Notes on the Creek Indians

Hewitt, J. N. B. Notes on the Creek Indians. Edited by John R. Swanton. Anthropological Papers, No. 10. Bulletin 123, BAE. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1939.

The Creek Square Ground

The Square or Yard was called Tokfi’tta (or Tokfi’kta), but sometimes Paskofa (Perryman spelled it “Pas-cofar” or “Pans-cofer”). Three plans of Creek Squares are given, two of them evidently intended to represent the same, while the third seems to be distinct. As the descriptions given in the teat and the notes accompanying the sketches disagree …

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The Creek Councils

The Council was called Inłałaka, łałaka being a word which signified “great men” or “officers.” The town council is said to have been composed of the Town Chief (Miko), the Square Chief (Tcoko-lako Miko), the “Speaker to the Chief,” who in this case seems to be identified with the head Tastanagi, and a Councilman from …

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Notes on the Creek Indians

Notes on the Creek Indians was published in 1939 by Swanton and taken from the notes of Maj. J. W. Powell. Those notes were initially written down in interviews with two Creek Indians from Okmulgee Town in Oklahoma in the early 1880’s, Legus F. Perryman and Gen. Pleasant Porter. While not extensive, and in part, duplicates Swanton’s Early History of Creek Indians, there is specific information found within the manuscript not available elsewhere.

Creek Towns

At the time when Porter and Perryman were interviewed (1881-82) they stated that there were 49 towns, each occupying a distinct territory, but that they had increased greatly after white contact and that tradition said there were originally but 18. These were all divided into two classes, one called the Italwalgi (Itulwulki) and the other …

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Creek Naming

The first personal name was given to a child at birth in commemoration of an important event which might. have occurred then, or in remembrance of some good or ill fortune that had befallen one of the older clan people, some one of the mother’s brothers or sisters or their children. That is, it might …

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Creek Marriage

When a man was considered by his clansmen entitled to a wife a conference was held by the elder men of the clan. The prospective groom must, however, have the following virtues. He must be a good hunter, a brave warrior, and an athlete. Having decided that he was old enough and fully callable of …

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Creek Leaders

There was yet another class of people in the state, namely, the prophets and medicine men or shamans. These constituted a priesthood, and performed important functions. Every act of the Muskogee government, or of the officers thereof, was considered a religious act. Councils were always convened with religious ceremonies and the installation of officers was …

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Creek Education

The father had no more to do with the discipline and education of his children than an alien. He could not punish their misconduct in any way, but he had such a right in some other man’s family, i. e., in the family of the man who had married his sister. It was the mother’s …

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Creek Clans

Perryman said that each town consisted of a number of clans or rather a number of segments of clans, and the Town Chief (Talwa Miko) was chosen from the principal one. Whenever another clan increased in numbers and importance so as to exceed that of the principal clan, a part or the whole of this …

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Creek Ceremonies

A number of festivals were held during the year determined by certain phases of the moon. Anciently it was customary to hold such meetings every month to give and receive counsel and also for enjoyment. There were two principal festivals, a lesser and a greater. The former took place in the spring, usually early in …

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