A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians

Gatschet, Albert S. A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians. Pub. D.G. Brinton, Philadelphia, 1884.

Thornton’s Translation of the Migration Legend of the Creek People

In 2015, after many years of searching, Richard Thornton found the impossible, the original Migration Legend of the Creek People. Gatschet in his famed manuscript which greatly covered this legend stated emphatically “The chances of rediscovering the original English translation of the Migration Legend of the Creek People are therefore almost as slim as recovering the lost books of Livy’s History.” That original English translation still remains lost as Gatschet predicted. But why settle for the English translation when you can find the original? The following is Thornton’s transcription from the original velum of the Migration Legend. Thornton indicates in our introduction that when “the original document, written by Thomas Christie, was finally discovered in 2015, the translation of the German text was found to be not so accurate or complete as Gatschet had presumed. Although the texts of the two documents follow the same general pattern, there were changes made in some of the passages that completely changed the meanings of certain phrases and sentences. Also, some sentences were presented in reverse order.”

Here we present, Richard Thornton’s modern translation:

The Hitchiti Language

The Hitchiti Dialect of the Maskoki language family is analogous, though by no means identical with the Creek dialect in its grammatic out lines. Many points of comparison will readily suggest them selves to our readers, and enable us to be comparatively short in the following sketch. The female dialect is an archaic form of …

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The Creek Settlements

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 …

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The Creek Language

The Creek Dialect 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 …

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The Creek Indian Trails

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, watercourses, fordable places in rivers, etc. …

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The Creek Government

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 …

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The Chahta Language

Editor’s Note: Cha’hta is a derivative for Choctaw, so the following information is referencing the Choctaw Language. The Cha’hta Language, 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 …

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The Annual Creek Busk

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.

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