Topic: Yuchi

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

Yuchi Hunting

Hunting was pursued by the men either singly or in bands. While the attendance upon the crops kept them at home much of the time, there were seasons of comparative idleness during which parties set off on the hunt. The flesh of nearly all the mammals and birds of their habitat was eaten by the Yuchi with the exception of such as were sacred for ceremonial purposes or were protected by some taboo. The chief game animals hunted by them for their flesh were the deer, weeyan’, bison, wedingá, bear, sagee’, raccoon, djatyAn’, opossimi, WAtsagowAn’, rabbit, cádjwané, squirrel, cayá; while

Yuchi Farming

Although the Yuchi of today are cultivators of the soil, as they were in former times, the manner and method of agriculture has undergone many radical changes since the first contact with Europeans. The modification of this branch of their culture has been so thorough that we can only construct, from survivals and tradition, an idea of its former state. The villages were surrounded by fertile spaces, cleared of timber and other vegetation by burning in dry springtime. These spaces were converted into garden patches where vegetables were sown and tended as they grew up, by a daily but irregularly-timed

Fig. 11. Yuchi Clay Pipes

Yuchi Pipe Making

A large number of tobacco pipes of clay, sacu’yud?c’, ‘earth pipes’ (Fig. 11), were formerly made and used by the Yuchi. The variety in form shown by these pipes indicates that at an earlier time work in clay must have been a rather important activity with them. It seems that pipe making was, and is yet to a limited extent, practiced by the men. Clay is prepared in the manner described before for pots, and made into lengths about an inch in diameter. With a knife, cylinders of various lengths are cut out which are to be bent and hollowed

Fig. 9. Outlines of Gourds

Yuchi Pottery

The sedentary life of the Yuchi has given ample opportunity for the development of the art of making pottery. The coiled process is in vogue, but it may be remarked that the modern pots of these Indians are of a rather crude and unfinished form, which is probably traceable to deterioration in later years. The process of manufacture of ordinary pots for domestic use is as follows. A fine consistent clay is selected and washed in a flat vessel to separate all grit and stones from it. Then lumps are rolled between the palms and elongated in the form of

Fig. 13. Basket Weaves

Yuchi Basket Making

Another handicraft in the seemingly well-rounded industrial life of the Yuchi is basket making. The women possess the knowledge of at least two processes of basket weaving; the checker work and the twilled. The baskets in general are of two sorts. One is a large rough kind made of hickory or oak splints not unlike the ordinary split baskets made by the Algonkian tribes, with handles for carrying. The other kind, in the manufacture of which cane rinds are chiefly employed, is distinctly characteristic of the Southeastern and Gulf area. A collection of Yuchi baskets resembles those of the Choctaw

Fig. 29. Finger Rings

Yuchi Tribe Clothing

For a people living in quite a warm climate the Yuchi, as far back as they have any definite knowledge, seem to have gone about rather profusely clothed, but the descriptions obtained refer only to a time when the white traders’ materials had replaced almost entirely the native products. A bright colored calico shirt was worn by the men next to the skin. Over this was a sleeved jacket reaching, on young men, a little below the waist, on old men and chiefs, below the knees. The shirt hung free before and behind, but was bound around the waist by

Fig. 24. Tinder Tray

Yuchi Indians Food

In the preparation of food several kinds of wooden utensils are employed. The largest and perhaps the most important piece of household furniture of this sort was the mortar, dilá, and pestle, dicä lá. The mortar (PI. III, Fig. 10, a) which is simply a log several feet high with the bark removed having a cavity about eight inches deep, seems, moreover, to be an important domes-tic fetish. We find that it is connected in some way with the growing up and the future prospects of the children of the family. It occupies a permanent position in the door yard,

Fig. 21. Plan of Yuchi Dwelling

Yuchi Indians Homes

As the native methods of house building have nearly all passed out of use some time ago, we have to depend upon descriptions from memory supplemented by observations made in the ceremonial camp where temporary shelters are made which preserve old methods of construction. The dwelling house of the present-day Yuchi is like that of the ordinary white settler: a structure of squared or round notched logs, with a peak roof of home-made shingles and a door on one side. Windows may be present or not, according to the whim of the owner. The same is true of the fireplace,