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 the coiling process, nearly all, however, similar in shape to gourds, from which it is possible the forms were derived. Incised decorations occur only on or near the rim. Decorated effigy pipes of clay are still made, resembling closely some of those found in mounds in Georgia and the Carolinas. Basketry was made of cane and hickory splints, and the art was quite highly developed. Considerable wooden ware was also used. The original style of clothing has been supplanted for several generations by calico and trade goods made into shirts, outside hunting jackets, leggings, turban-like headgear, sashes, neckbands, garters, shoulder straps, and pouches, which are possibly survivals of older forms. Sashes, neckbands, leg-bands, hair pendants, pouches, and shoulder, bands are decorated with geometrical designs in bead embroidery representing animals and natural objects. Some of these designs are said to be worn in imitation of mythic characters and seem to be in a sense symbolical. An influence may have been exerted on Yuchi art by the prairie tribes since the removal to the west. Bows and arrows, clubs, and spears were their chief weapons. The blowgun was much in use in hunting. Dogs, too, were used in the chase, and hunting formulas were believed to affect the movements of the quarry. Fishing was commonly carried on by poisoning the stream with a species of tephrosia.


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