Collection: Early History of the Creek Indians

Timucua Indians Clothing

Ribault describes the Timucua as “of good stature, well shaped of body as any people in the world; very gentle, courteous, and good-natured, of tawny color, hawked nose, and of pleasant countenance.” 1French, Hist. Colls. La., 1875, p. 170. They were good swimmers and could climb trees with agility. The only invariable article of apparel worn by males was the breechclout, which we are informed consisted of a painted deerskin. Le Moyne represents this as if it were in one piece, passed about the privates, and carried round and tied at the back. If his representation might be relied upon

Calusa Towns

All of the Indians of southern Florida on the western side of the peninsula, from the Timucua territories as far as and including the Florida Keys, belonged to a confederacy or overlordship called Calusa or Calos. On the eastern coast were a number of small independent tribes, each usually occupying only one settlement. The most important of these appears to have been Ais, located close to what is now Indian River Inlet. The next in prominence, if not in power, were the Tekesta, at or near the present Miami, and between these were the Jeaga, or Jega, in Jupiter Inlet,

Yuchi Indian Tribe

The Yuchi have attracted considerable attention owing to the fact that they were one of the very few small groups in the eastern part of North America having an independent stock language. Their isolation in this respect, added to the absence of a migration legend among them and their own claims, have led to a belief that they were the most ancient inhabitants of the extreme southeastern parts of the present United States. The conclusion was natural, almost inevitable, but the event proves how little the most plausible theory may amount to in the absence of adequate information. Strong evidence has now come to light that these people, far from being aboriginal inhabitants of the country later associated with them, had occupied it within the historic period.

The Yamasee War

In 1715 the Yamasee war broke out, the most disastrous of all those which the two Carolina settlements had to face. The documents of South Carolina show clearly that the immediate cause of this uprising was the misconduct of some English traders, but it is evident that the enslavement of Indians, carried on by Carolina traders in an ever more open and unscrupulous manner, was bound to produce such an explosion sooner or later. The best contemporary narratives of this revolt are to be found in “An Account of Missionaries Sent to South Carolina, the Places to Which They Were

Tukabahchee Tribe

Tukabahchee was not only considered one of the four “foundation sticks” of the Creek Confederacy, but as the leading town among the Upper Creeks, and many add the leading town of the whole nation. During later historic times it was the most populous of all the upper towns, and is to-day the most populous without any exception. Like the other head towns, it has a special ceremonial title, Spokogi, or Ispokogi. Jackson Lewis thought this meant that Tukabahchee brooded over the other towns like a hen over her chickens. Another old Creek was of the opinion that it meant “to

Robert Seale Map

Tuskegee Tribe

Tuskegee Indians. Many dialects were spoken anciently near the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. Adair says: I am assured by a gentleman of character, who traded a long time near the late Alebahma garrison, that within six miles of it live the remains of seven Indian nations, who usually conversed with each other in their own different dialects, though they understood the Muskohge language; but being naturalized, they are bound to observe the laws and customs of the main original body. 1Adair, Hist. Am. Inds., p. 267. Some of these “nations” have already been considered. We now come to

Wakokai Tribe

The readily interpretable nature of this name, which signifies “heron breeding place,” suggests that the Wakokai were not an ancient Creek division; but not sufficient evidence has been found, traditional or other, to suggest an origin from any one of the remaining groups. Notice might be taken in this connection of the river Guacuca (Wakuka) crossed by the De Soto expedition just after leaving the Apalachee country. 1Bourne, Narr. of De Soto, II, p. 82. Their first historical appearance is probably on the De Crenay map of 1733, which represents them on Coosa River below the Pakan tallahassee Indians. 2Plate

Wiwohka Tribe

According to tradition, Wiwohka was a made-up or “stray” town, formed of fugitives from other settlements, or those who found it pleasanter to live at some distance from the places of their birth. One excellent informant stated that anciently it was called Witumpka, but the names mean nearly the same thing, “roaring water” and “tumbling water.” Both designations are said to have arisen from the nature of the place of origin of these people, near falls, and those may have been the falls of the Coosa. From the preservation of a purely descriptive name and their comparatively recent appearance in

Population of the Southeastern Indians

The population of an Indian tribe at any early period in its history can not be determined with exactness. In the case of the Creeks we have to consider not only the Muskogee or Creeks proper, but a number of tribes afterwards permanently or temporarily incorporated with them, and the problem is proportionately complicated. Fortunately we are helped out by a considerable nmnber of censuses, some of which were taken with more than usual care. The Cusabo tribes were always small, even at the time of their first intercourse with the Spaniards and French, but we have no data regarding

Tamali Tribe

It is in the highest degree probable that this town is identical with the Toa, Otoa, or Toalli of the De Soto chroniclers, the –lli of the last form representing presumably the Hitchiti plural –ali. Be that as it may, there can be little question regarding the identity of Tamałi with the town of Tama, which appears in Spanish documents of the end of the same century and the beginning of the seventeenth. 1See p. 12. In 1598 Mendez de Canço, governor of Florida, writes that he plans to establish a post at a place “which is called Tama, where