Yuchi Indian Tribe Clans

The political organization of the tribe, which has become more pronounced in type since its incorporation into the Creek Nation, is based on the town. This is made up of some 18 or 20 totemic, maternal, exogamic clans, the members of which trace their descent from the totem animal and have certain restrictions in regard to it. At an annual ceremony the clans perform propitiatory and reverential dances in honor of their totems.

The Yuchi clans are as follows, the names in parentheses being the simplified forms of those recorded by Gatschet:

  • Saggē’ (Sagi),
  • Bear; Dałá (Tala),
  • Wolf; WeryA°’ (Weyon),
  • Deer; TkbCii’ (Tapa),
  • Tortoise; Wetc£A” (Wetchon),
  • Panther; Cadrane (Shatane),
  • Wildcat; Catient (Shathiane),
  • Fox; Godd (Iluda),
  • Wind; Cid (Still),
  • Fish; Cagii°'(Shakian),
  • Beaver; Cdland (Shuhlanan),
  • Otter; Djd’tie” (Tchatchian),
  • Raccoon; YusA”‘(Yussoih),
  • Skunk; WdtsagowA°’ (Wetsagua),
  • Opossum; Cadjwane,
  • Rabbit; Cdva,
  • Squirrel; Wdtc£a (Witchah),
  • Turkey; C1i’na (Sha),
  • Eagle; YA°ti’,
  • Buzzard; Ca, Snake.
  • Gatschet gives also the
  • Senan (Bird),
  • Tapatwa (Alligator),
  • Tapi (Salt), To Sweet-potato),
  • Yonh (Hickory-nut), and
  • Yontuh (Acorn),

but it is doubtful if these clans existed among the Yuchi. There is disagreement among native informants regarding the existence of the Eagle, Buzzard, and Snake clans above given.

The whole male population of the town, and of the tribe as well, is again subdivided into two other social classes, which have certain town offices and functions in the ceremonies inherent in them. These classes are chief and warrior, and inheritance in them is reckoned through the father without regard to clanship of the other sort. Property is handed down partly through father to son and partly from father to sister’s children, inheritance being thus an individual and not solely a group matter. The men of different classes are distinguished by facial painting.

The town officials are a town chief and priest, chosen from the chief class of certain leading clans; a master of ceremonies and representative from the warrior class of certain clans, with 3 secondary chiefs and 3 secondary warriors from certain clans. There are, besides, other officials chosen from certain clans and classes, who have charge of different stages of the ceremonies. Unanimous acclamation constitutes appointment to an office. The town itself, represented by its chiefs and lesser officers or warriors, regulates the ceremonies and matters of an internal nature or those dealing with outsiders or other towns.


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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