjurers have blown
into the mixture through a small reed, the men drink of the liquid and
rub it over their joints till afternoon. The names of the medical
plants were as follows:

     1. míko huyanī′tcha.

     2. tóla or sweet bay.

     3. atchína or cedar (the leaves of it).

     4. kapapáska, a shrub with red berries.

     5. tchul'-íssa; signifies: "pine-leaves."

     6. aták`la lásti, a shrub with black berries.

     7. tútka hílissua, the "fire-physic."

     8. tchúfi insákka áfaga, "rabbit-basket-string," a vine-like
        plant resembling the strawberry plant.

     9. tchúfi mási, a species of cane.

     10. hílissua hátki, the "white physic"; abbrev. hílis'-hátki.

     11. tútka tchókishi, a moss species.

     12. u-i láni, "yellow water": the Jerusalem oak.

     13. oktchanátchku, a rock-moss.

     14. kóha lowági "switch cane, limber cane."

To these plants the modern Creeks add, as a fifteenth one, the
pā′ssa; cf. below.

Then another singular mixture is prepared, of which the ingredients
must have been of symbolic significance: Old maize cobs and pine burs
are placed in a pot and burned to ashes. Four girls below the age of
puberty bring ashes from home, put them in the pot, and stir up all
together, after which the men mix white clay with water in two pans.
One pan of the wet clay and another of the ashes are brought to the
míko's cabin, the other two to that of the warriors, who rub
themselves with the contents of both. Two men appointed to that office
then bring flowers of "old man's tobacco," ísti atchúli pákpagi,
prepared on the first day of the busk, in a pan to the míko's cabin,
and a particle of it is given to every person present. Upon this the
míko and his councillors walk four times around the burning logs,
throwing some of the "old man's tobacco" into the fire each time they
face the east, and then stop while facing the west. The warriors then
repeat the same ceremony.

At the míko's cabin a cane having two white feathers on its end is
stuck out. At the moment when the sun sets, a man of the fish gens
takes it down, and walks, followed by all spectators, toward the
river. Having gone half way, he utters the death-whoop, and repeats it
four times before he reaches the water's edge. After the crowd has
thickly congregated at the bank, each person places a grain of "old
man's tobacco" on the head and others in each ear. Then, at a signal
repeated four times, they throw some of it into the river, and every
man, at a like signal, plunges into the water, to pick up four stones
from the bottom. With these they cross themselves on their breasts
four times, each time throwing one of the stones back into the river
and uttering the death-whoop. Then they wash themselves, take up the
cane with the feathers, return to the great house, where they stick it
up, then walk through the town visiting.

The mad dance, opánga hádsho, is performed after night-fall, and this
terminates the long ceremony.

The celebration of the púskita had a favorable influence upon the
minds of the people, for it was a signal of amnesty, absolving the
Indian of all crimes, murder excepted, and seemed to bury guilt itself
in oblivion. All former quarrels and hatred were forgotten and man
restored to himself and to the community. Indians renewing past
quarrels after this solemn festival, were severely reprimanded by
others. This change of mind was symbolized by the custom of the women
of breaking to pieces all the household utensils of the past year, and
replacing them by new ones; the men refitted all their property so as
to look new, and it was considered extremely disgraceful, even for the
most indigent, to eat any of the new maize before the annual busk
(Sketch, pp. 75-78).[118]

    [Footnote 118: For further particulars of the medicine-plants,
    see the items in the Notes and in the Creek Glossary.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing sketch would be incomplete without the addition of
another account of a four days' puskita, which C. Swan witnessed at
Odshi-apófa, near the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers;
it explains and amplifies many of the incidents related by Hawkins.

The account inserted in Swan's article (Schoolcraft, Indians V, 267.
268) is signed "Anthony Alex. M'Gillivray," who was then a chief of
the nation, and related by marriage to Milfort. We gather from his
statements, that at Odshi-apófa or "Hickory Ground," which is a
_white_ town also, the "priest, or fire-maker of the town" had the
privilege of determining the days of the busk, and that in doing so he
was led by the ripening of the maize-crop and by the growth of the
cassine-shrub. At the break of the _first_ day he went to the square,
unattended by others, dressed in _white_ leather moccasins and
stockings, with a _white_ dressed deer-skin over his shoulders, and
produced there the new fire, by the friction of two dry pieces of
wood. When the spark was blazing up, four young men entered the area
at the openings of its four corners, each holding a stick of wood;
they approached the new fire with high reverence, and placed the ends
of their sticks to it "in a very formal manner." Then four other young
men came forward in the same manner, each holding an ear of the
newly-ripened Indian corn, which the conjurer took from them and with
formalities threw into the fire. Then four other men entered the
square in the same manner, carrying branches of the new cassine, some
of which the priest threw into the fire, the rest being immediately
parched and cooked for ceremonial use. The mysterious jargon which he
muttered during this ceremonial act was supposed to form a
conversation with the great "master of breath."

The male population having in the meantime gathered in the cabins, the
prepared black drink is served to them, and sparks of the new fire are
carried and left outside the buildings for public use. The women bring
it to their homes, which they have cleaned and decorated the day
before for the occasion by extinguishing the old fires and removing
their ashes throughout the town. They are forbidden to step into the
square, but dance with the children on its outside. On the _second_
day the men take their war-physic, a decoction of the button-snake
root, in such quantities as would produce strong spasmodic effects.
The _third_ day is spent by the older men in the square, in taking
black drink, etc., by the young men in hunting or fishing for the last
day of the festival. The females pass the first three days in bathing,
and it is unlawful for the males to touch any of them even with the
tip of the finger. Both sexes are compelled to abstain rigidly from
any food, especially from _salt_. The _fourth_ day all classes
congregate in the "great house" promiscuously; the game killed on the
previous day is given to the public, and the women are cooking the
provisions brought in from all sides, over the new fire. After this
convivial day the evening dances conclude the annual festivity. Any
provisions left over are given to the "fire-maker."

Less circumstantial descriptions of this curious ceremony, which is
frequently called from analogy the "green corn dance," are contained
in Adair's History, Argument VIII, in Bartram, Travels, pp. 507. 508,
in Milfort and many other writers. It appears from all that the busk
is not a solstitial celebration, but a rejoicing over the first fruits
of the year. The new year begins with the busk, which is celebrated in
August or late in July. Every town celebrated its busk at a period
independent from that of the other towns, whenever their crops had
come to maturity.

Religious ideas were connected with the festival, for the benefits
imparted to mankind by the new fruits were the gifts of the sun, which
was symbolized by the fire burning in the centre of the square. The
new fire meant the new life, physical and moral, which had to begin
with the new year. Everything had to be new or renewed; even the
garments worn heretofore were given to the flames. The pardon granted
to offenders gave them a chance to begin a new and better course of
life. It was unlawful to pass between the fire in the area and the
rising sun, for this would have interrupted the mystic communication
existing between the two. The rigorous fasting observed also fitted
the people to prepare for a new moral life, and made them more
receptive for the supernatural; the convivial scene which closed the
busk typified the idea that all men, whether low or high, are born
brethren. The black drink was the symbol of purification from
wickedness, of prowess in war and of friendship and hospitality.

Although the ritual of the busk differed in every Creek tribe, many
analogies can be traced with well-known customs among the Aztec and
Maya nations, whose "unlucky five days" at the year's close equally
terminated with rejoicings, as the precursors of a new life.


Abundant material for the study of ethnography is on hand for the
earlier and later periods of the Creek nation; but here we have to
restrict ourselves to some points which are especially adapted to the
illustration of the migration legends. The relation of husband to wife
and family being the foundation of all tribal, social and political
life, should certainly be treated as fully as it deserves, but in this
context only incident notes can be given on this subject.

_Condition of Females._--Although succession among all Maskoki tribes
was in the female line, the females occupied a subordinate condition
among the Creeks, and in their households were subjected, like those
of other Indians, to a life of drudgery. Divorces were of frequent

On the first days of the busk females were not permitted to enter the
area of the square, nor were they admitted to the council-house
whenever the men were sitting in council or attending to the
conjurer's performances. The women were assigned a bathing place in
the river-currents at some distance below the men. It is also stated
that a woman had the privilege of killing her offspring during the
first lunation after the birth, but when she did so after that term
she was put to death herself.[119] This may have been the practice in
a few Creek tribes, but it is doubtful that such was the general law
in all, except in regard to illegitimate offspring.

    [Footnote 119: Milfort, Mém., p. 251.]

The occupations of Creek women are described by Cpt. B. Romans, p. 96
(1775), in the following succinct form:

"The women are employed, besides the cultivation of the earth, in
dressing the victuals, preparing, scraping, braining, rubbing and
smoaking the Roe-skins, making macksens of them, spinning buffaloe
wool, making salt, preparing cassine drink, drying the _chamærops_ and
_passiflora_, making cold flour for traveling, gathering nuts and
making their milk; likewise in making baskets, brooms, pots, bowls and
other earthen and wooden vessels."

_Initiation._--Indian parents bring up their children in a manner
which better deserves the name of training than that of education.
They think children become best fitted for future life when they can,
for a certain period of their ages, roam around at will and act at
their own pleasure. They do not reprobate or punish them for any
wanton act they may commit; hence the licentiousness of both sexes up
to the time of marriage, and the comparative want of discipline among
warriors on their expeditions. But the boys were taught to harden
their constitutions against the inclemencies of the seasons and the
privations in war, and this result they most successfully attained by
the so-called _initiation_, and also by continued bodily exercise
before and after that solemn period of their lives. B. Romans (1775)
sketches the training of the Creek youths in the following words (p.
96): "Creeks make the boys swim in the coldest weather; make them
frequently undergo scratching from head to foot, through the skin,
with broken glass or gar-fish teeth[120], so as to make them all in a
gore of blood, and then wash them with cold water; this is with them
the _arcanum_ against all diseases; but when they design it as a
punishment to the boys, they dry-scratch them, _i. e._, they apply no
water after the operation, which renders it very painful. They
endeavor ... to teach them all manner of cruelty toward brutes," etc.

    [Footnote 120: Also practiced once a year upon the Shetimasha
    warriors, on their knee-joints, by men expressly appointed to
    this manipulation.]

This sort of treatment must have been abundantly productive of
rheumatism and other affections, though we have many instances of
Creek Indians reaching a high age. Of the _initiation_ which the Creek
boys underwent before attaining their seventeenth year, B. Hawkins
gives a full and circumstantial account, which shows that
superstitions had entered into the customs of private life of the
Creeks as deeply as they had into those of other Indian tribes.

The ceremony of initiating youth into manhood, says B. Hawkins[121],
is usually performed at the age from fifteen to seventeen, and is
called puskita (_fasting_), like the busk of the nation. A youth of
the proper age gathers two handfuls of the sowátchko plant, which
intoxicates and maddens, and eats this very bitter root for a whole
day, after which he steeps the leaves in water and drinks from this.
After sunset he eats two or three spoonfuls of boiled grits.[122] He
remains in a house for four days, during which the above performances
are repeated. Putting on a new pair of moccasins (stillipaíχa), he
leaves the cabin, and during twelve moons abstains from eating the
meat of young bucks, of turkey-cocks, fowls, peas and salt, and is
also forbidden to pick his ears and to scratch his head with his
fingers, but must use a small splinter to perform these operations.
Boiled grits--the only food allowed to him during the first four
moons--may be cooked for him by a little girl, but on a fire kindled
especially for his own use. From the fifth month any person may cook
for him, but he has to serve himself first, using one pan and spoon
only. Every new moon he drinks the pā′ssa or button-snake root,
an emetic, for four days, and takes no food except some boiled grits,
húmpita hátki, in the evening. At the commencement of the twelfth
lunation he performs for four days the same rites as he did at the
beginning of the initiation, but on the fifth he leaves the cabin,
gathers maize-cobs, burns them to ashes, and with these rubs his whole
body. At the end of the moon he elicits transpiration by sleeping
under blankets, then goes into cold water, an act which ends the
ceremony. The herb medicines are administered to him by the ísti
pakā′dsha `láko or "great leader," who, when speaking of him,
says: pusidshedshē′yi sanatchumitchä′tchä-is,[123] "I am
passing him through the physicking process repeatedly," or: náki
omálga imaki`lä′dshäyi sá`lit ómäs, tchí, "I am teaching him all the
matters proper for him to think of." If he has a dream during this
course of initiation, he has to drink from the pā′ssa, and dares
not touch any persons, save boys who are under a like course. This
course is sometimes shortened to a few months, even to twelve days
only, but the performances are the same.

    [Footnote 121: Sketch of the Creek Country, pp. 78. 79.]

    [Footnote 122: Maize pounded into grits.]

    [Footnote 123: Slightly altered from the words given by Hawkins.]

The purpose of the initiation of boys, corresponding to the
first-menstruation rites of females, was the spiritual as well as the
physical strengthening of the individual. While the physical exposures
and privations were thought to render him strong in body and fearless
in battle, the dreams coming upon him, in consequence of the
exhaustion by hunger and maddening by all sorts of physic, were
supposed to furnish him visions, which would reveal to him enchanting
views for future life, material riches and the ways to acquire them,
the principles of bravery and persistence, the modes of charming
enemies and game at a distance, of obtaining scalps, and prospects of
general happiness and of a respected position in his tribe.[124]

    [Footnote 124: Cf. what is said of the initiation of the ahopáyi
    and imísi, pp. 159. 165.]

_Commemorative Beads._--To perpetuate the memory of historical facts,
as epidemics, tribal wars, migrations, the Creeks possessed the
pictorial or ideographic writing, the material generally used for it
being tanned skins. Besides this, which was common to the majority of
Indian tribes of North America, Milfort (pp. 47-49) mentions another
mode of transmitting facts to posterity, which shows a certain analogy
with the wampum-belts of the Iroquois and Algonkin tribes.

It consisted of strings of small beads, in shape of a narrow ribbon
(_banderole_) or rosary (_chapelet_). The beads are described as being
similar to those called _Cayenne pearls_ in Milfort's time, varying in
color, the grains being strung up one after the other. The
signification of each bead was determined by its shape and the
position it occupied in its order of sequence. Only the principal
events were recorded by these beads, and without any historic detail;
hence a single string often sufficed to recall the history of twenty
or twenty-five years. The events of each year were kept strictly
distinct from the events of any subsequent year by a certain
arrangement of the grains, and thus the strings proved reliable
documents as to the chronology of tribal events. The oldest of the
míkalgi (_les chefs des vieillards_) often recounted to Milfort, who
had risen to the dignity of "chief warrior" in the nation, episodes of
early Creek history, suggested to them by these "national archives."

Many old traditions of historic importance must have been embodied in
these records; but the only one given by Milfort, referring to the
emigration of the Creeks from their ancient cave-homes along Red
river, is so mixed up with incredible matter, that the fixation of the
events, as far as then remembered, must have taken place many
generations after the arrival of the Creeks in their Alabama homes.
Milfort himself, at the head of two hundred Creek men, undertook an
expedition to that renowned spot, to gratify himself and his
companions with the sight of the place itself from which the nation
had sprung forth, and all this solely on the strength of the belief
which these bead-strings had inspired in his companions.

Further notices on Creek ethnology may be found in _B. F. French_,
Hist. Collect. of Louisiana, III, 128-139, in the "Notes;" also in
Urlsperger's "Nachricht," Vol. I, chapter 5, 859-868, a passage
describing especially Yámassi customs.


To offer a history of the Creek tribe from its discovery down to our
epoch to the readers does not lie within the scope of this volume, and
for want of sufficient documents illustrating the earlier periods it
could be presented in a fragmentary manner only. But a few notes on
the subject, especially on the Oglethorpe treaties, will be of
interest to the reader.

