Collection: Yuchi Indians

Yuchi Population

At the present day the Yuchi are located in the northwestern part of the Creek nation, where they have been since the removal in 1836. They inhabit the well-watered hills in the section known locally as the Cross Timber, a thinly wooded tract running in a general northerly and southerly direction through central Oklahoma, the last extensive frontier of timber on the south-western prairies marking the old boundaries of Oklahoma and Indian Territory. There are in this region three so-called settlements of Yuchi, called respectively Polecat, Sand Creek and Big Pond by the whites. All of these settlements are distributed

Yuchi Rite of the Emetic

Now that the sun was about at the zenith and the medicines had been steeping in the sun long enough, it was time for the men to take the emetic in accordance with the instructions of the mythical Sun deity who declared that, as long as he rose from the east and beheld his people taking the sacred emetic, he would continue their tribal existence. The first to take the emetic were the town chief and the three other square-ground Chiefs. (See Plate XV, 1.) They were followed by the four square-ground Warriors. Then four more Chiefs and four more

Yuchi Religion

In treating other subjects frequent mention has been made, heretofore, of various religious beliefs connected with different phases of life, of the ideas which the Yuchi hold regarding the supernatural realm, and how they maintain their relations with the latter by means of rites and ceremonies. An attempt will now be made to give as many of these beliefs as could be gotten in order to present as clearly as possible an idea of the religious life of the tribe. In the earliest mythological time about which anything at all is known, there existed only a certain realm of water

Yuchi Folklore

Here are a few miscellaneous beliefs which were recorded in regard to the natural, supernatural, and animal world. They are given about as they were told by the Indians. “If a terrapin in his travels walks around a big tree it is a very bad thing for him. He will dry up. That’s why they never do it.” “The thunder or rain kills snakes. When a storm comes up they must all go back into the ground. If they do not, they will be killed. So if they are killing a calf (sic!) or anything, they must leave it as

Yuchi Symbolism of the Town Square

We shall now return again to the subject of the town square because the religious ceremonies to be described in the following pages are inseparably connected with it. The public square-ground, where all civil and religious events of the town take place, has a symbolical significance which is quite important, and comparable in some respects to the altars and shrines of the southwestern and plains tribes. In its ceremonial aspect the town square is symbolically a rainbow. For, according to the myth of the origin of the Yuchi and their cult, as already given, the mother of the Sun took

Yuchi Treatment of Disease

The shaman secretes himself with the medicines, and filling a pot with water, steeps them, all the time blowing into the concoction through a hollow cane. This cane is about two and one-half feet long and has three red ribbons tied on it. (See PI. VII, Fig. 1.) This takes place between the stanzas of the appropriate song. Nearly all of the songs are sung four times, then a long blowing is given the medicine, after which it is thought properly charged with magic power. It is then given to the patient, who drinks it and washes in it, applying

Yuchi Mythology

Some of the most important mythologic accounts have been given in the description of religious beliefs and need not be repeated. If the following interpretation of Southern mythology be correct, it would seem that the myths of the Yuchi and the other southeastern tribes belong in one fairly homogeneous group, and that the fundamental myth elements, here somewhat specialized on account of local interests, also belong in the extensive common category widely distributed over the continent. The cosmogonic idea of the Yuchi, and the other tribes of the Southeast, is purely creational, in contrast to the transformational concept of the

Fig. 4. Yuchi Arrows

Yuchi Indians Culture

In material culture the Yuchi are typical of the, agricultural hunting tribes of the south east Atlantic and Gulf coast area, living formerly in permanent villages surrounded by cultivated fields and always situated conveniently near some stream where fish abounded. Their houses were grouped about a square plot of ground, which was held as sacred, where religious ceremonies and social gatherings took place. The ordinary houses were of the common coast type, covered with bark or mats, but there was, besides, another more complex and permanent sort with sides plastered with clay. They were good potters, manufacturing various forms by

Fig. 15. Crooked Knife

Yuchi Material Culture

Wood Working. The Yuchi men spend part of their time, when not engaged directly in procuring food, in manufacturing various useful articles out of wood. One form of knife, yanlibo’, ‘knife bent,’ used in whittling such objects, consists of a piece of iron curved at one after the fashion of a farrier’s knife (Fig. 15). The handle part of the metal is bound around with cloth or skin to soften it for the grasp. The wood worker draws the knife towards himself in carving. Thus are made ladles, spoons, and other objects that come in handy about the house. Larger

Fig. 6 Bundle of Poisonous Roots

Yuchi Fishing

Quite naturally fishing plays an important part in the life of the Yuchi who have almost always lived near streams furnishing fish in abundance. Catfish, cu dj?á, garfish, pike, cu cpá, bass, cu wadá, and many other kinds are eagerly sought for by families and sometimes by whole communities at a time, to vary their diet. We find widely distributed among the people of the Southeast a characteristic method of getting fish by utilizing certain vegetable poisons which are thrown into the water. Among the Yuchi the practice is as follows. During the months of July and August many families