In the year following their departure from the West Indies (1540), the
troops led by H. de Soto traversed a portion of the Creek territory,
taken in its extent as known to us from the end of the eighteenth
century. De Soto's presence is proved by the mention of Creek tribes
bearing Creek names in the reports of his three chroniclers. The most
circumstantial report in topography is that of the Knight of Elvas. He
states that de Soto's army usually marched five to six leagues a day
in peopled countries, but when passing through deserted lands
proceeded faster. From Chiaha H. de Soto reached Coste in seven days.
From Tali, probably contiguous to Coste, he marched for six days,
through many towns, to Coça, arriving there July 26th, 1540. Leaving
this town after a stay of twenty-five days, he reached Tallimuchase on
the same day, Ytava on the next, and had to remain there six days, on
account of a freshet in the river. Having crossed the river he reached
Ullibahali town, fortified by a wooden wall, and on the next day
stopped at a town subject to the lord of Ullibahali, to reach Toasi
the day after. Then he traversed the Tallise "province," peopled with
many towns, and entered the great pueblo of Tallise on September 18th,
to stay there twenty days. Many other towns were visible on the
opposite side of the "maine river," on which Tallisi[125] stood. On
leaving this pueblo he reached Casiste on the same day, and Tuscalusa,
whose chief was lord of many territories, after another march of two
days. From there Piache, on a great river, was reached in two days,
and Mavila in three days from Piache. De Soto arrived in Mavila on
October 18th, and the whole distance from Coça to Tuscalusa is
computed by the Knight of Elvas at sixty leagues, the direction of the
route being from north to south. In this particular Biedma differs
from him.

    [Footnote 125: Italisí, var. lect.]

The villages of Chiaha (Chisca, Ychiaha, China, var. lect.) and of
Coste (Costehe, Acostehe) provinces were fortified and stood on
river-islands. This latter circumstance makes it probable that they
lay on Tennessee river, and hence were held by Cheroki Indians. Tali
is either the Creek term tali _dry, exsiccated_, or the Cha'hta tali
_rock_. Coça, then in a flourishing condition, is the town of Kúsa.
Talli-muchasi, or "Newtown," near Coça, is clearly a Creek term, and
so is Ytava, Itáwa, which I take for the imperfectly articulated
itálua, _tribe_. Toasi is, I think, the town of Tawasa, which was one
of the Alibamu villages, q. v., and lay on the southern shore of the
Alabama river.

Tallisi is undoubtedly Talua-hássi, "old town," but which one of the
numerous settlements of this name it may have been is now impossible
to determine. Casiste resembles Kasí'hta, but cannot have been
Kasíχta on Chatahuchi river, for de Soto reached Tuskalusa or "Black
Warrior," which I take to be a town on the river of that name, within
two days from Casiste, traveling west.[126] Piache, if Creek, could
be api-údshi _little pole, small tree_. Garcilaso de la Vega states
that Tascalusa was on the same river (?) as Tallisi and below it. The
documents of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries frequently give
names of localities and tribes to the local chiefs, as was done here
in the case of Tascalusa, Mavila, Alimamu and others. Chíaha is a
Cheroki name, and is explained elsewhere as "place of otters." Some
modern critics believe that de Soto's army did not cross the mountains
into what is now North Carolina and Tennessee, the "over-hill" seats
of the Cheroki people, but only skirted the southern slope of the
Apalachian ridge by passing through Northern Georgia west into
Northern Alabama, and then descending Coosa river. In order to
determine de Soto's route in these parts, we have to decide first,
whether the days and directions of the compass noted by his
chroniclers deserve more credence than the local names transmitted in
cases when both form conflicting statements. The names of localities
could not be pure inventions; they prove by themselves, that tribes
speaking Creek or Maskoki proper were encountered by the adventurous
leader in the same tracts where we find them at the beginning of this
nineteenth century. It follows from this that the Creek immigration
from the west or northwest, if such an event ever occurred within the
last two thousand years, must have preceded the time of de Soto's
visit by a long lapse of time. Thus the terms itálua, talófa, talássi
belong to the Creek dialect only; had H. de Soto been in a country
speaking a Hitchiti dialect, he would have heard, instead of these,
the term ókli, and instead of tálua mútchasi: ókli himáshi.[127]

    [Footnote 126: For Casiste compare Kósisti, a term appearing in
    Creek war-titles; its signification is unknown.]

    [Footnote 127: When stopping at Ullibahali, he was in the
    country of the Alibamu, for óla, úla is the term for _town_ in
    their dialect. Cf. p. 85 (Note).]

In 1559 another Spanish leader, Tristan de Luna, disembarked in or
near Mobile bay, then went north in quest of gold and treasure,
reached Nanipacna, or "pueblo Santa Cruz de Nanipacna," and from there
arrived, after experiencing many privations and trials, among the
Coças, who were then engaged in warfare with the Napochies
(naⁿpissa? cf. Chicasa). He made a treaty of alliance with the
Coças, and deemed it prudent to return. The distance from Coça to
Nanipacna was twelve days, from there to the harbor three days'

    [Footnote 128: Cf. Barcia, Ensayo, p. 37. The report is almost
    entirely devoid of local names, which alone could give
    indications upon the route traveled over.]

In 1567 Captain Juan del Pardo set out from St. Helena, near
Charleston Harbor, S. C., on an exploration tour with a small
detachment, following partly the same aboriginal trail which had
guided de Soto through the wastes of Georgia and the Cheroki country.
On leaving the banks of the Tennessee river, he turned south, touching
Kossa, a sort of a capital (evidently Kúsa), then Tasqui, Tasquiqui
and Olitifar. These are the only names of places mentioned by his
chronicler, Juan de la Vandera (1569), which refer to the Creek
country. Tasquiqui cannot be anything else but Taskígi, near the
junction of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers.

From the beginning of the eighteenth century the French, Spanish and
British _colonists_ endeavored to win over the tribes of the
confederacy to their interests. The Spaniards established in Northern
Florida paid honors to the "emperor of the Cowetas," therewith hoping
to influence all the Lower and Upper Creeks, and in 1710 received
Kawíta delegates with distinction at St. Augustine. After the conflict
with the Spaniards the British established Fort Moore for trading
purposes among the Lower Creeks. In 1713 chiefs of the Alibamu,
Koassáti and other tribes visited the French colony at Mobile, entered
into friendly relations, invited them to construct Fort Alibamu, also
called Fort Toulouse, near Odshi-apófa, q. v., and were helpful in
erecting it. The French entertained a small garrison and a trader's
post there, and subsequently the fort was called Fort Jackson.

The first British _treaty_ with the Creeks was concluded by James
Oglethorpe, Governor of the Carolinas. He set out May 14th, 1733, from
Charleston, his residence, and on May 18th met in council the
representatives of the Lower Creek tribes at Savannah. During the
meeting many facts of interest were elicited. The Creeks then claimed
the territory extending from the Savannah river to the Flint river,
and south to St. Augustine, stating that their former number of ten
tribes had been reduced to eight. Wikatchámpa, the Okóni míko,
proclaimed that his tribe would peaceably cede to the British all
lands not needed by themselves. The Yamacraw chief Tomochichi, then
banished from one of the Lower Creek towns, spoke in favor of making a
treaty with the foreigners, and Yahóla `láko, míko of Kawíta, allowed
Tomochichi and his relatives "to call the kindred, that love them, out
of each of the Creek towns, that they may come together and make one
town. We must pray you to recall the Yamasees, that they may be buried
in peace among their ancestors, and that they may see their graves
before they die; and our own nation (of the Lower Creeks) shall be
restored again to its ten towns." The treaty of land-cession, commerce
and alliance was signed May 21st, and ratified by the trustees of the
colony of Georgia, October 18th, 1733. It stipulated a cession of the
lands between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers, and of some islands on
the Atlantic coast, to the British; it further stipulated promises to
enter into a commercial treaty at a later date, to place themselves
under the general government of Great Britain, to live in peace with
the colonies, to capture runaway slaves and deliver them at
Charleston, Savannah or Palachukla garrison for a consideration. The
treaty was confirmed by pledges on the side of the Creeks, which
consisted in a bundle of buckskins for each town, whereas the English
made presents of arms, garments, etc., in return. The Indians
expressed a desire of receiving instruction through teachers, and the
success obtained in concluding this first treaty was mainly
attributed to the influence of Tomochichi upon his fellow-countrymen.
The eight tribes represented were Kawíta, Kasíχta, Ósutchi, Chíaha,
Hítchiti, Apalatchúkla, Okóni, Yufála. The "two lost towns" were
certainly not those of the Sáwokli and Yuchi, although these do not
figure in the list. Only one of the headmen signing the treaty of 1733
figures in the prooemium of our legend (written in 1735): "Tomaumi,
head warrior of Yufála, with three warriors;" he is identical with
Tamókmi, war captain of the Eufantees (in 1735). Chekilli is not

The above treaty is printed in: Political State of Great Britain, vol.
46, p. 237 sqq; extract in C. C. Jones, Tomochichi, pp. 27-37.

Although encouraged by this first successful meeting with the Creeks,
the colonists knew so well the fickleness of the Indian character that
they were distrustful of the steadiness of their promises, and thus
sought to renew the friendly relations with them as often as possible.

A convention was arranged with the chiefs of the Lower Creeks at
Savannah in 1735, during which the legend of the Kasiχta migration
was delivered, but it does not appear whether any new treaty
stipulations were mooted or not at that meeting.

Just after his return from England, Governor Oglethorpe again came to
Savannah on October 13th, 1738, to meet in council the míkos of
Chíaha, Okmúlgi, Ótchisi and Apalatchúkla, who were accompanied by
thirty warriors and fifty-two attendants. They assured him of their
firm and continued attachment to the crown, and notified him that
deputies of the remaining towns would come down to see him, and that
one thousand warriors of theirs were at his disposal. They also
requested that brass weights and sealed measures should be deposited
with the míkos of each town, to preclude the traders settled among
them from cheating.

On the 17th of July, 1739, Oglethorpe with a large retinue started to
meet the Creeks in their own country, at Kawíta. He traveled up
Savannah river to the Yuchi town, twenty-five miles above Ebenezer,
then followed the inland trail, for two hundred miles, without meeting
any Indians. The council lasted from August 11th to 21st, and
terminated in a treaty, by which the towns renewed their "fealty" to
the king of Great Britain, and confirmed their cessions of territory,
while Oglethorpe engaged that the British should not encroach upon
their reserved lands, and that their traders should deal fairly and
honestly with the Indians. The towns on Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers
participated in the treaty.[129]

    [Footnote 129: Cf. C. C. Jones, Tomochichi, pp. 113-119.]

It may be regarded as a consequence of this compact, that Creek
warriors joined the British as auxiliaries in the expedition against
St. Augustine in 1742.

Important and detailed information on the relations of the Creeks and
all other Southern tribes with the British and French settlers of
colonial times may be found in the documents preserved at the State
Paper Office, London. The contents of such papers as relate more
especially to South Carolina are hinted at in numerous abstracts of
them given in a catalogue in _Collections of South Carolina Historical
Society_, Vols. I, II, Charleston, 8vo (Vol. II published in 1858);
cf. II, 272. 297-298. 315-317. 322, etc. Compare also W. de Brahm's
writings, mentioned in: Appendices.

An incomplete and unsatisfactory, though curious list of the elements
then (1771) composing the Maskoki confederacy and of its _western
allies_ is contained in B. Romans, East and West Florida (p. 90). The
passage first alludes to the Seminoles as allies, and then continues:
"They are a mixture of the remains of the Cawittas, Talepoosas,
Coosas, Apalachias, Conshacs or Coosades, Oakmulgis, Oconis, Okchoys,
Alibamons, Natchez, Weetumkus, Pakanas, Taënsas, Chacsihoomas, Abékas
and some other tribes whose names I do not recollect."

An interesting point in early Creek history is the settlement of
_Cheroki_ Indians in Georgia, and their removal from there through the
irruption of the Creeks. W. Bartram, Travels, p. 518, in describing
the mounds of the country, states "that the region lying between
Savanna river and Oakmulge, east and west, and from the sea coast (of
the Atlantic) to the Cherokee or Apalachean mountains (filled with
these mounds) was possessed by the Cherokees since the arrival of the
Europeans; but they were afterwards dispossessed by the Muscogulges,
and all that country was probably, many ages preceding the Cherokee
invasion, inhabited by one nation or confederacy (unknown to the
Cherokees, Creeks) ... etc." In another passage he gives a tradition
of the Creeks, according to which an ancient town once built on the
east bank of the Okmúlgi, near the old trading road, was their first
settlement in these parts after their emigration from the west.

The topographic names from the Cheroki language throughout Georgia
testify strongly to the presence of Cheroki Indians in these
countries. The tracts on the Okóni and Okmúlgi are nearer to the seats
of the Élati Cheroki than the Creek settlements on Coosa and
Tallapoosa rivers, where Cheroki local names occur also.

The legend reported by C. Swan (Schoolcraft V, 259) that the Creeks
migrated from the northwest to the Seminole country, then back to
Okmúlgi, Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, deserves no credit, or applies
to small bodies of Indians only.

From an ancient tradition John Haywood[130] relates the fact (pp.
237-241) that when the Cheroki Indians first settled in Tennessee,
they found no other red people living on Tennessee river, except a
large body of Creeks near the influx of Hiwassee river (and some
Shawanese on Cumberland river). They had settled "at the island on the
Creek path," meaning a ford of the Great Tennessee river, also called
"the Creek crossing," near the Alabama State border. At first they
lived at peace with them, but subsequently attacked them, to drive
them out of the country. By stratagem they drew them from their
island, with all the canoes in their possession, to a place where
others lay in ambush for them, engaged them in battle, took away their
canoes to pass over to the island, and destroyed there all the
property of the tribe. The enfeebled Creeks then left the country and
went to the Coosa river.

    [Footnote 130: John Haywood, the Natural and Aboriginal History
    of Tennessee (up to 1768). Nashville, 1823.]

The Broad river, a western affluent of Savannah river, formed for many
years the boundary between the Cheroki and the eastern Creeks. It
figures as such in Mouson's map of 1773.

The Creeks remained under the influence of the British government
until after the American Revolutionary war, and in many conflicts
showed their hostility to the thirteen states struggling for
independence. Thus they acted in the British interest when they made a
night attack on General Wayne's army, in 1782, led by Guristersigo,
near the Savannah river. An attack on Buchanan's station was made by
Creek and Cheroki warriors near Nashville, Tenn., in 1792. Treaties
were concluded with them by the United States at New York, August 7th,
1790, and at Coleraine, Georgia, June 29th, 1796. An article of these
stipulated the return of captured whites, and of negro slaves and
property to their owners in Georgia. Trading and military posts were
established among them, and an agent of the Government began to reside
in one of their towns. Further cessions of Creek lands are recorded
for 1802 and 1805.

Instigated by the impassionate speeches of Tecumseh, the Sháwano
leader, the Upper Creeks, assisted by a few Yuchi and Sáwokli Indians,
revolted in 1813 and massacred the American garrison at Fort Mimms,
near Mobile bay, Alabama, on August 30th of that year. General A.
Jackson's army subdued the revolt, after many bloody victories, in the
battle of the Horse-Shoe Bend, and by taking Pensacola, the seaport
from which the Spaniards had supplied the insurrection with arms. A
peace treaty was concluded on August 9th, 1814, embodying the cession
of the Creek lands west of Coosa river. Surrounded as they were by
white settlements on all sides, this revolt, known also as the Red
Stick War, was the last consequential sign of reaction of the
aboriginal Creek mind against civilizing influences.

Previous to the departure from their lands in the Gulf States to the
Indian Territory (1836-1840), scattering bands of the Creeks joined
the Seminoles in 1836, while others took arms against the United
States to attack the border settlements and villages in Georgia and
Alabama. These were soon annihilated by General Scott. The treaty of
cession is dated April 4th, 1832, and the lands then granted to them
in their new homes embraced an area of seven millions of acres. On
October 11th, 1832, the Apalachicola tribe renewed a prior agreement
to remove to the west of Mississippi river, and to surrender their
inherited lands at the mouth of the Apalachicola river. Only 744
Creeks remained east of the Mississippi river.

At the outbreak of the Secession war, in 1861, the Creeks separated
into two hostile parties. Chief Hopó`li yahóla with about 8000 Creeks
adhered firmly to the Union cause, and at the head of about 800 of his
warriors, aided by auxiliary troops, he defeated the Confederate party
in one engagement; but in a second action he was defeated, and with
his followers fled into Kansas. Both rencontres took place in the
territory of the Cheroki Indians, in November and December, 1861.

The statistic dates of the Creek population given before B. Hawkins'
time are mere estimates. In 1732 Governor Oglethorpe reported 1300
warriors in eight towns of the Lower Creeks (Schoolcraft V, 263. 278),
and in 1791 all the Creek "gun-men" were estimated to number between
5000 and 6000; the same number is given for these in the census of
1832 (Schoolcraft V, 262 sqq.; VI, 333), living in fifty-two towns,
the whole population being between 25,000 and 30,000. In the same year
the Cha'hta population was conjectured to amount to 18,000
(Schoolcraft VI, 479). The Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Indian
Affairs for 1881 gives a Creek population of 15,000, settled upon
3,215,495 acres of land; one half of these are tillable, but only
80,000 acres were cultivated during that year by these Indians.


of Maskoki is a harmonious, clearly vocalized form of speech, averse
to nasalization. In forms it is exceedingly rich, but its syntax is
very simple and undeveloped. An archaic form, called the female
language, exists outside of the common Creek, and mainly differs from
it in the endings of the verbs.


Creek possesses all sounds of the general Maskoki alphabet; but here
and in Hitchiti the gutturals g, k, χ are often pronounced with the
tongue resting upon the fore or alveolar part of the palate. The
alternating processes observed here also occur in most other Indian
and illiterate languages: tch, dsh alternate with ts, ds, h with k,
χ; g with the other gutturals, b with p, d with t, ā with e, o
with u. The accent shifts for rhetoric and syntactic causes, and many
unaccented syllables are pronounced long. In the pronunciation of the
natives there is a sort of singing modulation, which likes to lengthen
the last syllables of a sentence.[131] Syllables not final generally
terminate in a vowel.

    [Footnote 131: Thus the Creek verbal ending -is, though short by
    itself, generally becomes -īs, when concluding a sentence;
    also the Hitchiti ending -wāts, -tawāts.]


_The nominal inflection_ shows but three cases: The first in -i (or
-a, -o, -u), which may be called absolute;[132] the subjective case in
-t, -it (-at, -ut), and the objective in -n, -in (-an, -un). The
absolute case, when used as a vocative, often lengthens or strongly
accentuates the last syllable. The suffix -n indicates the direct and
indirect object, and also sometimes the locative case. Diminutives are
formed by means of the suffix -odshi, -udshi.

    [Footnote 132: Absolute case has to be regarded as a provisional
    term only. I call it absolute, because the natives, when giving
    vocables of the language not forming part of a sentence, mention
    them in that case in Creek, in Hitchiti, in Koassáti, etc. In
    the sentence this case often corresponds, however, to the
    _status constructus_ of the Hebrew.]

_Substantive._ The substantive noun does not inflect for number except
in a few terms designating persons which form a plural in -agi, -aki:
míko _chief_, míkagi _chiefs_, to be distinguished from míkalgi _class
from which chiefs are chosen_; húnanwa _man_, hókti _woman_;
hunantági, hóktagi. It is the archaic form of -akīs, the verbal
ending of third person plural of certain verbal inflections. Cf. -a`li
in Hitchiti.

The suffix -algi, though sometimes used as a plural suffix, designates
collectivity: u-ikaíwa _spring of water_, u-ikaiwálki _place with
water-springs_, and u-ikaiⁿálki _people living at the springs_;
alíktcha _conjurer_, alíktchalgi _conjurers as one body, taken in a

The parts of speech being but imperfectly differentiated, tenses can
be expressed in nouns by adding suffixes: míko _chief_, mikotáti,
míko-ō′mā _one who was, has been chief_; míko-ta`láni _a future
chief_; adsulagitáti _the defunct forefathers_.

_Adjectives_ form a real plural by appending the suffix -agi, -aki to
the base. This applies, however, only to a limited number of
adjectives, like:

  atchúla _old_, pl. atchúlagi
  hí`li   _good_,    hí`lagi
  tcháti  _red_,     tchátaki
  yíktchi _strong_,  yíktchaki

The majority of the adjectives and of the attributive verbs derived
from them form derivatives, which in some instances may be called
distributive, in others frequentative and iterative forms. They are
formed by a partial reduplication of the radix, when the basis is
monosyllabic, or often of the last syllable of the basis, when the
word is polysyllabic. Examples:

     lásti _black_, láslati _black here and black there_; verbified:
        lánis, laslánis _it is black_.

     hállui _high_, hálhawi _each of them high_.

     súfki _deep_, súfsuki _deep each_, or _deep in spots_.

     súlgi _many_, súlsugi _many of each_.

     hólwaki _bad_, holwahóki _each bad_.

     líkwi _rotten_; lík'howi (animals), líkliwi (vegetables).

     kotchúkni _short_, kotchúntchoki _short in spots_.

     sílkosi _narrow_, sílsikosi _narrow in places_, from sílki

Adjectives are made negative by appending the privative particle -go,
-gu, -ko, -ku: ítskisusi _having a mother_, itskisusiko _motherless_;
hí`li _good_, hí`ligo _not good, bad_.

Gradation of adjectives and of attributive verbs formed from these can
be effected in different ways, which are more perfect and expressive
here than in those Indian languages which can express gradation only
by syntactic means.

A comparative is formed by prefixing isim-, isin-, isi-, apheretically
sim-, sin-, si- to the adjective or the attributive verb, the two
objects compared standing usually _before_ the adjective or verb. This
prefix is composed of the particle isi-, is- and the possessive
pronoun im-, in-, i- of the third person (s. and pl.), and corresponds
somewhat to our _than, as_. The object compared stands in the
absolute case.

     kát'tcha yahá isin`lákit ómis _the panther_ (kát'tcha) _is
        larger_ (`lako _large_) _than the wolf_ (yahá; ómis _is so_).

     tchátu tchátu-χunáp-hatki (i-)síntchalatuit ómis _iron_
        (tchátu) _is harder than silver_.

     ma tchī′panat ma hóktudshi (i-)simmáhis _this boy is
        taller than that girl_.

A superlative is formed by placing i`li-, apheretically `li-, before
the comparative: máhi _tall_, isímmahi _taller than_, i'lisímmahi,
`lisímmahi, `lisímahi _tallest of_, lit. "still taller than the taller

     ma tsúku halháwat i`lisihálluit ómis _this house is the
        highest_; lit. "higher than the high ones."

A superlative may be expressed also by using the comparative instead:
ma tchípanat anhopuitáki omálgan isímmahis "that boy is the tallest of
all my children"; lit. "that boy is taller than all my children." Or
the superlative is expressed by the augmentative adverb máhi: _very,
quite, greatly, largely_ yíktchi máhi, _the strongest_, which at the
same time means: _very strong, quite strong_; `láko máhi _largest_ and
_very large_; máhimahi _tallest_ and _very tall_; the latter also
being expressed by a lengthening of the vowel: mā′hi _very tall_.

Minuitive gradation is effected by inversion of the sense in the
sentence and the use of the comparative; they say: "silver is costlier
than iron," instead of saying: "iron is less costly than silver."

What we call prepositions are generally nominal forms in Creek,
inflected like nouns and placed _after_ their complements as
_postpositions_, governing the absolute case:

     únapa, subj. únapat, obj. únapan _above, on the top of_;
        `láni únapa (or: `láni yúksa) _on the top of the mountain_.

     tchuku-ófan läíkäs _I stay within, in the house_; -ófan,
        -ofa, -úfa, -of is also temporal suffix: _when, while,
        during_: yá o`lolopí-ófan _in this year_.

     inúkua atígin ak'húi`l _he stands in the water up to_ (atígin)
        _his neck_.

     tsá`lki a`láχkan _on account of my father_.

     tchukú ilídshan, _under the house_.

     ítu ilídshan, ítu tchískan _under the tree_.

_Numerals._ The cardinal numeral has a full form ending in -in, and
another abbreviated from it used in counting objects, and not
extending beyond _ten_; an ordinal, with prefix -ísa-, is-, apheret.
sa-, s-; a distributive substituting -ákin to -in of the cardinal, and
an adverbial form in -a.

                _Cardinals._                    _Ordinals._

    1 hámgin               hámmai         ihatitchíska _first_
    2 hokólin              hŏ′ko          sahokólat _second_
    3 tut'tchínin          tút'tchi       satut'tchínat
    4 ō′stin, ū′stin ō′sti sō′stat
    5 tcha'hgípin          tchá'hgi       satcha'hgíbat
    6 ipákin               ípa            (i)sipákat
    7 kolapákin            kólapa         iskolapákat
    8 tchinapákin          tchínapa       istchinapákat
    9 ōstapákin            óstapa         isūstapákat
   10 pálin                pá             ispálat
   20 páli-hokólin         páli-hokólin   ispali-hokólat
  100 tchúkpi hámgin       tchúkpi hámgin istchúkpi hámgat

          _Distributives._                   _Adverbials._

    1  hamgákin and hamgahákin             ahámkutcha _once_
         _one to each_
    2  hokolákin and hokolahákin           ahokóla _twice_
         _two to each_
    3  tut'tchinákin                       atút'tchina
    4  ūstákin                             ō'sta
    5  tcha'hgipákin                       tcha'hgíba
    6  ipakákin and ipahákin               ípaka
    7  kolapakákin                         kolapáka
    8  tchinapahákin and tchinapakákin     tchinapáka
    9  ōstapahákin and ōstapakákin         ūstapáχa
   10  palákin and palahákin               pála
   20  pali-hokolákin                      páli-hokóla
  100  tchúkpi hamgákin                    tchúkpi hámgat

     tipaχótchki "folded once"

     tipaχó'hli ō′stin "folded four times"

     tipaχó'hli tchinapákin "folded eight times"

     hamháχosi "one here and one there, scattered."

The _personal pronoun_ is as follows:

  _I_ áni, subj. ánit, obj. ánin, abbr. am-, an-, a-

  _thou_ tchími, tchímit,               tchímin  tchim-, tchin-

  _he, she, it_  ími, ímit, ímin        im-, in-, i-, m-

  _we_ pómi, púmi; pómit, pomin         pom-, pum-, pon-

  _ye_  tchimitáki, etc.                tchintági

  _they_ imitáki, etc.                  íntaki

Cha'hta distinguishes between the inclusive and exclusive pronouns
_we, our_, but Creek and Hitchiti do not.

The _possessive pronoun_ is as follows:

  _my_ tcha-; am-, an-, a-                    tcháka _my head_

  _thy_ tchi-                                 tchíka _thy head_

  _his, her, its_ im-, in-, i-                íka, _his, her, its head_

  _our_ punági, pu-tági, pu-, po-             pukatáki, póka _our heads_

  _your_ tchinakitáki, tchimitaki, tchi-tagi  tchikatági _your heads_

  _their_ inakitáki, imitági, i-tagi          ikatáki _their heads_

_The possessive relation_ is usually expressed:

     (1) by the possessive pronoun prefixed to the object possessed:
        tcháka _my head_, anhopuitáki _my children_.

     (2) when two nouns, especially substantives, stand in the
        relation of possession, the possessor stands in the absolute
        case before the object possessed, the pronoun im-, in-, i-
        being prefixed to the latter.

     isti Mashkóki imíkana _the land of the Creek men_.

     ádshi intálapi _ear of maize_; lit. "maize its ear."

     ádsh' imápi _stalk of maize_.

     íngi ítchki _his thumb_; lit. "his hand its mother."

_Other pronouns_:

     isti _person_ is used as indefinite pron.: _somebody_; istíka
        _somebody's head, a person's head_; stillipaíχa _boot_,
        from isti, íli, paíχa; isti hápu _somebody's camping place_.

     istä′mat, pl. istämatáki? _who_?

     istómat? abbr. ístat? (s. and pl.) _which? which one?_

     hía, ya, í-a _this_ (close by); subj. híat, obj. hían (in
        Cheroki: hía _this, this one_).

     ma, mat, man _this_ (further off).

     ása, ásat, ásan _that_ (far off).

_Verb._ The Creek verb is of the polysynthetic type, and inflects by
means of prefixes, infixes and (chiefly by) suffixes. It possesses an
affirmative, negative, interrogative and distributive form, which
latter is used as a form for the plural of the subject in the
intransitive verbs; it also has a large number of conversational forms
usually derived by contraction, ellipses, etc., from the regular or
standard forms; and in some of its inflections also a reverential
besides the common form. It is rich in modes, verbals and voices and
may be called _extremely_ rich in tense-forms, when we compare to it
the poverty of many other American languages.

The verb incorporates the direct and indirect _pronominal object_ and
inflects for person. In certain conjugational forms the personal affix
is a prefix, in others a suffix. The historic tense, a sort of aorist,
is formed by the _infix_ -h- and a change of the radical vowel occurs
at times, though not so often as in Cha'hta. Intransitive verbs show
special forms, according to the number of the subject (singular, dual,
plural). Very frequently these latter forms are made from different
roots, as will be seen from the instances given below. Many transitive
verbs have, when their object stands in the plural, a (distributive)
form differing entirely or partially from the one referring to an
object in the singular; a few others show this change, when their
subject passes from the singular to the plural number. Other
transitive verbs are combining the two inflections just described.

Adjectives can be verbified and then appear in the shape of
attributive verbs: haúki, pl. hauháki _hollow_; haúkäs _I am hollow_,
haúkis _it is hollow_, hauhákis _they are hollow_. No real
substantive verb being extant, its want is supplied by ómäs, mómäs,
tóyäs _I am so, I am such_; these are conjugated regularly, and when
connected with the verbals in -t (-at, -it, -ut) of any verb, compose
a periphrastic conjugation which displays itself in an almost infinite
number of forms.

From all this it becomes evident, that the Creek verb surpasses in its
large power of polysynthesis the Algonkin, Dakota and Kalapuya verb,
and in the richness of its forms approaches closely to the Iroquois
verb, which is poorer in tenses, but has an impersonal conjugation and
fourteen persons to each tense of the finite verb. Creek is likely to
surpass also the Basque verb, which has become proverbial for the
almost infinite number of its intricate verb forms.[133]

    [Footnote 133: "L'invincible vencido" is the title of the first
    conjugational system of Basque, as published by Larramendi.]

I propose to give below the inflection of the Creek verb in its
general outlines only, as far as necessary to give an idea of the
subject. The Creek conjugation is regular throughout in its standard
forms, though the conversational form has introduced modifications.

_Inflection of_ ísita _to take, carry, hold_ (one object) _and of_
tcháwita _to take_ (more than one object). Only three tenses were
given here as examples of tcháwita, although it has as many modes,
tenses and other forms as ísita.


_Affirmative conjugation._

_Declarative mode._

     _Present_: ísä-is, or ísäs _I am taking_, 2 s. ísitchkis, 3 s.
        ísis; 1 pl. ísīs, ísis, 2 pl. isā′tchkis, 3 pl. isákis.

     tcháwä-is or tcháwäs _I am taking_ (more than one obj.), 2 s.
        tcháwitchkis, 3 s. tcháwis; 1 pl. tcháwīs, 2 pl.
        tchawā′tchkis, 3 pl. tchawā′kis.

     _The preterit tenses_: í'hsäs _I took_, 2 s. í'hsitchkis, 3 s.
        í'hsis; 1 pl. i'hsis, 2 pl. i'hsā′tchkis, 3 pl. i'hsā′χkis.

     tchá'hwäs _I took_ (pl. of obj.), 2 s. tcha'hwítchkis, etc.

     isäyángis, _I have taken_, 2 s. isitchkángis, 3 s.
        ísangis,-kis; 1 pl. ísiyankis, 2 pl. ísákatchkankis, 3 pl.

     tchawayángis _I have taken_ (pl. of obj.), 2 s.
        tchawitchkánkis, etc.

     isáyatis _I took_ (indefinite, aorist or historic past tense),
        2 s. isítchkatis, 3 s. ísatis; 1 pl. isíatīs, 2 pl.
        isátchkatis, 3 pl. isákatis.

     isäyántas _I took_ (long ago), 2 s. isitchkántas, 3 s. ísantas,

     isäimátas _I had taken_, 2 s. isitchkimátas, 3 s. isimátas, etc.

_The future tenses_: isá`lis _I shall take_, 2 s. isítchka`lis, etc.

     isa`lánäs _I am going to take_, 2 s. isa`lánitchkis, 3 s.
        isa`lánis, etc.

     isipayatitá`lis _I shall have taken_, 2 s. isipitchkatitá`lis,
        3 s. isipatitá`lis, etc.

_Conditional or subjunctive mode._

(ómati, ómat _if, when_, connected with the verbal in -n.)

     _Present_: ísän ómat(i) _if I take_, 2 s. isítchkin ómat, 3 s.
        ísin ómat, etc.

     _Preterit_: isä′yatin ómat _if I had taken_, 2 s. isítchkatin
        ómat, etc.

     _Future_: isa`lánän ómatî'h _if I am going to take_, 2 s.
        isa`lanítchkin ómati'h, etc.

_Potential mode._

     ísayis _I can take_, 2 s. ísitchkīs, 3 s. isīs, isi-is, etc.

     isa`lanáyat tálkis _I must take, I have to take_, 2 s.
        isa`lánitcha tálkis.

     ísaχant ómatin ómäs _I ought to have taken_, 2 s. ísaχant
        ómatin ómitchkis.

     ísi wäítäyis _I may take_, 2 s. ísitchki wäítīs, 3 s. ísi wäítīs.

     isa`láni wäítayis _probably I shall take_ (at some future
        time), 2 s. isa`lánitchki wäítīs, or wäítayis.

     isáyi titáyïs (abbr. táyis) _I am able to take_, 2 s. isítchki

_Imperative mode._

     2 s. ísas! _do thou take!_ (as a command). 2 pl. ísakis! _do ye
     take!_ 2 s. ísipas! _take!_ (reverential or exhortative). 2 pl.
     isípakis! _take ye! ye may take!_

_Verbals, or nominal forms of verb._

ísita _to take, the taking_; tcháwita (pl. of obj.)

  _Present_:  ísä-i    subj. ísä-it, ísät  obj. ísä-in
                                   _I taking, I a taker_.
        2 s.  ísitchki       ísitchkit          ísitchkin
                                   _thou taking_.
        3 s.  ísi            ísit               ísin
                                   _he, she taking_.
       1 pl.  ísī            ísīt               ísīn
                                   _we taking, we takers_.
       2 pl.  isátchk i      isátchkit          isátchkin
                                   _ye taking_.
       3 pl.  isáki          isákit             isákin
                                   _they taking_.

  _Preterit_: isä′yati       isä′yatit          isä′yatin
                                   _I having taken_.
        2 s.  isítchkati     isítchkatit        isítchkatin
                                   _thou having taken_.
        3 s.  ísati          ísatit             ísatin
                                   _he, she having taken_.
       1 pl.  isakíyati   2. isakátchkati    3. ísakati etc.

  _Future_:   isa`lánä-i     isa`lánän         _I going to take_.
              isa`lánitchki  isa`lánitchkin _thou going to take_.
              isa`láni       isa`lánin   _he, she going to take_.
          pl. isa`láni, isa`lánatchki, isaka`láni, etc.

    isákofan,     abbr. isákof _while taking_.
    isíkofan,       "   isíkof _before he took_.
    isigáχkan,      "   ísiga _because he takes or took_.
    isa`lániχkan,   "   isa`laniga _because he will take_.

_Interrogative conjugation_ (specimen).

     ísäya? _do I take?_ 2 s. ísitska?, 3 s. ísa? 1 pl. ísiya? 2 pl.
        ísatska? 3 pl. isā′ka?

     tcháwäya? _do I take?_ (pl. of obj.), etc.

_Negative conjugation_:

     isákus _I do not take_; 2 s. isítskigus, 3 s. isígus; 1 pl.
        isígus, 2 pl. isátskigus, 3 pl. iságigus.

     tchawákus _I do not take_ (pl. of obj.), etc.

_Negative-interrogative conjugation:_

     isă'kō? _do I not take?_ 2 s. isítskigō? 3 s.
        isĭ′gō? 1 pl. isī′go? 2 pl. isátskigō? 3 pl.
        iságigō? (suffix -gō often nasalized into -gōⁿ,
        -kōⁿ, -kuⁿ).

     tchawă′kō? _do I not take?_ etc.

_Conjugation with indirect object_:

     imísäs _I take for somebody, I take from somebody_, 2 s.
        imísitchkis, 3 s. imísis; 1 pl. imisĭs, 2 pl.
        imísatchkis, 3 pl. imisā′kis.

     intcháwäs _I take for somebody_ (pl. of obj.), etc.

_Medial conjugation_:

     isípäs _I take for myself_, 2 s. isípitchkis, 3 s. isípis; 1
        pl. isípīs, 2 pl. isípatskis, 3 pl. isákipis.

     tchawípäs _I take for myself_ (pl. of obj.), etc.


It is formed from the active voice by inserting ho-, hu- after the
basis of the verb. From ísäs _I take_ is formed tchas'hóyäs (for
tcha-is-hóyäs) _I am taken_; -s- being the only sound of the radix

_Present_: tchas'hóyäs _I am taken, I am being taken_; 2 s.
tchis'hóyäs, 3 s. is'hóyäs; 1 pl. putcha-uhóyäs, 2 pl.
tchitcha-uhoyákäs, 3 pl. tcha-uhóyäs.

_Past_: tchas'hóhyis, _I was taken_.

_Future_: tchas'hoya`lánis, _I shall be taken_.

_Part. pass. partic._ i'hsik; pl. of obj. á'hwak _taken_.


     _Reciprocal voice_: itítchawīs _we take each other_.

     u'hlátkäs _I fall on, upon_: itu'hlátkäs _I attack, have a

     _Reflective voice_: i-ísäs _I take_ or _carry myself_.

     yíkläs _I pinch_; iyíkläs _I pinch myself_.

_Causative voice._ This form had better be called a derivative form
than a voice, as will appear from the following instances:

     isipúidshäs _I cause to take_.

     púskäs _I fast_; puskipúidshäs _I make fast_, puskä′dshäs _I
        make, cause to fast_; puskidshä′dshäs _I cause to fast
        for initiation_.

     hátkis _it is white_, hatídshäs _I whiten_.

     kí`läs _I know_, ki`lídshäs _I inform, apprize_,
        i-uki`lkuídshäs _I explain myself_.

     huí`läs _I stand_, hui`lídshäs _I set up, place, make stand_.

_Impersonal voice._ A paradigm of an impersonal verb, inflected with
its pronominal object, is as follows:

     isanhí`lis _it is good for me_ (hí`li good), 2 s.
        istchinhí`lis, 3 s. isinhí`lis; ispunhí`lis _it is good for
        us_, 2 pl. istchinhí`lagis, 3 pl. isinhí`lagis.


Paradigms of verbs inflected with the _subject-pronoun_ standing
either separate or incorporated:

  ánit ómäs _I do, am the cause of_ antalgósis _I am alone_ (for ánit álgosis)
  tchímit ómadshksh                 tchintalgósis _thou art alone_
  ímit ómis                         intalgósis
  pómit ómīs _we do_                puntálgosis _and_ puntalgosákis
  tchintágit ómadshksh              tchintalgosákis
  (i)mitágit ómīs                   intalgosákis

_Objective or compound conjugation._

A transitive verb connected with its _direct_ pronominal object runs
as follows:

     yíklita _to pinch, the pinching_.

     tchiyíkläs _I pinch thee_.

     yíkläs _I pinch him, her, it,_ or _I pinch_ one object.

     tchiyíklaχas _I pinch ye_.

     yíklaχäs _I pinch them_, or several objects.

     tchayíklitchkis _thou pinchest me_.

     puyíklitchkis _thou pinchest us_.

     yíklis _he, she pinches_ (another).

     yíklakōs, contr. yíklaks _I do not pinch him, her, it_.

     yíklaχakōs _I do not pinch them_.

     tchiyíklakōs _I do not pinch thee_.

     tchiyíklayä? _do I pinch thee?_

     yíkläya? _do I pinch him, her, it?_

     yiklakayá? _do I pinch them?_

A transitive verb connected with its _indirect_ pronominal object
conjugates in the same manner, unless there is in it the idea _for the
benefit of_, or _for the detriment of_, or _from, away from_ somebody
or something connected with it. In this case the pronoun im-, in-, i-
is prefixed; paradigm given above.

     käídshita _to say, the saying_, käídshäs _I say_.

     tchikäídshás (for tchikäídshä-is) _I say to thee_.

     käídshä-is, käídshäs _I say to him, her, it_ (to one person).

     tchikäídshakä′-is _I say to ye_.

     käídshakä′-is _I say to them_ (to several persons).

     tchakäídshis _he, she says to me_.

     tchikäídshis _he, she says to thee_.

     käídshis _he, she says to_ (to another).

     pukäídshis _he says to us_.

     tchikäídshagis _he says to ye_.

     käídshagis _he says to them_ (to several persons).

     tchikäídshi-is _we say to thee_.

     tchakäítchatchkis _ye say to me_.

     tchikäítchakakīs _they say to ye_.

     käidshakákīs _they say to them_.

_Intransitive Verbs._

Subject in the singular, dual and plural number:

     aláχäs _I come_, alahókis _we two come_, yē′dshīs _we come_.

     ó`läs _I arrive_, o`lhóyis, o`lä′-idshis.

     homaχtá-is _I am ahead, I lead_, du. and pl. homaχ'hóti-is.

     wákäs _I am lying_, wak'hógis, lúmhīs.

     húi`läs _I stand_, sihókis, sabáχlis.

     á`läs _I am about_, wilágis, fúllis.

     tchíyäs _I enter_, tchuχalágīs, sidshíyis.

On a special use made of the verbal _dual_, cf. _Ceremonial

_Transitive Verbs._

Object in the singular and plural number; the latter form also marking
a repetition of the act.

     ilídshäs _I kill_, pasátäs.

     háyäs _I make_, háhaidshäs; pl. of subject hayäkīs.

     mutchasídshäs _I make new_, mutchasakúidshäs.

     ki`lä′dshäs _I cause to know, apprize_, ki`lakuídshäs.

     túläs _I fell_ (a tree etc.), tultuídshäs _I fell repeatedly_,
        or many objects.

     falápäs _I split_; ítun falá'hlidshäs _I split many sticks

     náfkäs _I strike_, nafnákäs.

     hopíläs _I inhume_, hopilhuídshäs and hopiláχäs.

     tádshäs _I cut off, sever_, wá`läs.


Many conjunctions are formed from the auxiliary verbs ómäs, mómäs and
thus are in fact verbs, not particles. In spite of the frequent use to
which they are put they do not relieve the sentence of its heaviness
to any perceptible extent; for what we call incident clauses and also
many co-ordinate principal sentences are uniformly expressed by
groups of words, the verb of which stands in the -t or -n verbal,
which nearest corresponds to our participle in _-ing_, or to _having_
(h. gone, carried), sometimes five or six of them, followed at the
close by a finite verb. Instances of this our Creek text affords
almost on every page. This sort of incapsulation greatly embarrasses
interpreters in the rendering of Creek texts in any of the modern
European languages, which have a tendency towards analytic and an
aversion to synthetic structure of the sentence, and therefore use
conjunctions freely. A conjunction corresponding in every respect to
our _and_ exists in none of the Maskoki dialects.

The syntax is remarkably simple and uniform; the multiplicity of
grammatic forms precludes the formation of many syntactic rules, just
as in Sanscrit. The position of the words in the sentence is: subject,
object, verb. The adjective when used attributively stands after the
noun qualified.


Several Creek words possess a striking resemblance with words of equal
or related signification, pertaining to other languages. Some of them
are undoubtedly borrowed, while others may rest on a fortuitous
resemblance. A few of them were pointed out by H. Hale, in _Amer.
Antiquarian_ V, 120. I consider as being borrowed from Cheroki:

     Cr. átasi _war-club_, in Cher. atsá, at'sá; occurs in the Cher.
        war-name: At'sá utégi _the one throwing away the war-club_.
        It contains the idea of being bent, crooked; inatá atassíni
        _the snake is crawling_.

     Cr. tchū′ska, _post-oak_, H. tchíski; Cher. _tchuskó_.

     Cr. yĕnása, Cha'hta yánash _bison, buffalo_; Cher. yánasa.

The Creek sulitáwa _soldier_ and the Cha'hta shulush _shoe_ were
borrowed from the French terms _soldat_ and _soulier_ (from Lat.

Alike in Creek and Cheroki, but of uncertain provenience are tsúla,
tchúla _fox_, in Yuchi sátchoni; hía, i-a _this, this one_ (pron.
dem.). Compare also Cr. níni _road, trail_ with Cher. naⁿnóhi,
nä-ĕnóhi _road_. The Cr. words tíwa _hair, scalp_, and wáhu _winged
elm_ are said to be borrowed from foreign languages. It will be
noticed, that names of plants, and especially of animals hunted by man
often spread over several contiguous linguistic areas.

The Maskoki dialects, it must be acknowledged, have remained
remarkably free from foreign admixture.




There are events in the history of a people, which are remembered with
difficulty or displeasure and therefore soon drop from the memory of
men. But there are other incidents which pass from father to son
through many generations, and the remembrance of them, though altered
in many particulars and variously recounted, seems to be undying.
Events of this kind are migrations, long warfare or decisive battles,
which resulted either in defeat or victory, alliances with cognate or
friendly tribes, times of abundance, of famines and epidemics. To be
of easy remembrance, there must be something connected with these
events which forcibly strikes the imagination and in later times
stands out as the principal fact, while minor features of its
occurrence disappear or become subject to alterations in the progress
of time.

This also shows the process, how historic legends and traditions are
forming among uncultured nations, which are possessed of imperfect
means only for the transmission of ideas to posterity. Whenever this
traditionary lore is written down by a civilized people, then the
gathering of these tales, half mythic and half historic, forms a
commencement of historiography, and by later generations is regarded
as valued material for clearing up the dawn of history.

The historic legends of the different nations vary exceedingly in
their contents, at least as much as do the nations themselves. There
are some that speak of the chiefs only and not of the people, or fill
the tales with mythic heroes and impossible events, while the more
sober and intelligent restrict the miraculous element to narrow
limits, though never excluding it entirely. There are peoples and
individuals who will not give credence to a legend which does not
contain miracles. Many of the North American tribes, especially on the
Pacific coast, have no knowledge of early events in their tribe,
because a severe law prohibits them from calling their dead relatives
by their names. This superstition alone suffices to destroy the
historic sense in the population, but does not seem to have operated
among the Aztecs, Mayas and Quichhuas to any noticeable degree.

All nations of the globe have migrated from earlier into more recent
seats, but with many of them these migrations took place in epochs so
far distant that they have lost all recollections of them. These
latter we call autochthonic; the Kalapuya of Willámet Valley, Oregon,
and the Washo around Carson, Nevada, who claim to have originated from
bulrushes in the vicinity, belong to these. All tribes of the Maskoki
stock possess migration legends, and so do the Dakota and Iroquois.
Their migration legends are intermingled with myths and mythic ideas;
nevertheless, they prove that the migrations took place in
comparatively recent times, and that these accounts are not pure
astronomical or other fictions.

A full knowledge of Maskoki mythology would certainly help us in the
understanding of their migration tales, but this subject has not been
investigated as yet. Their principal mythic power is the "Master of
Life" or "Holder of Breath," in Creek Isákita immíssi, a divine being,
which is as thoroughly North American as Jahve, an ancient sun- and
thunder-god, is of Semitic, and Dyaus, Zeus, Jupiter, the Sky-god, is
of Aryan origin. The proper sense of the Creek name is "the one who
carries, takes the life or breath for them;" it is the embodiment of
the idea that a great, powerful spirit gives life, or what is
synonymous with it, breath to them (to persons, animals), and takes it
off from them at will (isákita _life, breath_; im-pron. poss. 3d
person, ísäs _I take_, when the object stands in the singular); ísi,
íssi _taker, holder_. The Master of Life, also called Suta-läíkati,
"resident in the sky," is not a pure abstraction, but has to be
brought into connection with the sun-worship of all Americans, which
again became associated with the cult of the fire-flame. The idea that
the Creeks knew anything of the _devil_ of the Christian religion is a
pure invention of the missionaries; being christianized, they call him
now: ísti fútchigō "the man acting perversely," tasoχlä′ya, or: ísti
niklé-idsha atsū′li "the old person-burner" (áni niklé-idshäs _I burn
somebody, something_); the Yuchi call him "the swinging man," just as
they call a ghost "a hunting man." The Shetimasha name for the devil
is néka, which properly means _conjurer, sorcerer_ and _witchcraft_.

In the eyes of the missionaries and Christian settlers, the paramount
importance and abstract character of the Master of Breath made him
appear as the centre of an almost monotheistic religion; but on closer
investigation it will be found that the Creeks believed in many genii
and mythic animals besides, two of which were the isti-pápa and the
snake, which furnished the snake horn as a war-talisman. It would be
singular indeed, if the Creeks were the only Indians of America who
believed solely in the Great Spirit and not also in a number of lesser
conceptions of imagination, as dwarfs, giants, ogres, fairies,
hobgoblins and earth-spirits.

The myths referring to the origin of nations often stand in close
connection with myths accounting for the ages of the world or
successive creations, with migration legends, and with culture-myths,
explaining the origin of certain institutions, manufactures and arts.

Many of these myths are etymological, as that of the Greeks, stating
that they originated from stones thrown by Deucalion behind himself
(λάας _stone_, and λαός _people_); that of Adam, being created from
earth; adam, in Hebrew, signifies _person_ and _mankind_, adom, adum,
fem. adumáh _red, ruddy, bay-colored_, adamáh _earth, ground, land_,
from its reddish color, admoni _red-haired_.

Although the origin from the earth is certainly the most natural that
could suggest itself to primitive man, there are a number of nations
claiming provenience from the sky (the Tukabatchi were let down from
the sky in a gourd or calabash): from the sun (Yuchi), from the moon,
from the sea, from the ashes of fire (Sháwano), from eggs (Quichhua)
or certain plants.

The Aht, on the western coast of Vancouver Island, allege that animals
were first produced at Cape Flattery, Washington Territory, and from
the union of some of these with a star, which fell from heaven, came
the first men, and from them sprang all the race of Nitin-aht,
Klayok-aht and Mákah or Klass-aht Indians.[134]

    [Footnote 134: J. G. Swan, the Makah Indians, p. 56, in
    Smithsonian Contributions.]

Wherever a mythic origin from an animal, especially from a wild beast,
is claimed for man, it is usually done to explain the totem of the
gens to which the originators of the tale belong.

Among the nations tracing their mythic origin to the earth, or what
amounts to the same thing, to caves, deep holes, hills or mountains,
are the Pomo of Northern California, who believe that their ancestors,
the coyote-men, were created directly from a knoll of red earth,[135]
still visible in their country; the Nahua, whose seven tribes issued
from Chicomoztoc or the "Seven Caves."

    [Footnote 135: Stephen Powers, Tribes of California, p. 156.]

A tribe of the Yókat group, the Tinluí in Southern California, claims
that their forefathers issued from badger-burrows, and they derive
their tribal name from these holes, which are extremely frequent
through their country.[136]

    [Footnote 136: Communicated by Dr. Walter J. Hoffman. Powers
    writes the name: Tin-lin-neh.]

Six families representing the Six Nations of the Iroquois are called
out to the upper world from a cave on the Oswego River by the "Holder
of the Heavens," Tarenyawagon.[137]

    [Footnote 137: The myth is given below in full; taken from E.
    Johnson, Legends, etc. pp. 43, sqq.]

Traditions on early migrations, which have originated in the people to
which they refer and bear the imprint of genuineness, not that of a
late fabrication by conjurers or mixed-bloods, usually contain
indications of importance which are confirmed by archæologic and
linguistic researches. The tradition of the Hebrews, which tells of
their immigration into Palestine from the countries of the north
across the Euphrates, is substantiated by their tribal name _ibri_
"one who has crossed." The Hellenic, especially Doric tradition of an
immigration from Thrace and Macedonia through Epirus and Thessalia
into Greece is confirmed by linguistic and historic facts, but the
Roman legend concerning the descent of the founders of the "Eternal
City" from Troy was acknowledged to be a pious fraud by the ancients

The Indians of the upper and middle part of the peninsula of
California claim descent from the Yuma population north of them; the
Tinné-Apache of New Mexico and the Gila river, Arizona, also point to
an ancient home in the far north, and both traditions are confirmed by
the affinities of their dialects. In many instances, though by no
means in all, the migrations are seen to follow the direction of the
longitudinal axis of the continent. In North America another line of
migration is observed besides, that from west to east; nevertheless,
the Yuchi and some Dakota and Iroquois tribes have moved in a
direction exactly opposite.

It is erroneous to believe that a people had but one migration legend,
because only one has come to our knowledge.[138] This would be a
thorough misapprehension of the various agencies which are at work in
producing folk-lore. Every tribe of a people or nation has its own
migration myth or legend, which in some points coincides, in others
conflicts with those of the neighboring septs. Conflicting traditions
will be noticed below, not only among the Maskoki nations at large,
but also within the narrower limits of the Creek towns or tribes.

    [Footnote 138: "Quod non est in scriptis, non est in mundo."]

To the reproduction and critical examination of the different Creek
migration legends transmitted to us we premise a short chapter on the
mythic and legendary tales referring to the migrations of the other
Maskoki nations.

The account of the _Cha'hta_ migration, as given in the Missionary
Herald, of Boston, Vol. XXIV (1828), p. 215, was referred to in a
short extract in this volume, under Cha'hta, pp. 106. 107.

The narrative of the interpreter, who seems to have been somewhat
imbued with the spirit of rationalism, continues as follows:

"When they emigrated from a distant country in the west, the Creeks
were in front, the Cha'hta in the rear. They travelled to a 'good
country' in the east; this was the inducement to go. On the way, they
stopped to plant corn. Their great leader and prophet[139] directed
all their movements, carried the _hobuna_ or sacred bag (containing
'medicines') and a long white pole as the badge of his authority. When
he planted the white pole, it was a signal for their encampment. He
was always careful to set this pole perpendicularly and to suspend
upon it the sacred bag. None were allowed to come near it and no one
but himself might touch it. When the pole inclined towards the east,
this was the signal for them to proceed on their journey; it steadily
inclined east until they reached Nánni Wáya. There they settled."

    [Footnote 139: _Prophet_, in Cha'hta, is hopáyi and corresponds
    in his name to the ahopáya, hopáya of the Creeks, q. v.]

This story does not mention any crossing by the Cha'hta of the turbid
waters of the mighty Mississippi, but accounts quite satisfactorily
for the mysterious inclination of the pole, for the prophet must have
been careful to suspend the satchel with the war-physic always on the
eastern side, so as to have the pole brought down in that direction by
the weight of the pouch. The tale contains a similar motive as that of
the foundation of the citadel at Thebes by Kadmus, who was ordered by
an oracle to follow a wandering heifer until it would settle in the
grass, and then to found a city on the spot.

Follows the account of the _Chicasa_ migration, as told by their old
men to the United States agent stationed among them, and printed in
Schoolcraft, Indians, I, 309 sq:

"By tradition they say they came from the West; a part of their tribe
remained in the West. When about to start eastward they were provided
with a large dog as a guard and a pole as guide; the dog would give
them notice whenever an enemy was near at hand, and thus enable them
to make their arrangements to receive them. The pole they would plant
in the ground every night, and the next morning they would look at it,
and go in the direction it leaned. They continued their journey in
this way until they crossed the great Mississippi river, and on the
waters of the Alabama river arrived in the country about where
Huntsville, Alabama, now is. There the pole was unsettled for several
days, but finally it settled and pointed in a southwest direction.
They then started on that course, planting the pole every night, until
they arrived at what is called the Chickasaw Old Fields,[140] where
the pole stood perfectly erect. All then came to the conclusion that
that was the Promised Land, and there they accordingly remained until
they emigrated west of the State of Arkansas, in the years 1837 and

    [Footnote 140: The Chicasa Old Fields were, as I am informed by
    Mr. C. C. Royce, on the eastern bank of Tennessee river, at the
    islands, Lat. 34° 35´ and Long. 86° 31´.]

"While the pole was in an unsettled condition, a part of their tribe
moved on east, and got with the Creek Indians, but so soon as the
majority of the tribe settled at the Old Fields, they sent for the
party that had gone east, who answered that they were very tired, and
would rest where they were awhile. This clan was called Cush-eh-tah.
They have never joined the parent tribe, but they always remained as
friends until they had intercourse with the whites; then they became a
separate nation."

"The great dog was lost in the Mississippi, and they always believed
that the dog had got into a large sink-hole and there remained; the
Chickasaws said they could hear the dog howl just before the evening
came. Whenever any of their warriors get scalps, they give them to the
boys to go and throw them into the sink where the dog was. After
throwing the scalps, the boys would run off in great fright, and if
one should fall in running, the Chickasaws were certain he would be
killed or taken prisoner by their enemies. Some of the half-breeds,
and nearly all of the full-bloods now believe it."

"In traveling from the West to the Promised Land in the East, they
have no recollection of crossing any large watercourse except the
Mississippi river; they had to fight their way through enemies on all
sides, but cannot now remember the names of them. When they left the
West, they were informed that they might look for whites and that they
would come from the East; that they should be on their guard to avoid
them, lest they should bring all manner of vice among them."

The end of this relation looks rather suspicious for its antiquity, or
may be a later addition. The throwing of the scalps into the sink has
to be considered as a sort of sacrifice, although it is difficult to
say which power of nature the dog represented. The howling of the dog
before evening and the direction of the pole seem to indicate the
state of the weather and the moisture of the ground, which could give
origin to fevers. That the passage: "the dog was lost in the
Mississippi," should read: "_the dog was lost in the State of
Mississippi_," is plainly shown by the sentences following the

The migration legends now current among the Alibamu and the Hitchiti
are but short in form and have been referred to under the respective


The following legends of the Creek Indians are the only ones I have
been able to obtain, although it may be taken for certain, that every
one of the larger centres of the Creek nation had its own story about
this. The legend in Urlsperger and in Hawkins are both from Kasi'hta.
Milfort's was probably given to him at Odshi-apófa, and a fragment of
the Tukabatchi legend is inserted under Tukabatchi, p. 147.

_Migration Legend as recounted to Col. Benj. Hawkins by Taskáya Miko,
of Apatá-i, a branch village of Kasi'hta. "Sketch" of B. Hawkins, pp.

"There are in the forks (akfáski) of Red River or U-i tcháti, west of
Mississippi River, U-i ukúfki, two mounds of earth. At this place the
Kasiχta, Kawita and Chicasa found themselves, and were at a loss for
fire. They were here visited by the hayoyálgi, four men who came from
the corners of the world. One of them asked the Indians, where they
would have their fire (tútka). They pointed to a spot; it was made and
they sat down around it. The hayoyálgi directed that they should pay
particular attention to the fire, that it would preserve them and let
Isákita imíssi, the holder of breath, know their wants. One of the
visitors took them to show them the pā′ssa, another showed them
the míko huyanī′dsha, then the cedar or átchina and the sweet-bay
or tóla. (One or two plants were not recollected, and each of these
seven plants was to belong to a particular tribe, imaläíkita.[141])
After this, the four visitors disappeared in a cloud, going in the
direction whence they came.

    [Footnote 141: aläíkita means _totemic gens_, imaläíkita _one's
    own gens_, or _its particular gens_.]

"The three towns then appointed their rulers. The Kasiχta chose the
bear gens or nukusálgi to be their míkalgi, and the ístanalgi[142] to
be their íniha-`lákalgi or men second in command. The Kawita chose the
`lá`loalgi or fish gens to be their míkalgi.

    [Footnote 142: No such gens or division exists among the Creeks

"After these arrangements, some other Indians came from the west, met
them, and had a great wrestle with the three towns; they made
ballsticks and played with them, with bows and arrows, and with the
átassa, the war club. They fell out, fought, and killed each other.
After this warring, the three towns moved eastwardly, and met the
Ábika on Coosa river. There they agreed to go to war for four years
against their first enemy; they made shields[143], tupĕlúkso, of
buffalo hides and it was agreed, that the warriors of each town should
dry and bring forward the íka hálbi or scalps of the enemy and pile
them; the Ábika had a small pile, the Chicasa were above them, the
Kawita above them, and the Kasiχta above all. The two last towns
raised the ítu tcháti, _red_ or _scalp-pole_, and do not suffer any
other town to raise it. Kasiχta is first in rank.

    [Footnote 143: The present Creek word for _shield_ is
    masanágita. The tupĕlúkso consisted of a round frame, over
    which hides were stretched.]

"After this, they settled the rank of the four towns among themselves.
Kasiχta called Ábika and Chicasa tchatchúsi, _my younger brothers_.
Chicasa and Ábika called Kasiχta and Kawita tcha`láha, _my elder
brothers_. Ábika called Chicasa ama'hmáya or _my elders, my
superiors_, and Chicasa sometimes uses the same term to Ábika.

"This being done they commenced their settlements on Coosa and
Tallapoosa rivers, and crossing the falls of Tallapoosa, above
Tukabáχtchi, they visited the Chatahutchi river, and found a race of
people with flat heads in possession of the mounds in the Kasiχta
fields. These people used bows and arrows, with strings made of
sinews. The alíktchalgi or great physic makers sent some rats in the
night-time, which gnawed the strings, and in the morning they attacked
and defeated the flat-heads. They crossed the river at the island,
near the mound, and took possession of the country. After this they
spread out eastwardly to Otchísi-hátchi or Okmulgi river, to Okoni
river, to Ogītchi or How-ge-chuh river, to Chíska tálofa hátchi or
Savannah river, called sometimes Sawanógi. They met the white people
on the seacoast, who drove them back to their present situation.

"Kasiχta and Chicasa consider themselves as people of one fire,
tútk-itka hámkushi,[144] from the earliest account of their origin.
Kasiχta appointed the first míko for the Chicasa, directed him to
settle in the large field (sit down in the big savanna), where they
now are, and govern them. Some of the Chicasa straggled off and
settled near Augusta, from whence they returned and settled near
Kasiχta, and thence rejoined their own people. Kasiχta and Chicasa
have remained friends ever since their first acquaintance."

    [Footnote 144: Tútk-itka hámkushi: of one town, belonging to one
    tribe; literally: "of one burning _fire_:" tútka _fire_, itkis
    _it burns_, hámkin _one_, -ushi, suffix: _belonging to, being

       *       *       *       *       *

_Extract from_: "History of the Moskoquis, called to-day Creeks;" a
chapter in "Mémoire" of Milfort, pp. 229-265:

Everybody knows, that when the Spaniards conquered Mexico, they
experienced but little difficulty in subduing the peaceable nation
inhabiting those southwestern countries by means of their firearms,
which proved to be far superior to the bows and arrows of their
opponents, and against which courage availed almost nothing. The ruler
Montezuma saw the impossibility of resisting, and called to his aid
the neighboring tribes. At that epoch the Moskoquis formed a powerful
separate republic in the northwest of Mexico; they succored him with a
numerous body of warriors, but were frightfully decimated by the
Spaniards, who dismembered Montezuma's domain, and almost completely
depopulated it. The conquerors also extended their sceptre over the
territory of the Moskoquis, who, disdaining abject slavery, preferred
to leave their native country to regain their former independence.

They directed their steps to the north, and having marched about one
hundred leagues reached the headwaters of Red river in fifteen days.
From there they followed its course through immense plains, blooming
with flowers and verdure and stocked with game, for eight days.
Innumerable flocks of aquatic and other birds congregated around the
salt ponds of the prairie and on the waters of Red River. Encountering
clumps of trees upon their way, they stopped their march. Scouting
parties were dispatched to explore the surroundings; they returned in
a month, having discovered a forest, the borders of which were
situated on Red river, and contained ample subterranean dwellings. The
Moskoquis went on, and on reaching the spot, discovered that these
dwellings were hollows made in the soft ground by buffaloes and other
animals, which had been attracted by the salty taste of the earth. The
tribe concluded to settle at this quiet place and began to sow the
grains of maize which they had brought from their Mexican home. Being
in want of other tools, they managed to cut and trim pieces of wood
with sharp-edged stones; these wooden sticks were then charred and
hardened in the fire, to serve as agricultural implements. Thereupon
they fenced in the fields selected for planting by means of rails and
pickets, so as to prevent the wild animals from eating the maize-crop,
and apportioned some of the land to each family[145] in the tribe.
While the young people of both sexes were occupied at the agricultural
work, the old ones were smoking their calumets. Thus many years were
passed in happy retirement and abundance of material riches.

    [Footnote 145: Family is probably meant for _gens_, or

But soon their destinies took a downward turn, and forced them to
expatriate themselves for a second time. A number of their men were
killed by the Albamo or Alibamu, and the young men sent after them
were unable to meet the hostiles and to chastise them. The míkos
attributed this to the want of unity in their military organization,
and as a remedy for it instituted the charge of Great Warrior or
tustenúggi `láko. His authority lasted at first only during the
war-expedition commanded by him, but within that time his power was
unlimited, and he could not be called to any account.

Led by a tustenúggi of their choice, they pursued the Alibamu, and
finally caught up with them near a forest on the banks of the Missouri
river. The war-chief ordered the wind gens, to which he belonged, to
cross the river first, then followed the bear gens, then the tiger
gens, and so forth. On their march the vanguard was formed by the
young braves, the rear-guard by the old men, and the non-combatants
were placed in the centre. They surprised the Alibamu, who then
inhabited subterranean dwellings (souterrains), and massacred a large
number of them; then these retreated in haste along the Missouri
river, descending on its right or southern banks. When again closely
pressed by the pursuing Moskoquis, who had defeated them more than
once, the Alibamu crossed over to the left side of the river; but this
did not save them from pursuit, for the Moskoquis followed them to the
opposite side, defeated them in a sharp encounter, and drove them in
the direction of Mississippi river, in which many found a watery grave
in their hasty flight.

The two belligerent tribes now crossed Mississippi river, and the
Alibamu, having an advance of eight days over their pursuers, fled
before them into the interior parts to the east. The Moskoquis
discovered their tracks and followed them to the Ohio river, north
shore, thence to the influx of Wabash river, then crossed Ohio river
into what is now Kentucky, continued their march in a southern
direction, and finally arrived in the Yazoo country, where they stayed
for several years. The caves in which they lived exist to the present
day; some of them were excavated by themselves, while others were
found ready for occupation.

In the meantime the Alibamu had remained in the fertile tracts along
Coosa river. Their warriors cut off and scalped some of the Moskoqui
scouts, who had come to ascertain their whereabouts. This deed so
embittered the injured tribe, that their míkos resolved to dispossess
the enemy of their territory for the third time. They crossed
Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, followed Coosa river in marching
along its banks from south to north,[146] but were too late for the
Alibamu, who had previously left the country, partly for Mobile,
partly for the tracts held by Cha'hta Indians.

    [Footnote 146: p. 262: "_dans la direction du nord_." Perhaps we
    have to add the words: "_au sud_."]

The Moskoquis then quietly occupied the country which they had
conquered and spread out along the rivers Coosa, Tallapoosa,
Chatahutchi, Flint, Okmulgi, Great and Little Okoni and Ogitchi, till
they reached Savannah river at the place where Augusta is now

The Moskoquis, after taking possession of this wide extent of
territory, sent their warriors down Mobile river in pursuit of the
Alibamu, who had placed themselves under the protection of the French.
The French commander sought to prevent a war between the two bodies
of Indians, and succeeded in arranging a truce of six months and in
determining with accuracy the hunting grounds of both. Leaders and
warriors of the Moskoquis then descended the river and concluded a
lasting peace with the hostile tribe in the presence of the French
commander. They even invited the Alibamu to join their confederacy by
offering them a tract of land on what is now Alabama river, with the
privilege of preserving their own customs. The Alibamu accepted the
offer, settled on the land, built a town on it, called Coussehaté, and
since then form an integral part of the Moskoqui people, which now
assumed the name of Creeks.

As a sequel to his wonderful story of the pursuit of the Alibamu by
the Creeks and the final peaceable settling down of both, Milfort adds
some points on the early doings and warrings of the Creeks, which had
occurred but a limited number of years before his stay in the tribe,
and were recounted to him by one of the míkos from their memorial
beads, like the legendary migration:

About the time of Coussehaté's foundation an Indian tribe dismembered
by the Iroquois and Hurons, the Tukabatchi, fled to the Creeks, and
asked for shelter. Lands were assigned and the fugitives built on it a
town, which they named after themselves, and where the general
assemblies of the entire people are sometimes meeting. This kind
reception encouraged the Taskígi and the Oxiailles (Oktcháyi) who were
also annoyed by their warlike neighbors, to seek a place of safety
among the Creeks. Their request was granted also. The former settled
at the confluence of Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, the Oxiailles ten
leagues to the north of them, in a beautiful prairie near a rivulet.

Shortly after this event, the small tribe of the Yuchi (_la petite
nation des Udgis_), partly dismembered by the British, also fled to
the Creek towns and were given a territory on Chatahutchi river.
Likewise did a part of the Chicasa apply for help; they were assigned
seats on Yazoo river, "at the head of Loup river,"[147] and soon
extended their habitations up to the Cheroki boundaries. A few years
after, the unhappy Naktche took refuge among the Chicasa, who by
protecting them underwent the displeasure of the French colonists.
They attacked the Chicasa and in spite of their superior artillery
were disastrously beaten near Loup river. A second attack of theirs
was warded off by the tribe, by acceding to the peace arrangements
proposed by the French. The Naktche then passed over to the Creeks and
obtained lands on Coosa river; they built there the towns of Natchez
and of Abikudshi, near two high mountains having the appearance of
sugar-loaves. The head men of the Creeks went to New Orleans in order
to arrange matters amicably with the French and permitted them to
erect a fort at Taskigi, subsequently called Fort Toulouse, and the
tribes were helpful in erecting it.

    [Footnote 147: Better known as Neshoba river, State of
    Mississippi; neshóba, Cha'hta term for _gray wolf_.]

Jealous of the erection of this advanced trade-post by their
hereditary enemy, the British asked for permission to build a fort on
Ogītchi river, twenty miles west of Augusta, Georgia, but were
roundly, and in unmistakable terms, refused by the Creek towns. After
the loss of the Canadian provinces, Fort Toulouse was evacuated by the
French. The Creeks, much dismayed at the departure of their friends,
and filled with aversion against the British and Spaniards, were
compelled to open their towns to the English traders, to obtain the
needed articles of European manufacture.

       *       *       *       *       *

Follows the recital of the incorporation of some families of
Apalachicola, Sháwano and Cheroki Indians into the community of the
Creeks (Mém., pp. 276-285). Unfortunately the statement concerning the
immigration of the Cheroki is without any details, and therefore is of
no avail in localizing the Cheroki towns or colonies within the Creek
territory (p. 285). The author states that the immigration was caused
by the pressure exercised upon the tribe by the English and Americans;
it was therefore of a quite modern date, if Milfort can be trusted.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1781, on the 1st of February, Milfort, great war-chief of the
Creeks, left his home at Little Talassi, half a league above the
ancient Fort Toulouse, at the head of two hundred young braves, to
visit the legendary caves on Red river, from which the nation had
issued in bygone times. They crossed the territories held by the Upper
Cha'hta, passed through Mobile, the confluence of Iberville bayou with
Mississippi river, St. Bernard bay on the coast, and following a
northern direction, finally reached a forest on Red river, about 150
leagues above its junction with Mississippi river. They crossed these
woods, which were situated on an eminence on the river side, and stood
in face of the caves (_cavernes_), the objective point of the

The noise of a few gun-shots brought out of these spacious cavities a
large number of bisons, wild oxen and wild horses, which ran,
frightened as they were by the unusual explosions, head over heels,
over precipices of more than eighty feet of perpendicular height into
the slimy waters of Red river. The only description Milfort gives of
these caves goes to show that there were several or many of them,
situated in close vicinity to each other, and that those seen could
easily contain fifteen to twenty thousand families. The party
concluded to pass the inclement season in these grottoes, which they
had reached about Christmas time. Here they hunted, fished and danced
until the end of March, 1782, then started for the Missouri, and
subsequently for home, well supplied with the products of the chase.

_Remarks on Taskáya Míko's Kasi'hta Legend._

A closer study of this legend reveals many points of importance for
the better understanding of Tchikilli's narrative, as both have
evidently been derived from the same original report.

The locality where the tribes of the Kasíχta, Kawíta and Chicasa
came from is placed here in the same point of the compass as in
Tchikilli's story, in the west. Whether the forks of the Red river
were supposed to coincide with the "mouth of the earth" in the legend
can be decided only when we shall have a better knowledge of Creek
folklore. If Hawkins' informant used the passive form of hídshäs _to
see_, when speaking of the appearance of the Kasíχta, it would be
more appropriate to say _originated, were born_ than the expression we
find in the text: "found themselves." The subterranean dwellings,
mentioned and visited by Milfort as being the legendary home of the
"Moskoquis," are not mentioned here; and in French colonial times the
"Forks of Red river" designated the confluence of Washita and Red

The hayoyálgi, coming from the four corners of the world to light the
sacred fire, the symbol of the sun, are the winds fanning it to a
higher flame, and the purpose of the story is to make an oracular
power of the sacred flame, by which the Holder of Breath, or Great
Spirit, could be placed in communication with his Indian wards, and
enabled to take care of them.

The notice that each of the seven plants distributed to the Indians
belonged, or was the emblem of a certain gens or division of people,
is gathered from this passage only, and probably refers to the
ingredients of some war-physic, which only a limited number of the
gentes may have been entitled to contribute to the annual púskita. The
precedence of some favored gentes before others in regard to offices
of peace or war is frequently observed among Northern as well as
Southern tribes of Indians.[148] The number four is conspicuous here
as well as in the legend related by Tchikilli; we have four hayoyálgi,
four principal chieftaincies, four years of warfare, etc.

    [Footnote 148: Cf. what is said of the _wind_ gens in Milfort's
    migration legend.]

The cause of the warring, or the pretense for it, against "some other
Indians from the west" is curiously similar to the rivalry in athletic
sports, which took place between the western Iroquois and their
subdivisions, and finally led to the destruction of the Erie or
Ká'hkwa Indians (Cusick, Johnson). The names of "brothers, cousins,
elders," which occur here, are terms of intertribal courtesy, which we
find also, perhaps in a more pronounced manner, among the New York
Iroquois. The Creeks called the Delaware and Sháwano Indians
grandfathers, because they regard their customs and practices as older
and more venerable than their own; others state, because they occupied
their countries further back in time than the Creeks did theirs.

The facts subsequently related are given without such chronological
dates as we find with the previous ones, but the narrator evidently
tried to condense into the space of a few years what it took
generations to accomplish. This is very frequently observed in
legendary tales. The spreading out of the people from the Tallapoosa
river to the Chatahutchi and from there to the Savannah must have
involved a warfare, struggling, migration and settling down of several
centuries, for the advance of the Maskoki proper in this direction was
tantamount to the formation of the Maskoki confederacy by subduing or
incorporating the tribes standing in their way, and to the still more
lengthy process of settling among them. What nation the flat-heads or
aborigines of the country may have belonged to, will be discussed in
the remarks to Tchikillis' tale. That there were Creek-speaking
Indians on the Atlantic coast as early as 1564, has been shown
conclusively in the article Yámassi; but their expulsion from there by
the white colonists occurred but one hundred and fifty years later.

A certain objective purpose is inherent in these legends, which is
more of a practical than of a historical character; it intends to
trace the tribal friendship existing between the Kasiχta and the
Chicasa, or a portion of the latter, to remote ages. It must be
remembered, that both speak different languages intelligible to each
other only in a limited number of words. An alliance comparable to
this also exists between the Pima and Maricopa tribes of Arizona; the
languages spoken by these even belong to different families.

The period when the Chicasa settlement near Kasiχta was broken up by
the return of the inmates to the old Chicasa country is not definitely
known, but may be approximately set down in the beginning of the
eighteenth century. Later on, a war broke out between the Creeks and
Chicasa. Kasiχta town refused to march against the old allies, and
"when the Creeks offered to make peace their offers were rejected,
till the Kasiχta interposed their good offices. These had the
desired effect, and produced peace" (Hawkins, p. 83).

_Remarks to Milfort's Legend._

Milfort's "History of the Moskoquis," as given above in an extract, is
a singular mixture of recent fabrications and distortions of real
historic events, with some points traceable to genuine aboriginal

Nobody who has the slightest knowledge of the general history of
America will credit the statement that the Creeks ever lived in the
northwestern part of Mexico at Montezuma's and Cortez' time, since H.
de Soto found them, twenty years later, on the Coosa river; and much
less the other statement, that they succored Montezuma against the
invader's army.[149] That they met the Alibamu on the west side of
Mississippi river is not impossible, but that they pursued them for
nearly a thousand miles up that river to the Missouri, and then down
again on the other or eastern side of Mississippi, is incredible to
anybody acquainted with Indian customs and warfare. The narrative of
the Alibamu tribal origin given under: Alibamu, p. 86, locates the
place where they issued from the ground between the Cahawba and the
Alabama rivers. That the Creeks arrived in Northern Alabama in or
after the time of the French colonization of the Lower Mississippi
lands, is another impossibility, and the erection of Fort Toulouse
preceded the second French war against the Chicasa by more than twenty
years, whereas Milfort represents it as having been a consequence of
that war.

    [Footnote 149: A Chicasa migration from Mexico to the Kappa or
    Ugaχa settlements, on Arkansas river, is mentioned by Adair,
    History, p. 195.]

It is singular and puzzling that Maskoki legends make so frequent
mention of _caves_ as the former abodes of their own or of cognate
tribes. Milfort relates, that the Alibamu, when in the Yazoo country,
lived in caves. This may refer to the Cha'hta country around "Yazoo
Old Village" (p. 108), in Neshoba county, Mississippi; but if it
points to the Yazoo river, we may think of the chief Alimamu (whose
name stands for the tribe itself), met with by H. de Soto, west of
Chicaça, and beyond Chocchechuma. A part of the Cheroki anciently
dwelt in caves; and concerning the caverns from which the Creeks claim
to have issued, James Adair gives the following interesting
disclosure: "It is worthy of notice, that the Muskohgeh cave, out of
which one of their politicians persuaded them their ancestors formerly
ascended to their present terrestrial abode, lies in the Nanne Hamgeh
old town, inhabited by the Mississippi-Nachee Indians,[150] which is
one of the most western parts of their old-inhabited country." The
idea that their forefathers issued from caves was so deeply engrafted
in the minds of these Indians, that some of them took any conspicuous
cave or any country rich in caves to be the primordial habitat of
their race. This is also confirmed by a conjurer's tricky story
alluded to by Adair, History, pp. 195. 196.

    [Footnote 150: Cf. Abiku′dshi, p. 125. Adair, History, p.

A notion constantly recurring in the Maskoki migrations is that they
journeyed _east_. This, of course, only points to the general
direction of their march in regard to their starting point. As they
were addicted to heliolatry, it may be suggested that their conjurers
advised them to travel, for luck, to the east only, because the east
was the rising place of the sun, their protector and benefactor.
Cosmologic ideas, like this, we find among the Aztecs, Mayas, Chibchas
and many other American nations, but the direction of migrations is
determined by physical causes and not by visionary schemes. Wealth and
plunder prompted the German barbarians, at the beginning of the
mediæval epoch of history, to migrate to the south of Europe; here, in
the Gulf territories, the inducement lay more especially in the quest
of a country more productive in grains, edible roots, fish and game.
It may be observed here, that from the moving of the heavenly bodies
from east to west the Pani Indians deduced the superstition that they
should never move _directly_ east in their travels.[151] This,
however, they rarely observed in actual life at the expense of

    [Footnote 151: John B. Dunbar, The Pawnees; in Mag. of Amer.
    History, 1882, (3d article) § 10.]


The Kasi'hta migration legend, in its detailed form as now before us,
has been transmitted in the following manner:

After Tchikilli had delivered it in the year 1735 at Savannah, in the
presence of Governor Oglethorpe, of the colonial authorities and
people, and of over sixty of his Indian followers (cf. p. 193), the
interpreter handed it over, written upon a buffalo skin, to the
British, and in the same year it was brought to England. To these
statements, the _American Gazetteer_[152] adds the following
particulars, which seem to be founded on authentic information: "This
speech was curiously written in red and black characters, on the skin
of a young buffalo, and translated into English, as soon as delivered
in the Indian language.... The said skin was set in a frame, and hung
up in the Georgia Office, in Westminster. It contained the Indians'
grateful acknowledgments for the honors and civilities paid to
Tomochichi, etc."

    [Footnote 152: London, 1762, vol. II, Art. Georgia; cf. Ch. C.
    Jones, Tomochichi, p. 74. Brinton, Ch.-M. Legend, p. 5.]

Upon the request of Dr. Brinton, Mr. Nicholas Trübner made researches
in the London offices for this pictured skin, but did not succeed in
finding it. He discovered, however, a letter written by Tchikilli,
dated March, 1734, which is deposited in the Public Record Office,
Chancery Lane.[153]

    [Footnote 153: Brinton, Ch.-M. Legend, pp. 5. 6.]

The chances of rediscovering the English original of the legend are
therefore almost as slim as those of recovering the lost books of
Livy's History. But a translation from the English has been preserved
in a German book of the period, and the style of this piece shows it
to be an authentic and comparatively accurate rendering of the
original. The German book referred to is a collection of pamphlets
treating of colonial affairs, and published from 1735 to 1741; its
first volume bears the title: _Ausfuehrliche Nachricht von den
Saltzburgischen Emigranten, die sich in America niedergelassen haben.
Worin, etc. etc., Herausgegeben von Samuel Urlsperger, Halle,
MDCCXXXV_. The legend occupies pp. 869 to 876 of this _first volume_,
and forms _chapter six_ of the "_Journal_" of von Reck, the title of
which is as follows: _Herrn Philipp Georg Friederichs von Reck Diarium
von Seiner Reise nach Georgien im Jahr 1735_. F. von Reck was the
commissary of those German-Protestant emigrants whom religious
persecution had expelled from Salzburg, in Styria, their native city.


Náki Tchikílli ísti Maskō′ki Hatchapála'h Hatcháta tipā′χad ímmikut
hammā′kit opunáyatīs Sawä′na talófan, o'h`lolopí 1735, mómen
i-ätikóyatis móh'men yanashá`lpin uχhutsä′hudsatis.

Tchikílli ísti Maskō′ki Hatchapála Hatcháta típākad ímmikut; Ántitchi
Káwitalgî î′mmiko máχit; Íllîdshî míkko; Ósta Kasíχtalgi îmmíkko;
Támmidsho hú`li míkko; Wáli Apala'h`ltsuklálgi hú`li kapitáni;
Puipaédshi míkko; Támhuitchi Yutchitálgi imífa míkko; Mitikáyi
Okū′nalgi inhú`li míkko; Tuwidshédshi míkko; Huyáni Tchiyáhalgin
Okmulgálgi tibáχad ínhu`li míkko; Stimalagué'htchi Osotsálgi immíkko;
Hupí`li Sawoklálgi îmmíkko; Iwanágî míkko; Tamókmi Yufantálgî inhú`li
kapitáni tún, tustanoχálgî páli-tut'tchínit apákin opunáyit ókatis:

Mómad níta ō′dshin íkana idshókuat hásî-aklatgátin ō′dshit ō′men
hawáχladīs; mómof man Kasí'htalgi ikandshóχuan ā′sosa-id anákuasin
inkákîda háyatis tché. Mú'mof íkanat tchapáka-ikit hopuitákin
inlóχadis; ma mō′man akúyi'htchit inha'-aχlátkosin apóχadīs; mómäs
apálluat isáfuli'htchit mátăwan i-apókatīs. Mómäs ísti súlgad í-upan
fik'húnnatis múmaχan hí`lit-wē′tis kómākika.

Múmitu istómäs î′kana hubuitágî înlóχatid imomitchä′dshin, inhí`lîkût
hási-óssātifátchan apíyatīs. (---- up!)

Mó'hmit apíyît oí-ua okû′fki tchíkfit lipákfit wággin uséχtchît, hápû
háyit fígabin uhhayátgadis. Ísin háyatgi apíyît nĭ′ta hámgad yáfgadîn
uíwa tsá-atid wággin u`lé'htchadīs. Móh'mît man apógît u'h`lolopí
hokólin `lá`lotäs man pasátit pápit apókatis. Múmäs wi-kä′wat
inhi`lágikun inhi`lagigádis. Úyuwa tchádad iyúksa fádsan apíyadīs,
mómof tinī′tki ō′kin impóhatis nákitoha kó'hmet uχ'hapíadīs.

Múmad íkodshi tchátit `lánin óssît ómātit ókin hídshatis; mómad ma
`laní únapan yahaíkîda ókīd pohákatīs Nágitun ómad hí'htchagīs
kä′χtchid ísti uχtútatis; múmatin tótka sákid hálluin álîgapit ómātit
mat yahaíkida ókit ómin hidshákatis. Í-a `láni `láni immíkkun kaítchîd
hodshífatīs. Háyumäs tinítki imúngīs mō′men ísti impingalagí imúngat

Man istî itáloa ma`láχ`laχa tut'tchínin itihídshatis mómad ma `láni
tútka óssi ō′dshan ahitídshatit isfúllin itihídshatis; mó'hmet man
imáhilissua ómäs ínhītchkin náki íta-u súlkin ahupu`llinákatīs.

Hă′si-óssati fátsan átit tútka hátkîd immalā′katis, mómäs
istomitchakigátis. Wahála fátsan atít tútka okulátid immalákatis,
múmäs má-o istomidshikátis. Akĕlátka fátchan atít tútka lástid
immalákatis, má-o istomidshikádis. Ispógi húnisa fátchan atít tútka
tcháatitut lánit immalákatis. Hía tótka `láni ahî′tki ō′dshi ahitídshi
ísfullatid ituχkálan; hía tótkan háyomi atíkäs ō′dshit ō′s. Má-o
yahá-iki ó'mäs ódshid ómīs. `Laní únapan púkabit úχui`lit ómatît
fik'hí`lkîgût istukä′idhi máhid ómatin istä′mat ísto'hmit ómatin
fík'hunnīs máχäs sîgátis. Ístûdshi î′tski-súsikōn ma ítun i`lanafaíkit
ilíhotchatis; mó'hmet ma púkabî í'hsit hó`li apíyatäs isfúllatis.
A′tassa ómid ómatis. Háyomäs ódshīs maómid, ito-ú'h mátawat ómatis.
Hiátawan nákî i-alúnga ma`láχ`laχă ō′stid yahaígit îstumítskatad
i-uχki`lkuídshit ódshîn inhítchkadīs; ihatitchíska: pássa; sahokólad:
míkko-huyanídsha; satot'tchínad: sawátsku'h; isústad; híshi lopútski;
hayómit inhítchkadīs.

Imáhilissua inhítchkadi pō′skat pássa míkko-hoyanídsha tipákan
isiafástid ómants. Hía púskita o'h`lolopí omálgan i-ilawídshit náki
hóma lóktsat atígat man wéyit ómis. Ma imáhilissua inhitchékadi áyat
húktagidēs ípuskīs, mómin ómad tútka ítäman i`la-itídshit apókin nĭtá
tsaχgípäs, ípakäs, kulapáχäs ó`lin inhuyánad i`la-áwīd ómatis. Hían
múmikun û′mad imahilíssuatäs imahopánid ómĭka; mómin hóktage-u'h
tchafíndshagigō hakitáyid ómika.

Ma-ómofa máhin ísta itáluat adsuleidshítût ómit homáχ'hotit innakmágit
shihóki-titáyiha kómitan itimayopóskit isihóχatis. Itáluat ō′stîga
púkaben tchaktchahí'htchid: "fáki dshádin istchaditchagí'hlis; lánitût
ómäsim nik`lúfat tchátit ómika mákakadis. Mumíh'tchid pónho`li
ilî′tchkan apíagi`l mû′men ísta italuat-átit istigahá`lpi yaweíkit,
ítu tchaktchahídshati û'hlánin ómat, mad atchúllīd óma`lis"

Omálgat momítchita kómît, ómäsim Kasiχtálgî tá'htit yawaígit pókabi
aksomidshä′χtchin hítchgigō háχadīs. Mómiga mat itállua adsúlli máhad
ómis komhuyidádis. Tchikasálgit awaíhîgadis, mómen Atilámalgi
i`la-aweihígadis; múmäs Abiχkágitawat u'hláni ayídshädshad
isti-tó`lkua atíkusi-táyin yawaígadīs.

Ma-ómof fû′suă ok'holátid `lákid á`latis; ihádshî tchápgīd, ímpafnita
lámhi imántalidshid. Níta umálgan alágît ístin pasátît pápît á`latis.
Hókti ahákin háhit, hía fúsuă á`latin ihuiläidsháχadis. Hía fúsua ma
nákî inhahóyadi í'hsit isayipatí′tut, hofónen i`lisaláχatīs. Ódshipin
ómad nákitäs hítchkuidshi wäítis kómakatis. Hofóni hákin tchíssi
tchátit hī′tchkatis mómen ma fúsuat i`lkitó-aitis kómaχatis.

Ma tchíssin itimpunayágit istumidshakátit í`lgi imilidshagitáyad
itimpunäyákatis. Ma fúsuă ítcha-kuadáksin ín`li apákín ō′dshid ómatis.

Mómen ma tchî′ssit ítsa kuadáksi îfákan kalágit intádshatis istómit
issi-imanäítchiko-tidáyin háyatis; mómen man ilídisháχatis. Ma fúsuă
fúsuă ómal immíkkun käidsháχatis. Lamhi-u míkko `lákid ō′mís kómagid
ó′mis; mómiga hú`lidäs apíyis adám hí`lka hákadäs fúllis; mómof
lámhi-hádshi kó'htsaktsahídshid isfúllid ómis. Tchátad hó`lit ómin
hátgātît hí`lka ahopákat ómis. Íhu`lit táfa hátkin isnihāídshit
idshû′kuan hatídshit awolä′dshit lámhi ókit hákin ómat istófan

Hía nági mú'hmōf íyupan ma apókati inkapáχkit apíyit níni hátkid wákin
o`läítchatis; páhitäs nak-omálgat hátkusi-álgid ómatis. Mómen ístit
fulli-hí`lit ómadin idshákadis. Ma níni itahualapíχtchit anákuasin
nodshä′dshadis. Isafulíχshit nínî istómid ómad yihidsháχadīs mómitísti
istómid fúllit ómati, ma nî′nîn atíχgit atchakapiyakátin isámumides
ó'hmis kómit ómadīs. Man atihäígit apíyit Kolós'hatchi mágidan
ak'hadapídshatis; Kolós'hatchi kédshad tchádû-álgid íkodshid ómĕka.

Ma hátsi tayíχtchit apíyît hási-óssati fátchan Kósa mágida itálluat
apókin i`limu`läítchatis; hían apókin o'h`lolopî′ óstad ó`ladīs.
Kósalgit ókātit isti-pápat tchátu haúkin paíkīd ístin pumpasátit
omítutanks mákatis.

Kosiχtálgit ókātit illídshida kómid hídshi-is máχadis. Íkanan ku`la-ít
udshi ha`lpin húyan háhid isúχ`lanatis. Mó'hmit to-lopótskin
o'htalaítchatis ma isti-pápa adshakayigōtitáyin háhit u'hapíyadis,
nó'hmit sá-okan ma tcháto haúkit isti-pápa paíkan i`limuhucíkatis. Ma
isti-pápa tsabakihí`lit a-osā′-iyit ássidshatis afósalgat ití`laputit.
Isti hámkûsit ílātin ahí`lit ómīs omálgi mahátin mónks hó'hmit,
ístudshi ítski-sósikōn imawaigákatis íkan-haúkin awoläídshit át ófan.
Man isti-pápa o'hlitäígit ígan-haúki inhayákatin u'hlatäíkin,
tsulíkûsua ahít'hukin isnáfkit ilidsháχatis. Ifúni hayúmäs isfólli
imúngat ō′mis. Palhámgad tsátitun palhámgit ok'holátid ómis.

Isti-pápa níta iskulapák' omálgan i`laágit ísti pasátit ómatis. Múnga
ma ilí'htchuf mátawan fík'hunnin níta kolapágí ó`lin i`liétchatis. Ma
isagi`létchkan hó`litäs apia`lánit i-ititákuitchat nĭta ípagin
imapóskit iskulapákatin apíyid ómatis. Ifónin i-ahu`lkasítchid
isapí-in ómad ihitskihí`lin fúllid ō′mis.

O'h`lopí ō′stad ó`lin Kósa talófa apókati ingapáχkit apíyat hátchî
Nófāpi ká-etchid u`läítchatis yómad Kalasi-hátchi kä′hodshid hákitōs.
Man u'h`lolopí hokólin fik'hún-nadīs. Mómid ádshidās ódshikoka náki
yelúngan `lá`lun yómen humpáχatís, mómĭt itcha-kutáksi háheidshit
in`li-tati itchhásua înútin `lonótutäs, yómān siyokfanfa-édshit
kúha-tukáh'lin isláfka háyatis.

Hía apókati inkapáχkit apíyad hátchî Watulahági mákitan o`läítchatis.
Watulaháki Hátchi käídshad wátulat tidayit látkid ómit háhokadin
ahudshífît umhóyadīs; mán ni'hli hámgin nodshä′dshatis Hadám apíyad
hátchi oíwa u'hlátkid odshin u`läídshatis; o-itúmkan hotchífadīs,
I`lín hayátki hátchi hámgin u`läítchatis Afosafíska kĕ′dshid.

I`lín hayátki ma hátchin tayíχtchit apíyad `láni hálluit läíkin
hu`läítchadin-ístit apókin hí′dshatis, níní hátki háyi fúllangid ō′mis
kómatis. Mû′nga `li-hábkin háhi-it ísitch'hatis ísti hi`lágīt ómin
ō′mad gí`lidan kómidut. Mómäs `lí hátki tchátakué'htchit
i`lásidsh'hatis mú'hmen ímmikûn hidshé′dshaχadin hi`líkuĕdos mákatis;
`lít hát'hagid i`lafulídshin ō′mad u'hapíhi-id íhaliwa ûmûsäs,
hupuitági ihitchkuídshit i`lasawasa nátchkatis, múmäs tchátidûga
u'hapíhiatskas käídshatīs. Mómi istómäs ísti istómid omákat hítchitan
kómit u'hapíyi sásatis; mû′matin sumitchípin o`läítchatīs.

Nínit ó-i sákun akadápgid ō′min hidsháχadis mómadit má nini tabála
i`lússigōd ómin hídshit má ísti úyuan isáktchiyit ómiga i`lásosa-igōs

Mán `lánit läígid ō′mis mō′terell mágität mû′madit a`lkasatúlga
nafhúgīs ma-úkid hákid ómīs, mómin máísti mán apógit ómadshŏks kúmhuid
ómīs. Hú`lidäs apíyit fúllin ómofa hía inhági istamaítäs pō′χki álgīn
pohágît fúllid ómis.

Má úyuan apa-idshídshit apíyit ú'hlatkīd ódshin o`läítchadin tchátu
`l′āk`lagid ódshin hídshatis man itcha-χûdáksit o'hlómhin hídshadīs;
mómit má ísti nînî hátki háyi fúllangid ómadshuksh kómatís.

Istófäs ístan apíyit fúllāti hóman ísti hokólin wiláko-idshit fúllid
ómīs. Hía húma-wilákad `láni hálluin o'htchimhókadin talófat ódshin
hídshatis, `Li-hátkin ma talófa isítch'hatis mû′mas ma ísti talófa
atíχkad `lî-î tchátin asítch'hatis.

Mómof kasíh'talgi tchapák'hoχatīs mú'hmit ma itáluan isapingalídshin
ómof tchókŏ isiti āipíalis kómatis. Tchádun úyuan akpalátît täígagi
titáyin háhi-it u'htäyídshatis móh'mit talófa imísatis ma ísti íka
tapikstagïd omáχatis umálgan pasátit hokólĕsĕn ahusitchä′tchatīs.
Ássitchi isápiyad î'fa hátkin is'híh'tchit illídshatis. Hokólusi
ahō′skadin assídshit isapíyad níni hátkid wággin o`läítchādin talófat
odsatchúkit íkodshin íh'tchit, hía ísti hidshída kómi hopo-iyitángid
ómadshoks kómatīs. Hían Palaχtchuklálgi apókitos mō′men ma
oχ'huanápsīd Tamodsä′-idsi ómīs.

Kasi'htálgi imagi`läítska tcháti-palátkan i-ádshid emúnkatis; mómäs
Palaχtchuklálgit ássîn iskuídshatis hî‛'lkida isahopákan mó'hmit
imponáyatis: "pófigi hat'hágidōs mómin tchíme-u matapóma`lis
podsû′shuădshi tcháti-algátin takuagí χtchit; istchigí`lga`li
tchinátakin hat'h‛ēdshaksh!" gedshatis-ka-édshatīs.

Mómidû istómäs podshû′shuadshin ayíktchi imúnkatis mómäs
Pālaχtchuklálgit isawätchítchikut imî'hsit intubá lídshan hopítaltis
Palaχtchuklálgit táfatkin ímatis mó'hmit púmmikût hámgushikas
käídshatīs; mú'hmati atígad istófäs itoχkálgit apóki imū′ngatatīs.

Ú-i `láko palahámgin apóki sásin apáluat tapálan apóki sásatis. Apóki
há'mgad Kasíχtalgin kä′dshit; apáwan Kowitálgin kähódshid ómís; mómäs
ísti hámgûsid ómis mómit Hatchapála Hatcháta tipáχad ísti Maskoki
itálua homáχhotid ómis. Mómidu istómäs Kasíχtalgi taχtit íkuădshi
tcháti tútka tcháti hídshatit ómit itálua tcháti-u háyatit ómika,
îfîgi tchátadi wäika`lúngo imúngat ómis muntúmäs palahámgad hátkidun
palahámgit tchátidut émäsim.

Hä′yomat nînî hátki mäímat isihí`lit ómati gi`lagídōs. Tamodshä‛dshi
talepó`lat omídatitäs istúngun inlopä′-idshitad gi`lágitōs. Squire
Oglethorpe adshákkahid míkko `lákon i`l'híχtchit oponáyat i`límpoχit
i`limunáhin pohágidut akasamágid ómĕka.



_"'Speech, which, in the year 1735, was delivered at Savannah, in
Georgia, by Chekilli, Emperor of the Upper and Lower Creeks; Antiche,
highest Chief of the town of the Cowetas, Eliche, King; Ousta, Head
Chief of the Cussitaws, Tomechaw, War King; Wali, War Captain of the
Palachucolas, Poepiche, King; Tomehuichi, Dog King of the Euchitaws;
Mittakawye, Head War Chief of the Okonees, Tuwechiche, King; Whoyauni,
Head War Chief of the Chehaws and of the Hokmulge Nation;
Stimelacoweche, King of the Osoches; Opithli, King of the Jawocolos;
Ewenauki, King; Tahmokmi, War Captain of the Eusantees; and thirty
other Warriors._

"'At a certain time, the Earth opened in the West, where its mouth is.
The earth opened and the Cussitaws came out of its mouth, and settled
near by. But the earth became angry and ate up their children;
therefore, they moved further West. A part of them, however, turned
back, and came again to the same place where they had been, and
settled there. The greater number remained behind, because they
thought it best to do so.

"'Their children, nevertheless, were eaten by the Earth, so that, full
of dissatisfaction, they journeyed toward the sunrise.

"'They came to a thick, muddy, slimy river, came there, camped there,
rested there, and stayed over night there.

"'The next day, they continued their journey and came, in one day, to
a red, bloody river. They lived by this river, and ate of its fishes
for two years; but there were low springs there; and it did not please
them to remain. They went toward the end of this bloody river, and
heard a noise as of thunder. They approached to see whence the noise
came. At first, they perceived a red smoke, and then a mountain which
thundered; and on the mountain, was a sound as of singing. They sent
to see what this was; and it was a great fire which blazed upward, and
made this singing noise. This mountain they named the King of
Mountains. It thunders to this day; and men are very much afraid of

"'They here met a people of three different Nations. They had taken
and saved some of the fire from the mountain; and, at this place, they
also obtained a knowledge of herbs and of many other things.

"'From the East, a white fire came to them; which, however, they would
not use.

"'From Wahalle, came a fire which was blue; neither did they use it.

"'From the West, came a fire which was black; nor would they use it.

"'At last, came a fire from the North, which was red and yellow. This
they mingled with the fire they had taken from the mountain; and this
is the fire they use to-day; and this, too, sometimes sings.

"'On the mountain was a pole which was very restless and made a noise,
nor could any one say how it could be quieted. At length, they took a
motherless child, and struck it against the pole; and thus killed the
child. They then took the pole, and carry it with them when they go to
war. It was like a wooden tomahawk, such as they now use, and of the
same wood. Here, they also found four herbs or roots, which sang and
disclosed their virtues: _First, Pasaw_, the rattle-snake root;
_Second, Micoweanochaw_ red-root; _Third, Sowatchko_, which grows like
wild fennel; and _Fourth, Eschalapootchke_, little tobacco.

"'These herbs, especially the first and third, they use as the best
medicine to purify themselves at their Busk.

"'At this Busk, which is held yearly, they fast, and make offerings of
the first-fruits.

"'Since they learned the virtues of these herbs, their women, at
certain times, have a separate fire, and remain apart from the men
five, six, and seven days, for the sake of purification. If they
neglect this, the power of the herbs would depart; and the women would
not be healthy.

"'About that time a dispute arose, as to which was the oldest and
which should rule; and they agreed, as they were four Nations, they
would set up four poles, and make them red with clay, which is yellow
at first, but becomes red by burning. They would then go to war; and
whichever Nation should first cover its pole, from top to bottom, with
the scalps of their enemies, should be the oldest.

"'They all tried, but the Cussitaws covered their pole first, and so
thickly that it was hidden from sight. Therefore, they were looked
upon, by the whole Nation, as the oldest.

"'The Chickasaws covered their pole next; then the Atilamas; but the
Obikaws did not cover their pole higher than the knee.

"'At that time, there was a bird of large size, blue in color, with a
long tail, and swifter than an eagle, which came every day and killed
and ate their people. They made an image, in the shape of a woman, and
placed it in the way of this bird. The bird carried it off, and kept
it a long time, and then brought it back. They left it alone, hoping
it would bring something forth. After a long time, a red rat came
forth from it, and they believe the bird was the father of the rat.

"'They took council with the rat, how to destroy its father. Now the
bird had a bow and arrows; and the rat gnawed the bow-string, so that
the bird could not defend itself; and the people killed it. They
called this bird the King of Birds. They think the eagle is also a
great King; and they carry its feathers when they go to War or make
Peace: the red mean War, the white, Peace. If an enemy approaches with
white feathers and a white mouth, and cries like an eagle, they dare
not kill him.

"'After this, they left that place, and came to a white foot-path. The
grass and everything around were white; and they plainly perceived
that people had been there. They crossed the path, and slept near
there. Afterward, they turned back to see what sort of path that was,
and who the people were who had been there, in the belief that it
might be better for them to follow that path. They went along it, to a
creek, called _Coloosehutche_, that is Coloose-creek, because it was
rocky there and smoked.

"'They crossed it, going toward the sunrise, and came to a people and
a town named Coosaw. Here they remained four years. The Coosaws
complained that they were preyed upon by a wild beast, which they
called man-eater or lion, which lived in a rock.

"'The Cussitaws said they would try to kill the beast. They digged a
pit and stretched over it a net made of hickory-bark. They then laid a
number of branches, crosswise, so that the lion could not follow them,
and going to the place where he lay, they threw a rattle into his den.
The lion rushed forth, in great anger, and pursued them through the
branches. Then they thought it better that one should die rather than
all, so they took a motherless child, and threw it before the lion, as
he came near the pit. The lion rushed at it, and fell in the pit, over
which they threw the net, and killed him with blazing pinewood. His
bones, however, they keep to this day; on one side, they are red, on
the other, blue.

"'The lion used to come every seventh day to kill the people.
Therefore, they remained there seven days after they had killed him.
In remembrance of him, when they prepare for War, they fast six days
and start on the seventh. If they take his bones with them, they have
good fortune.

"'After four years, they left the Coosaws, and came to a River which
they called _Nowphawpe_, now _Callasihutche_. There, they tarried two
years; and as they had no corn, they lived on roots and fishes, and
made bows, pointing the arrows with beaver teeth and flint-stones, and
for knives they used split canes.

"'They left this place, and came to a creek, called _Wattoolahawka
hutche_, Whooping-creek, so called from the whooping of cranes, a
great many being there. They slept there one night.

"'They next came to a River, in which there was a waterfall; this they
named the _Owatuaka-river_.

"'The next day, they reached another River, which they called the
_Aphoosa pheeskaw_.

"'The following day, they crossed it, and came to a high mountain,
where were people who, they believed, were the same who made the white
path. They, therefore, made white arrows and shot them, to see if they
were good people. But the people took their white arrows, painted them
red, and shot them back. When they showed these to their Chief, he
said that was not a good sign; if the arrows returned had been white,
they could have gone there and brought food for their children, but as
they were red they must not go. Nevertheless, some of them went to see
what sort of people they were; and found their houses deserted. They
also saw a trail which led into the River; and as they could not see
the trail on the opposite bank, they believed that the people had gone
into the River, and would not again come forth.

"'At that place, is a mountain, called _Moterell_, which makes a noise
like beating on a drum; and they think this people live there. They
hear this noise on all sides, when they go to War.

"'They went along the River, till they came to a waterfall, where
they saw great rocks; and on the rocks were bows lying; and they
believed the people who made the white path had been there.

"'They always have, on their journeys, two scouts who go before the
main body. These scouts ascended a high mountain and saw a town. They
shot white arrows into the town; but the people of the town shot back
red arrows.

"'Then the Cussitaws became angry, and determined to attack the town,
and each one have a house when it was captured.

"'They threw stones into the River, until they could cross it, and
took the town (the people had flattened heads), and killed all but two
persons. In pursuing these, they found a white dog, which they slew.
They followed the two who escaped, until they came again to the white
path, and saw the smoke of a town, and thought that this must be the
people they had so long been seeking. This is the place where now the
tribe of Palachucolas live, from whom Tomochichi is descended.

"'The Cussitaws continued bloody-minded; but the Palachucolas gave
them black drink, as a sign of friendship, and said to them: Our
hearts are white, and yours must be white, and you must lay down the
bloody tomahawk, and show your bodies, as a proof that they shall be

"'Nevertheless, they were for the tomahawk; but the Palachucolas got
it by persuasion, and buried it under their beds. The Palachucolas
likewise gave them white feathers; and asked to have a Chief in
common. Since then they have always lived together.

"'Some settled on one side of the River, some on the other. Those on
one side are called Cussetaws, those on the other, Cowetas; yet they
are one people, and the principal towns of the Upper and Lower Creeks.
Nevertheless, as the Cussetaws first saw the red smoke and the red
fire, and make bloody towns, they cannot yet leave their red hearts,
which are, however, white on one side and red on the other.

"'They now know that the white path was the best for them. For,
although Tomochichi was a stranger, they see he has done them good;
because he went to see the great King with Esquire Oglethorpe, and
hear him talk, and had related it to them, and they had listened to
it, and believed it.'"


Transcriber's Notes:

Words surrounded by _ are italicized.

Small capitals are presented as all capitals.

Obvious printer's errors have been repaired, other inconsistent
spellings have been kept, including inconsistent use of diacritical
mark (e.g. "Kawíta" and "Kawita") and hyphen (e.g. "folk-lore" and

On page 114, word "of" added to sentence "...the destroying of the
Tangipahoa town...."

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians - With a Linguistic, Historic and Ethnographic Introduction" ***

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